Monday, March 4, 2024

Tyler Steward Wins 2024 Tackle Warehouse Invitationals Stop 2 Presented by Suzuki on West Point Lake!

Tyler Stewart is heading to REDCREST in 2025 with an extra $80,000 in hand thanks to winning Stop 2 with a three-day total of 45-3. Photo by Jody White

By Jody White, Invitationals

LaGRANGE, Ga. – The final day of Stop 2 Presented by Suzuki on West Point Lake was as dramatic as anticipated. With the clock ticking, none of the leaders had pulled clearly ahead or had spectacular days, until Tyler Stewart iced it with a last-minute kicker.

“Honestly, I was hoping to catch a 2 1/2-pound spot to get a few more pounds, because I knew it was going to be so close,” Stewart said of his final fish. “There was a dock that I caught one 2-pounder on in practice in front of the ramp. I rolled up to that dock with 10 minutes left, slung a ChatterBait under it and caught a 3 1/2-pounder and culled out a 1-pounder. When it’s meant to be, it’s gonna happen.”

That fish bumped Stewart up to 14 pounds, 4 ounces on the day, enough to clear Todd Walters by 7 ounces and win his first Tackle Warehouse Invitationals event with a three-day total of 45-3. For the win, Stewart takes home $80,000 and a spot in REDCREST 2025. 

Docks and largemouth earn Stewart the victory 

Having fished as a pro on the FLW Tour and its various iterations since 2018, Stewart has competed in the Forrest Wood Cup and the TITLE and been in the hunt to win before. A winner in college in 2016, Stewart fished at the University of Louisiana-Monroe and has since fished his way around the country. 


This week, he took a couple of clues from practice, added some veteran savvy and put together a win. 

“The first day of practice, I caught an 8-pounder, or about that, on the docks I fished the first day,” he said. “It ate that ChatterBait, and that was the only big bite I had. I said, ‘Well, there’s big ones around here, I might as well start here.’ I went down that stretch first thing on Day 1 and caught 15 pounds.”

From there, Stewart was able to let his skills take it the rest of the way. 

“When I got bit doing that in practice, I was excited, because I’ve done well in tournaments where that (dock bite) was going on,” he said. “Clarks Hill last year, I had a bad second day, but the first day I did the exact same thing on docks and caught 16 or 17 pounds real quick. I love doing it; I do it a lot back home – the Ouachita River has a bunch of marinas and I catch them like that all the time on it.

“Most of those docks were in 15 or 20 feet. The fish were definitely sitting under the floats, like a foot under the water. I was slow rolling it through there, trying to get one to react.”

Fishing some laydowns and catching a few spotted bass off rock places as well, the bread and butter for Stewart was a ChatterBait and docks, either along shorelines or in marinas. His bait of choice was a 1/2-ounce Z-Man Evergreen ChatterBait JackHammer with a shad trailer, which he threw on a 7-foot, 5-inch, medium-heavy Favorite Hex rod with 17-pound P-Line Tactical

On the final day, Stewart caught two kicker largemouth — one early, one late — and that made the difference. Combined with a stellar Day 1, which saw him catch the biggest bag of the event, it was just enough to get the job done. 

“I haven’t won since college; it’s so hard to do it,” Stewart said. “Leading a day is one thing, but finishing it out — I’ll just be honest, I’m not really a closer. I usually catch them really good and then fall off. This feels really good.”

It also sets him up for a run at Bass Pro Tour qualification. After finishing 66th at Sam Rayburn to start the year, he’s now 23rd in the points. 

“I’m excited about it,” he said. “Last year, I had a couple unfortunate things happen that might have cost me the BPT. But, I’m going to try to be more responsible this year, make sure to charge my batteries before the second day and stuff like that. The schedule looks like a lot of fun. I’ve been doing it eight years now, and I’ve been to all these places other than where we’re at right now.”

Top 10 pros 

1. Tyler Stewart – 45 – 3 (15) – $80,000
2. Todd Walters – 44 – 12 (15) – $50,000
3. Derik Hudson – 43 – 8 (15) – $20,300
4. Colby Miller – 41 – 14 (15) – $18,000
5. Drew Gill – 41 – 6 (15) – $17,000
6. Cole Breeden – 41 – 1 (15) – $16,000
7. Jake Lawrence – 40 – 5 (15) – $15,000
8. Ethan Greene – 40 – 2 (15) – $14,000
9. Troy Stokes – 39 – 13 (15) – $13,000
10. Ken Thompson – 39 – 12 (15) – $12,000

No comments:

Post a Comment