Adrian Avena Grabs Early Group B Lead at  Stage One on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (Feb. 14, 2023) – Pro Adrian Avena of Vineland, New Jersey, weighed in five scorable largemouth bass totaling 26 pounds, 5 ounces, to grab the early lead for Group B after their Day 1 of the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour B&W Trailer Hitches Stage One on the Kissimmee Chain Presented by Grundéns. Pro Randy Howell of Guntersville, Alabama, sits 2 pounds, 7 ounces behind Avena in second place for Group B with five scorable bass totaling 23-14.

The six-day event, hosted by the Kissimmee Sports Commission, showcases 80 of the top professional anglers in the world, competing for a top payout of $100,000, and a total purse of more than $805,000. Anglers are also fishing for valuable Angler of the Year (AOY) points in hopes of qualifying for the General Tire Heavy Hitters All-Star event and REDCREST, the Bass Pro Tour championship.

Avena started the day out slow, and was tied for 33rd place after the first period of competition. He went on a tear in Period 2, upgrading by 25 pounds and charging into the lead which he then held for the remainder of the day.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the event,” Avena said. “Now I just have to figure out a way to make it count.”

Avena was done fishing by 1 p.m. Tuesday and spent the rest of the day in practice mode. He’s fishing in an area that he has all to himself and that MLF commentator Marty Stone described as, “pretty far down south.”

“This is probably, low key, one of my most favorite Valentine’s days that I’ve ever had,” said Avena. “I caught 26 pounds – the biggest bag I’ve ever caught in my life. And I caught them in a tournament. That’s freaking awesome.

“A key bait for me today was a 5.75(-inch Berkley Powerbait) Speed Boss, that I caught two of my big ones on,” Avena continued. “It’s a great little swimming worm. I’m going to have to call up Brad from Pure Fishing and ask him to overnight me some more of these, because I’ve got a feeling that I’m going to catch quite a few more on it the rest of this week.”

The 40 anglers in Group B will now have a day off on Wednesday, while the 40 anglers from Group A will wrap up their two-day Qualifying Round. Group B will finish their Qualifying Round on Thursday.

The top 20 pros in Group B after Day 1 on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes are:

1st: Adrian Avena, Vineland, N.J., five bass, 26-5
2nd: Randy Howell, Guntersville, Ala., five bass, 23-14
3rd: Jacob Wheeler, Harrison, Tenn., five bass, 19-2
4th: Dakota Ebare, Brookeland, Texas, five bass, 18-1
5th: Bradley Roy, Lancaster, Ky., five bass, 17-5
6th: Russ Lane, Prattville, Ala., five bass, 16-11
7th: Alton Jones, Jr., Waco, Texas, five bass, 16-4
8th: Cole Floyd, Leesburg, Ohio, five bass, 16-0
9th: Matt Becker, Ten Mile, Tenn., five bass, 15-15
10th: Keith Poche, Pike Road, Ala., five bass, 15-4
11th: Fred Roumbanis, Russellville, Ark., five bass, 15-0
12th: Chris Lane, Guntersville, Ala., five bass, 14-10
13th: Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., five bass, 14-10
14th: Roy Hawk, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., five bass, 13-15
15th: Nick LeBrun, Bossier City, La., five bass, 13-12
16th: Andy Montgomery, Blacksburg, S.C., five bass, 13-3
17th: Matt Lee, Cullman, Ala., five bass, 13-1
18th: Timmy Horton, Muscle Shoals, Ala., five bass, 13-0
19th: Mark Davis, Mount Ida, Ark., five bass, 12-11
20th: Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., five bass, 12-8

A complete list of results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Favorite Fishing pro Matt Becker earned the $1,000 Berkley Big Bass award after a 7-pound, 1-ounce largemouth bit his bladed swimjig during Period 2. Berkley awards $1,000 to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass each day, and another $1,000 bonus to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass of the tournament.

The 40 Anglers in Group A compete in their two-day qualifying round on Monday and Wednesday – the 40 anglers in Group B on Tuesday and Thursday. After each two-day qualifying round is complete, the top 20 anglers from each group advance to Friday’s Knockout Round. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed, and the remaining 40 anglers compete to finish in the top 10 to advance to the Championship Round. In the final day Championship Round, weight carries over from the Knockout Round and the angler with the heaviest two-day total wins the top prize of $100,000.

Anglers will launch each day at 7:30 a.m. ET from Big Toho Marina, located at 69 Lakeview Drive in Kissimmee. Each day’s General Tire Takeout will be held at the Marina, beginning at 4 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all launch and takeout events and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLF NOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

On Championship Saturday, Feb. 18, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. MLF will welcome fans of all ages to come in to celebrate the top 10 and crown the Stage 1 Champion at the Trophy Presentation. The final 10 Championship Round Bass Pro Tour anglers will be on hand at the trophy celebration to meet and greet fans, sign autographs, and take selfies.

The B&W Trailer Hitches Stage One at the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes Presented by Grundéns features anglers competing with a 1-pound, 4-ounce 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 2023 MLF Bass Pro Tour features a field of 80 of the top professional anglers in the world competing across seven regular-season tournaments around the country, fishing for millions of dollars and valuable points to qualify for the annual General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and REDCREST 2024, the Bass Pro Tour championship, held March 13-17, 2024, on a fishery to be announced.

The MLF NOW!® broadcast team of Chad McKee, Marty Stone and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action live on all six days of competition from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET. MLF NOW!® will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

Television coverage of the B&W Trailer Hitches Stage One at the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes Presented by Grundéns will air as two, two-hour episodes starting at 7 a.m. ET, on Saturday, July 15 on the Discovery Channel. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on the Discovery Channel, with re-airings on the Outdoor Channel.

Proud sponsors of the 2023 MLF Bass Pro Tour include: 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, Ark Fishing, ATG + Wrangler, B&W Trailer Hitches, Bally Bet, Bass Cat Boats, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, Daiwa, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, Ferguson, Fox Rent A Car, General Tire, Grundéns, Humminbird, Lowrance, Minn Kota, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Power-Pole, Rapala, Star tron, T-H Marine, TORO, Toyota, U.S. Air Force, Yellowstone Bourbon, Yo-Zuri and Zoom Baits.

For complete details and updated information on Major League Fishing and 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 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.

Major League Fishing – WE ARE Bass Fishing™

Featured products

Strike King Bladed jigs 1/2 oz / Blue Glimmer Thunder CricketStrike King Bladed jigs 3/4 oz / Olive Shad Thunder Cricket
Sale price$10.99 Regular price$13.99
Strike King Thunder CricketStrike King
58 reviews

Featured collection

View all
Save $3.00
Googan Squad Fishing Line Googan Braided LineGoogan Braided Line
Sale price$16.99 Regular price$19.99
Googan Braided LineGoogan Baits
1 review
Save $3.00
Googan Squad Fishing Line Googan Squad Flouro Carbon Line - 15 lbGoogan Squad Flouro Carbon Line - 15 lb
Save $3.40
Pure Fishing Fishing Line 6 lb test Berkley Trilene XLBerkley Trilene XL
Sale priceFrom $5.59 Regular price$8.99
Berkley Trilene XLBerkley
No reviews
Save $1.00
Pure Fishing Fishing Line Trilene XLTrilene XL - 14lb
Sale price$7.00 Regular price$8.00
Trilene XL - 14lbBerkley
No reviews

Recently viewed