With only 48 spots reserved for the top anglers at the Tackle Warehouse TITLE, the St. Lawrence River served as a battleground for fishermen to make their case for why they belong in the championship. The sixth stop of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit certainly did not disappoint, as we witnessed huge bags, missed opportunities, and an unforgettable comeback. On any given weekend, there’s no telling exactly how the fishing will turn out, and that was extremely evident on the St. Lawrence River.
Going into the final day, Joey Cifuentes held a daunting lead of nearly 7 pounds over the rest of the field. However, no lead is safe in the Pro Circuit! On Sunday, Joey closed out the event with his worst bag of the weekend – only 12 pounds and 5 ounces. This gave rookie angler Cody Pike enough opportunity to put together his best bag (22 pounds and 3 ounces) of the event and overtake Joey for a first-place photo finish!
“That doesn’t happen,” said Cody, on the back of his awe-inspiring performance on the final day. “I was just trying to finish second, so I had no pressure. It was out of reach, or so I thought.” Cody and the rest of the crowd at the St. Lawrence River thought wrong. In fact, Joey could not even hold onto 2nd place after Cody overtook him. Instead, he was edged out by Matthew Stefan, with only 6 ounces separating the two.
The St. Lawrence River is renowned for its staggering population of smallmouth bass, which includes some giants. It’s fitting, then, that we saw four separate 24-pound bags get reeled in over the weekend – two of which belonged to Joey Cifuentes. That’s why Sunday was the most “sickening” day of Joey’s angling career. “I checked everything I had, and it just didn’t work out.”
Blazer Boats was represented well by our proud family of pro anglers. Given that this was the last stop of the Pro Circuit prior to the championship TITLE event, the St. Lawrence River was the last place for some anglers to earn their spot with strong showings. Cody Meyer (24th) and Evan Barnes (43rd) solidified their positions on the Tackle Warehouse leaderboard, making them eligible to compete at TITLE on the Mississippi River. They’ll be joined by Spencer Shuffield, who is looking to do even better than his 6th place finish at TITLE a year ago.
There’s no better way to follow up the nail-biting excitement of the Pro Circuit’s final stop than with the final event itself. From August 17th-22nd, 50 of the world’s finest anglers (including last year’s TITLE champion and the 2020/2021 Anglers of the Year) will be competing one last time on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin. What’s at stake for these seasoned fishermen? Just $200,000 and a seat at the table of bass fishing’s greatest! Keep your eyes on the Blazer Boats blog for more news and updates after the Pro Circuit has come to its close.