The Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour Stage 2 on Lake Conroe is in the rearview mirror for the 80 professional anglers competing on the Tour. ANGLR Expert and Bass Pro Tour angler, Dave Lefebre weighs in on his 30th place finish in the event.
Bass Pro Tour Stage 2: Preparing for the Weather
“Weather-wise and fishing-wise, Conroe was identical to the Kissimmee Chain. The lake size was different. Fishing a small lake like that for the whole event was a little weird, but I love that lake. If it’s not my favorite lake to fish, it’s probably my second favorite.”
The weather leading up to the event had the bass staged in pre-spawn areas, waiting for the water to warm a little more before pushing shallow to spawn.
“I needed it to stay cold to do better in this one. If they moved up, everyone was going to catch them. I was kind of liking that nastiness in the weather where I could really focus on those docks and that really early pre-spawn deal. That one 80-degree day is what hurt me. I did really good that day but that warm day and warm night put the fish on the move and they left me.”
Photo by: Josh Gassmann
“It was humbling. I’ve had some humbling days on Conroe. This time of year that dock bite can just fade on you really fast if those fish start to move up and that’s what happened.”
Bass Pro Tour Stage 2: Successful Baits
Lefebre primarily fished one bait to make his way through the Shotgun and Elimination Rounds, a Texas-rigged green pumpkin lizard made by Gary Yamamoto.
“I’ve never just Texas-rigged a lizard in my life. I’ve got thousands of them but just never use them. Sometimes I’ll rig them on a Carolina-rig or when I’m bed fishing but never just on a Texas-rig going down the bank. I bet the 50-pound bag of them I had with me was probably 20-years old. I know it was 17-years old at least.”
How did Lefebre land on the lizard?
“I was fishing a tube in practice but I don’t like it when I’m fishing for a lot of bites because you miss too many on it. And everybody’s throwing a Senko now so I don’t know, I just ripped that tube off the hook in practice and stuck that lizard on there and got a bite right away which gave me confidence. I just felt like I could follow anybody with that lizard because I knew nobody else would be throwing it.”
Photo by Josh Gassmann
Lefebre rode the lizard to day 3, the Knockout round. But it wasn’t long before he knew, too much had changed and the fish were on the move.
“I realized it on the third day about midway through the first of three periods. I think I had two fish and I just got the feeling that those guys casting and cranking and reeling were going to catch them today in those spawning flats. You could look at the Scoretracker and see the guys that you know were pitching and flipping not catching anything. I mean look at Andy Morgan, the best to ever do it and he was struggling. So I just picked up the Terminator Shuddering Bait and a ChatterBait and I would throw that Shuddering Bait in the muddier water and the ChatterBait in the clearer water and caught 9 fish or so on it.”
Bass Pro Tour Stage 2: What’s Next for the Bass Pro Tour Anglers?
Lefebre’s performance cashed him his second $6,000 check in as many stops on the BPT, pure profit having paid no entry fee to enter the tournaments. Reflecting on where his mind is after the first two BPT events:
“I just think that everything is so fresh and it keeps you on your toes. It’s just fun again. And you forget about stuff because it’s all happening so fast. Now we have had two tournaments already and we have the first Major League Fishing Cup event that 30 of us have qualified for that I totally forgot about.”
After the first two BPT events, 30 anglers have now qualified for the first of 4 MLF Cup events to be held later this fall. After Stages 3 and 4, the field for Cup 2 will be established by the top 30 anglers from points accumulated in just those two events. The top 30 anglers from Stages 5 and 6 will feed into Cup 3 and thusly the 7th and 8th Stages of the Bass Pro Tour will be used to fill the 4th MLF Cup of the fall.
All the while, cumulative points acquired across all 8 Bass Pro Tour Stages will determine the qualifying field for the BPT Redcrest Championship to be held at the end of the season. The 4 MLF Cup events will once again feed into the 2020 General Tire World Championship.
Bass Pro Tour Stage 3: Looking Ahead at Three Different Bodies of Water
Confused yet? Get a load of this.
MLF revealed a few details about Stage 3 of the BPT trail to be held in Raleigh, North Carolina during the Championship round of Stage 2 on MLF LIVE, announcing that competition will take place on 3 different bodies of water.
“I like that. I mean, we’re starting from zero anyway. We’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to think about anything but I was watching MLF LIVE on the final day and that’s the first I heard of it.”
While competing on the first lake in the Shotgun and Elimination rounds, BPT anglers will likely have some type of practice time allowance to scout the upcoming two fisheries where the Knockout and Championship rounds will be.
Photo by Josh Gassmann
“There’s just so much strategy now. It’s such a thinking man’s game. We’re going to have two days of practice for the first lake and we’re probably going to have time to practice those other two lakes too like we did at Kissimmee when they gave us 4 hours to ride through Garcia.”
“But there were only a few of us that took advantage of that. There were only 3 of us out there the day I went and I think maybe 8 guys max did it. So a lot of those guys that made the top 10 and actually fished Garcia had never even seen the lake before.”
MLF certainly has the anglers on their toes and rumor has it that there have been 30-and-40-pound traditional 5-fish tournament weights pulled in recent years from the waters of the upcoming fisheries for Stage 3. We’ll see what’s in store for Dave Lefebre and the rest of the field in March.