GALLERY: Too close to call on Stockton Lake - Major League Fishing
GALLERY: Too close to call on Stockton Lake
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GALLERY: Too close to call on Stockton Lake

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March 15, 2023 • Rachel Dubrovin • General Tire Team Series

BOLIVAR, Mo. – To kick off the final match of the General Tire Team Series Costa Qualifier Presented by Toyota, a new set of three teams, each composed of three MLF pros, took on the east half of Stockton Lake. After a 30-minute ride around, Team Star brite, Team Kubota and Team Builders FirstSource spread out to break down a difficult fall bite.

Team Star brite took an early lead. One of the team members, Jeremy Lawyer, lives about an hour away from Stockton Lake, and his local knowledge proved to be an advantage. Team captain, Skeet Reese, and Shaw Grigsby kept the chatter and laughter rolling over the headset all day long, proving that positive morale can help a team succeed in this new format.

Most of the scorable bass were largemouth, with just a few spotted and smallmouth bass mixed in. Anglers had to weed through several small, unscorable bass (and crappie) in order to find the ones they needed to put on SCORETRACKER®. Not to mention, the Costa Qualifier hit the Ozarks during a drought, and Stockton Lake was roughly 7 feet below its normal level. This exposed stumps and standing timber, which several pros used to target bass. Other pros fished bridges and targeted natural rock.

At the end of the day, Team Star brite had a small lead with 47 pounds, 10 ounces, less than 3 pounds over Team Kubota (Edwin EversJustin Cooper and John Murray). Third place Team Builders FirstSource was just 15-3 off the lead. Those weights will carry over to the second day of the match, where anglers will fish the other half of Stockton Lake, the west side. However, the pros wouldn’t find that out until they arrived at the ramp the next morning.

Watch the next episode of the General Tire Team Series on Outdoor Channel this Saturday from 2-4 p.m. ET. New episodes are added to the MyOutdoorTV library on Monday afternoons.