PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (July 30, 2022) – The top of the leaderboard was stacked with 20-pound bags once again Saturday after Day 2 of the MLF Pro Circuit Stop 6 tournament at Lake Champlain in Plattsburgh, New York, where 154 professional anglers are competing for a top prize of up to $135,000. While 12 pros busted 20 pounds on the second day of competition, pro Kyle Cortiana of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, brought a limit weighing 22 pounds, 2 ounces to the scales Saturday to vault to the lead. Cortiana’s two-day total of 10 bass weighing 42-10 gives him a 15-ounce advantage over Phoenix pro Kyle Hall of Granbury, Texas, who led after Day 1 of the event. Hall brought a limit weighing 19-14 to the scales Saturday for a two-day total of 41-11, good for second place.
Pro Andy Newcomb of Camdenton, Missouri, finished the day in third place with 10 bass weighing 41-11, while Favorite Fishing pro Matt Becker of Finleyville, Pennsylvania, moved into fourth with a two-day total of 40-10. Milford, Delaware’s Kurt Mitchell finished the day with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 40-1 to round out the top five.
Despite coming in an hour early due to livewell issues, Cortiana managed to catch enough to sit atop the leaderboard after two days of competition.
“Today was awesome and the Lord blessed me,” Cortiana said. “He puts it on my heart to throw a bait or to move from one place to another, so it’s truly Him that did it and not me.
“My dad got to fly up here and experience all of this with me for the first time, so that’s been amazing,” he continued. “He’s got such a big heart, so it’s been awesome to see his response to all of this and his excitement for me. It’s made me even more excited during this event because I know he’s able to watch and experience it all first-hand.”
Saturday marked the first time in his career that Cortiana has led a Pro Circuit event, making the experience all the more exhilarating for the Oklahoma pro, who has yet to make a championship round this year.
“I started on a spot where I caught them on Day 1, dragging a Carolina rig with a Yum Christie Craw on it and caught 18 pounds pretty quick before running new water,” Cortiana said. “I hit a few of the same areas because I knew there were multiple fish there, but for the most part my game plan is to get the weight I need to maintain my position and keep running new water to prep for the weights zeroing on Monday in the Championship Round.”
After ending Day 2 in 24th place, rookie pro Nick Hatfield of Greeneville, Tennessee solidified his position Saturday to win the ROY and take home the coveted hardware.
“This has been a great year,” Hatfield said. “I was already thrilled to have qualified for the Pro Circuit through the Toyota Series last year, but when the schedule came out, I got even more excited because it really fit my strengths. I think that has played a big part in being able to achieve this goal and I feel super blessed.”
Hatfield began fishing with MLF in 2013, coming up through the Abu Garcia College Fishing program, before making his way through the Phoenix Bass Fishing League and the Toyota Series to advance to the Pro Circuit.
“It’s all a process and I’ve dreamed of doing this since before I was in high school, so to be out here doing it and to see some success in my very first year as a pro, is pretty cool,” Hatfield said.
Although he is happy with the win, Hatfield said he wasn’t satisfied to stay where he is now.
“This isn’t it for me,” he continued. “I want to keep learning and keep moving up – I want to be one of the top dogs around here, so I’ve still got some work to do to make that happen.”
The top 50 pros that made the cut after Day 2 and will fish Sunday on Lake Champlain are:
1st: Kyle Cortiana of Broken Arrow, Okla., 10 bass, 42-10
2nd: Kyle Hall of Granbury, Texas, 10 bass, 41-11
3rd: Andy Newcomb of Camdenton, Mo., 10 bass, 41-11
4th: Matt Becker of Finleyville, Pa., 10 bass, 40-10
5th: Kurt Mitchell of Milford, Del., 10 bass, 40-1
6th: Dakota Ebare of Brookeland, Texas, 10 bass, 40-0
7th: Skeet Reese of Auburn, Calif., 10 bass, 39-7
8th: Michael Neal of Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 39-3
9th: Casey Scanlon of Eldon, Mo., 10 bass, 39-1
10th: Tyler Stewart of Dubach, La., 10 bass, 38-7
11th: Lane Olson of Forest Grove, Ore., 10 bass, 38-2
12th: Ron Nelson of Berrien Springs, Mich., 10 bass, 38-1
13th: Spencer Shuffield of Hot Springs, Ark., 10 bass, 38-1
14th: Alex Davis of Albertville, Ala., 10 bass, 38-1
15th: Justin Lucas of Guntersville, Ala., 10 bass, 37-12
16th: Joey Cifuentes of Clinton, Ark., 10 bass, 37-11
17th: Cole Floyd of Leesburg, Ohio, 10 bass, 37-8
18th: Cody Pike of Powhatan, Va., 10 bass, 37-8
19th: Jim Moynagh of Shakopee, Minn., 10 bass, 37-5
20th: Mark Rose of Wynne, Ark., 10 bass, 37-4
21st: Jon Canada of Helena, Ala., 10 bass, 37-4
22nd: Shonn Goodwin of Moore, Okla., 10 bass, 36-15
23rd: Martin Villa of Charlottesville, Va., 10 bass, 36-15
24th: Nick Hatfield of Greeneville, Tenn., 10 bass, 36-13
25th: Evan Barnes of Dardanelle, Ark., 10 bass, 36-12
26th: Steve Lopez of Oconomowoc, Wis., 10 bass, 36-9
27th: Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., 10 bass, 36-5
28th: Billy Hines of Vacaville, Calif., 10 bass, 36-5
29th: Jared McMillan of Clewiston, Fla., 10 bass, 36-4
30th: Matt Greenblatt of Port St. Lucie, Fla., 10 bass, 36-4
31st: Chase Serafin of White Lake, Mich., 10 bass, 36-3
32nd: Nick Lebrun of Bossier City, La., 10 bass, 35-13
33rd: David Walker of Sevierville, Tenn., 10 bass, 35-12
34th: Corey Neece of Bristol, Tenn., 10 bass, 35-11
35th: John Voyles of Petersburg, Ind., 10 bass, 35-9
36th: Chris Lane of Guntersville, Ala., 10 bass, 35-7
37th: Troy Stokes of Trenton, Mich., 10 bass, 35-6
38th: Justin Cooper of Zwolle, La., 10 bass, 35-1
39th: Keith Carson of DeBary, Fla., 10 bass, 35-0
40th: John Hunter of Shelbyville, Ky., 10 bass, 35-0
41st: Terry Bolton of Benton, Ky., 10 bass, 35-0
42nd: Randy Howell of Guntersville, Ala., 10 bass, 34-15
43rd: Braxton Setzer of Wetumpka, Ala., 10 bass, 34-12
44th: Miles Burghoff of Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 34-11
45th: Jason Reyes of Huffman, Texas, 10 bass, 34-9
46th: Larry Nixon of Quitman, Ark., 10 bass, 34-7
47th: Grae Buck of Green Lane, Pa., 10 bass, 34-7
48th: Tim Frederick of Leesburg, Fla., 10 bass, 34-4
49th: Jacob Wall of New Hope, Ala., 10 bass, 34-4
50th: Kyle Gelles of Pingree, Idaho, 10 bass, 34-4
For a full list of results visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Buck brought a bass weighing 5 pounds, 10 ounces to the scale on Saturday to win the day's $1,000 Berkley Big Bass award. Overall, there were 761 bass weighing 2,421 pounds, 5 ounces caught by 153 pros Saturday. The catch included 152 five-bass limits.