World championship fishing has returned to Louisiana. In a unique twist, the tournament is in the books, but you’ll have to wait for the made-for-television event to be aired to find out who won.
The new Major League Fishing Pro Bass Tour held its 2019 General Tire World Championship on a group of Louisiana lakes out of Vidalia and the six-week series of TV shows that reveal the winner begins this weekend.
The six, hour-long competitions were filmed on Lake St. John, Lake Bruin and Black River Lake late this spring.
Starting Saturday, June 22, the CBS Sports Network will televise the first of six rounds, and will continue on subsequent Saturdays until the last round which will show the champion. The winner will be kept secret until the final show airs. Each show is set to air at 1 p.m. CDT.
The top dozen qualifiers on the tour this year are in the Championship — Aaron Martens, Brent Ehrler, Skeet Reese, Brent Chapman, Mike Iaconelli, Ish Monroe, Gary Klein, Takahiro Omori, Bobby Lane, Andy Montgomery, Jacob Wheeler and Edwin Evers.
Three Louisiana anglers fish the MLF circuit — Greg Hackney and Gerald Spohrer of Gonzales and Cliff Crochet of Pierre Part. None of the three successful pro anglers qualified for this year’s championship, however, the 2018 MLF Championship was won by Hackney.
“MFL is a new ballgame in pro fishing. The tournaments are a different kind of format. You have to watch the shows to find out how it’s going and eventually, who wins,” says Gerald Spohrer. “We are all sworn to secrecy on the championship. We can’t even drop any hints.”
Even the city, state and parish officials who helped bring the tournament to Louisiana don’t know who won, including Vidalia town officials who coordinated the event. Louisiana Lt. Governor William Nungesser welcomed MLF anglers and staff, and other officials during the league’s visit.