Jacob Wheeler Dominates Knockout Round at MLF Bass Pro Tour Toyota Stage Six at Lake Champlain

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (Aug. 9, 2021) – Academy Sports + Outdoors pro Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tennessee, caught 32 scorable bass Monday weighing 107 pounds, 2 ounces to win the Knockout Round and advance to the final day of competition at the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour Toyota Stage Six at Lake Champlain Presented by Googan Baits in Plattsburgh, New York. The final 10 anglers are now set, and competition will resume Tuesday morning with the Championship Round. Weights are zeroed, and the angler that catches the most weight will win the top prize of $100,000.

The six-day event, hosted by the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau and the City of Plattsburgh, features the top professional anglers from around the world competing for a purse of $805,000, including a top cash prize of $100,000 to the winner.

The top eight pros from Monday’s Knockout Round that will compete in Tuesday’s Championship Round on Lake Champlain are:

1st: Jacob Wheeler, Harrison, Tenn., 32 bass, 107-2
2nd: Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., 25 bass, 79-11
3rd: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 23 bass, 69-13
4th: Jacopo Gallelli, Florence, Italy, 25 bass, 66-0
5th: Kelly Jordon, Flint, Texas, 23 bass, 58-9
6th: Ott DeFoe, Blaine, Tenn., 20 bass, 55-2
7th: Timmy Horton, Muscle Shoals, Ala., 17 bass, 53-7
8th: Wesley Strader, Spring City, Ala., 19 bass, 50-14

They’ll be joined by Qualifying Round winners:

Group A: Matt Lee, Cullman, Ala.
Group B: Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala.

“We had a lot of fun today, and caught a lot of bass,” Wheeler said in his post-game interview. “It feels great to reel a whole bunch of bass in. This place is unbelievable. But tomorrow is a new day and we’ve got some stiff competition ahead of us.”

Wheeler said that Monday, for him, was all about the spinning rod. He spent the day drop-shotting on his 7-foot, 2-inch medium-heavy Duckett Jacob Wheeler Signature Series rod, spooled with 8-pound Sufix Advanced Nano braid and a Size No. 2 Finesse Neko hook.

“It’s taken me a little while to dial it in, but I’m starting to understand it more and more, and Champlain is different every single week, every time I come here. I’ve realized you can’t necessarily get locked into one area. I feel like I have figured out a little bit of a pattern and I’m looking forward to getting out there tomorrow to see how it shakes out.”

Rounding out the top 37 finishers were:

11th: Brandon Coulter, Knoxville, Tenn., 19 bass, 48-3, $10,257
12th: Stephen Browning, Hot Springs, Ark., 15 bass, 46-6, $10,257
13th: James Elam, Tulsa, Okla., 14 bass, 43-6, $10,257
14th: Josh Bertrand, Queen Creek, Ariz., 13 bass, 38-5, $10,257
15th: Dave Lefebre, Erie, Pa., 13 bass, 37-14, $10,257
16th: Scott Suggs, Bryant, Ark., 12 bass, 37-14, $10,257
17th: Takahiro Omori, Tokyo, Japan, 11 bass, 35-0, $10,257
18th: Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 34-10, $10,257
19th: David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 13 bass, 34-2, $10,257
20th: Andy Montgomery, Blacksburg, S.C., 13 bass, 32-8, $10,257
21st: Terry Scroggins, San Mateo, Fla., 11 bass, 30-8, $10,257
22nd: Boyd Duckett, Guntersville, Ala., 11 bass, 29-13, $10,257
23rd: Jesse Wiggins, Addison, Ala., nine bass, 28-14, $10,257
24th: John Cox, DeBary, Fla., 11 bass, 28-5, $10,257
25th: Mark Rose, Wynne, Ark., eight bass, 26-4, $10,257
26th: Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., eight bass, 25-2, $10,257
27th: Shin Fukae, Osaka, Japan, seven bass, 23-4, $10,257
28th: Russ Lane, Prattville, Ala., nine bass, 22-2, $10,257
29th: Alton Jones, Lorena, Texas, seven bass, 21-4, $10,257
30th: Kevin VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich., five bass, 15-13, $10,257
31st: Britt Myers, Lake Wylie, S.C., four bass, 13-2, $10,257
32nd: Gerald Spohrer, Gonzales, La., four bass, 12-4, $10,257
33rd: Aaron Martens, Leeds, Ala., three bass, 8-13, $10,257
34th: Alton Jones Jr., Waco, Texas, three bass, 7-1, $10,257
35th: Mark Davis, Mount Ida, Ark., two bass, 7-1, $10,257
36th: Jeff Sprague, Point, Texas, three bass, 6-14, $10,257
37th: Skeet Reese, Auburn, Calif., zero bass, 0-0, $10,257

A complete list of results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Overall, there were 422 bass weighing 1,235 pounds, 6 ounces caught by the 35 pros on Monday.

Stephen Browning won Sunday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award with a 5-pound, 4-ounce largemouth that came on a vibrating jig during Period 3. Berkley awards $1,000 to the angler that weighs the biggest bass each day, and a $3,000 bonus to the angler who weighs the largest bass of the tournament.

The Toyota Stage Six at Lake Champlain Presented by Googan Baits features anglers competing with a 2-pound minimum weight requirement for a bass to be deemed scorable. Minimum weights are determined individually for each competition waters that the Bass Pro Tour visits, based on the productivity, bass population and anticipated average size of fish in each fishery.

MLF announced earlier this week that the normal 80-angler Bass Pro Tour field would be reduced to 73 for this event, as seven anglers withdrew from competition for undisclosed reasons. After consulting with the MLF Angler Advisory Board, a slight change was made to the Qualifying Round Toro Cut Lines due to the unbalanced angler groupings.

The 34 Anglers in Group A competed in their two-day qualifying round on Lake Champlain on Thursday and Saturday – the 39 anglers in Group B on Friday and Sunday. After the two-day qualifying round the anglers that finish in 2nd through 17th place from Group A (50% of field) and 2nd through 20th place from Group B (50% of field) advanced to Monday’s Knockout Round. In the Knockout Round, weights were zeroed and the remaining 35 anglers competed to finish in the top 8 to advance to the Championship Round. Tomorrow, in the final day Championship Round, weights are zeroed and the highest one-day total wins the top prize of $100,000.

Anglers will take off from the Plattsburgh City Marina, located at 2 Dock St., in Plattsburgh, at 8 a.m. ET each day of competition. Each day’s General Tire Takeout will also be held at the Launch Ramp, beginning at 5 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all takeoff and takeout ceremonies and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLF NOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

MLF officials have divided the lake into two zones in which anglers will compete – Zone A (north end of lake) and Zone B (south end of lake – Ticonderoga area). Anglers choosing to fish in Zone B must go through the normal takeoff procedure at the Plattsburgh Boat Launch and then trailer to a public ramp within Zone B. Anglers will depart the Boat Launch at 8 a.m., and competition will start with “lines in” at 9 a.m.

The Bass Pro Tour features a field of 76 of the top professional anglers in the world – joined at each event by 4 pros that qualify from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit – competing across seven regular-season tournaments around the country, competing for millions of dollars and valuable points to qualify for the annual Heavy Hitters all-star event and the REDCREST 2022 championship.

The MLF NOW!® broadcast team of Chad McKee, Marty Stone and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action on all six days of competition from 8:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET. MLF NOW!® will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

Television coverage of the Toyota Stage Six at Lake Champlain Presented by Googan Baits will premiere at 7 a.m. ET, Nov. 6 on the Discovery Channel. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on the Discovery Channel, with additional re-airings on the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel. Each two-hour long reality-based episode goes in-depth to break down each day of competition.

For complete details and updated information on the Bass Pro Tour, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

About Major League Fishing
Major League Fishing (MLF) is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, producing more than 250 events annually at some of the most prestigious fisheries in the world, while broadcasting to America’s living rooms on CBS, the Discovery Channel, the Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, the World Fishing Network, the Sportsman Channel and on-demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with offices in Benton, Kentucky, the MLF roster of bass anglers includes the world’s top pros and more than 30,000 competitors in all 50 states and 13 countries. In 2019 MLF acquired FLW and rebranded it as MLF BIG5, which expanded its portfolio of catch, weigh and immediate release events to include the sport’s strongest five-biggest-fish format tournament circuits. Since its founding in 2011, MLF has advanced the sport of competitive fishing through its premier television broadcasts and livestreams, and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for bass through research, education, fisheries enhancement and fish care.

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