|MLF pro Bobby Lane topped the Knockout Round with 60 scoreable bass totaling 95-4 to lead the 10 anglers heading into Wednesday's Championship Round on Missouri's Table Rock Lake.|
The only things that could shut down the Table Rock Lake bite for Major League Fishing® (MLF) pro Bobby Lane were Mother Nature and sundown. The Florida pro would probably still be catching Ozark Mountains bass at a record pace if impending darkness didn't finally end competition at the Bass Pro Tour Berkley Stage Six Presented by TrueTimber.
Despite nearly five hours of delays in competition due to heavy wind, rain and lightning, Lane finished the Knockout Round with 95 pounds, 4 ounces, obliterating the existing Knockout Round weight record of 67-14 and breaking the single-day weight record of 89-5 set by Josh Bertrand just three days ago. Lane also established a new record for scoreable bass for the day with 60.
"It's almost ridiculous to think that I caught 60 fish for over 95 pounds," Lane joked as he started his tackle prep for Wednesday's Championship Round. "I caught 'em and caught 'em and caught 'em like there was no end. I'm not sure it's quite sunk in yet, but what a cool record to break."
Lane's performance secured him a spot in his first 10-angler Championship Round of the 2019 season.
Working Through the Weather
The morning looked like it would belong to Andy Montgomery. Taking advantage of the shad spawn and a fierce spotted bass bite brought on by the approaching storm front, Montgomery connected with 31 fish in Period 1 for 47-5. That was part of a period in which 480 fish hit SCORETRACKER® for 782-5 (both Bass Pro Tour records).
By the time the first weather delay shut down competition after the second period, Montgomery had piled 50 fish on SCORETRACKER for 78 pounds, 2 ounces, a 10-plus-pound cushion over Lane in second place (67-11). But while Montgomery fell off his morning pace once lines went back in for the third period, Lane continued to add to his total, catching 18 fish for 27-9 in the third period fishing bluff walls for spawning spotted bass.
"I couldn't go to a straight bluff wall, I had to find bluffs with little dips where fish could get up around the edges and corners," Lane said. "I needed the bait to sink about 5 feet, so I needed a bluff with some kind of lip or shelf. All I had to do was get the bait on that shelf and they'd kill it."
Day Makers and Heartbreakers
Although Jordan Lee's presence in a Championship Round is nothing new - Lee has advanced out of the Knockout Round three times in six events - the way he did it on Table Rock is notable. The Stage One Kissimmee winner ended Period 1 in 36th place out of 40, with only five fish and 7-9 to show for it (just under 19 pounds out of the Top 10). Lee put together a third-period flurry of 20 fish, including seven in the final hour for 11-15.
That propelled him past Jacob Powroznik, Jonathon VanDam, Michael Neal and Gerald Swindle for his first Championship Round since Stage Two Conroe.
Championship Round Welcomes First-Timers
Lane isn't the only angler in the Championship 10 who will be fishing his first final round. He'll be joined by Championship Round first-timers Zack Birge (second with 86-0), Andy Montgomery (third with 83-4), Cliff Pace (fifth with 79-5), Greg Vinson (sixth with 76-9) and Aaron Martens (seventh with 75-1). Jacob Wheeler, Mark Rose, Ott DeFoe and Lee round out the final 10.
Knockout Round daily awards were:
* The Berkley Big Bass of the day was a 5-13 largemouth caught by Andy Morgan
* Lane was the Berkley Catch Count winner with his record 60 fish
* Lane also earned the Phoenix Boats Daily Leader award with his 95-4
When, Where & How to Watch Wednesday
Competition begins on Wednesday's Championship Round at 6:30 a.m. CT, with live, official scoring available via SCORETRACKER on MajorLeagueFishing.com and on the MLF app. The MLF NOW! live stream starts at 9 a.m. CT, with live, on-the-water coverage and analysis provided by Chad McKee, JT Kenney, Marty Stone and Natalie Dillon until lines out at 2:30 p.m. The Berkley Postgame Show - hosted by Steven "Lurch" Scott - will start at 4 p.m.