Rookie Wins MLF Event on the Harris Chain of Lakes

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Rookie Wins MLF Event on the Harris Chain of Lakes

LEESBURG, Fla. – The last time Major League Fishing had held an event on the Harris Chain of Lakes – the AAA-level 2021 Toyota Series – 22-year-old Tampa, Florida angler Christian Greico landed “Jim Thomas”, a 9-pound, 12-ounce giant largemouth that had been tagged by the Friends of Lake Apopka and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as part of the Lake Apopka Fish Tag Challenge. Greico was awarded the top prize of $5,000 for catching that bass, and used those winnings as part of his deposit to compete in his rookie season against the pros on the 2022 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Fuel Me.

Wednesday, it all came full circle for the Florida rookie. Greico weighed in a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 5 ounces, to win the four-day Bass Boat Technologies Stop 2 at the Harris Chain of Lakes Presented by Frogg Toggs in Leesburg, Florida. Greico edged the second-place pro Andrew Loberg of Rocklin, California, by 1-pound, 8-ounces, and earned the top payout of $100,000 – or 20 tagged bass.

“I really can’t believe how this week turned out,” Greico said. “Coming back to the ramp with only 18 pounds today – I thought for sure that someone had busted a 20+ pound bag. I was thrilled to just be in the top 10 and standing there on the final day with (MLF emcee) Chris Jones. To get it done today – man, I’ve had a blessed week. All glory to God on this one.”

After targeting offshore shell beds in Lake Harris with a Carolina-rigged Googan Slim Shake and a Googan Dart on the first three days of competition, Greico pivoted on the final day and scrapped his shell bed pattern to run to Lake Apopka and flip a jig for the day.

“I could tell yesterday that the shell bite was deteriorating on me. I decided to start on the pattern first thing this morning, but once I drug through there for 10 to 15 minutes and didn’t get a bite, I knew it probably wasn’t going to happen in Lake Harris. So, I made the decision to run to Apopka and put the flipping stick in my hand. I knew if those fish were biting, it was only a matter of time until I caught a few big ones.

“It took me about five minutes before I got my first bite, and that’s when I knew it could happen,” the 23-year-old pro said.

Greico’s flipping fish came on a Googan Nuke Punch, with a ¾-ounce weight.

Despite the fast start to his career, Greico plans to play it conservative and ensure he remains in the sport for the long haul.

“The money is great, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not out here for the money,” Greico went on to say. “I do this because I love it, and to earn these trophies. This is a huge confidence booster – this is where I’m meant to be. I can have a career as a pro bass fisherman and go toe-to-toe against the best guys. It’s an honor to even be out here competing against them. To win, in just my second event – it blows my mind.

“I’m probably going to bed early tonight, and I’m putting this money in the bank and saving it. It can get pretty expensive chasing around these bass.”

The top 10 pros at the Bass Boat Technologies Stop 2 on the Harris Chain of Lakes finished:

1st: Christian Greico, Tampa, Fla., five bass, 18-5
2nd: Andrew Loberg, Rocklin, Calif., five bass, 16-13
3rd: Shonn Goodwin, Moore, Okla., five bass, 16-0
4th: Corey Neece, Bristol, Tenn., five bass, 15-1
5th: Jason Reyes, Huffman, Texas, five bass, 14-14
6th: Mark Rose, Wynne, Ark., five bass, 14-14
7th: Grae Buck, Green Lane, Pa., five bass, 11-8
8th: Grant Galloway, Houlka, Miss., five bass, 10-14
9th: Jeff Reynolds, Calera, Okla., four bass, 10-11
10th: Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., five bass, 9-12

For a full list of results visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Overall, there were 49 bass weighing 138 pounds, 12 ounces caught by the final 10 pros Wednesday. Nine of the final 10 pros weighed in a five-bass limit.

The four-day MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Bass Boat Technologies Stop 2 on the Harris Chain of Lakes Presented by Frogg Toggs was hosted by Visit Lake County. The event will premiere on the CBS Sports Network on Saturday, July 16 from 7 to 9 a.m. ET.

In Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit competition, the full field of anglers competed in the two-day opening round on Sunday and Monday. The top 50 pros based on their two-day cumulative weight advanced to Tuesday, then only the top 10 pros based on cumulative weight from the first three days continued competition on Championship Wednesday, where weights were zeroed and the winner was determined by the heaviest weight from the final day of competition.

The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Bass Boat Technologies Stop 2 on the Harris Chain of Lakes Presented by Frogg Toggs marked the second regular-season event of the year for the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Fuel Me. The next event for Pro Circuit anglers will be the Lithium Pros Stop 3 at Pickwick Lake Presented by Covercraft, April 21-24 in Counce, Tennessee.

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.

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, 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.

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