MASSENA, N.Y. – The Major League Fishing (MLF) Tackle Warehouse TITLE Presented by Mercury, the Pro Circuit Championship, is set to visit the St. Lawrence River and Massena, New York next week, Aug. 16-21. The six-day tournament will showcase the top 48 pros in the 2022 Pro Circuit Presented by Fuel Me standings, along with last year’s reigning TITLE champion and reigning Angler of the Year (AOY) – all competing for a guaranteed check and a grand prize of up to $235,000.
MLF has held 44 tournaments on the St. Lawrence River over the past 28 years, however this event marks the first Championship Event held on the fishery, and only the second Pro Circuit event.
“The Town of Massena is excited to welcome the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Championship to the St. Lawrence River,” said Don Meissner, Tournament Coordinator for the Town of Massena. “Having the opportunity to host this once-in-a-lifetime event in Massena and the North Country is a dream that I have been working on for the last several years. I am glad that our incredible resource will be featured as the backdrop for this week of fishing with anglers who are among the elite in their field. We can’t wait to see everyone on the shores of the St. Lawrence.”
The Pro Circuit last visited the smallmouth mecca in July 2021, where pro Cody Pike of Powhatan, Virginia, took home the win with a total weight of 82 pounds, 12 ounces. Pike finished 54th in the standings this season and did not qualify to compete in this event.
The 2022 TITLE, hosted by the Town of Massena, will feature a hybrid tournament format. All 50 anglers are seeded into two groups of 25 – Group A & Group B, based on points earned in 2022 qualifying events – where they will compete in Qualifying Rounds over the first four days of the tournament. Group A will fish Day 1 and Day 3, and Group B will fish Day 2 and Day 4, with total weight determined by the cumulative weight of their biggest five-bass limit from both days.
The winner of each group will then advance directly to the Championship Round, while pros who finish in second to 10th place in each group will battle it out with zeroed weights in the Knockout Round. On the sixth day of the event, the Championship Round, weights will again be zeroed and the top eight pros from the Knockout Round, plus the two Qualifying Round winners will compete. The winner will be determined by the heaviest five-bass limit of the final round.
Local Toyota Series pro Jesse Spellicy of Gouverneur, New York said fans and anglers alike can expect a fun tournament and to see a lot of fish catches throughout the event.
“The St. Lawrence River has been fishing really good this summer,” Spellicy said. “It seems like the weights get bigger and bigger every year and this year is no exception.
“The fish aren’t fully in their summertime pattern out deep, so there are still some fish that can be caught up shallow, but for the most part I think you’ll see guys targeting shoals in 25 to 35 feet of water.”
While the event will primarily be a smallmouth tournament, Spellicy said that largemouth could come into play as well.
“It wouldn’t shock me if an angler finds a largemouth pattern that they have all to themselves, and while I don’t believe they can win on that, it’s certainly a player every year and could result in a strong finish.”
Spellicy said drop-shots, tubes and Ned rigs will be key baits on the fishery, as well as jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and spybaits for anglers targeting fish up shallow.
“I expect it to take 21 pounds per day to make it into the Top 10 and over 24 pounds to win the one-day shootout in the Championship Round,” said the Virginia pro.
Anglers will take off at 7 a.m. ET each day of competition from the Massena Intake Boat Launch, located at 1415 State Hwy 131 in Massena. Weigh-ins will also be held at the boat launch daily at 3 p.m. The MLF NOW! broadcast team of Chad McKee, Marty Stone and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action on all six days of competition from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend the event or follow the action online through the MLF NOW! live stream and coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Along with the launch and weigh-in, fans and community members are invited to the MLF Fishing and Outdoor Expo on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 20-21 from noon to 8 p.m. ET at the Massena Intake Boat Launch, where fans can meet the pros and check out the latest in fishing and outdoor gear. The expo includes live music, food trucks, kids’ activities, giveaways, fireworks and more.
The first 100 kids (10 and under) will receive a free rod and reel at the Expo on Saturday and Sunday and fans can register for a Polaris Sportsman 570 ATV giveaway onsite at the Expo. The winner will be drawn after the final weigh-in on August 21. PAW Patrol’s Skye and Marshall will also be at the event with MLF pro Charlie Evans and will be available for photos. Appearance times may vary. Visit MajorLeagueFishing.com for updates and more details.
In addition to the launch, weigh-ins and Expo, youth 14 and under are also invited to attend a free Kid’s Fishing Derby on Saturday, Aug. 20, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wilson Hill Causeway. Participants can bring their own fishing gear or use provided gear on a first come, first serve basis and will compete for tagged fish and cash prizes.
The 2022 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit featured a field of 154 of the top professional anglers in the world competing at six regular-season events around the country. The top 50 anglers in the Angler of the Year (AOY) standings after the six events qualified to compete in the Tackle Warehouse TITLE Presented by Mercury, the Pro Circuit Championship.
Television coverage of the Tackle Warehouse TITLE Presented by Mercury event will be showcased across six two-hour episodes, premiering at 9 a.m. ET, Oct. 8 on the CBS Sports Network. Episodes premiere Sunday mornings on the Outdoor Channel, with additional re-airings on the Sportsman Channel. Each two-hour long episode goes in-depth to break down each day of competition. Episodes will run through Nov. 13.
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.