Schlapper Leads Bassmaster Elite Series Tournament at Toledo Bend

February 23, 2024
B.A.S.S. News

MANY, La. — With the help of an 8-6 largemouth, Pat Schlapper caught 28 pounds, 5 ounces on Day 2 of the Bassmaster Elite tournament at Toledo Bend to jump into the lead with a two-day total of 55-9. The pro from Eleva, Wis., holds a 3-ounce advantage over Day 1 leader Kyoya Fujita, who is second with a two-day mark of 55-6. Tennessee’s Robert Gee is third with 51-10. 

“There were some really fun moments today,” Schlapper said. “It was tougher than yesterday, honestly. I didn’t get that many bites, and the bass are either leaving or getting picked off. I still had three really good bites.”

After finding a rhythm late in the day Thursday, the three-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier returned to one of his most productive areas and targeted roaming bass in 15 to 30 feet of water. He used the same bait he caught the majority of his bass on yesterday with the help of his Garmin LiveScope.

Despite the increase in boat pressure in the area, Schlapper immediately started catching bass and filled out his limit around 9:30 a.m. before landing his biggest bass of the day.

“I saw the bass on LiveScope, but it looked too big. I made a good cast and it came up on it, bit it and I missed it,” Schlapper said. “I cast up there again; the way it came up I thought it was a bass. Then, the way it fought, I knew it was a bass. I was lucky I (that) missed it the first time and then (it) ate it again. It was awesome.”

Late in the day, he returned to that same area and caught another kicker bass, a largemouth that weighed just under 8 pounds. 

“I had a good bag fairly early, but then it was a long time before I caught anything else,” he said. “I came back at the end of the day when everyone was gone and caught another that was almost 8.”

Schlapper, however, is a bit concerned about how the rest of the tournament will play out in his primary area. With the weekend starting, boat pressure will likely only increase. He has also noticed the water temperature rising, which could mean the bass will move toward the bank and away from his area. 

“There aren’t many bass left there. There were a lot of spectators and other competitors really messing with them,” he said. “If another wave kind of moves through, we might be alright. If not, it might be tough. There’s a chance I can throw (it) in front of five big ones tomorrow. I think there is less of a chance than there was today and the day before.

“But I’m sticking with it.”

After landing the Rapala CrushCity Monster Bag of the Tournament on Day 1 at 31-3, Fujita landed 24-3 to drop into second place. The Japanese pro returned to his primary spot from Day 1 and, while he filled out a limit in the first three hours, he struggled to generate big bites until the afternoon. His biggest bass, logged as a 6-0 on BassTrakk, came after 1 p.m. He caught all of his bass on a Jackall Drift Fry around standing timber in 30 feet of water. Boat pressure was the main reason for the tougher bite, he said. 

“Yesterday in the morning, it was fish, fish, fish, and then in the afternoon, there was fishing pressure and no bites,” Fujita said with the help of a translator. “Today was tough.”

Despite the increased pressure, Fujita still saw plenty of bass on his LiveScope. He plans on returning to the same area in the morning and will evaluate how many other boats are around. If he isn’t liking what he sees, he will move to a different spot on the lake. Gee added 22-10 to his 29-0 Day 1 bag to increase his two-day total to 51-10. While he lost a 4-pounder early in the day, the Knoxville, Tenn., rookie filled a limit quickly but struggled to find quality. 

“I started where I could get a limit early,” he said. “It seemed like the bigger ones were leaving. I didn’t catch any really big ones, and everywhere I went it seemed like fish were leaving me. I feel like they are making a push up shallow with this full moon coming tomorrow night.”

Late in the day, Gee moved to his big-bass spot from yesterday and caught his two biggest of the day. 

“I understood what I was doing wrong, so I went in closer to where the bass wanted to be going,” Gee said. “I was still in a basin, so I was in 35 feet of water instead of 50 feet.”

