A cold front passed through the area and his bite died however, allowing MLF pro Jacob Powroznik to peck away and pass Wheeler. Pawroznik caught 20 fish for 63 pounds, 4 ounces to earn the $100,000 first-place check at the Bass Pro Tour Favorite Fishing Stage Three Raleigh. As always, the event was broadcast live online and on the Outdoor Channel with a live camera in every one of the boats of the final Top Ten anglers.
Wheeler finished second with 59-10 which earned him a $42,000 check. He also had the big fish of the event with an 8-5.
“Obviously, to come up a little short, it always stings a little bit,” Wheeler said. “The conditions got right for a topwater and I got dialed in on that and took the lead. I knew at Shearon Harris you had to keep catching them, because you know there’s really good fish to be caught. Ultimately, I could sit here and complain, but there are plenty of other guys who would like to be in the position that I was.”
Powroznik fished the final day with a wacky-rigged 5-inch V&M Chopstick worm fishing for shallow spawning bass. Powroznik, one of the most skilled sight-fishermen in the field, dedicated some time early in the day to bedding fish, but then pulled off the beds and started casting to shallow water when mid-day clouds spoiled the visibility. That, too, proved to be a key decision.
“I love sight fishing, but the farther you stay off of them, the better,” Powroznik confirmed. “Those fish were in a foot of water, so they wanted something real subtle. It’s probably a good thing that it got cloudy and I couldn’t see those fish anymore, or I might’ve spent the day trying to get fish to bite sight-fishing to them. It turned out that it was better to cast to points that were a little further out toward the mouths of those pockets instead.”
Rounding out the Top 10
Takahiro Omori finished third with 52-11, followed by Edwin Evers (43-13) and Mark Daniels, Jr. (30-13) to round out the Top 5. Ott DeFoe finished sixth with 26-1, followed by Jeff Sprague (25-14), Alton Jones (21-8), Jared Lintner (13-8) and Russ Lane (11-13).
Moving on to Stage Four
The 80-angler Bass Pro Tour field will have a short rest week before returning to competition April 9-14 at Chickamauga Lake in Dayton, Tennessee. Again, the 5-day event will be broadcast live online and on the Outdoor Channel. MLF has broken the mold on the way traditional bass tournaments are conducted.
Here’s How it Works – A Guide to Covering Major League Fishing’s Bass Pro Tour.
Key Times: Boat launch will take place at approximately 6 a.m. each day. 7:30 a.m. Lines In, 10:00 a.m. Lines Out. 10:15 a.m. Lines In, 12:45 p.m. Lines Out. 1:00 p.m. Lines In, 3:30 p.m. Lines Out, End of Competition. The post-game show is scheduled to begin at approximately 5 p.m. each day.
The format of this fourth of eight Stages that will comprise the 2019 Bass Pro Tour schedule is as follows:
Every fish counts: Major League Fishing anglers will earn points at each Bass Pro Tour event based on the scoreable bass they catch, defined as a fish weighing one pound or more. All 80 anglers will compete in each Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour event.
FORMAT: The format for Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour events will be similar to the General Tire World Championship events that aired on CBS in 2017 and 2018. The 80 anglers will be separated into two groups, 40 anglers in each
Tuesday April 9 – Wednesday April 10 = Shotgun Rounds 1 & 2
- 40 anglers (divided into Group A and Group B) compete to catch the highest weight each day
- All anglers move on to Elimination Rounds
- Anglers’ Shotgun Round weight carries over to the Elimination Round
Thursday April 11 – Friday April 12 = Elimination Rounds 1 & 2
- 40 anglers (Group A and Group B) compete to catch the highest weight
- Anglers’ Shotgun Round weight is combined with the weight they catch in the Elimination Round
- Top 20 anglers from each group advance to Sudden Death Round
Saturday, April 13 = Knockout Round
- 40 anglers (top 20 from each Elimination Round) compete
- All anglers will begin the Knockout round with zero weight
- Top 10 anglers advance to the Championship Round
Sunday, April 14 = Championship Round
- 10 anglers compete to catch the highest weight
- A camera in every boat will livestream the action on MajorLeagueFishing.com
For more information on Major League Fishing and its anglers, rules and schedule, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.