Josh Bertrand Leads Early After Day 1 of MLF Bass Pro Tour Bally Bet Stage Seven at Mille Lacs Lake Presented by Minn Kota
Sep 10th, 2022 by Keith Worrall
Modified Sep 11th, 2022 at 11:47 AM
Arizona Pro Weighs 27 Bass Totaling 86 Pounds, 13 Ounces to Lead Early for Group A – Group B to Start Competition Sunday
ONAMIA, Minn. (Sept. 10, 2022) – Berkley pro Josh Bertrand of Queen Creek, Arizona, caught 27 scorable smallmouth bass weighing 86 pounds, 13 ounces, to grab the early lead after Day 1 of the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour Bally Bet Stage Seven at Mille Lacs Lake Presented by Minn Kota. Right behind Bertrand in second place is Hot Springs, Arkansas’ Stephen Browning, who caught 20 scorable bass weighing 84-13. The duo traded the lead back and forth multiple times throughout the third period, with Bertrand ending on top by the narrow 2-pound margin as time expired.
The six-day tournament, hosted by the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, showcases 80 of the best professional anglers in the world competing for a purse of more than $805,000, including a top payout of $100,000 to the winner. The tournament is livestreamed each day at MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MOTV app, and also filmed for television broadcast later this fall on the Discovery Channel.
Link to Hi-Res Photo of Qualifying Group A Leader Josh Bertrand
Link to HD Video – Fish-Catch Highlights of Group A Qualifying Round Day 1 on Mille Lacs Lake
Link to Photo Gallery of Group A’s Day 1 Highlights
It’s seems to be a two-horse race in Group A, as Bertrand and Browning have a substantial 30-pound lead on the rest of the field. Weights are fairly stacked up in the remainder of the top 10. Pro Matt Lee of Cullman, Alabama, ended the day in third place with 15 bass totaling 53-11. Ardmore, Oklahoma’s Jeff Kriet caught 13 bass weighing 50-5 to end the day in fourth, while Berkley pro Jordan Lee of Cullman, Alabama , rounds out the top five with 15 bass weighing 46-11.
The 40 anglers in Group A will now have an off day from competition on Sunday, while the 40 anglers competing in Group B will begin their first day of competition. Group A will resume competition on Monday.
“It was a great first day – I caught a bunch of fish, and a lot of really good quality ones,” Bertrand said. “I caught them multiple different ways. This morning I caught them cranking and throwing a Carolina rig – they were really biting the reaction baits early. Then this afternoon it slicked off and I ended up catching them on a drop-shot rig, using a Berkley (PowerBait) MaxScent Hit Worm.
“The forecast is calling for really calm conditions for the next few days, but it’s supposed to get nasty again in our Knockout Round on Wednesday. So, I’m really going to try hard to win this Qualifying Round and advance straight to Championship Thursday – I do not want to be out here when it’s nasty,” Bertrand went on to say. “We’ve got a lot of fishing still ahead of us, but I’m thankful to be off to a really good start.”
The top 20 pros in Group A after Day 1 on Mille Lacs Lake are:
1st: Josh Bertrand, Queen Creek, Ariz., 27 bass, 86-13
2nd: Stephen Browning, Hot Springs, Ark., 20 bass, 84-13
3rd: Matt Lee, Cullman, Ala., 15 bass, 53-11
4th: Jeff Kriet, Ardmore, Okla., 13 bass, 50-5
5th: Jordan Lee, Cullman, Ala., 15 bass, 46-11
6th: Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 13 bass, 43-14
7th: Mark Daniels, Jr., Tuskegee, Ala., 12 bass, 43-14
8th: Mark Rose, Wynne, Ark., 14 bass, 42-12
9th: Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., 11 bass, 41-9
10th: Marty Robinson, Lyman, S.C., 11 bass, 41-2
11th: Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 11 bass, 38-8
12th: David Walker, Sevierville, Tenn., 11 bass, 37-10
13th: Jesse Wiggins, Addison, Ala., 10 bass, 34-7
14th: Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash., nine bass, 34-6
15th: Mike McClelland, Blue Eye, Mo., nine bass, 34-1
16th: Zack Birge, Blanchard, Okla., 10 bass, 33-10
17th: Boyd Duckett, Guntersville, Ala., 16 bass, 33-6
18th: Cole Floyd, Leesburg, Ohio, 10 bass, 32-4
19th: Brent Chapman, Lake Quivira, Kan., 11 bass, 31-11
20th: Takahiro Omori, Tokyo, Japan, eight bass, 31-5
A complete list of results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Overall, there were 396 scorable bass weighing 1,339 pounds, 2 ounces caught by the 40 pros Saturday.
