Becker Makes it Happen on Lake Murray - Major League Fishing
Becker Makes it Happen on Lake Murray
9m • Sean Ostruszka • Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit
Practice Update: Shuffield and Cifuentes Dish on Rayburn
20h • Jody White • Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit
2022 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Sam Rayburn Reservoir Preview
1d • Kyle Wood • Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit
Podcast Episode 315: Jeff Reynolds on His Return to Pro Fishing, Season Openers, Fantasy Fishing
2d • MLF • Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit
Previewing the 2022 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Season
4d • MLF • Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit
Crafty Fantasy Picks for Sam Rayburn: Neal, Nelson, Newberry Will Score for Your Team
4d • Jody White • Fantasy Fishing
Game on! MLF Launches Fantasy Fishing for 2022 Season
5d • MLF • Press Releases
Looking Ahead: What We Expect This Season
6d • MLF • Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit
MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Set to Kick Off 2022 Season Opener with Guaranteed Rate Stop 1 on Sam Rayburn Reservoir Presented by Ark Fishing
1w • MLF • Press Releases
2022 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Rookie Rundown
1w • Jody White • Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit
Podcast: Steve Lopez Hits the Big Leagues
1w • MLF • Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit
MLF Senior Director of Operations Bill Taylor Announces Retirement
2w • MLF • Press Releases
Bass Cave with Shaw Grigsby
2w • Bass Pro Tour
Podcast: Blake Hall Goes Pro With a Prime Schedule
3w • MLF • Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit
2022 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Lake Champlain Preview
3w • Jody White • Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit

Becker Makes it Happen on Lake Murray

Image for Becker Makes it Happen on Lake Murray
April 25, 2021 • Sean Ostruszka • Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit

Matt Becker wasn’t planning on taking a risk this week on Lake Murray. Fate had other plans.

One of the most consistent anglers on the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, Becker started Day 1 of the event with a conservative plan of sight-fishing and fishing docks. But, before doing that, he slotted in a little time to try a risky timing/herring-spawn pattern. He never looked back in route to his first win, as he brought in 17 pounds, 11 ounces today to hold off local favorite Anthony Gagliardi with 76-5 total.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment my entire life,” says Becker after the victory. “I had started to think it was never going to happen.”


“I don’t catch big fish, and you need to catch big fish to win. But that’s fishing risky, which is basically what I did this week.”

The 2018 Rookie of the Year admits what he did went against his nature and made it one of the most stressful fishing weeks of his life. It’s understandable considering just how risky his pattern was. He truly had no idea where, when or if he’d get a bite. If his timing was off all day, he’d zero.

What he did know was that there were schools of big bass hanging off the edges of the points, as he’d either see them schooling on the surface at times or on his electronics. Unfortunately, unless they moved up shallow to feed on blueback herring spawning there, he wasn’t able to catch them. And adding extra difficulty, when he pulled up on a point, he had no idea if the fish had moved up, as the fish were often not schooling visibly on the surface but just “schooling” and feeding up shallow.

So, he simply had to keep hitting and re-hitting as many points as possible hoping one of those times he’d show up at just the right time that the school had moved shallow to feed. A prime example came on Day 2.

“The spot I caught them on (the second day) I had fished three times before I caught them,” says Becker. “I knew the fish were there, but I rotated through multiple times and never had a bite. Then I came back and they were there and they were eating. I went from zero to 14 pounds in minutes.”

When they were eating, Becker rotated through a number of different soft plastics, with a Googan Baits Dart (green gizzard) as a key player rigged on a TroKar TK 180 hook with a TroKar TK 300 treble hook as a stinger. He threw that on a 7-foot, 5-inch medium-heavy Favorite Fishing Hex rod, Favorite Fishing Soleus XCS reel and 15-pound-test Seaguar InvizX fluorocarbon.

Those key eating flurries were huge the first two days, but as the tournament went on, they became fewer and fewer. Today, he says he never really had a flurry. In fact, he didn’t have much to be confident in, at all, to start.

While Gagliardi was putting on a show right off the bat in an effort to nearly pull off another big win on his home lake, Becker only could manage single fish, and not many. He only had four fish in his livewell at 10:30 a.m. But once again, fate seemed to intervene.

“All week, little things just always lined up,” says Becker. “Today, I pulled into a cove and I got this overwhelming feeling I was going to go to the first point and catch a 3 ½-pounder, and then I’d go to the second point and catch another 3 ½-pounder. And that’s exactly what happened. That pretty much got me the win. That and Anthony losing that last fish.”

Yes, as if that wasn’t enough, he got one last gift late in the day, as Gagliardi had worked his way up to the biggest bag of the tournament. He just had one 3-9 bass he wanted to cull out, and he actually hooked a 5-pounder that would’ve made weigh-in razor close. Unfortunately for him, he accidently left his Power Poles down, the fish wrapped around one and it broke off.

The end result was a tear-jerking moment as Becker finally got to realize a childhood dream come true.

“I’ve been watching every tournament on TV my whole life dreaming it would be me on that stage winning,” says Becker. “I had truly started to doubt if it’d ever happen because I’d always just fished for checks. Well, this is a really big and nice check.”

Top 10 Pros

1. Matt Becker – 76 – 05 (20) – $137,500 (includes $35,000 Phoenix Bonus)

2. Anthony Gagliardi – 73 – 13 (20) – $30,000

3. Michael Neal – 71 – 08 (20) – $25,000

4. Adrian Avena – 68 – 02 (20) – $20,000

5. David G Williams – 64 – 13 (20) – $19,000

6. Tai Au – 64 – 09 (20) – $18,500

7. Evan Barnes – 63 – 10 (20) – $17,000

8. Cody Huff – 63 – 00 (20) – $16,000

9. Derrick Snavely – 60 – 02 (18) – $15,000

10. Skeet Reese – 57 – 09 (17) – $14,000

Complete Results