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Bass Angler Magazine

Ott Defoe wins a Cool Hundred Grand on Lake Athens

March 18, 2020 (Lake Athens, Texas) Major League Fishing (MLF) Pro Ott DeFoe charged from behind with 18 catches in the third period to win $100,000 and the Bass Pro Tour General Tire Stage Three presented by TrueTimber Title. After leading for much of the week including the first two periods of today’s Championship Round, Mark Daniels, Jr. fell to third with 39 pounds, two ounces. Alton Jones, Jr. changed his game midway through the second period to finish in second place overall. The MLF Bass Pro Tour is scheduled to continue in Raleigh April 3-8, 2020.

DeFoe began Period Three 19 pounds, eight ounces behind the leader, Mark Daniels, Jr. before coming upon a school and launching to the top of SCORETRACKER®. DeFoe also snuck into today’s Championship Round by catching a four-pound-eight-ounce bass late in the Period 3 of Tuesday’s Knockout Round to finish only one pound, four ounces over the elimination line. The Bass Pro Shops Pro said that he knew if he could get into the Championship, he could make great things happen.

“Yesterday was such a stressful, stressful day and with this format you can’t have a bad day,” DeFoe told MLF commentator Rob Newell after lines-out. “These events are the toughest group of anglers I’ve ever fished against; I couldn’t be more honored to take this trophy home. I wish Jennie and the kids were here to celebrate with me.”

DeFoe, who overcame a medical issue last season that kept him out of Stage Eight, showed fans that he is great physical shape now by catching nine bass in the last 30 minutes alone, including the Berkley Big Bass of the Day weighing nine pounds, six ounces.  The 35-year-old father of three is no stranger to tough competition, today’s win, featuring a one-day total of 69 pounds, 12 ounces, brings him to eight major wins in his career and over $2.2 million in winnings.

Despite a slow start across the field on Lake Athens, Daniels secured a solid lead early in the first period, which he held onto until DeFoe caught a 4-14 with less than 30 minutes to go in the day. Daniels ended the day with 39 pounds, two ounces on 13 scoreable bass, which earned him third place and $24,000. The Bill Lewis Pro dominated much of this week’s tournament by catching 111 pounds, 15 ounces on Lake Fork to win Group A and the automatic berth into today’s Championship Round.

“It’s been one heck of a week,” said Daniels. “I had over 111 pounds to win (Group A) and then I led the tournament all day long before Ott got fired up in a school just demolished them. Hats off to Ott! That’s how this game goes, but I believe my time is coming.”

Mystil Lubricants Pro, Alton Jones, Jr., caught a 20-pound run in Period 3 overtaking Daniels for second place with a three-pound-14-ounce bass three minutes before the buzzer. Jones, who caught seven of his 13 fish for the day in the third period, finished with 41 pounds, nine ounces. This is the best finish on the Bass Pro Tour for the 27-year-old Texan.

“I had such a struggle in the first couple periods,” reflected Jones after lines-out. “Mark (Daniels) had gotten such a lead that I had to make a change. Then I found some good (fishing) holes, but I didn’t find an Ott-DeFoe-magic hole.”

The General Tire Stage Three presented by TrueTimber Championship Round finished as follows:

Place Angler Championship Round Total Weight Championship Round Total Bass Championship Round Largest Bass
1 Ott DeFoe 69-12 23 9-06
2 Alton Jones, Jr. 41-09 13 5-08
3 Mark Daniels, Jr. 39-02 13 6-14
4 Brent Chapman 37-13 13 5-10
5 Brandon Coulter 28-01 12 3-12
6 Keith Poche 21-09 9 4-06
7 Jeff Sprague 20-06 7 4-06
8 Andy Montgomery 11-05 5 3-08
9 Justin Atkins 11-01 4 3-08
10 Bryan Thrift 10-08 4 3-08

For complete results of the General Tire Stage Three presented by TrueTimber, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com, Bass Pro Tour, Results.

The Bass Pro Tour continues April 3-8, 2020 with the Berkley Stage Four presented by Covercraft in Raleigh, N.C.  In response to COVID-19, Major League Fishing has cancelled all public gatherings associated with their tournaments per recommendations from Public Health and medical professionals.

Fans can catch all the action every day of competition on MLFNOW! livestream on MajorLeagueFishing.com or download the MLF App for your Apple or GooglePlay device or on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV).

About the Bass Pro Tour:

The Bass Pro Tour began in 2019 and features 80 of the best professional anglers in the world, including Kevin VanDam, Edwin Evers, Aaron Martens, Mike Iaconelli, Jordan Lee, and Skeet Reese. Each stage includes six days of competition using the Major League Fishing, catch-weigh-and-immediately-release format, where every bass over a variable minimum weight, which is two pounds on Lake Eufaula for Stage One, toward a cumulative weight total for the day.  Variable minimum weights are determined by fishery akin to a golf course handicap. The field of 80 anglers is divided into two groups (Group A and B) of 40 to compete in the Qualifying Round where a two-day cumulative weight total determines the winners. The winners of Groups A and B receive automatic berths to the Championship Round and the anglers finishing in places 2-19 (38 total) advance to the Knockout Round on day five. The top eight from the Knockout Round join the winners in Groups A and B (field of 10) to compete in the Championship Round and a shot at the $100,000 top prize and Stage Title.

Each of Eight Stages of the Bass Pro Tour have the following payout schedule: 1st $100,000; 2nd $42,000; 3rd $30,000; 4th$24,000; 5th $18,000; 6th $16,800; 7th $15,600; 8th $14,400; 9th $13,200; 10th $12,000; 11th – 40th $6,000; Big Bass Daily $1,000; Big Bass Overall $1,000.

In addition to the economic impact on a host community, Major League Fishing showcases the region through their award-winning, live and linear programming. Each Stage of the Bass Pro Tour is broadcast live on the Major League Fishing app, MyOutdoorTV (MOTV), and majorleaguefishing.com, totaling more than 325 hours of original programming. Fans can follow the fast-paced nature of the MLF format as it unfolds on the live leaderboard through “SCORETRACKER® updates.” Highlights from each Stage of the 2020 Bass Pro Tour will air on Discovery Network beginning in July 2020 and Sportsman Channel in early 2021.

“MLF offers the strongest broadcast presence in the industry to fans and sponsors,” said Jim Wilburn, President and CEO of Major League Fishing. “And with these lakes planned for this coming Bass Pro Tour, we know 2020 will be our best year yet as we continue to capture a broad audience of both longtime fishing fans and those new to the sport, thanks to our fast-paced, fan-friendly format,”

About Major League Fishing   
Founded in 2011, Major League Fishing (MLF) brings the high-intensity sport of competitive bass fishing into America’s living rooms on Outdoor Channel, Discovery, CBS, CBS Sports Network, World Fishing Network, Sportsman Channel, and on-demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). The Bass Pro Tour consists of eight events and a championship streamed live on www.MajorLeagueFishing.com and MOTV.

In late 2019 MLF acquired FLW, which expands their portfolio to include the world’s largest grassroots fishing organization, including the strongest five-fish format professional bass fishing tour, the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, as well as the Toyota Series, Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine, and Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI, and High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing.

For more information on the league and anglers, visit www.MajorLeagueFishing.com and follow MLF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Press Contact:
Tricia Milford
Major League Fishing
tmilford@majorleaguefishing.com
Mobile 407-928-9868

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