Nordbye Leads MLF Tournament at Lake of the Ozarks

May 4, 2023
Major League Fishing (MLF) Archive


OSAGE BEACH, Mo. (May 4, 2023) – Guntersville, Alabama, pro Andrew Nordbye brought a five-bass limit to the stage weighing 21 pounds, 8 ounces, Thursday to lead after Day 1 of the MLF Invitational Phoenix Stop 4 tournament at Lake of the Ozarks. Nordbye now brings a 1-pound, 7-ounce lead into Day 2 of the three-day event. Pro John Cox of DeBary, Florida, caught five bass weighing 20-1 to end the day in second place, while Charley Slaton of Valiant, Oklahoma, rounds out the top three with five bass weighing 19-10.

The three-day tournament features a roster of 150 anglers competing for a top prize of up to $115,000 and an invitation to compete at REDCREST 2024, Major League Fishing’s most prestigious event. The full field of 150 anglers will conclude the two-day opening round on Friday, with only the top 50 pros based on their two-day cumulative weight advancing to Championship Saturday.

“It was a blessed day,” said Nordbye, who is also the creator of Fishing with Nordbye – a successful YouTube channel. “I had found some bigger ones in practice, and I caught a couple, but I decided to just graph around and find some more stuff just like it. I fished it all today and had 19¼ pounds by 11 (a.m.) – I was feeling really good.

“Then I went and ran new water the rest of the day, that I hadn’t fished,” Nordbye continued. “I was kind of doing similar stuff and was able to cull twice. I caught one right at the end that was 4½ and that bumped me over 21.”

Nordbye said that he had not originally planned to fish this tournament the way he did today.

“I have so much to fish, which is a blessing,” Nordbye said. “I had over 100 bass on beds (marked), but most of them are tiny – 1- to 2-pounders, maybe a few 3s. I figured that maybe today the females would pull up with them, but I didn’t even get a chance to go look at them.

“I stayed in that mid-depth range, targeting fish that are either staging or just coming off of the bed. I feel like my pattern can be consistent, but I don’t feel like what I’m fishing will reload, so I need to find new water doing the same thing.”

Nordbye said that he has fished numerous different times of the year and phases of the bass spawn at Lake of the Ozarks, but never during the spawn like the tournament this week.

“It was a new experience and I’m excited. It was a lot of fun today,” Nordbye went on to say. “I feel like I’m going with the flow a little more right now rather than just locking into exactly what I do in practice. The Lord is just blessing me, and I’ll take all of the blessing I can get.”
The top 20 pros after Day 1 of the Stop 4 tournament at Lake of the Ozarks are:

1st:        Andrew Nordbye, Guntersville, Ala., five bass, 21-8
2nd:       John Cox, DeBary, Fla., five bass, 20-1
3rd:       Charley Slaton, Valliant, Okla., five bass, 19-10
4th:        Matthew Stefan, Junction City, Wis., five bass, 19-9
5th:        Drew Gill, Mount Carmel, Ill., five bass, 19-1
6th:        Jordan Hirt, Glenwood, Iowa, five bass, 18-9
6th:        Marshall Robinson, Landrum, S.C., five bass, 18-9
8th:        Ron Nelson, Berrien Springs, Mich., five bass, 18-3
9th:        Tai Au, Glendale, Ariz., five bass, 17-3
10th:     Cody Pike, Powhatan, Va., five bass, 17-2
11th:     Jaden Parrish, Liberty, Texas, five bass, 16-13
12th:     Dylan Hays, Hot Springs, Ark., five bass, 16-9
13th:     Fred Roumbanis, Russellville, Ark., five bass, 16-5
13th:     Cole Breeden, Lebanon, Mo., five bass, 16-5
15th:     Thomas Wooten, Huddleston, Va., five bass, 16-3
16th:     Derik Hudson, Concord, Va., five bass, 16-2
17th:     Joe Grafeman, Camdenton, Mo., five bass, 15-13
18th:     Robby Lefere, Jackson, Mich., five bass, 15-7
19th:     Kyle Palmer, Winchester, Tenn., five bass, 15-5
20th:     Cameron Mattison, Benton, La., five bass, 15-2

Pro Jordan Hirt of Glenwood, Iowa, earned the $1,000 Berkley Big Bass award Thursday after weighing in a largemouth that went 5 pounds, 6 ounces.

Overall, there were 697 bass weighing 1,719 pounds, 3 ounces caught by 149 pros Thursday. The catch included 125 five-bass limits.