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Ebare takes over top slot at Invitational

Ebare takes over top slot at Invitational

CALVERT CITY, Ky. – For a while, Dakota Ebare was a snakebit young gun, getting close so often and not quite sealing the deal, time after time. Now, he’s basically a grizzled veteran compared to some of his competition, and there’s pretty much no tournament he can’t win.

Tallying an even 21 pounds – the biggest bag of the day – the Texas pro moved into the lead of the MLF Invitational on Kentucky Lake. With a 42-2 total over two days, Ebare leads by just under a pound, with three anglers behind him who have averaged 20 pounds or better.

Falling to second, Andrew Nordbye weighed 18-11 on Day 2 for a 41-7 total, Colby Miller sacked up 20-11 to move up and Alec Morrison added 20-2 to his total to drop one spot in the standings. The entire Top 30 is averaging well over 15 pounds a day.

Moving up from second, Ebare has weighed all smallsmouth so far, as has basically everyone else in the Top 5.

Heading into the event, Ebare knew what he wanted to look for. He’s executed perfectly so far.

“I had in my mind kind of what I wanted to do before I ever got here,” Ebare said. “I practiced at Rayburn for a couple weeks when I was home for what I felt like was going to be down here, and it was, and it is, and it’s worked out.”

Fishing for smallmouth predominantly, he says he’s not 100 percent locked in on bedding fish, as some of his peers are.

“Some of them are spawning, for sure,” he said. “But I think some of them are just hanging out on current and cover.”

Tight-lipped about the specifics, Ebare seems to know what he’s looking for, and he’s run new water and old water so far – which should set him up well for the final day.

“The only thing is, there’s a lot of areas that have gotten a lot of pressure, and I don’t really know all of them,” he said. “I’ve been trying to stay out of the crowds. Tomorrow will be a lot more open, but I don’t want to fish a lot of dead water that has been pounded. I feel like I know what I’m looking for; it’s just about finding those right areas with fresh fish and getting a big bite. I’m catching a lot of them, but you never know when that next big bite is going to come.”

Given another good day, he may take home his third MLF win since January of ‘23.

“I think if I make good decisions tomorrow, I have a chance,” he said. “I think I’ve prepared myself well. I feel like I know what I need to look for. We’ve been down this road a bunch, and it hasn’t always worked out. But if I make good decisions tomorrow, I have a chance.”

The Top 30 pros advancing to the final day of competition on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes are:

1st: Dakota Ebare, Brookeland, Texas, 10 bass, 42-4
2nd: Andrew Nordbye, Guntersville, Ala., 10 bass, 41-7
3rd: Colby Miller, Elmer, La., 10 bass, 40-14
4th: Alec Morrison, Peru, N.Y., 10 bass, 40-9
5th: Brody Campbell, Oxford, Ohio, 10 bass, 38-9
6th: Nick Hatfield, Greeneville, Tenn., 10 bass, 38-3
7th: Ken Thompson, Roaring Springs, Pa., 10 bass, 37-11
8th: Drew Gill, Mount Carmel, Ill., 10 bass, 36-8
9th: Kyle Hall, Granbury, Texas, 10 bass, 35-15
10th: Jacob Walker, Springville, Ala., 10 bass, 35-13
11th: Kevin Meunier, Lamar, Ind., 10 bass, 35-13
12th: Cole Floyd, Leesburg, Ohio, 10 bass, 35-6
13th: Marshall Hughes, Hemphill, Texas, 10 bass, 35-4
14th: Michael Harlin, Sunrise Beach, Mo., 10 bass, 35-2
15th: Brad Leuthner, Victoria, Minn., 10 bass, 34-14
16th: Connor Cunningham, Springfield, Mo., 10 bass, 34-11
17th: Adam Bartusek, Clearwater, Minn., 10 bass, 34-9
18th: Jaden Parrish, Liberty, Texas, 10 bass, 34-8
19th: Brett Carnright, Plattsburgh, N.Y., 10 bass, 34-8
20th: Jake Lawrence, Buchanan, Tenn., 10 bass, 34-5
21st: Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., 10 bass, 33-10
22nd: Robby Lefere, Jackson, Mich., nine bass, 33-0
23rd: Cole Breeden, Lebanon, Mo., 10 bass, 33-0
24th: Brad Jelinek, Lincoln, Mo., 10 bass, 32-13
25th: Justin Cooper, Zwolle, La., 10 bass, 32-11
26th: Ethan Greene, Eufaula, Ala., 10 bass, 32-8
27th: Tom Redington, Royse City, Texas, 10 bass, 31-14
28th: Mark Condron, Murfreesboro, Tenn., 10 bass, 31-14
29th: Ethan King, Wilsonville, Ala., 10 bass, 31-12
30th: Brock Reinkemeyer, Warsaw, Mo., 10 bass, 31-10

For full standings, click here.

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