Cullman’s Matt Lee cruises to win Group A qualifying round at MLF Bass Pro Tour Toyota Stage 6

Cullman’s Matt Lee comfortably won the qualifying round for Group A at the Toyota Stage 6 at Lake Champlain. (MLF)

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (Aug. 7, 2021) – Cullman, Alabama pro Matt Lee only caught nine scorable bass Saturday totaling 27 pounds, 11 ounces, but after his astonishing Day 1 on Thursday, it turns out he could have taken the day off. Lee’s two-day total of 49 bass weighing 131 pounds even easily earned him the Qualifying Round win for Group A on a weather-delayed day at the Toyota Stage Six at Lake Champlain Presented by Googan Baits in Plattsburgh, New York.

Competition ran a bit later than expected Saturday, as lightning in the area caused two pauses in competition during Period 3, totaling 2 hours and 15 minutes. The final hour of competition resumed at 6:15 p.m. ET, with competition ending for the day at 7:15 p.m. ET.

Italy’s Jacopo Gallelli, a Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit angler that qualified to compete in this event via his win in June on the Potomac River, caught a two-day total of 28 bass weighing 81-13 to finish the round in second place, while Bryan Thrift of Shelby, North Carolina, boated a two-day total of 28 bass weighing 81-3 to end the round in third. Berkley pro Scott Suggs of Alexander, Arkansas, finished the day in fourth place with a two-day total of 24 bass for 80-15. Rounding out the top five was Japanese pro Takahiro Omori, who caught 27 bass for 78-6 to advance in fifth place.

The six-day event, hosted by the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau and the City of Plattsburgh, features the top professional anglers from around the world competing for a purse of $805,000, including a top cash prize of $100,000 to the winner.

The top 17 anglers from Group A will now enjoy an off-day Sunday, while the 39 anglers in Qualifying Group B will complete their two-day Qualifying Round of competition. The Knockout Round, featuring 35 anglers competing to finish in the top eight, will take place on Monday. Tuesday’s Championship Round will feature Lee, Sunday’s Group B winner, and the top eight anglers from the Knockout Round competing in a final-day shootout for the top prize of $100,000.

“Man, it feels so good to earn the win,” Lee said in his post-game interview. “This tournament is a long way from over, but now I’ve got Championship Day to try to make it happen. I’ve got a 1 in 10 chance.

“You don’t beat these guys – even when they’re split up in groups – very often. They’re the best in the world. So, to do it, and to have the margin that I had after today… wow,” Lee continued. “It’s been a long day, I tried to practice and find some new stuff, but it was tough. I couldn’t get anything going, just a few. Then I came back over here late and caught them on a topwater.

“It’s been an awesome couple of days, and I can’t wait to get back out here on Tuesday,” Lee went on to say. “It’s going to be tough, but we’re that much closer.”

The top 17 pros from Qualifying Group A that now advance to Monday’s Knockout Round on Lake Champlain are:

1st:          Matt Lee, Cullman, Ala., 49 bass, 131-0

2nd:         Jacopo Gallelli, Florence, Italy, 28 bass, 81-13

3rd:         Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 28 bass, 81-3

4th:         Scott Suggs, Alexander, Ark., 24 bass, 80-15

5th:         Takahiro Omori, Tokyo, Japan, 28 bass, 80-10

6th:         Shinichi Fukae, Osaka, Japan, 24 bass, 76-5

7th:         James Elam, Tulsa, Okla., 23 bass, 73-11

8th:         Ott DeFoe, Blaine, Tenn., 24 bass, 72-14

9th:         Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 23 bass, 70-14

10th:       Dave Lefebre, Erie, Pa., 23 bass, 69-2

11th:       Andy Montgomery, Blacksburg, S.C., 25 bass, 65-11

12th:       Timmy Horton, Muscle Shoals, Ala., 22 bass, 64-3

13th:       Britt Myers, Lake Wylie, S.C., 24 bass, 63-2

14th:       John Cox, DeBary, Fla., 24 bass, 62-11

15th:       Aaron Martens, Leeds, Ala., 22 bass, 62-8

16th:       Gerald Spohrer, Gonzales, La., 21 bass, 62-8

17th:       Terry Scroggins, San Mateo, Fla., 20 bass, 58-14

Finishing in 18th through 34th in the Group A Qualifying Round were:

18th:       Edwin Evers, Talala, Okla., 19 bass, 58-12

19th:       Tommy Biffle, Wagoner, Okla., 22 bass, 56-7

20th:       Cliff Pace, Petal, Miss., 18 bass, 54-2

21st:       John Murray, Spring City, Tenn., 20 bass, 51-6

22nd:      Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla., 15 bass, 50-4

23rd:      Jared Lintner, Arroyo Grande, Calif., 19 bass, 50-2

24th:       Jason Lambert, Michie, Tenn., 16 bass, 45-9

25th:       James Watson, Lampe, Mo., 15 bass, 43-8

26th:       Brent Chapman, Lake Quivira, Kan., 13 bass, 40-14

27th:       Fred Roumbanis, Russellville, Ark., 14 bass, 39-9

28th:       Randall Tharp, Port Saint Joe, Fla., 13 bass, 39-5

29th:       Zack Birge, Blanchard, Okla., 13 bass, 37-10

30th:       David Walker, Sevierville, Tenn., 11 bass, 32-8

31st:       Gary Klein, Mingus, Texas, nine bass, 24-6

32nd:      Lawson Hibdon, Versailles, Mo., six bass, 17-4

33rd:      Brett Hite, Phoenix, Ariz., four bass, 11-13

34th:       Mike McClelland, Blue Eye, Mo., two bass, 6-9

A complete list of results can be found at