So far this week, Gee has caught the majority of his bass on a Crock-O-Gator Slide Shad and has changed the jighead size based on the depth he’s fishing and the wind speed. Forward-facing sonar has played a big role in his success.

With the bass leaving his areas, Gee feels like he will need to start making a move to the shallows. He didn’t have much success fishing shallow in practice, but he has an idea where his deep bass may move to in the coming days.  

“I’m just going to have to adjust and fish new water,” he said.

Canadian pro Chris Johnston caught a 9-3 largemouth on Day 2 to claim the Phoenix Boats Big Bass of the Day. South Carolina’s Bryan New currently holds the Phoenix Boats Big Bass of the Tournament, a 9-8 largemouth he caught on Day 1. 

The Top 50 anglers will launch from Cypress Bend Park beginning at 7 a.m. CT and return for weigh-in at 3 p.m. The Top 10 will advance to Championship Sunday to compete for the blue trophy and $100,000 top prize. All anglers are earning points toward the Bassmaster Angler of the Year race. 

Those wanting to attend will be able to enjoy the “B.A.S.S. on the ’Bend” festival on Saturday and Sunday at Cypress Bend Park before weigh-in. The festival will feature live music and many local vendors.

 

2024 Tournament Toledo Bend Reservoir 2/22-2/25
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 2

   Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

1.  Pat Schlapper          Eleva, WI               10  55-09  103
  Day 1: 5   27-04     Day 2: 5   28-05   
2.  Kyoya Fujita           Yamanashi CA JAPAN      10  55-06  102
  Day 1: 5   31-03     Day 2: 5   24-03   
3.  Robert Gee             Knoxville, TN           10  51-10  101
  Day 1: 5   29-00     Day 2: 5   22-10   
4.  Patrick Walters        Eutawville, SC          10  50-00  100
  Day 1: 5   19-11     Day 2: 5   30-05   
5.  Jordan Lee             Cullman, AL             10  46-10   99
  Day 1: 5   22-12     Day 2: 5   23-14   
6.  Chris Johnston         Otonabee Ontario CANADA 10  45-07   98   $1,000.00
  Day 1: 5   18-15     Day 2: 5   26-08   
7.  Luke Palmer            Coalgate, OK            10  45-03   97
  Day 1: 5   25-01     Day 2: 5   20-02   
8.  Stetson Blaylock       Benton, AR              10  43-07   96
  Day 1: 5   24-00     Day 2: 5   19-07   
9.  Logan Parks            Auburn, AL              10  42-04   95
  Day 1: 5   21-10     Day 2: 5   20-10   
10. Justin Hamner          Northport, AL           10  41-13   94
  Day 1: 5   20-05     Day 2: 5   21-08   
11. Alex Wetherell         Middletown, CT          10  41-11   93
  Day 1: 5   21-14     Day 2: 5   19-13   
12. Trey McKinney          Carbondale, IL          10  41-00   92
  Day 1: 5   20-14     Day 2: 5   20-02   
13. Matt Arey              Shelby, NC              10  40-14   91
  Day 1: 5   18-02     Day 2: 5   22-12   
14. Ben Milliken           New Caney, TX           10  40-09   90
  Day 1: 5   22-09     Day 2: 5   18-00   
15. Bryan New              Leesville, SC           10  40-07   89   $1,000.00
  Day 1: 5   22-01     Day 2: 5   18-06   
16. David Mullins          Mt Carmel, TN           10  40-06   88
  Day 1: 5   18-07     Day 2: 5   21-15   
17. Hunter Shryock         Ooltewah, TN            10  39-09   87
  Day 1: 5   21-01     Day 2: 5   18-08   
18. Kyle Patrick           Cooperstown, NY         10  38-13   86
