Wheeler Wins the Knockout Round
Feb 25th, 2020 by sworrall
Modified Feb 25th, 2020 at 7:43 PM
Wednesday’s Championship Round Set
February 25, 2020 (Okeechobee, Fla.) Jacob Wheeler won the Knockout Round in the Bass Pro Tour Favorite Fishing Stage Two presented by Bass Cat. Zack Birge took second with only a two-pound-five-ounce deficit. SCORETRACKER® moved today on Lake Okeechobee with more than 190 bass caught as compared to 71-110 on the previous four days of competition. Five anglers tied for catching the most scorable bass at 10 caught each. Alton Jones landed the Berkley Big Bass of the Day with an eight-pound, three-ounce largemouth late in Period 3. The Championship Round begins tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. ET as 10 Pros compete for the $100,000 prize and Stage Two title.
Academy Sports Pro Jacob Wheeler will enter his second Championship Round in as many Stages on the 2020 Bass Pro Tour. He steadily caught fish all day long but his burst of six fish in Period 2 ended with a four-pound, 13-ounce largemouth that placed him comfortably at the front of the pack. Wheeler then used Period 3 to look for additional areas rather than running up a larger lead.
“It’s going to take a lot of weight to win tomorrow,” Wheeler predicted. “The big ones are starting to move up and it’s going to be fun. The ‘Big O’ saved the best for last.”
At the end of the day, Wheeler scored 35 pounds, one ounce to win the Knockout Round only two pounds, five ounces ahead of Favorite Fishing Pro Zack Birge. After catching no fish on his first day of the Qualifying Round, Birge surged on Sunday to catch 27 pounds, three ounces to advance to today’s Knockout Round. Today he bettered himself with 32 pounds, 12 ounces and a second-place finish to advance to tomorrow’s Championship Round.
“I had a good day,” Birge said, adding that his success helps ease the pain of coming up just short at Lake Eufaula where he missed the Knockout Round by one place. “I cleared my mind and went fishing with one rod on my deck all day long.”
Birge, Wheeler, Jeff Sprague, Michael Neal, and Stephen Browning all caught 10 scorable bass today. All but Browning will advance to the Championship Round, whose last-minute catch of three pounds, two ounces still left him one pound, five ounces behind Fletcher Shyrock.
The top eight of the Knockout Round, who will join Qualifying Round Group A winner Takahiro Omori and Qualifying Round Group B winner Jordan Lee in Wednesday’s Championship are as follows:
Place Angler Total Weight Total Bass Largest Bass
1 Jacob Wheeler 35-01 10 5-15
2 Zack Birge 32-12 10 5-10
3 Jeff Sprague 31-08 10 5-04
4 Randall Tharp 30-05 8 5-06
5 Michael Neal 29-11 10 4-09
6 Jacob Powroznik 29-05 9 5-12
7 James Elam 27-14 9 7-05
8 Fletcher Shyrock 27-11 7 6-05
For complete results, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com, Bass Pro Tour, Results.
The competition concludes Wednesday with the Championship Round where ten anglers compete for the Favorite Fishing Stage Two presented by Bass Cat Title. The weather forecast suggests thunderstorms may hinder the competition in the morning. Bass Pro Tour Tournament Director Aaron Beshears will consider safety over competition every time.
“We continuously monitor weather on the entire body of water to determine the safest situation for the anglers and MLF staff,” said Beshears. “With a lake the size of Okeechobee, we will be especially cautious for all involved.”
Pending no weather delays, the day begins with launch at C. Scott Driver Park, Okeechobee, Fla. 7:15 a.m. EST before lines-in at 8:00 a.m. Period 1 ends at 10:30 a.m. Period 2 spans 10:45 a.m. until 1:15 p.m. Period 3 begins at 1:30 p.m. and lasts until day’s end at 4:00 p.m. The General Tire Takeout show airs approximately 4:15 – 5:15 p.m. as anglers return to the ramp.
Fans can catch all the action every day of competition on MLFNOW! livestream on MajorLeagueFishing.com or download the MLF App for your Apple or GooglePlay device or on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV).