By MLF Communications Staff
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Major League Fishing’s REDCREST, the Bass Pro Tour championship, will visit Charlotte, North Carolina, and Lake Norman this week. The five-day tournament (today through Sunday) will showcase the Top 40 BPT anglers from the 2022 season competing for the top prize of $300,000.
“Lake Norman is absolutely thriving – it’s one of the best spotted bass lakes in the country,” said MLF pro Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, South Carolina, who will be making his fourth career REDCREST appearance. “The lake is full of fish, and this time of the year the fishing is very good. It’s going to be a very fun tournament.
“I think you’re going to see guys catching them a lot of different ways,” Montgomery continued. “The big wildcard in this one is going to be the forward-facing sonar – I think it’s going to be a big factor in this event. But guys are going to catch them with typical prespawn techniques – shallow cranking, jerkbaiting and the old, traditional standby on Lake Norman – fishing docks.”
While most fans and casual boaters would prefer a warm, slick calm, sunny day on the water during the event, Montgomery hopes that the wind blows throughout the event.
“The lake is so condition-oriented, it makes it really hard to predict how much guys are going to catch,” Montgomery said. “Lately in some local tournaments we’re seeing 23-pound limits of spotted bass being weighed in. I think if we get the right conditions and the wind blows, they’ll bite better and it’s going to take at least a 15-plus-pound a day average to win. But if it’s slick calm and sunny, it might only take 12 to 13 pounds a day to win. But I think we’ll blow that out of the water.”
Fellow pro Casey Ashley of Donalds, South Carolina, echoed Montgomery’s sentiments.
“I think it’s going to take 15 to 16 pounds a day average to win this one,” said Ashley, who is making his third career REDCREST appearance. “Lake Norman is fishing really well and I think the docks are going to be big player.
“I’m so happy to be fishing in this event,” Ashley went on to say. “This is a pretty tough crew on Tour that we fish against, so just making it here is a feat in itself. I’m excited and I really want to win.”
Takeoff will begin at 6:15 a.m. on Days 1-4 and 7:15 a.m. on Day 5 at Blythe Landing Park, located at 15901 N.C. 73 HWY in Huntersville, North Carolina. Anglers will depart at 7 a.m. on Days 1-4, and 8 a.m. on Day 5, and return after competition ends at 4 p.m. on Days 1-4 and 5 p.m. on Day 5. Fans are welcome to attend all launch events and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLF NOW! livestream and ScoreTracker coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
In conjunction with the event, the free, family-friendly Outdoor Sports Expo will also take place throughout the event from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day at The Park Expo and Conference Center, located at 800 Briar Creek Road in Charlotte. Fishing and outdoor enthusiasts will have the opportunity to visit numerous booths and vendors, showcasing the latest and greatest in fishing, boating and the outdoors. The biggest names in the outdoor industry will be on hand, including the professional anglers who compete on the Bass Pro Tour and fishing legends like Jimmy Houston, Roland Martin and Hank Parker.
REDCREST 2023 will feature pros competing using the MLF catch, weigh, immediate-release format, with each angler’s five heaviest bass per day tallied as their day’s weight. Anglers strive to catch their heaviest five fish each day, while also feeling the pressure and intensity of the real-time ScoreTracker leaderboard.
All 40 anglers will compete on Days 1 (Wednesday) and 2 (Thursday) of the event and will score their five heaviest bass each day. After two days of competition, the field is cut to the Top 20 based on two-day total (10 bass) cumulative weight. Weights are zeroed, and the Top 20 anglers compete on Day 3 (Friday). The field is trimmed to 15 anglers on Day 4 (Saturday), then the final 10 anglers compete on Day 5 (Sunday). The winner is determined by the heaviest three-day total (15 bass) cumulative weight.
The MLF NOW! broadcast team of Chad McKee, Marty Stone and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action from 7:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first four days of competition, and from 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Championship Sunday. MLF NOW! will be livestreamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.