Michael Neal Moves Ahead on Day Three of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Guaranteed Rate Stop 1 on Sam Rayburn Reservoir Presented by Ark Fishing

Category: article

 Feb 1st, 2022 by Keith Worrall 

Modified Feb 1st, 2022 at 9:28 PM


BROOKELAND, Texas (Jan. 29, 2022) – Reigning 2021 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Angler of the Year Michael Neal of Dayton, Tennessee , brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 15 pounds, 2 ounces to take the lead after Day 3 of the MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Fuel Me Guaranteed Rate Stop 1 at Sam Rayburn Reservoir Presented by Ark Fishing. Neal leads a field of 10 pros who will advance to Championship Sunday where their weights will be zeroed in the competition for a top prize of up to $135,000.

With Friday’s tournament day cancelled due to high winds, the full field of 158 anglers competed Saturday, facing tough early conditions as they were met with colder weather on the legendary fishery. Day 1 leader Josh Butler of Hayden, Alabama finished the day in second place with a 12-15 bag, for a two-day total of 32-14, only 4 ounces ahead of pro Jeff Bridges of Prosper, Texas, who ended the day in third place with 32-10.

Randy Despino of Colfax, Louisiana, made the biggest move on Day 3, starting the day in 49th place and finishing in 6th, thanks to a 20-pound bag and a 4-pound, 9-ounce kicker.

To say that Neal began the 2022 season riding a wave of momentum would be an understatement. Fishing both the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and the Bass Pro Tour in 2021 and 2022, Neal finished the 2021 Bass Pro Tour season with a win at the Carparts.com Stage Seven at Lake St. Clair Presented by Covercraft last September. He also finished 2nd at the 2021 Bass Pro Shops REDCREST on Lake Eufaula Presented by Old Wisconsin Sausage, along with five other Top 10 finishes across both circuits in 2021.

“If the weather would have been stable today, the overall weights would have been better,” said Neal. “I didn’t even have a limit until 2 p.m. today and then finally figured something out. If it works again tomorrow, it could be a good day.”

Neal said on Day 1 he caught them all out deep, on finesse gear, but it seemed like the fish had moved up shallower today, and he was able to catch them on moving baits.

“Going into the tournament, I felt like 10 pounds per day was going to be really good, for me,” said Neal. “I didn’t have very high expectations at all for this event, but it’s great starting the 2022 season back where I left off and just keeping the momentum going.”

Neal said he believes Championship Sunday is anybody’s game.

“I don’t think any one person has a clear advantage going into the championship round,” continued Neal. “It’s just going to be whoever gets a couple of those really big bites. I think that will make the difference tomorrow.

“I predict we will see the biggest bag of the tournament tomorrow and someone will bring in a 21- to 22-pound bag to seal the win.”

The top 10 pros advancing to the final day of competition Sunday on the Sam Rayburn Reservoir are:

1st: Michael Neal of Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 33-9
2nd: Josh Butler of Hayden, Ala., 10 bass, 32-14
3rd: Jeff Bridges of Prosper, Texas, 10 bass, 32-10
4th: Evan Barnes of Hot Springs, Ark., 10 bass, 32-7
5th: Matt Becker of Finleyville, Pa., 10 bass, 32-5
6th: Randy Despino of Colfax, La., 10 bass, 32-1
7th: Dylan Hays of Hot Springs, Ark., 10 bass, 31-10
8th: Pete Ponds of Madison, Miss., 10 bass, 30-3
9th: Spencer Shuffield of Hot Springs, Ark., 10 bass, 30-2
10th: Josh Bragg of Jacksonville, Ala., 10 bass, 30-1

Anglers finishing 11th through 20th are:

11th: Barron Adams of Mineral Bluff, Ga. 10 bass, 29-13, $11,000
12th: Justin Cooper, Zwolle, La., 10 bass, 28-13, $11,000
13th: John Hunter of Shelbyville, Ky., 10 bass, 28-11, $11,000
14th: David Walker of Huntingdon, Tenn., 10 bass, 28-5, $11,000
15th: Dicky Newberry of Houston, Texas, 10 bass, 28-4, $11,000
16th: Laramy Strickland of Bushnell, Fla., 10 bass, 28-1, $11,000
17th: Jacob Wall of New Hope, Ala., 10 bass, 28-0, $11,000
18th: Nick Hatfield of Greeneville, Tenn., 10 bass, 27-14, $11,000
19th: Blake Hall of Guntersville, Ala., 10 bass, 27-13, $11,000
20th: Dakota Ebare of Brookeland, Texas, 10 bass, 27-12, $11,000

For a full list of results visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Lance Crawford of Broken Bow, Oklahoma won the day’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass award after bringing a bass weighing 7 pounds, 5 ounces to the scale.

Overall, there were 643 bass weighing 1,486 pounds, 8 ounces caught by 151 pros Saturday. The catch included 104 five-bass limits.

The MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Fuel Me Guaranteed Rate Stop 1 at Sam Rayburn Reservoir Presented by Ark Fishing is hosted by the Jasper County Development District.

In Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit competition, the full field of anglers compete in the two-day opening round on Thursday and Friday. With Friday’s competition canceled due to weather, the full field advanced to Saturday. Only the top 10 pros continue competition on Sunday, where weights are zeroed, and the winner is determined by the heaviest weight from the final day of competition.

Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2022 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit TITLE Presented by Mercury, the Pro Circuit Championship, where they will compete for up to $235,000. The 2022 TITLE will be on the St. Lawrence River in Massena, New York on Aug. 16-21, and is hosted by the Town of Massena.

The final 10 anglers will take off at 7 a.m. CT on. Sunday from the Umphrey Family Pavilion, located at 5438 RR 255 in Brookeland. Texas. Weigh-in will also be held at the park Sunday at 3 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend the event or follow the live on-the-water action online on MLF NOW! beginning at 7:30 a.m. CT at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

The MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Fuel Me Guaranteed Rate Stop 1 at Sam Rayburn Reservoir Presented by Ark Fishing will feature live on-the-water coverage and a two-hour action-packed television show that will premiere on the CBS Sports Network on Saturday, July 2 from 7 to 9 a.m. ET.

Proud sponsors of the 2022 MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Fuel Me include: 4WP, 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, A.R.E. Truck Caps, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, E3, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, Fuel Me, Gary Yamamoto Baits, General Tire, Lew’s, Lowrance, Lucas Oil, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, Wiley X and YETI.

For complete details and updated information visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit on the MLF5 social media outlets at Facebook, 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.

Major League Fishing – WE ARE Bass Fishing™

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