  Day 1: 5   21-09     Day 2: 5   17-04   
19. John Soukup            Sapulpa, OK             10  38-03   85
  Day 1: 5   14-07     Day 2: 5   23-12   
20. Cory Johnston          Otonabee CANADA         10  37-13   84
  Day 1: 5   19-11     Day 2: 5   18-02   
21. Tyler Williams         Belgrade, ME            10  37-11   83
  Day 1: 5   20-04     Day 2: 5   17-07   
22. Jeff Gustafson         Kenora, ON Ontario CANA 10  37-04   82
  Day 1: 5   16-03     Day 2: 5   21-01   
23. Wesley Gore            Clanton, AL             10  36-15   81
  Day 1: 5   22-08     Day 2: 5   14-07   
24. Carl Jocumsen          Queensland TN AUSTRALIA 10  36-10   80
  Day 1: 5   17-04     Day 2: 5   19-06   
25. Shane LeHew            Catawba, NC             10  36-07   79
  Day 1: 5   15-11     Day 2: 5   20-12   
26. JT Thompkins           Myrtle Beach, SC        10  36-05   78
  Day 1: 5   19-15     Day 2: 5   16-06   
27. Cooper Gallant         Bowmanville Ontario CAN 10  36-05   77
  Day 1: 5   17-04     Day 2: 5   19-01   
28. Kyle Norsetter         Cottage Grove, WI       10  36-04   76
  Day 1: 5   21-08     Day 2: 5   14-12   
29. Jonathan Kelley        Old Forge, PA           10  36-03   75
  Day 1: 5   17-09     Day 2: 5   18-10   
30. Chris Zaldain          Fort Worth, TX          10  36-01   74
  Day 1: 5   19-00     Day 2: 5   17-01   
31. Austin Felix           Eden Prairie, MN        10  35-11   73
  Day 1: 5   22-06     Day 2: 5   13-05   
32. Caleb Sumrall          New Iberia, LA           9  35-08   72
  Day 1: 5   21-00     Day 2: 4   14-08   
33. Cody Huff              Ava, MO                 10  35-07   71
  Day 1: 5   23-09     Day 2: 5   11-14   
34. Hank Cherry Jr         Lincolnton, NC          10  35-00   70
  Day 1: 5   15-13     Day 2: 5   19-03   
35. Jay Przekurat          Plover, WI              10  34-15   69
  Day 1: 5   19-02     Day 2: 5   15-13   
36. Drew Benton            Panama City, FL         10  34-09   68
  Day 1: 5   21-02     Day 2: 5   13-07   
37. Brandon Card           Salisbury, NC           10  34-07   67
  Day 1: 5   13-02     Day 2: 5   21-05   
38. Jacob Foutz            Charleston, TN          10  34-04   66
  Day 1: 5   18-00     Day 2: 5   16-04   
39. Kenta Kimura           Osaka OK JAPAN          10  34-02   65
  Day 1: 5   14-04     Day 2: 5   19-14   
40. Taku Ito               Dalton GA JAPAN         10  34-01   64
  Day 1: 5   15-00     Day 2: 5   19-01   
41. Koby Kreiger           Alva, FL                10  34-00   63
  Day 1: 5   23-07     Day 2: 5   10-09   
42. Lee Livesay            Longview, TX            10  33-12   62
  Day 1: 5   16-09     Day 2: 5   17-03   
43. Scott Canterbury       Odenville, AL           10  33-11   61
  Day 1: 5   12-01     Day 2: 5   21-10   
44. Jamie Hartman          Newport, NY             10  33-07   60
  Day 1: 5   18-13     Day 2: 5   14-10   
45. Joseph Webster         Hamilton, AL            10  33-07   59
  Day 1: 5   17-09     Day 2: 5   15-14   
46. Jake Whitaker          Hendersonville, NC      10  33-06   58
  Day 1: 5   15-00     Day 2: 5   18-06   
47. Matty Wong             Honolulu, HI            10  33-04   57
  Day 1: 5   19-10     Day 2: 5   13-10   
48. Clark Wendlandt        Leander, TX             10  33-03   56
  Day 1: 5   16-07     Day 2: 5   16-12   
49. Derek Hudnall          Zachary, LA             10  32-11   55
