Berrien Springs Pro Catches Two-Day Total of 10 Bass Weighing 40 Pounds, 6 Ounces to Overtake Lead – Top 50 Advance to Championship Sunday
EUFAULA, Okla. (April 15, 2023) – After another blustery day of fighting Oklahoma wind, pro Ron Nelson of Berrien Springs, Michigan , weighed a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to take the Day 2 lead at the MLF Tackle Warehouse Invitational Epic Baits Stop 3 at Lake Eufaula Presented by B&W Trailer Hitches. Nelson’s two-day total of 40 pounds, 6 ounces gives him a 4-pound lead over pro Cody Spetz of Hollister, Missouri, who caught a five-bass limit weighing 14-12 to move into second place.
Link to Photo of Stop 3 at Lake Eufaula Day 2 Leader Ron Nelson
Link to Photo Gallery of Stop 3 at Lake Eufaula Day 2 Afternoon Highlights
Link to Video of Fish-Catch Highlights of Stop 3 at Lake Eufaula Day 2
The three-day tournament, hosted by the Eufaula Area Chamber of Commerce, features a roster of 150 anglers competing for a top prize of up to $115,000 and an invitation to compete at REDCREST 2024. The full field of 150 anglers concluded the two-day opening round on Saturday, with only the top 50 pros based on their two-day cumulative weight advancing to Championship Sunday.
The blustery conditions on Saturday had anglers across the rocky Oklahoma reservoir working to pivot and adjust their game plan, as the bite slowed and movement across the fishery became more calculated.
“It’s all about having a good time, and we had a good time today, but it didn’t work out easy this morning,” said Nelson. “My starting spot where I caught them on Day 1 was covered up by another angler, so I had to make some adjustments.
“I had a few ‘feel good’ fish by late morning – a couple 1½- to 2-pounders that I caught on beds – but I knew I’d need more,” Nelson continued. “I decided not to take the rough beating in this wind just to have five fish in the box, so I decided to run up the lake a little way and go bed-fishing.”
That decision provided Nelson the kicker fish that catapulted him into the top spot going into the final day of competition.
“The first pocket we rolled into had a couple of empty beds, but then I spotted a decent fish,” said Nelson. “I pitched at her a few times, and realized she was probably under 3 pounds, but I still wanted her.
“That was such a neat bite because she sat and watched as the bait floated down. I shook it once and I saw her tail come out of the water, and then she just smashed it. I set the hook on her and realized she was a big one.”
That “three-pounder” grew into a 6-pound, 5-ounce bass.
“Today was all about adjustments, grit and grinding,” said Nelson. “My last cull came the same way. I went into a little pocket and found a clay point. I threw a football jig in there and caught my third biggest fish on the first cast.”
While Nelson is known to be calm, cool and collected on the water, he admitted he got a little hyped during the competition day.
“After I caught that big fish today, I went to retie and realized I was actually shaking – and I don’t ever get shook up – but I was struggling to retie that bait,” Nelson said, laughing. “I culled out a line-burner for that bigger fish, so it was a mega-cull and that was so fun.”
While winning the current tournament is always a target for competing pros, the 2020 winner of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit AOY said he’s got his eye on another one of those trophies.
“There’s a lot of pressure on us right now, with the AOY race underway, so we’re working hard,” continued Nelson. “But that competition and desire to win that title again is what makes it fun.”
