Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Nick LeBrun Leads Top Ten to Championship Round Stage Four at Lake Eufaula

Date:

Louisiana pro catches 12 bass weighing 30-15 to lead Knockout Round, final 10 anglers set for Championship Sunday in final-day shootout for top prize of $100,000

EUFAULA, Okla. (May 4, 2024) – Through five days of fishing at the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour MillerTech Stage Four Presented by REDCON1, on Lake Eufaula, Central Oklahoma’s notoriously capricious spring weather has been mirrored by the clarity of the water and behavior of the bass living in the Sooner State’s largest lake.

Heavy rains and high, chocolate-brown water greeted the field early in the week, followed by dropping, clearing water and bass rushing to beds midway through the six-day competition. The bite has been equally volatile this week, coming in brief onesy-twosy flurries on just about everything in the tackle box. And with heavy rains and thunderstorms in the forecast for the final day on Eufaula, that’s all just fine with pro Nick LeBrun of Bossier City, Louisiana.

Link to HD Video – Fish-Catch Highlights of Knockout Round on Lake Eufaula
Link to Photo Gallery of Knockout Round Highlights on Lake Eufaula

The final 10 anglers are now set, and competition resumes Sunday morning with the Championship Round. In the Championship Round, weights are zeroed, and the highest one-day total wins the top prize of $100,000.

Mixing a dash of buzzbait and flipping jig with a hearty dose of a vibrating jig that he wound in and around flooded trees and brush in the Canadian River, LeBrun harkened back Saturday to his days of fishing Phoenix Bass Fishing League tournaments on the Red River, Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn. LeBrun connected with 12 fish for 30 pounds, 15 ounces to claim the top spot in the Knockout Round and enter Sunday’s final day with both momentum and a high level of comfort for the conditions.

“With the high, muddy water and the lake being flooded in the trees and bushes, that’s definitely one of my comfort zones,” said LeBrun, who has a string of Top 10s on fisheries known for off-colored water. “It takes me back to fishing BFLs at Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend. New fish are pulling up. The water (level) is still changing, but it’s revealing fish and it’s causing some other fish to move up.”

Sitting on the front deck of his boat retying a rod during the first period break of the day in Saturday’s Knockout Round, LeBrun delivered a telltale statement about the fishing conditions on Eufaula, and how he planned to conquer them.

“When conditions are tough and things are slow like this, a guy has to make a few casts he normally wouldn’t make,” LeBrun said. “They’re not biting good today just casting down the bank, so you have to take a few chances and throw into places that you might not have an easy time getting a fish out of. You might have to do things a little bit different.”

Less than five minutes prior, LeBrun had hooked a fish that he judged to be 5-plus pounds on a deadeye flip he had made deep into a tangle of cover. He set the hook on that fish and fought it briefly, trying to pull it over the limbs and branches he had cast over, but lost it after a brief fight. It proved to LeBrun that there was potential to access new fish. 

“I call it the ‘cobweb pattern’: If you see cobwebs across a spot, you know that nobody has thrown there,” LeBrun said. “In my short career, I’ve had a little success fishing like that. I’m going to try to keep doing it (Sunday) – even make casts that I haven’t made yet. I think there are still some fish pulling up and there are probably some fish that just haven’t been thrown at yet, so I’m excited to get back out there.”

LeBrun has done most of his damage this week with a vibrating jig, specifically a white 1/2-ounce Z-Man/Evergreen ChatterBait Jack Hammer with a 4-inch Yamamoto Zako trailer. He caught two fish during the Knockout Round flipping a jig and landed his biggest fish of the day (a 4-14) on a black Buckeye Buzzerk buzzbait. As he heads into his second Bass Pro Tour Championship Round, LeBrun plans to stick with what got him this far.

“I’m all-in on the shallow, power-fishing deal,” he said. “I’m going to have a few different rods out. I’m not going to totally live or die with the ChatterBait – there are just some places that you can’t throw that bait without getting hung up, so I’m probably going to implement some flipping, a buzzbait and the ChatterBait. It’s been fun grinding and just fishing, getting back to those BFL roots.”

The top 10 pros from Saturday’s Knockout Round that now advance to Sunday’s Championship Round on Lake Eufaula are:

1st:          Nick LeBrun, Bossier City, La., 12 bass, 30-15
2nd:        Drew Gill, Mount Carmel, Ill., 11 bass, 27-4
3rd:        Cole Floyd, Leesburg, Ohio, 10 bass, 25-12
4th:         Randy Howell, Guntersville, Ala., 10 bass, 23-7
5th:         Skeet Reese, Auburn, Calif., nine bass, 21-15
6th:         Martin Villa, Charlottesville, Va., 10 bass, 21-1
7th:         Jeff Sprague, Wills Point, Texas, eight bass, 20-14
8th:         Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash., eight bass, 19-5
9th:         Zack Birge, Blanchard, Okla., eight bass, 18-13
10th:      Britt Myers, Lake Wylie, S.C., five bass, 14-15

Finishing in 11th through 20th place are:

11th:      Alton Jones Jr., Waco, Texas, six bass, 14-4
12th:      Jason Vance, Battle Ground, Ind., six bass, 13-13
13th:      Dean Rojas, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., five bass, 10-10
14th:      Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., four bass, 8-3
15th:      Takahiro Omori, Tokyo, Japan, three bass, 7-12
16th:      Gerald Spohrer, Gonzales, La., four bass, 7-12
17th:      Jacob Wheeler, Blaine, Tenn., three bass, 6-4
18th:      Marty Robinson, Lyman, S.C., one bass, 3-12
19th:      Brent Chapman, Lake Quivira, Kan., one bass, 2-13
20th:      Dave Lefebre, Erie, Penn., one bass, 1-10

A complete list of results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Overall, there were 125 scorable bass weighing 301 pounds, 2 ounces caught by the 20 pros Saturday, which included one 5-pounder, five 4-pounders and 17 3-pounders.

