Addison, Alabama, Angler weighs in at 11 bars totaling 27 pounds, 11 ounces to earn his first career Bass Pro Tour win and $100,000 top payout
All week, Addison, Alabama, pro Jesse Wiggins said that when he closed his eyes, Lake of the Ozarks looked exactly like his home fishery – Lake Lewis Smith in northern Alabama. That hometown “feel” was just what Wiggins needed this week. The 32-year-old Alabama angler caught a remarkable 11 bass weighing 27 pounds, 11 ounces on Thursday to win the MLF Bass Pro Tour Bass Boat Technologies Stage Four on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Bass Cat in Osage Beach, Missouri, and bring home home the top prize of $100,000.
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Pro Jesse Wiggins of Addison, Alabama caught 11 remarkable bass weighing 27 pounds, 11 ounces on Thursday to win the fourth leg of the MLF Bass Pro Tour Bass Boat Technologies on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Bass Cat at Osage Beach, Missouri, and take home the top prize of $100,000. (Photo: BusinessWire)
Link to photo of stage four winner Jesse Wiggins
Link to the photo gallery of the best shots of the day of the championship
Link to Day 6 Fish Catch Highlights Video
“Oh my God,” said an emotional Wiggins as time expired. “I’m shaking, my videographers are shaking, my official is shaking – we’re torn. I’m just an Alabama redneck who loves to fish and loves tossing head shaking.
“I get here, and the shores look identical to Smith Lake. I mean, identical. And the fish are identical. It looked like I could get my shot, all week.”
Wiggins spent the tournament targeting the docks with a homemade shakehead rig. After winning the Group A qualifying round, he qualified directly for Thursday’s championship round.
“I did exactly what I wanted to do, all week,” Wiggins said. “I grew up throwing a worm – that’s all we did. And we finally have a lake where they breed and they bite their heads shaking. When they’re on this thing, I have the feel like I can win.”
Wiggins’ shakehead rig was homemade – he fished both a 1/8 ounce and a 3/16 ounce – and he assigned a watermelon-colored Jackall Flick Shake worm as his key bait.
“I always throw my shaking heads on my extra fast 7ft 1in St. Croix Legend Elite – medium heavy – rod with a Quantum Smoke S3 reel,” said Wiggins. “My line was Seaguar – Smackdown 30lb braid and a 12lb Invisx leader (Seaguar). I worked with 12lb because the water was dirty, and I cast it mostly around docks and wires.
“To come away with a win, first place against these guys – Lord have mercy, I can’t even put it into words,” Wiggins continued. “My support system at home – they all sacrifice so much. My wife Haley, River, my mom, Haley’s mom, Haley’s sisters, my grandma, my brothers – it’s crazy how much they just sacrificing for me to come here and hunt these things. I’m so happy to win this for them. I can’t wait to bring this trophy back to Addison.
The top 10 pros from Bass Boat Technologies Stage 4 on the Lake of the Ozarks presented by Bass Cat finished:
1st: Jesse Wiggins, Addison, Alabama, 11 bass, 27-11, $100,000
2n/a: Dean Rojas, Lake Havasu City, Arizona, nine bass, 25-4, $45,000
3rd: Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tennessee, six bass, 17-11, $38,000
4rd: Stephen Browning, Hot Springs, Ark., five bass, 14-0, $32,000
5and: Jacob Wheeler, Harrison, Tennessee, five bass, 13-2, $30,000
6and: Kelly Jordon, Flint, Texas, four bass, 11-11, $26,000
7and: Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., four bass, 10-9, $23,000
8and: Mark Rose, Wynne, Ark., three bass, 10-4, $21,000
9and: Jonathon VanDam, Kalamazoo, Michigan, two bass, 4-3, $19,000
tenand: Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., zero low, 0-0, $16,000
Full results for the entire field can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Overall, there were 49 scoring bass weighing 134 pounds, 7 ounces caught by the final 10 pros on Thursday.
General Tire pro Mark Rose won the $1,000 Berkley Big Bass prize from Thursday’s championship round — his second Big Bass prize of the event — with a 4-pound, 9-ounce bigmouth who bit a Strike King Finesse jig in period 1. Brookeland, Texas, pro Dakota Ebare won the $3,000 Berkley Big Bass award for the biggest overall bass in the event with her 6-pound, 14-pound bigmouth ounces he weighed on the first day of competition.
After four regular season events in the 2022 Bass Pro Tour season, Jacob Wheeler, the reigning Bally Bet Angler of the Year (AOY), currently leads at 300 pounds, while Jordan Lee sits just behind Wheeler. in second place with 284 points. Andy Morgan, of Dayton, Tennessee, is third with 255 points. Jesse Wiggins currently sits in fourth place with 251.5 points, while Alton Jones, Jr. rounds out the top five with 231 points.
Bass Boat Technologies’ fourth leg on the Lake of the Ozarks presented by Bass Cat featured anglers competing with a minimum weight requirement of 2 pounds for a bass to be considered scoring. Minimum weights are determined individually for each competition water visited by the Bass Pro Tour, based on productivity, bass population and expected average fish size in each fishery.
Bass Boat Technologies’ fourth stop on the Lake of the Ozarks presented by Bass Cat was organized by the Tri-County Lodging Association of Central Missouri, the Lake of the Ozarks Fishing Council and BassingBob.com. The event featured 80 of the world’s top professional bass anglers competing for an $805,000 purse, including a cash prize of $100,000 to the winner.
Television coverage of Bass Boat Technologies’ fourth leg on the Lake of the Ozarks presented by Bass Cat will premiere as two two-hour episodes at 7 a.m. ET on Saturday, October 15 and Saturday, October 22 on the Discovery Channel. New MLF episodes air every Saturday morning on the Discovery Channel, with additional reruns on the Outdoor Channel. Each two-hour reality-based episode goes in-depth to break down each day of competition.
The Bass Pro Tour features a group of 80 of the world’s best professional anglers who compete in seven regular season tournaments across the country, competing for millions of dollars and valuable points to qualify for the annual General All-Star event. Tire Heavy Hitters and the 2023 REDCREST Championship.
Proud Sponsors of the 2022 MLF Bass Pro Tour include: 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, ARE Truck Caps, B&W Trailer Hitches, Bally Bet, Bass Cat, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Covercraft, Favorite Fishing, Garmin, General Tire, Googan Baits, Grundéns, Guaranteed Rate, Humminbird, Lowrance, Luminox, Mercury, Minn Kota, Mossy Oak, Nitro Performance Boats, Onyx, Plano, Power-Pole, Power Stop, Rapala, Starbrite, Toro, Toyota, Wrangler, Yellowstone Bourbon and Zoom.
For more details and up-to-date information on Major League Fishing and the Bass Pro Tour, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF social media on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and YouTube.
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Major League Fishing (MLF) is the world’s largest fishing tournament organization, producing more than 250 events a year in some of the world’s most prestigious fisheries, while broadcasting in American living rooms on CBS, Discovery Channel, Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, the World Fishing Network and on demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with offices in Benton, Kentucky, the MLF list of bass anglers includes the world’s top pros and more than 30,000 competitors in all 50 states and 13 countries. In 2019, the MLF expanded its portfolio of catch, weigh-in and immediate release events to include the five biggest most powerful fish format tournament circuits in the sport. Since its founding in 2011, MLF has advanced the sport of competitive fishing through its premier television and live streams and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for bass through research, to education, the improvement of fishing and the care of fish.
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