Dakota Does It! Ebare Weighs 16-Pound Limit On Final Day To Go Wire-to-Wire And Win Toyota Stop 2 On Clarks Hill

Texas Pro Earns Second Tournament Win of 2023 and Top Payout of $115,000
APPLING, Ga. (March 2, 2023)
– When you’re hot, you’re hot. And right now, perhaps no bass angler on planet earth is as hot as Brookeland, Texas pro Dakota Ebare. Ebare boated a five-bass limit Thursday weighing 16 pounds, 7 ounces – enough to win his second major event of the year at the MLF Tackle Warehouse Invitational Toyota Stop 2 at Clarks Hill Lake Presented by Lowrance . Ebare’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 58 pounds, 10 ounces, earned him the win by a 10-ounce margin over hard-charging pro Travis Harriman of Huntsville, Arkansas, who weighed in the largest limit of the tournament Thursday – 23 pounds, 14 ounces – to give Ebare quite the scare. Ebare earned $115,000 for his victory, and will now receive an automatic invitation into REDCREST 2024 next year, the Bass Pro Tour championship.

“Man, what a relief. I’ve been so stressed the last hour since I checked in,” Ebare said. “I wasn’t really nervous until about 2:50, before we started the weigh-in. I knew my time was up, and I just prayed it was enough. If it was meant to be, it was going to happen. And it did!”

Ebare was all over the lake throughout the week, catching fish both shallow and deep. He said the key depth seemed to be in the 12 to 15-foot mid-range, as lots of fish are roaming just waiting to move to the bank for the spawn.

“The key bait for me this week was a 3/16-ounce Strike King shakey-head,” Ebare said. “I don’t know why there were biting the shaky-head for me – my roommate Kyle (Hall) couldn’t get a bite on it at all, but I caught a lot of fish on it this week. I also caught quite a few on a vibrating jig, and a couple of key fish each day on the (Strike King) Rage Bug. But the shaky-head was definitely the major player for me, and I just kept throwing what was working.”

Ebare has been on an absolute tear the last 12 months, accumulating eight top-10 finishes in 2022 – including three second place finishes – but the tournament win always seemed to elude him, no matter how hard he tried.

Until this season.

Now, just two months into the new year, Ebare has already banked two tournament wins and added more than $205,000 to his bank account. The Texas pro credits his grueling travel schedule competing on the Bass Pro Tour, the Tackle Warehouse Invitationals and the Toyota Series as being one of the keys to his success.

“Man, I was so close so many times, I did feel like it was inevitable and that I’d eventually get it done, but to be able to do it twice this year, already, just a month into the season, is truly a blessing,” Ebare said. “That’s all I can really say – it’s been great. This is my fifth week in a row on the road with tournaments. REDCREST next week will be six, and I think I’ve got nine weeks in a row that I’ll be fishing. So, I am just in the groove right now and rolling.

Fishing this much is absolutely helping,” Ebare continued. “That’s really the way I’ve structured the last five years of my career since I started fishing on tour. A tournament every week. Go, go, go. You just get conditioned to fishing new lakes. And when you go to a new tournament, a new lake every week, its different. That’s what has allowed me to move around so freely on this lake and be successful this week, just fishing the moment.

“When you leave Lake Toho in Florida, then come straight to Clarks Hill Lake in Georgia, you can’t get any two lakes that are farther apart in regard to what it’s like on the water. You have to have an open mind and just go fishing, you can’t get too dialed in. Right now, I’m just flowing. And it feels great.”

The top 20 pros at the Toyota Stop 2 at Clarks Hill Lake Presented by Lowrance finished:

1st: Dakota Ebare, Brookeland, Texas, 15 bass, 58-10, $115,000
2nd: Travis Harriman, Huntsville, Ark., 15 bass, 58-0, $50,000
3rd: Spencer Shuffield, Hot Springs, Ark., 15 bass, 53-15, $20,000
4th: Ron Nelson, Berrien Springs, Mich., 15 bass, 52-13, $18,000
5th: Sean Anderson, Leesville, S.C., 15 bass, 50-0, $17,000
6th: Tristan McCormick, Burns, Tenn., 15 bass, 48-8, $16,000
7th: Matt Becker, Ten Mile, Tenn., 15 bass, 48-8, $15,000
8th: Connor Cunningham, Springfield, Mo., 15 bass, 48-4, $14,000
9th: Cal Lane, Guntersville, Ala., 15 bass, 48-1, $13,000
10th: Tom Redington, Royse City, Texas, 15 bass, 48-1, $12,000
11th: Spike Stoker, Cisco, Texas, 15 bass, 48-0, $10,000
12th: Jack Daniel Williams, Kingsport, Tenn., 15 bass, 47-13, $10,000
13th: Christian Greico, Tampa, Fla., 15 bass, 47-9, $10,000
14th: John Cox, DeBary, Fla., 15 bass, 47-6, $10,000
15th: Martin Villa, Charlottesville, Va., 15 bass, 47-4, $10,000
16th: Jordan Hirt, Glenwood, Iowa, 15 bass, 46-2, $10,000
17th: Keith Carson, DeBary, Fla., 15 bass, 45-7, $10,000
18th: Grae Buck, Green Lane, Pa., 15 bass, 45-0, $10,000
19th: Drew Boggs, Lebanon, Tenn., 15 bass, 44-7, $10,000
20th: Matthew Stefan, Junction City, Wis., 15 bass, 44-5, $10,000

Complete results for the entire field can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Overall, there were 248 bass weighing 678 pounds, 6 ounces caught by the final 50 pros Thursday. The catch included 48 five-bass limits.

The three-day tournament, hosted by the Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Thomson-McDuffie County Convention & Visitors Bureau, featured a roster of 150 anglers competing for a top prize of up to $115,000 and an invitation to compete at REDCREST 2024. The next Tackle Warehouse Invitational event will take place April 14-16 at the Tackle Warehouse Invitational Stop 3 on Lake Eufaula presented by B&W Hitches in Eufaula, Oklahoma.

In MLF Tackle Warehouse Invitational competition, the full field of 150 anglers competed in the two-day opening round on Tuesday and Wednesday. The top 50 pros based on their two-day cumulative weight advanced to the final round on Championship Thursday, where they competed for the grand prize of up to $115,000, including the lucrative $35,000 Phoenix MLF Bonus. The winner of the MLF Tackle Warehouse Invitational Toyota Stop 2 at Clarks Hill Lake Presented by Lowrance will be determined by the heaviest three-day cumulative weight and will receive an invitation to compete at REDCREST 2024.

The MLF Tackle Warehouse Invitational Toyota Stop 2 at Clarks Hill Lake Presented by Lowrance will also feature a two-hour television broadcast that will premiere on the CBS Sports Network on Saturday, Oct. 7.

Proud sponsors of the 2023 MLF Tackle Warehouse Invitationals include: 4WP, 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, E3, 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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