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Lake life

Two bass, $200,000; and more Saturday at Bussey

Randy Howell lands a Caney keeper Friday afternoon

How about $200,000 worth of bass fishing just on TWO BASS Saturday on Bussey Brake.

I know…amazing. The Bastrop Community is going all out to host a celebration at the main boat dock Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. to welcome the final contenders in the Major League Fishing (MLF) General Tire Heavy Hitters Presented by Bass Pro Shops.

Pro Randy Howell of Guntersville, Alabama, caught a 6-pound, 4-ounce largemouth Friday afternoon on Caney Creek Reservoir – the largest bass weighed on the day – to win the $50,000 Berkley Big Bass Bonus. Howell finished the day in first place with a total of eight bass weighing 29-4 and along with the top eight finishers now earns his way into Saturday’s final-day Championship Round on Bussey Brake and a shot at the $100,000 top prize, along with the $100,000 Big Bass Bonus.

The six-day all-star event, hosted by Discover Monroe-West Monroe and the Louisiana Office of Tourism, showcases the top 30 pros that qualified via the Bass Pro Tour competing in a no-entry fee tournament for a purse of more than $500,000, including numerous massive Big Bass Bonuses and a payout of $100,000 to the winner.

“To get the opportunity to go to Bussey Brake tomorrow is just so awesome,” Howell said. ”I probably worked harder, mentally, on this event than I ever have before, just trying to make sure I got there. And every day, I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it. I told my wife last night – I really don’t know what I’m going to do today, but I’m going to pray and trust the Lord, and hopefully just get the right feeling and go to the right place at the right time. And man, it was just a perfect day. I’m so thankful.”

While anglers are hoping for some of those Bussey monsters, they are also trying for total weight, so the more fish they catch, the better. It will be a little tough because of all the pressure on the lake recently and to be a scorable bass at Bussey Saturday, the fish must weight AT LEAST THREE POUNDS!! If anglers catch any smaller than that, it might as well be a white perch. It wont count.

With the Knockout Round now complete, the anglers that finished in 1st through 8th place advance to Saturday’s Championship Round. The Championship Round will feature Group A Qualifying Round winner Bryan Thrift, Group B Qualifying Round Winner Brent Ehrler, and the top eight anglers from the Knockout Round competing in a final-day shootout for the top prize of $100,000 along with the $100,000 Berkley Big Bass Bonus.

The top eight pros from the Knockout Round that advance to Saturday’s Championship Round on Bussey Brake are:

1st: Randy Howell, Guntersville, Ala., eight bass, 29-4
2nd: Dakota Ebare, Brookeland, Texas, 10 bass, 28-10
3rd: Edwin Evers, Talala, Okla., seven bass, 23-0
4th: Ryan Salzman, Huntsville, Ala., five bass, 17-9
5th: Josh Bertrand, Queen Creek, Ariz., four bass, 13-13
6th: Alton Jones, Jr., Waco, Texas, four bass, 12-5
7th: Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., four bass, 10-15
8th: Bradley Roy, Lancaster, Ky., three bass, 10-7

They’ll be joined by Qualifying Round Winners:

Group A: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C.
Group B: Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif.

The final 10 anglers will launch at Bussey Brake on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. CT from Bonner Ferry Road, located five miles northwest of Bastrop off of Highway 593. Fans are welcome to attend the launch and takeout events and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLF NOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

That’s right, you can watch all the fishing live from Bussey Saturday online at MajorLeagueFishing.com . On Championship Saturday, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. MLF will welcome fans of all ages to visit the Bussey Brake boat ramp located at 5373 Boat Dock Road in Bastrop, to celebrate the top 10 and crown the 2023 General Tire Heavy Hitters Champion at the Watch Party and Trophy Presentation. There will even be concessions for sale. The final 10 Heavy Hitters Championship Round Bass Pro Tour anglers will be on hand at the trophy celebration to meet and greet fans, sign autographs, and take selfies.


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