Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour anglers have a lot on the line with each and every tournament. The payouts are big and maintaining good standings can make them eligible for MLF Cup events, a spot in the REDCREST tournament as well as the General Tire World Championship and other titles. However, in a competitive field 80-anglers thick, it can be difficult to work your way to the top and stay there. With each tournament and the different bodies of water they fish, anglers come up against different conditions and challenges and have to be able to adapt quickly in order to stay competitive. Coming into Stage 5 on Sturgeon Bay, Brent says he doesn't have that much knowledge or experience with this particular body of water. For that reason he says the two days of practice they are given are going to be very important for him. You can't possibly fish all the water at Sturgeon Bay in two days time, so instead he intends to isolate an area and get as familiar with it as possible. You won't see him doing any 40 to 50 mile runs out to islands, instead Brent says he is going to stay close and comb over the water, finding every potential hotspot or small hole that he will be able to pull a fish out of during the tournament. Because every fish over two pounds counts in Major League Fishing, every catch is important. It's going to be a fast paced tournament and he anticipates that he'll need to average 3 to 4 pounds every 10 to 15 minutes just to stay above the elimination line. When it comes to targeting smallmouths, Brent says he generally likes throwing spinnerbaits and crankbaits. However, heading to Wisconsin and Sturgeon Bay he is altering his strategy and will be turning to jerkbaits and small swimbaits and following up with a dropshot or a Ned rig. Because smallmouths tend to be structure oriented, Brent says he looks for sand, vegetation and/or rock structures like levies, jetties, rock piles, reefs and more. Electronics will be big in a tournament like this in order to find those kinds of areas, Brent says, as he anticipates spending a lot of time looking at a screen. One cool thing about fishing for smallies is the ability to do what he refers to as video game fishing. You see fish on your screen, watch your bait go down on the screen, and if you're lucky you can also see them eat it on the screen, too. With 22 to 23 rods rigged up and waiting, Brent says he is anxious to get out on the water for his two days of practice and really narrow down those configurations to find the most enticing and efficient setups to finish strong in the 5th and final stage of the Bass Pro Tour.
Be sure to watch Brent Chapman and all the Bass Pro Tour anglers for the fifth and final Stage of the 2020 Bass Pro Tour season, July 10-15. You can catch the action LIVE with full day coverage 8 a.m. to 4 p.m CT on the MLFNOW livestream, free, on MajorLeagueFishing.com or the MLF App. Viewers can also watch the LIVE stream for free at MyOutdoorTV.com. Don't forget to watch "Major League Fishing" on Outdoor Channel, every week, Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. ET.