Major League Fishing (MLF) is returning to the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes starting Sunday for the next-to-last event of its season.
Originally scheduled for May 16-20, the Heavy Hitters Presented by Venmo will take place on Lake Tohopekaliga and the Kissimmee Chain two weeks later than originally planned, June 7-12. Back on March 23 and following three successful Stages, MLF paused the Bass Pro Tour due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While fan events and gatherings will not be held for the safety of fans and tour reps, 80 of the top pro anglers in the nation will be in town to fish for what they hope six days hoping to reel in the $100,000 first prize.
“Fishing is an inherently socially distant sport and while we will miss seeing our fans face-to-face, the Bass Pro Tour can deliver the drama of live-action sports to fans, while participating responsibly in a phased approach to help restart the economy,” said Boyd Duckett, MLF co-founder and pro.
There’s a ton of pro fishing money on the line next week. In addition to the $745,000 purse, the biggest bass caught for each Group over the two-day Qualifying Rounds (June 7-10) will pay a $25,000 big bass bonus ($50,000 total). The Knockout Round on day five (June 11), will feature a $50,000 big bass bonus, while the Championship Round (June 12) will feature a $100,000 big bass bonus, on top of the Stage Title $100,000 prize.
Let’s say that again — $100,000 for one big fish next Friday.
As the economy begins to reopen in Florida, Experience Kissimmee looks forward to welcoming Major League Fishing to their community.
“We are thrilled to welcome back Major League Fishing to Kissimmee for another successful event,” said Kissimmee Sports Executive Director John Poole. “While the destination is following the Florida governor’s plan to reopen in phases, we are grateful to have the opportunity to provide both live and recorded television content for viewers across the country to continue experiencing Kissimmee from home.”
MLF Tour pro Terry Scroggins is a vet of fishing the Kissimmee Chain, but never in a tournament in the summer, and is looking forward to it.
“I’ve fished in summer, but the big events are always early, due to travel. The funny thing is, the Kissimmee Chain is way better in May, June, and July rather than earlier in the year,” he said. “Fish always spawn full moon and cold fronts tend to come along then as well. So, whenever we fished here in the past, we’ve always been dealing with the cold fronts. Not now. It’s going to be hot, but super good.”
The 2020 Tour will conclude July 10-15 on Lake Champlain in far upstate New York.