GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (May 12, 2022) – Bluebird skies and a calm breeze created a variety of options for 156 of the world’s best bass fishing professionals throughout Day One of the B&W Trailer Hitches Stop 4 on Lake Guntersville Presented by A.R.E. With bass in various stages of the spawn, anglers could pretty much pick their poison, targeting fish on beds, chasing the shad spawn and firing up offshore schools, which is where pro Spencer Shuffield of Hot Springs, Arkansas racked up a limit weighing 25 pounds, 6 ounces to grab the early lead after Day One. Shuffield ended the day with a 3-pound, 4-ounce advantage over Dayton, Tennessee’s Michael Neal, the 2021 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Angler of the Year (AOY), who finished the day with a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds, 2 ounces, good for second place.
The Pro Circuit competition awards a top prize of up to $135,000 and marks the fourth of six regular-season Pro Circuit events offering competitors a total purse of more than $850,000.
“Today was really good,” Shuffield said. “I found four big schools during the last afternoon of practice. I pulled up on the first one and caught an 8-pounder. As I was reeling that one in, about a hundred more fish came up and were schooling – and probably 30 of those were over 6 pounds.”
Shuffield said he chose not to start the day on his honey hole because no other anglers were on it and he wanted to keep it that way, so he went to work on one of the other schools that were firing early this morning.
“I caught a few there, but then I went back to that big school I found in practice and had over 25 pounds within eight casts,” Shuffield said. “I jumped off a 9-pounder as well, so it’s definitely the winning spot, no doubt. It’s just a matter of who gets on it over the next two to three days.”
Although the spot was empty right after takeoff, Shuffield said there was a local angler fishing there when he pulled up later that morning.
“He was so great and let me move into the spot,” Shuffield said. “I did see Alex Davis over there after I left today, and I watched him pull a couple 4-pounders out of it, but I know he lives here and knows the lake – and probably that spot – so I’m pretty sure he’ll fish it smart too.
“It wouldn’t bother me if [Davis] pulled up on it and caught another 20 pounds out of it. There are that many fish there – you can see hundreds of them on the Livescope and they are biting,” Shuffield continued.
With the weights zeroing after Day Three, Shuffield said his only fear is blowing out the spot too early in the event, and although he feels it might be better to just leave it alone for a few days until he needs it, with 11 bags weighed in over 20 pounds on Day One alone, staying ahead of the pack may prove to be a challenge.
“If the weights didn’t zero before Championship Sunday, I would hammer down on them the next two days for sure, but I’ve got to be a little strategic about it,” Shuffield said. “I’d hate to pressure it the next two days, then be hurting during the final round, but honestly I’ve got a good enough shallow bite going that I can go catch 15 pounds really easily doing that.
“I figure if I can just catch 14 to 15 pounds the next two days, I can make the top 10, then this spot would be fresh and I could pull up there on the final day,” Shuffield continued. “There’s potentially a 30-plus-pound bag there for sure, so I really want to try to save that spot for the championship round.”
Shuffield said although he has options deep or shallow, he caught all his fish on Day One offshore, fishing ledges, on a Duel Hardcore Bullet Crank 7+.
“That’s a new crankbait that just came out at ICAST last year,” Shuffield said. “It gets down to 26 feet on 14-pound fluorocarbon and you can throw it really far, but we haven’t visited any fisheries where I’ve been able to throw it.
“The fish I’m targeting are in about 22 feet of water, so getting that crankbait down to that depth is key,” Shuffield continued. “The bass just aren’t used to seeing crankbaits that deep, so that’s the deal, for sure.”
The top 20 pros after Day 1 on Lake Guntersville are:
1st: Spencer Shuffield of Hot Springs, Ark., five bass, 25-6
2nd: Michael Neal of Dayton, Tenn., five bass, 22-2
3rd: Ron Nelson of Berrien Springs, Mich., five bass, 21-13
4th: David Walker of Sevierville, Tenn., five bass, 21-9
5th: Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 21-6
6th: Jared McMillan of Clewiston, Fla., five bass, 21-3
7th: Josh Butler of Hayden, Ala., five bass, 20-14
8th: Dylan Hays of Hot Springs, Ark., five bass, 20-7
8th: Jacob Wall of New Hope, Ala., five bass, 20-7
10th: Skeet Reese of Auburn, Calif., five bass, 20-6
11th: Alex Davis of Albertville, Ala., five bass, 20-5
12th: Nick Hatfield of Greeneville, Tenn., five bass, 19-13
13th: Bill McDonald of Greenwood, Ind., five bass, 19-9
14th: Jeff Bridges of Pilot Point, Texas, five bass, 19-4
15th: Martin Villa of Charlottesville, Va., five bass, 19-1
16th: Rusty Salewske of Alpine, Calif., five bass, 19-0
17th: Cal Lane of Guntersville, Ala., five bass, 18-14
18th: Shonn Goodwin of Moore, Okla., five bass, 18-12
18th: Clayton Batts of Butler, Ga., five bass, 18-12
18th: Justin Lucas of Guntersville, Ala., five bass, 18-12
For a full list of results visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Walker brought a bass weighing 7 pounds, 8 ounces to the scale to win the day’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass award.
Overall, there were 748 bass weighing 2,295 pounds, 2 ounces caught by 156 pros Thursday. The catch included 140 five-bass limits.
The MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit B&W Trailer Hitches Stop 4 at Lake Guntersville Presented by A.R.E. is hosted by Marshall County Tourism and Sports.
In Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit competition, the full field of anglers compete in the two-day opening round on Thursday and Friday. The top 50 pros based on their two-day cumulative weight advance to Saturday. Only the top 10 pros continue competition on Sunday, where weights are zeroed, and the winner is determined by the heaviest weight from the final day of competition.
Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2022 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit TITLE Presented by Mercury, the Pro Circuit Championship, where they will compete for up to $235,000. The 2022 TITLE will be on the St. Lawrence River in Massena, New York on Aug. 16-21, and is hosted by the Town of Massena.
Anglers will take off at 6:30 a.m. CT each day from the Lake Guntersville State Park, located at 1155 Lodge Drive, in Guntersville. Weigh-ins will also be held at the park daily at 2:30 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend the event or follow the live on-the-water action all four days of competition online on MLF NOW! beginning at 7 a.m. CT at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
The MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit B&W Trailer Hitches Stop 4 at Lake Guntersville Presented by A.R.E. will feature live on-the-water coverage and a two-hour action-packed television show that will premiere in July on the CBS Sports Network.
Proud sponsors of the 2022 MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Fuel Me include: 4WP, 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, A.R.E. Truck Caps, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, E3, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, Fuel Me, Gary Yamamoto Baits, General Tire, Lew’s, Lowrance, Lucas Oil, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, 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 Pro Circuit on the MLF5 social media outlets at Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
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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 Tulsa, Oklahoma, with offices 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. In 2019, MLF expanded its portfolio of catch, weigh, and immediately release events to include the sport’s strongest five-biggest-fish format tournament circuits. 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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