  Day 1: 5   12-05     Day 2: 5   20-06   
50. Timothy Dube           Nashua , NH              8  32-10   54
  Day 1: 3   10-15     Day 2: 5   21-11   
51. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL              10  32-10   53   $2,500.00
  Day 1: 5   20-07     Day 2: 5   12-03   
52. Jason Williamson       Aiken, SC               10  32-10   52   $2,500.00
  Day 1: 5   16-09     Day 2: 5   16-01   
53. Matt Herren            Ashville, AL            10  32-09   51   $2,500.00
  Day 1: 5   15-10     Day 2: 5   16-15   
54. Bryan Schmitt          Deale, MD                9  32-03   50   $2,500.00
  Day 1: 5   18-04     Day 2: 4   13-15   
55. Tyler Rivet            Raceland, LA            10  32-00   49   $2,500.00
  Day 1: 5   15-05     Day 2: 5   16-11   
56. John Cox               Debary, FL              10  31-10   48   $2,500.00
  Day 1: 5   20-04     Day 2: 5   11-06   
57. Drew Cook              Cairo, GA               10  31-10   47   $2,500.00
  Day 1: 5   17-11     Day 2: 5   13-15   
58. Justin Atkins          Florence, AL            10  31-07   46   $2,500.00
  Day 1: 5   15-08     Day 2: 5   15-15   
59. Brandon Lester         Fayetteville, TN        10  31-05   45   $2,500.00
  Day 1: 5   15-14     Day 2: 5   15-07   
60. Brandon Palaniuk       Rathdrum, ID            10  31-05   44   $2,500.00
  Day 1: 5   15-11     Day 2: 5   15-10   
61. Matt Robertson         Kuttawa, KY             10  31-01   43   $2,500.00
  Day 1: 5   14-01     Day 2: 5   17-00   
62. Marc Frazier           Newnan, GA               9  31-00   42   $2,500.00
  Day 1: 4   10-01     Day 2: 5   20-15   
63. John Garrett           Union City, TN          10  31-00   41   $2,500.00
  Day 1: 5   17-14     Day 2: 5   13-02   
64. Will Davis Jr          Sylacauga, AL           10  30-04   40   $2,500.00
  Day 1: 5   13-06     Day 2: 5   16-14   
65. Joey Cifuentes III     Clinton, AR             10  30-02   39   $2,500.00
  Day 1: 5   15-10     Day 2: 5   14-08   
66. Mark Menendez          Paducah, KY             10  30-00   38   $2,500.00
  Day 1: 5   17-08     Day 2: 5   12-08   
67. Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN          10  29-13   37   $2,500.00
  Day 1: 5   14-10     Day 2: 5   15-03   
68. Bob Downey             Detroit Lakes, MN       10  29-12   36   $2,500.00
  Day 1: 5   15-11     Day 2: 5   14-01   
69. Gerald Swindle         Guntersville, AL        10  29-11   35   $2,500.00
  Day 1: 5   11-15     Day 2: 5   17-12   
70. Caleb Kuphall          Mukwonago, WI           10  29-08   34   $2,500.00
  Day 1: 5   14-15     Day 2: 5   14-09   
71. Seth Feider            New Market, MN          10  29-05   33   $2,500.00
  Day 1: 5   13-12     Day 2: 5   15-09   
72. Keith Combs            Huntington, TX          10  29-00   32   $2,500.00
  Day 1: 5   15-09     Day 2: 5   13-07   
73. Jason Christie         Dry Creek, OK           10  28-10   31   $2,500.00
  Day 1: 5   15-04     Day 2: 5   13-06   
74. Paul Mueller           Naugatuck, CT           10  28-05   30   $2,500.00
  Day 1: 5   15-10     Day 2: 5   12-11   
75. Cliff Prince           Palatka, FL             10  28-02   29   $2,500.00
  Day 1: 5   11-04     Day 2: 5   16-14   
76. Todd Auten             Clover, SC              10  27-13   28
  Day 1: 5   16-00     Day 2: 5   11-13   
77. Logan Latuso           Gonzales, LA            10  27-10   27
