Lawyer Tops Group A Qualifying Round at Stage One on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (Feb. 15, 2023)Bass Pro Shops pro Jeremy Lawyer of Sarcoxie, Missouri, paced the Group A field weighing in five bass totaling 15 pounds, 14 ounces to win the Qualifying Round, Wednesday, for the group at the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour B&W Trailer Hitches Stage One on the Kissimmee Chain Presented by Grundéns . Lawyer’s two-day total of 35-7 earned him the win by a 1-pound, 13-ounce margin over second place angler Jeff Sprague of Wills Point, Texas, who held onto the second place position with a two-day total of 10 scorable bass weighing 33-10.

The top 20 advancing anglers from Group A will now have an off day from competition Thursday, while the 40 anglers competing in Qualifying Group B will complete their two-day Qualifying Round. 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.

“Well, goal number one for this tournament has been accomplished – I’ve made the Knockout Round,” Lawyer said in his postgame interview. “Unfortunately, you don’t really get anything except a pat on the back and some bragging rights, but that’s okay and we’ll take it for now.

“What happened today was very confusing,” Lawyer continued. “Nothing that I thought was going to happen went down, except for my very first starting spot. But, the Knockout Round is a new day and I’m excited that I’ll be there and hope that I can get the right bites.”

Lawyer targeted offshore hydrilla with a vibrating jig and a swimjig for most of the day. He also added a couple of scorable bass on a ribbon-tail worm, but the vibrating jig was the key bait for him, Wednesday.

“I capitalized on some hydrilla and eelgrass mixed out deep,” Lawyer said. “I’d wind around a vibrating jig, then turn around and throw a Zoom Speed Worm around pads and up shallow, trying to catch some spawning fish. It was kind of a 1-2 punch. I didn’t get a lot of bites but what I did get was pretty good quality. Overall, it was a pretty solid day and I’m looking forward to the Knockout Round.

The top 20 pros from Group A that now advance to Friday’s Knockout Round on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes are:

1st: Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., 10 bass, 35-7
2nd: Jeff Sprague, Wills Point, Texas, 10 bass, 33-10
3rd: Shinichi Fukae, Osaka, Japan, nine bass, 33-9
4th: Jesse Wiggins, Addison, Ala., 10 bass, 33-4
5th: Mitch Crane, Columbus, Miss., 10 bass, 32-11
6th: Mark Rose, Wynne, Ark., 10 bass, 32-7
7th: Ott DeFoe, Blaine, Tenn., 10 bass, 31-0
8th: Jordan Lee, Cullman, Ala., 10 bass, 30-15
9th: Todd Faircloth, Jasper, Texas, 10 bass, 30-6
10th: Fletcher Shryock, Guntersville, Ala., eight bass, 30-5
11th: Gerald Spohrer, Gonzales, La., 10 bass, 29-13
12th: John Murray, Spring City, Tenn., 10 bass, 29-6
13th: Brett Hite, Phoenix, Ariz., nine bass, 29-5
14th: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 10 bass, 28-6
15th: Ryan Salzman, Huntsville, Ala., nine bass, 28-1
16th: Britt Myers, Lake Wylie, S.C., 10 bass, 25-15
17th: Josh Butler, Hayden, Ala., 10 bass, 25-4
18th: Spencer Shuffield, Hot Springs, Ark., nine bass, 24-14
19th: Scott Suggs, Alexander, Ark., 10 bass, 24-9
20th: Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 24-6

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

Overall, there were 270 scorable bass weighing 635 pounds, 9 ounces caught by the 40 pros Wednesday.

Pro Mitch Crane of Columbus, Mississippi, earned Wednesday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award with a stocky largemouth weighing 7 pounds, 4 ounces that he caught in Period 1 on a swimjig. Berkley awards $1,000 to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass each day, and a $1,000 bonus to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass of the tournament.

The six-day event, hosted by the Kissimmee Sports Commission, showcases 80 of the top professional anglers in the world, competing for a purse of more than $805,000, including a top payout of $100,000 and 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.

The 40 Anglers in Group A competed 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$11.99 Regular price$13.99
Thunder CricketStrike King
58 reviews

Featured collection

View all

Recently viewed