August 21-25 for Tour Championship
LA CROSSE, WIS. (Aug. 20, 2019) – REDCREST presented by Venmo, the Major League Fishing® (MLF) Bass Pro Tour championship, launches Wednesday, Aug. 21 in La Crosse featuring a field of the top 30 professional anglers based on points earned across the league’s eight-event Bass Pro Tour.
Major League Fishing features a fast-paced competition format in which all fish over 1 pound count and day-end weight totals whittle the field over four days until the final 10 compete for a total purse exceeding $700,000 in cash, as well as the final trophy of the year. As with each stage of the Bass Pro Tour, fans can catch live, continuous action online at majorleaguefishing.com or on the MLF app.
REDCREST takes place in Pools 7 and 8 of the Upper Mississippi River over the five-day event. All 30 anglers compete on days one and two, with the top 20 based on their two-day cumulative weight total advancing to the Knockout Rounds on Friday (day three) and Saturday (day four), in which 10 anglers compete each day. The top five from each group of the Knockout Rounds advance to the Championship Round on Sunday, Aug. 25.
The 30 REDCREST competitors, in order of points earned on the Bass Pro Tour, include: 2019 Points Champion Edwin Evers (510 points), Jeff Sprague (500), Brent Ehrler (491), Jacob Wheeler (488), Michael Neal (470), Todd Faircloth (468), Jordan Lee (460), Dustin Connell (445), Bobby Lane (437), Mark Rose (431), Andy Morgan (428), Mike Iaconelli (417), Casey Ashley (414), Aaron Martens (413), Andy Montgomery (413), Ott DeFoe (406), Wesley Strader (406), Jared Lintner (406), Greg Hackney (406), Fred Roumbanis (405), Bradley Roy (402), Stephen Browning (399), Jacob Powroznik (390), Zack Birge (385), Takahiro Omori (376), Greg Vinson (374), Brandon Palaniuk (371), Mark Daniels, Jr. (369), Cody Meyer (365) and Randall Tharp (361).
Jeff Sprague easily qualified for REDCREST after finishing second in the Race for the Points Championship behind Edwin Evers. The battle for the top spot came down to the final Stage of the season before Evers went home with the crown. After taking a couple of days to shake off the second-place finish, Sprague set his sights on going after a REDCREST title.
“I’m ready to get back in the saddle,” Sprague said. “I had a mediocre event in Stage Eight. It wasn’t a bad event, but it just so happened it was the event I really needed to do well at, but it didn’t work out. I’m ready to get back in the boat and to get the juices going again. After Stage Eight, I came straight home to Texas and took my son fishing and remembered that fishing is fun. I want to go out there and have some fun.”
Jordan Lee rode his Stage One championship all the way to the seventh-place spot in the points standings. While Lee spent his regular season trying to capture another Stage championship, he always had the thought of what the postseason could bring in the back of his mind.
“Throughout the year it’s always on your mind that you want to make it to the championship,” Lee described. “You don’t want to be sitting at home when the big one is around. I’m excited to get there because La Crosse is a great venue and I’m looking forward to having a chance to be the first winner of the REDCREST.”
MLF Executive Vice President and General Manager Don Rucks provided the origin of the REDCREST name, explaining that the prominent red MLF logo itself is a symbolic crest meant to represent the League’s family atmosphere among the anglers, sponsors, fans and host communities.
“A crest is also the highest point of a mountain, therefore REDCREST is our pinnacle of achievement – the peak of proficiency,” relayed Rucks. “Every MLF angler wants to be the best of the best, and all want the right to prove it by first earning an entry into REDCREST, and then winning the event.”
Along with the competition days, REDCREST will include the MLF Midway, a free expo featuring the MLF NOW! live stage, autograph sessions with Major League Fishing pro anglers, and the chance to win prizes and test gear from the Bass Pro Tour sponsors, Friday to Sunday, Aug. 23-25. All activities, including interaction with the pros, are free and open to the public.
The MLF Midway is located at the Onalaska Omni Center (255 Riders Club Road, Onalaska, Wisconsin) and open Friday, Aug. 23 through Sunday, Aug. 25, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST. Sponsors present include: Venmo, Bass Pro Shops, Pure Fishing, General Tire, White River Marine Group, and Pure Fishing, to name a few, featuring over $25,000 in prizes and giveaways throughout the weekend. Fans can test ride boats and motors driven by MLF pros from Mercury Marine, Evinrude, Phoenix, and Bass Cat. Families can also learn about the importance of protecting fisheries through interactive exhibits from the Major League Fishing Conservation Team.
In addition to the anglers competing in REDCREST, fans can meet Major League Fishing pro anglers: Kevin VanDam, Skeet Reese, Josh Bertrand, Brent Chapman, Jason Christie, Cliff Crochet, Boyd Duckett, James Elam, Paul Elias, Shaw Grigsby, Roy Hawk, Randy Howell, Alton Jones, Alton Jones Jr., Kelly Jordon, Gary Klein, Jason Lambert, Chris Lane, Justin Lucas, Mike McClelland, John Murray, Britt Myers, Keith Poche, Marty Robinson, Dean Rojas, Terry Scroggins, Gerald Spohrer, Jonathon VanDam, James Watson and Russ Lane.
Fans can also catch the Berkley Postgame Show live from the MLF NOW! stage at the MLF Midway on Thursday, Aug. 22, Saturday, Aug. 24, and Sunday, Aug. 25 beginning at approximately 4 p.m. CST. Postgame shows are free and open to the public, featuring competitors from that round, as well as prizes and giveaways from MLF.
Major League Fishing chose La Crosse, Wisconsin, as the site of its inaugural REDCREST for the bass-rich waters of the Upper Mississippi, as well as the outdoor-centric lifestyle among its residents. “The entire La Crosse region overflows with fans who love the outdoors,” remarked Michael Mulone, Senior Director, Events for Major League Fishing. “It’s only fitting that the (Bass Pro Tour) championship happens where fishing is woven into the fabric of the community. Explore La Crosse and Onalaska Parks have done an exceptional job of welcoming our anglers, sponsors, and fans to their beautiful region.”
For more information on REDCREST and all MLF news, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.
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). New for 2019, the Bass Pro Tour consists of eight events and a championship streamed live on www.MajorLeagueFishing.com and MOTV. MLF uses the entertaining and conservation-friendly catch, weigh and immediate-release format where every scorable bass counts and the winner is the angler with the highest cumulative weight.