Luke Clausen of Spokane, Washington, caught a 5-pound, 3-ounce largemouth on a wacky rig in the third period to claim Saturday’s Berkley Big Bass Award. Berkley awards $1,000 to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass each day, and a $3,000 bonus to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass of the tournament.

Jacob Wheeler entered Stage Four with a 17-point lead over Alton Jones, Jr. in the Fishing Clash Angler of the Year, but Jones made up a little ground in the Knockout Round: Jones finished just outside the cut in 11th while Wheeler finished 17th, gaining Jones 6 points on Wheeler. Wheeler leads the race for the 2024 Fishing Clash AOY (and it’s $100,000 payday) with 301 points to Jones’ 289.

Five of the anglers fishing Championship Sunday on Eufaula are currently in the Top 10 in AOY points: Cole Floyd, Drew Gill, LeBrun, Jeff Sprague and Martin Villa.

The six-day tournament, hosted by Vision Eufaula, showcases 79 of the top professional anglers in the world, competing for a purse of $659,000, including a top payout of $100,000 and valuable Fishing Clash Angler of the Year (AOY) points in hopes of qualifying for the General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and REDCREST 2025, the Bass Pro Tour championship.

The 39 Anglers in Group A competed in their two-day Qualifying Round on Tuesday and Thursday – the 40 anglers in Group B on Wednesday and Friday. After the two-day Qualifying Rounds were complete, the anglers that finished first through 10th from both groups advanced to Saturday’s Knockout Round. In the Knockout Round, weights were zeroed, and the remaining 20 anglers competed to finish in the top 10 to advance to Sunday’s Championship Round. Tomorrow, in the final-day Championship Round, weights are zeroed, and the highest one-day total wins the top prize of $100,000.

The final 10 anglers competing in Sunday’s Championship Round Anglers will launch at 7:30 a.m. CT Sunday from the Peter’s Point-Nichols Point Boat Ramp, located on Dabbs Road in Eufaula. Each day’s General Tire Takeout will be held at the boat ramp, beginning at 4 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all launch and takeout events and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLFNOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at  MajorLeagueFishing.com.

The MLFNOW!® broadcast team of Chad McKee and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action live on Championship Sunday from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT. MLFNOW!®  will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

On Sunday, May 5, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. MLF welcomes fans of all ages to visit Peter’s Point-Nichols Point for the MLF Watch Party and Kids Fishing Derby. Fans can watch the pros live on the MLFNOW! big screen, enjoy free food, enter to win hourly giveaways and cheer on their favorite pros. The first 50 kids 14 and under will receive a free rod and reel from Pure Fishing each day. Additional fishing gear will be provided onsite for the fishing derby or kids can bring their own. The final 10 Championship Round Bass Pro Tour anglers will be on hand at the trophy celebration on Championship Sunday to meet and greet fans, sign autographs and take selfies.

Television coverage of the MillerTech Stage Four at Lake Eufaula Presented by REDCON1 Knockout Round will air as a two-hour episode starting at 7 a.m. ET, on Saturday, Oct. 12 on Discovery, with the Championship Round premiering on Oct. 19. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on Discovery, with re-airings on Outdoor Channel.

The MillerTech Stage Four at Lake Eufaula Presented by REDCON1 features the MLF catch, weigh, immediate-release format, in which anglers catch as much weight as they can each day, while also feeling the pressure and intensity of the SCORETRACKER® leaderboard. The tournament features anglers competing with a 1-pound, 8-ounce minimum weight requirement for a bass to be deemed scorable. The MLF Fisheries Management Division determines minimum weights for each body of water that the Bass Pro Tour visits, based on the productivity, bass population and anticipated average size of fish in each fishery.

The Bass Pro Tour features a field of 79 of the top professional anglers in the world, competing across seven regular-season tournaments around the country, for millions of dollars and valuable points to qualify for the annual General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and the REDCREST 2025 championship.

Fishing Clash, an interactive 3D fishing simulation game that’s played by more than 80 million people worldwide, is the official AOY sponsor of the Bass Pro Tour, Tackle Warehouse Invitationals, Toyota Series and Phoenix Bass Fishing League. You can download Fishing Clash for free in the App Store and on Google Play, or log on to www.fishingclash.game for more information.

Proud sponsors of the 2024 MLF Bass Pro Tour include: Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, BUBBA, Epic Baits, Fishing Clash, Garmin, General Tire, Humminbird, Lowrance, Mercury, MillerTech, Minn Kota, Mossy Oak Fishing, NITRO, Onyx, Plano, Power-Pole, Rapala, REDCON1, Star brite, Suzuki, Toyota, WIX Filters and U.S. Air Force.

For complete details and updated information on Major League Fishing and the Bass Pro Tour, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF’s social media outlets at Facebook, XInstagram and YouTube.



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