ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. – Pro Wesley Strader of Spring City, Tennessee, caught 30 scorable bass totaling 73 pounds, 4 ounces to win the two-day Qualifying Group B round Monday at the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour CarParts.com Stage Seven at Lake St. Clair Presented by Covercraft in St. Clair Shores, Michigan.
Strader’s two-day total of 64 bass weighing 166 pounds, 8 ounces earned him the round win by a 36-pound, 1-ounce margin and advances him directly into Wednesday’s final-day Championship Round of competition. The six-day tournament, hosted by Macomb County, St. Clair Shores and the Detroit Sports Commission, showcases the 80 top pro bass-fishing anglers in the world competing for a purse of $805,000, including a top cash prize of $100,000 to the winner.
While Lake St. Clair is widely-known as a world-class smallmouth bass fishery, Strader has done his damage this week targeting solely largemouth.
“Finally! I’m so happy to win one. Golly bum, that is so hard to do,” Strader said in his post-game interview. “I tell you what’s even harder, though – I went against the grain and did it with the wrong species. What a great two days of fishing it has been.”
“I don’t know what’s up with that spot – just more and more fish keep getting on it,” Strader continued. “I know it’s probably going to get played out, but I’m looking forward to getting back out there on Wednesday and seeing how this shakes out.”
Pro Fred “Boom Boom” Roumbanis of Russellville, Arkansas, caught a two-day total of 45 bass weighing 130-7 to end the round in second place. Favorite Fishing pro Zack Birge of Blanchard, Oklahoma, finished the round in third place with a two-day total of 41 bass weighing 122-6. Alton Jones Jr. of Waco, Texas , weighed in 37 scorable bass over two days totaling 115-14 to end the round in fourth, while local favorite Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, who qualified for this event via the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, rounded out the top five finishers with a two-day total of 39 bass weighing 107-2.
The remaining 38 anglers – 19 from Group A and 19 from Group B – will now compete Tuesday in the Knockout Round, where weights are zeroed, and the anglers compete to finish in the top eight to advance to Championship Wednesday. Wednesday’s Championship Round will feature Group A winner Michael Neal, Group B winner Wesley Strader, and the top eight anglers from the Knockout Round competing in a final-day shootout for the top prize of $100,000.
The top 20 pros in Qualifying Group B that now advance to Tuesday’s Knockout Round on Lake St. Clair are:
1st: Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn., 64 bass, 166-8 – ADVANCES TO CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND
2nd: Fred Roumbanis, Russellville, Ark., 45 bass, 130-7
3rd: Zack Birge, Blanchard, Okla., 41 bass, 122-6
4th: Alton Jones Jr., Waco, Texas, 37 bass, 115-14
5th: Scott Dobson, Clarkston, Mich., 39 bass, 107-2
6th: Dustin Connell, Clanton, Ala., 27 bass, 93-5
7th: David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 30 bass, 91-10
8th: Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 32 bass, 91-5
9th: Mark Davis, Mount Ida, Ark., 32 bass, 90-13
10th: Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., 32 bass, 90-10
11th: Scott Suggs, Alexander, Ark., 29 bass, 86-8
12th: Jason Lambert, Michie, Tenn., 27 bass, 76-15
13th: Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla., 25 bass, 73-15
14th: Matt Lee, Cullman, Ala., 26 bass, 73-11
15th: Alton Jones, Lorena, Texas, 23 bass, 70-1
16th: Dean Rojas, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 25 bass, 67-11
17th: Ott DeFoe, Blaine, Tenn., 24 bass, 66-10
18th: Brandon Coulter, Knoxville, Tenn., 25 bass, 66-9
19th: Stephen Browning, Hot Springs, Ark., 22 bass, 61-5
20th: Mark Rose, Wynne, Ark., 16 bass, 58-3
A complete list of results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.