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Bussey hosting MLF Stage One Championship

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You don’t have to be a bass fishermen to enjoy what’s about to happen starting next week on Lake D’Arbonne, Caney and Bussey. In fact, you don’t even have to be a fisherman.

It’s the biggest event to ever hit the outdoors in north Louisiana, maybe the whole state. Pay attention.

Major League Fishing (MLF) is set to kick-off the fourth season of its Bass Pro Tour, the most competitive circuit in professional fishing, on our three area lakes Feb. 5-10, with the first regular-season tournament of the 2022 season, the B&W Trailer Hitches Stage One Presented by Power-Pole.

Hosted by Discover Monroe-West Monroe, the six-day event will showcase 80 of the best professional anglers in the world, including bass-fishing superstars like Kevin VanDam, Ott DeFoe, Jacob Wheeler, and Louisiana pros Gerald Spohrer of Gonzales and Cliff Crochet of Pierre Part. Officials in Union, Morehouse and Jackson are also excited to be working to make the visitors feel welcome. This is a big deal for this area.

They will be fishing for a purse of more than $805,000, including a top payout of $100,000 and valuable points in hopes of qualifying for REDCREST 2023, the Bass Pro Tour championship. That’s right. Somebody is going to win $100,000 fishing on Bussey Brake.

You don’t even have to own a boat to keep up with the action, which is one of the truly remarkable things about this tournament series.

Here’s the deal: Each day’s General Tire Takeout Ceremonies will be held at the lake’s launch ramps, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all takeoff and takeout ceremonies. There won’t be any fish to weigh in because the anglers weigh them in the boat, witnessed by a certified marshall and released right back into the water where they were caught.

But fans can see fish caught, lost, released and all the action by following the event online throughout the day on the MLF NOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at on their favorite electronic device. The tournament will feature the MLF catch, weigh, immediate-release format, in which anglers catch as much weight as they can each day, while also feeling the pressure and intensity of the SCORETRACKER® leaderboard. The tournament is also being filmed for broadcast later this year on the Discovery Channel.

By watching you’ll not only be able to know what they caught them on and where they were catching them, but also all the techniques and tricks the anglers are using and all the thoughts going through their minds as they fish the event.

Takeout ceremonies will be at the D’Arbonne State Park boat ramp, Hooks Marina on Caney and the Main Boat Dock ramp at Bussey Brake.

Here’s everything you need to know to be an instant expert on this exciting event:

  • As part of the event, fans will also have the opportunity to come out and meet the MLF pros up close and personal at the Major League Fishing Festival, part of the North Delta Boat & Outdoor Show at the Monroe Civic Center in Monroe, Sat., Feb. 5, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sun. Feb. 6, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The festival is a chance for fishing fans to meet their favorite Bass Pro Tour anglers, register for the “Pick ‘Til You Win” game with a top prize of a 2022 Toyota Tundra or a 70-inch 4K UHD Smart TV, visit the MLF Kids Zone to catch a live catfish out of the fishing pond, meet characters from the PAW Patrol courtesy of Kid Casters, and enjoy live concerts from local musicians each day. For more information on the Major League Fishing Festival and the North Delta Boat & Outdoor Show, visit
  • Prior to the Major League Fishing Festival at the Monroe Civic Center, MLF will be hosting a kickoff event with kids from the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Louisiana on Friday, Feb. 4 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The kids will be the first to get a chance to catch live catfish in the Kids Fishing Pond and win trophies and certificates. Special surprise guests are also scheduled to appear.
  • The B&W Trailer Hitches Stage One Presented by Power-Pole will feature anglers competing with a 1-pound, 8-ounce minimum weight requirement on Lake D’Arbonne, and a 2-pound minimum weight requirement on Caney Creek and Bussey Brake for a bass to be deemed scorable. Minimum weights are determined individually for each competition waters that the Bass Pro Tour visits, based on the productivity, bass population and anticipated average size of fish in each fishery.
  • The format: The Bass Pro Tour features a field of 80 of the top professional anglers in the world competing across seven regular-season tournaments around the country, competing for millions of dollars and valuable points to qualify for the annual General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and the REDCREST 2023 championship.

The 40 Anglers in Group A compete in their two-day qualifying round on Lake D’Arbonne on Saturday and Monday – the 40 anglers in Group B on Sunday and Tuesday. After each two-day qualifying round is complete, the anglers that finish in 2nd through 20th place from both groups advance to Tuesday’s Knockout Round on Caney Creek Reservoir, while the winner of each group advances directly to Wednesday’s Championship Round. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed and the remaining 38 anglers compete to finish in the top 8 to advance to the Championship Round on Bussey Brake. In the final day Championship Round, weights are zeroed and the highest one-day total wins the top prize of $100,000.

The MLF NOW!® broadcast team of Chad McKee, Marty Stone and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action on all six days of competition from 8:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET. MLF NOW!® will be live streamed on and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

Television coverage of the B&W Trailer Hitches Stage One Presented by Power-Pole will premiere at 7 a.m. ET, Sept. 3 on the Discovery Channel. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on the Discovery Channel, with additional re-airings on the Outdoor Channel. Each two-hour long reality-based episode goes in-depth to break down each day of competition.

For complete details and updated information on Major League Fishing and the Bass Pro Tour, visit For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.