  Day 1: 5   14-11     Day 2: 5   12-15   
78. Brock Mosley           Collinsville, MS        10  27-10   26
  Day 1: 5   13-11     Day 2: 5   13-15   
79. Cole Sands             Calhoun , TN            10  27-09   25
  Day 1: 5   12-05     Day 2: 5   15-04   
80. Alex Redwine           Blue Ash, OH            10  27-06   24
  Day 1: 5   13-10     Day 2: 5   13-12   
81. Wes Logan              Springville, AL          9  27-02   23
  Day 1: 5   18-07     Day 2: 4   08-11   
82. Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ              10  27-00   22
  Day 1: 5   15-04     Day 2: 5   11-12   
83. Scott Martin           Clewiston, FL            8  26-11   21
  Day 1: 5   17-13     Day 2: 3   08-14   
84. Jacob Powroznik        North Prince George, VA 10  26-03   20
  Day 1: 5   16-01     Day 2: 5   10-02   
85. David Gaston           Sylacauga, AL           10  26-02   19
  Day 1: 5   15-06     Day 2: 5   10-12   
86. Chad Pipkens           Dewitt, MI               7  25-15   18
  Day 1: 5   21-02     Day 2: 2   04-13   
87. Brandon Cobb           Greenwood, SC            8  25-15   17
  Day 1: 3   10-06     Day 2: 5   15-09   
88. Kyle Welcher           Valley, AL               9  25-01   16
  Day 1: 5   15-05     Day 2: 4   09-12   
89. Brad Whatley           Bivins, TX               7  24-09   15
  Day 1: 5   16-11     Day 2: 2   07-14   
90. Michael Iaconelli      Pitts Grove, NJ         10  24-09   14
  Day 1: 5   10-14     Day 2: 5   13-11   
91. Frank Talley           Belton, TX              10  23-14   13
  Day 1: 5   10-06     Day 2: 5   13-08   
92. Ed Loughran III        Richmond, VA            10  23-01   12
  Day 1: 5   09-09     Day 2: 5   13-08   
93. Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA            10  22-15   11
  Day 1: 5   12-09     Day 2: 5   10-06   
94. John Crews Jr          Salem, VA                9  22-04   10
  Day 1: 5   13-04     Day 2: 4   09-00   
95. Rick Clunn             Ava, MO                 10  21-07    9
  Day 1: 5   09-07     Day 2: 5   12-00   
96. Clent Davis            Montevallo, AL           7  20-04    8
  Day 1: 3   11-13     Day 2: 4   08-07   
97. Mike Huff              London, KY              10  20-02    7
  Day 1: 5   10-08     Day 2: 5   09-10   
98. Gregory DiPalma        Millville, NJ            8  19-15    6
  Day 1: 4   11-04     Day 2: 4   08-11   
99. Bryant Smith           Roseville, CA            8  19-10    5
  Day 1: 5   11-13     Day 2: 3   07-13   
100. Bernie Schultz         Gainesville, FL          5  15-09    4
  Day 1: 2   09-05     Day 2: 3   06-04   
101. Buddy Gross            Chattanooga, TN          6  15-04    3
  Day 1: 5   13-05     Day 2: 1   01-15   
102. KJ Queen               Catawba, NC              4  09-15    2
  Day 1: 2   05-07     Day 2: 2   04-08   
103. Ray Hanselman Jr       Del Rio, TX              5  07-12    1
  Day 1: 5   07-12     Day 2: 0   00-00   
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PHOENIX BOATS BIG BASS 
Day
 1   Bryan New                Leesville, SC       09-08      $1,000.00
 2   Chris Johnston           Otonabee Ontario CANADA09-03      $1,000.00

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Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
 1        96       501      1726-01
 2        88       484      1602-02
----------------------------------
         184       985      3328-03