Browning caught the biggest fish of the day, a chunky 5-pound, 8-ounce smallmouth bass during Period 1 to earn the first $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award of the event. Berkley awards $1,000 to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass each day, and a $3,000 bonus to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass of the tournament.
The 40 Anglers in Group A compete in their two-day qualifying round on Saturday and Monday – the 40 anglers in Group B on Sunday and Tuesday. After each two-day qualifying round is complete, the anglers that finish in 2nd through 20th place from both groups advance to Wednesday’s Knockout Round, while the winner of each group advances directly to Thursday’s Championship Round. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed, and the remaining 38 anglers compete to finish in the top 8 to advance to the Championship Round. In the final day Championship Round, weights are zeroed, and the highest one-day total wins the top prize of $100,000.
Anglers will launch each day at 7:30 a.m. CT from Eddy’s Resort, located at 41334 Shakopee Lake Road in Onamia. Each day’s General Tire Takeout will be held at the Resort, beginning at 4 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all launch and takeout events and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLF NOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
On Championship Thursday, Sept. 15, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. MLF will host a Celebration Event for fans of all ages, inviting fans to come out and celebrate with the professional anglers from the Bass Pro Tour as they crown the champion of the Bally Bet Stage Seven on Mille Lacs Lake Presented by Minn Kota. The first 50 youth anglers 10 and under in attendance will receive a free Pure Fishing Shakespeare Kid’s Rod and Reel combo. The final 10 Championship Round Bass Pro Tour anglers will be on hand at the trophy celebration to meet and greet fans, sign autographs, and take selfies.
The Bally Bet Stage Seven on Mille Lacs Lake Presented by Minn Kota will feature 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.
The Bass Pro Tour features a field of 80 of the top professional anglers in the world competing across seven regular-season tournaments around the country, competing for millions of dollars and valuable points to qualify for the annual General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and REDCREST IV, the Bass Pro Tour championship, which will be held next March on Lake Norman in Charlotte, North Carolina.
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 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT. MLF NOW!® will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.
Television coverage of the Bally Bet Stage Seven on Mille Lacs Lake Presented by Minn Kota will premiere as a two-hour episode at 7 a.m. ET, on Saturday, Nov. 19 on the Discovery Channel. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on the Discovery Channel, with additional re-airings on the Outdoor Channel. Each two-hour long reality-based episode goes in-depth to break down each day of tournament competition.
Proud sponsors of the 2022 MLF Bass Pro Tour include: 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, A.R.E. Truck Caps, B&W Trailer Hitches, Bally Bet, Bass Cat, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Covercraft, Favorite Fishing, Garmin, General Tire, Googan Baits, Grundéns, Guaranteed Rate, Humminbird, Lowrance, Luminox, Mercury, Minn Kota, Mossy Oak, Nitro Performance Boats, Onyx, Plano, Power-Pole, Power Stop, Rapala, Starbrite, Toro, Toyota, Wrangler, Yellowstone Bourbon and Zoom.
For complete details and updated information on Major League Fishing and 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, 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 expanded its portfolio of catch, weigh, and immediately 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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