The top 50 pros advancing to Championship Sunday on Lake Eufaula are:
2nd: Cody Spetz, Hollister, Mo., 10 bass, 36-6
3rd: Jeff Reynolds, Calera, Okla., 10 bass, 35-5
4th: Kelly Jordon, Flint, Texas, 10 bass, 34-10
5th: Drew Gill, Mount Carmel, Ill., 10 bass, 34-8
6th: Blake Hall, Rogersville, Ala., 10 bass, 34-3
7th: Scotty Villines, Ponca, Ark., 10 bass, 34-2
8th: Braxton Setzer, Wetumpka, Ala., 10 bass, 33-13
9th: Clayton Batts, Butler, Ga, 10 bass, 33-10
10th: Shonn Goodwin, Moore, Okla., 10 bass, 32-11
11th: Keith Carson, DeBary, Fla., 10 bass, 32-3
12th: Tai Au, Glendale, Ariz., 10 bass, 32-1
13th: Drew Boggs, Lebanon, Tenn., 10 bass, 32-0
14th: Andrew Behnke, Fond Du Lac, Wis., nine bass, 31-15
15th: Blake Felix, Warsaw, Mo., 10 bass, 31-3
16th: Terry Olinger, Louisa, Va., nine bass, 31-2
17th: John Cox, DeBary, Fla., 10 bass, 31-0
18th: Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 30-15
19th: Jordan Hirt, Glenwood, Ind., 10 bass, 30-14
20th: Mark Fisher, Wauconda, Ill, 10 bass, 30-4
21st: Brandon Mosley, Harrah, Okla., 10 bass, 30-1
22nd: Blake Martin, Dardanelle, Ark., 10 bass, 29-14
23rd: Wyatt Frankens, Corrigan, Texas, 10 bass, 29-14
24th: Grae Buck, Green Lane, Penn., 10 bass, 29-12
25th: Michael Harlin, Sunrise Beach, Mo., 10 bass, 29-11
26th: Danny Shanz, Summerton, S.C., 10 bass, 29-10
27th: Kyle Cortiana, Broken Arrow, Okla., 10 bass, 29-10
28th: Randy Despino, Colfax, La., 10 bass, 29-9
29th: Phillip Dutra, Guntersville, Ala., 10 bass, 29-9
30th: Jaden Parrish, Liberty, Texas, 10 bass, 29-5
31st: Matthew Stefan, Junction City, Wis., 10 bass, 29-5
32nd: Robby Frashier, Carrollton, Ga., 10 bass, 29-5
33rd: Andrew Nordbye, Guntersville, Ala., 10 bass, 29-2
34th: Chris Jones, Bokoshe, Okla., 10 bass, 29-1
35th: Hunter Eubanks, Inman, S.C., nine bass, 29-1
36th: Laker Howell, Guntersville, Ala., 10 bass, 28-13
37th: Travis Harriman, Huntsville, Ark., 10 bass, 28-11
38th: Martin Villa, Charlottesville, Va., 10 bass, 28-9
39th: Chad Mrazek, Montgomery, Texas, 10 bass, 28-8
40th: Kyle Palmer, Winchester, Tenn., 10 bass, 28-6
41st: Hunter Mills, Mayfield, Ky., 10 bass, 28-4
42nd: Brock Reinkemeyer, Warsaw, Mo., nine bass, 28-2
43rd: Cody Pike, Powhatan, Va., nine bass, 28-1
44th: Connor Cunningham, Springfield, Mo., nine bass, 28-1
45th: Colby Schrumpf, Highland, Ill., 10 bass, 27-13
46th: Kyle Schutta, Forest Lake, Minn., 10 bass, 27-12
47th: Lance Crawford, Broken Bow, Okla., 10 bass, 27-10
48th: Jimmy Reese, Witter Springs, Calif., 10 bass, 27-5
49th: JD Chandler, Liberty, Texas, 10 bass, 27-4
50th: Jim Moynagh, Shakopee, Minn., 10 bass, 27-2
In MLF Tackle Warehouse Invitational competition, the full field of 150 anglers competed in the two-day opening round on Friday and Saturday in a traditional five-fish, weigh-in format. Only the top 50 pros based on their two-day cumulative weight advance to the final round on Championship Sunday, where they will compete for the grand prize of up to $115,000, including the lucrative $35,000 Phoenix MLF Bonus for qualified anglers. The winner of the MLF Tackle Warehouse Invitational Epic Baits Stop 3 at Lake Eufaula Presented by B&W Trailer Hitches will be determined by the heaviest three-day cumulative weight and will receive an invitation to compete at REDCREST 2024.
The final 50 anglers will take off at 7 a.m. CT on Championship Sunday, from the Peter’s Point South Point Dock Boat Ramp, located on Dabbs Road in Eufaula. Weigh-in and trophy presentation will also be held at the boat ramp Sunday beginning 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 NOW!® broadcast team of Chad McKee, Marty Stone and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action on Championship Sunday from 7:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET. MLF NOW!® will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.
The MLF Tackle Warehouse Invitational Epic Baits Stop 3 at Lake Eufaula Presented by B&W Trailer Hitches will feature a two-hour action-packed television broadcast that will premiere on the CBS Sports Network on Saturday, Oct. 14th.
Proud sponsors of the 2023 MLF Tackle Warehouse Invitationals include: 4WP, 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, E3, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, Fox Rent a Car, General Tire, Grundéns, Lew’s, Lowrance, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix Boats, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, 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 Invitationals 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 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. 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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