As one of the most experienced anglers on the Bass Pro Tour, Paul Elias admits that he has struggled to adapt to the MLF format over the last two years. Elias says while there are a couple of physical issues that limit his ability to fish, it’s the mental aspect of the game that has been the toughest on him.

But during the third event of the third Bass Pro Tour season, Elias took a step in the right direction when he not only qualified for was a threat to make it past his first Knockout Round. On Tuesday, Elias worked his way up SCORETRACKER® and moved above the Toro Cut Line for a while. But at the end of the day, he found himself in a position that all MLF pros dread: Just one scorable bass below the Cut Line with time quickly slipping away.

While the top eight pros advance from the Knockout Round to the Championship Round, Elias ended the day in ninth, 2 pounds, 6 ounces behind eighth-place Jeff Sprague. That means Elias will end up finishing in 11th place in the Favorite Fishing Stage Three Presented by Bass Cat Boats, because two pros had already qualified for the Championship Round by winning the Qualifying Rounds of Groups A and B. Elias says he’s going to take the momentum of this strong finish to the next tournament on Lake Chickamauga.