Matt Lee Cruises to Win Group A Qualifying Round at MLF Bass Pro Tour Toyota Stage Six at Lake Champlain Presented by Googan Baits
Aug 8th, 2021 by Keith Worrall
Modified Aug 8th, 2021 at 12:42 PM
Alabama pro Advances Directly to Tuesday’s Championship Round, 17 Anglers Advance to Monday’s Knockout Round
PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (Aug. 7, 2021) – Cullman, Alabama pro Matt Lee only caught nine scorable bass Saturday totaling 27 pounds, 11 ounces, but after his astonishing Day 1 on Thursday, it turns out he could have taken the day off. Lee’s two-day total of 49 bass weighing 131 pounds even easily earned him the Qualifying Round win for Group A on a weather-delayed day at the Toyota Stage Six at Lake Champlain Presented by Googan Baits in Plattsburgh, New York.
Competition ran a bit later than expected Saturday, as lightning in the area caused two pauses in competition during Period 3, totaling 2 hours and 15 minutes. The final hour of competition resumed at 6:15 p.m. ET, with competition ending for the day at 7:15 p.m. ET.
Italy’s Jacopo Gallelli, a Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit angler that qualified to compete in this event via his win in June on the Potomac River, caught a two-day total of 28 bass weighing 81-13 to finish the round in second place, while Bryan Thrift of Shelby, North Carolina, boated a two-day total of 28 bass weighing 81-3 to end the round in third. Berkley pro Scott Suggs of Alexander, Arkansas , finished the day in fourth place with a two-day total of 24 bass for 80-15. Rounding out the top five was Japanese pro Takahiro Omori, who caught 27 bass for 78-6 to advance in fifth place.
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 17 anglers from Group A will now enjoy an off-day Sunday, while the 39 anglers in Qualifying Group B will complete their two-day Qualifying Round of competition. The Knockout Round, featuring 35 anglers competing to finish in the top eight, will take place on Monday. Tuesday’s Championship Round will feature Lee, Sunday’s Group B winner, and the top eight anglers from the Knockout Round competing in a final-day shootout for the top prize of $100,000.
“Man, it feels so good to earn the win,” Lee said in his post-game interview. “This tournament is a long way from over, but now I’ve got Championship Day to try to make it happen. I’ve got a 1 in 10 chance.
“You don’t beat these guys – even when they’re split up in groups – very often. They’re the best in the world. So, to do it, and to have the margin that I had after today… wow,” Lee continued. “It’s been a long day, I tried to practice and find some new stuff, but it was tough. I couldn’t get anything going, just a few. Then I came back over here late and caught them on a topwater.
“It’s been an awesome couple of days, and I can’t wait to get back out here on Tuesday,” Lee went on to say. “It’s going to be tough, but we’re that much closer.”
The top 17 pros from Qualifying Group A that now advance to Monday’s Knockout Round on Lake Champlain are:
1st: Matt Lee, Cullman, Ala., 49 bass, 131-0
2nd: Jacopo Gallelli, Florence, Italy, 28 bass, 81-13
3rd: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 28 bass, 81-3
4th: Scott Suggs, Alexander, Ark., 24 bass, 80-15
5th: Takahiro Omori, Tokyo, Japan, 28 bass, 80-10
6th: Shinichi Fukae, Osaka, Japan, 24 bass, 76-5
7th: James Elam, Tulsa, Okla., 23 bass, 73-11
8th: Ott DeFoe, Blaine, Tenn., 24 bass, 72-14
9th: Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 23 bass, 70-14
10th: Dave Lefebre, Erie, Pa., 23 bass, 69-2
11th: Andy Montgomery, Blacksburg, S.C., 25 bass, 65-11
12th: Timmy Horton, Muscle Shoals, Ala., 22 bass, 64-3
13th: Britt Myers, Lake Wylie, S.C., 24 bass, 63-2
14th: John Cox, DeBary, Fla., 24 bass, 62-11
15th: Aaron Martens, Leeds, Ala., 22 bass, 62-8
16th: Gerald Spohrer, Gonzales, La., 21 bass, 62-8
17th: Terry Scroggins, San Mateo, Fla., 20 bass, 58-14
Finishing in 18th through 34th in the Group A Qualifying Round were:
18th: Edwin Evers, Talala, Okla., 19 bass, 58-12
19th: Tommy Biffle, Wagoner, Okla., 22 bass, 56-7
20th: Cliff Pace, Petal, Miss., 18 bass, 54-2
21st: John Murray, Spring City, Tenn., 20 bass, 51-6
22nd: Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla., 15 bass, 50-4
23rd: Jared Lintner, Arroyo Grande, Calif., 19 bass, 50-2
24th: Jason Lambert, Michie, Tenn., 16 bass, 45-9
25th: James Watson, Lampe, Mo., 15 bass, 43-8
26th: Brent Chapman, Lake Quivira, Kan., 13 bass, 40-14
27th: Fred Roumbanis, Russellville, Ark., 14 bass, 39-9
28th: Randall Tharp, Port Saint Joe, Fla., 13 bass, 39-5
29th: Zack Birge, Blanchard, Okla., 13 bass, 37-10
30th: David Walker, Sevierville, Tenn., 11 bass, 32-8
31st: Gary Klein, Mingus, Texas, nine bass, 24-6
32nd: Lawson Hibdon, Versailles, Mo., six bass, 17-4
33rd: Brett Hite, Phoenix, Ariz., four bass, 11-13
34th: Mike McClelland, Blue Eye, Mo., two bass, 6-9
A complete list of results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Overall, there were 353 bass weighing 1,033 pounds, 14 ounces caught by the 34 pros on Saturday.
Omori won Saturday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award, weighing in a 5-pound, 14-ounce largemouth bass on a jig during Period 1. 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.
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 each two-day qualifying round is complete, 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) advance to Monday’s Knockout Round, while the winner of each group advances directly to Tuesday’s Championship Round. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed and the remaining 35 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 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 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.
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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