BASS PRO TOUR Press Release
MASSENA, N.Y. – It was another record-setting day for Jacob Wheeler on the St. Lawrence River while Stage Four champion Kevin VanDam fell short of a chance to go back-to-back on the Bass Pro Tour. It wasn’t the same level of production for Group A during their second day of fishing in the General Tire Stage Five Presented by Berkley, but the 40 pros competing still caught an impressive amount of fish.
Wheeler Back to His Winning Ways
Wheeler has his name scattered all over the Bass Pro Tour record book, and you can go ahead and etch his name in another spot after Sunday. The Tennessee pro set the MLF record for highest two-day weight total with 66 bass for 222 pounds, 1 ounce, just two days after he set the record for highest single-day weight total with 165-1.
“I was catching bass in all three stages of the spawn today and that’s been my key over these first two days,” Wheeler said. “I caught my fish on a Rattlin’ Ned from Googan Baits on a drop-shot and a Ned rig, those two were the deal for me. It’s been really good out here for me.”
There have been 21 events in the history of the Bass Pro Tour, and Wheeler has now earned a spot in the Championship Round in 11 of them. The Googan Baits pro separated himself from second-place Brent Ehrler by more than 31 pounds and more than 44 pounds ahead of third-place Justin Lucas. Wheeler now has a chance to set another Bass Pro Tour record, by winning his fourth event if he can pull it off on Wednesday.
“I’m really excited to qualify for that Championship Round because now I have a chance to tie my buddy Ott by winning two events in the same year,” Wheeler said. “Coming in second on Lake Chickamauga last event really makes me want this one even more. I hope we can get it done and get another win.”
Robinson and Coulter Edge Out VanDam
It won’t be repeat wins for Kevin VanDam as he fell short of the Toro Cut Line by just 2-15 behind 20th-place Brandon Coulter. Marty Robinson was 20th on SCORETRACKER® with less than five minutes to go and just ounces ahead of VanDam. That’s when the 2021 Summit Cup champion was able to reel in his most important smallmouth of the day—a 3-13 with only four minutes left in the round.
That fish pushed Robinson into 19th, and gave him some much-needed cushion to advance to the Knockout Round. Robinson finished his day with 35 bass for 107-10 while Coulter finished in 20th with 33 bass for 106-8.
“It was a brutal last period for me, so to end it like that felt great,” Robinson said. “I made a long run to this spot that my dad always fished up here, and it got me that 3-13. I didn’t need that last fish, but I really wanted it.”
While Robinson and Coulter are onto the Knockout Round, the three-time winner on the St. Lawrence River in VanDam was left scratching his head about what went wrong today.
“This wind got the best of me today by muddying up the water more than I expected,” VanDam recapped. “It’s frustrating it didn’t work out because the weather over the next couple of days is going to be amazing and the fishing should be phenomenal.”
Top Marks and Notes from Group A
Wheeler set the record for the highest two-day weight total and was the only angler to top over 200 pounds of scorable bass on SCORETRACKER®.
Eight anglers caught over 150 pounds of scorable bass in Group A and there were 23 anglers over the 100-pound mark.
Stephen Browning made his seventh straight Knockout Round and has made every Knockout Round in the 2021 season.
Brent Ehrler entered Stage Five second in the Angler of the Year race and helped his cause by qualifying for the Knockout Round.
Jeff Kriet caught the Berkley Big Bass of the day with his 6-10 smallmouth. Kriet was unable to make the cut but will head home with an extra $1,000.