Matt Becker of PA. leading after Day 3 of Major League Fishing Event on Lake Murray

Lake Murray, SC 04/25/2021 - Pro Matt Becker of Finleyville, Pennsylvania, padded his Day 2 lead Saturday, bringing a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 17 pounds, 8 ounces to remain in control of the leaderboard after Day 3 of the MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Bad Boy Mowers, Googan Baits Stop 3 Presented by Favorite Fishing – Lake Murray in Columbia, South Carolina. Becker’s three-day total of 15 bass for 58-10 will give him a 7-pound, 4-ounce cushion heading into the fourth and final day of competition.


Pro Derrick Snavely of Piney Flats, Tennessee, held on to second place with four bass weighing 13 pounds even, for a three-day total of 51-6. Rookie Tai Au of Glendale, Arizona, jumped from 24th place into 9th on Day 3 with a five-bass limit weighing 17-11, while pro Cody Huff of Ava, Missouri, made the biggest leap from 39th place, barely squeezing into the 10th spot by a mere ounce.


With more than a 7-pound lead, Becker is set up nicely for championship Sunday and with the current weather forecast, it seems the sun – and his herring-spawn streak – will continue to shine. However, with a stacked field in the top 10, Becker said he is hedging his excitement and focused on hard fishing on championship Sunday.

“It doesn’t really matter to be in the lead now,” said Becker. “Some of the best fishermen in the world are right behind me – [Anthony] Gagliardi, the hottest fisherman in the world right now Michael Neal – those are some real hammers and they’re right behind me.”


Despite the weather change and rainy conditions Saturday, the 2018 Pro Circuit Rookie of the Year continued his risk versus reward pattern, hitting the edges of points in hopes of finding schooling fish – a pattern that once again kept him at the front of the pack.


“I caught a lot more small fish today, and didn’t catch as many,” said Becker. “I caught three in 10 minutes in the morning and only had two small flurries where I caught three in three casts right before the last storms hit this afternoon. It was not as hot and heavy as it has been, but I’m hoping it was just the weather.”


Becker said once the rain started coming down hard, he was basically just wasting time – time he didn’t have to waste if he wanted to hold on to his lead.


“It was crowded [on the points today], and I got in a bad rotation,” said Becker. “There was a boat on a lot of the spots I wanted to fish. Fortunately, we cut 40 guys after today, so hopefully that opens the lake up more.”


Becker said now it’s just a matter of finishing strong.


“I can’t look in the rearview mirror,” said Becker. “I just have to go out and do my thing. All that really matters is that I catch them because the other guys will really have to catch them to pass me. Hopefully the sun pops out, the fish bite, and I sack up another 17 to 20 pounds to seal the deal.”


The top 10 pros advancing to the final day of competition Sunday on Lake Murray are:

1st: Matt Becker of Finleyville, Pa., 15 bass, 58-10

2nd: Derrick Snavely of Piney Flats, Tenn., 14 bass, 51-6

3rd: Michael Neal of Dayton, Tenn., 15 bass, 51-6

4th: Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, S.C., 15 bass, 51-4

5th: Skeet Reese of Auburn, Calif., 15 bass, 51-2

6th: Evan Barnes of Hot Springs, Ark., 15 bass, 50-9

7th: Adrian Avena of Vineland, N.J., 15 bass, 50-0

8th: David Williams of Maiden, N.C., 15 bass, 49-11

9th: Tai Au of Glendale, Ariz., 15 bass, 49-1

10th: Cody Huff of Ava, Mo., 15 bass, 49-1


Anglers finishing 11th through 20th are:

11th: Miles Howe of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., 14 bass, 49-0, $11,000

12th: Ryan Salzman of Huntsville, Ala., 15 bass, 48-11, $11,000

13th: Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C., 15 bass, 48-8, $11,000

14th: Jason Reyes of Huffman, Texas, 15 bass, 48-8, $11,000

15th: Matthew Stefan of Junction City, Wisc., 15 bass, 48-4, $11,000

16th: Cody Meyer of Star, Idaho, 15 bass, 48-1, $11,000

17th: Kurt Mitchell of Milford, Del., 15 bass, 46-5, $11,000

18th: Cole Floyd of Leesburg, Ohio, 15 bass, 46-5, $11,000

19th: Mike McClelland of Blue Eye, Mo., 15 bass, 46-1, $11,000

20th: Dean Rojas of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 14 bass, 46-0, $11,000


For a full list of results visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.


Overall, there were 222 bass weighing 632 pounds, 10 ounces caught by the 50 pros Saturday. The catch included 36 five-bass limits.


The MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers, Googan Baits Stop 3 Presented by Favorite Fishing – Lake Murray is hosted by the Capital City Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board.


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