Chowan River set to host MLF Bass Pro Tour

Published 8:32 am Friday, May 31, 2024

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EDENTON – Major League Fishing (MLF) and the Bass Pro Tour, showcasing the top anglers in the sport of professional bass fishing, are set to visit Edenton and the Chowan River next week, June 4-9, for the fifth regular-season event of the 2024 Bass Pro Tour season.

The U.S. Air Force Stage Five at the Chowan River is presented by WIX Filters.

The six-day tournament, hosted by the Town of Edenton, the Chowan County Tourism Development Authority and Harbor Towns Cruises, will feature a field of 79 professional anglers, including Ott DeFoe, back-to-back Angler of the Year Jacob Wheeler, reigning two-time REDCREST Champion Dustin Connell, and the 2023 REDCREST Champion Bryan Thrift.

They’ll be competing for a purse of $659,000, including a top payout of $100,000 and valuable Angler of the Year points in hopes of qualifying for the General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and REDCREST 2025, the Bass Pro Tour championship.

“Visit Edenton is proud to collaborate with Major League Fishing to bring the Bass Pro Tour to our charming historic town,” said Visit Edenton Tourism Director Erienne Mizell. “This partnership underscores our commitment to outdoor recreation and showcases Edenton’s coastal beauty. Together, we aim to create an unforgettable event that highlights our community’s appeal and stimulates local economic growth.”

The tournament will feature the MLF catch, weigh, immediate-release format, in which anglers catch as much weight as they can each day, while also feeling the pressure and intensity of the SCORETRACKER® leaderboard. The tournament is being filmed for broadcast later this year on Discovery.

Pro David Dudley of Lynchburg, Virginia, has had a home near the Chowan River for the past 20 years and said he’s looking forward to a great event.

“The Chowan River is a healthy fishery and has everything in it,” explained Dudley. “It’s a cover-heavy river system, so guys can flip grass, throw around matted duckweed and flip and pitch around cypress trees. There’s a lot of hard cover and a lot of grass.”

While storms and rainy conditions are currently being forecast during the competition, Dudley said that anglers should really pay attention to the wind direction each day and how that will affect the fishery.

“The river fluctuates with the wind, much like a tidal system, and wind direction will play a big role in how high or low the water level gets in the river,” said Dudley. “A hard southwest wind will blow the water out of the sound and lower the water level significantly.”

Dudley said he expects to see topwater baits, frogs, ChatterBaits and flipping to be key throughout the event.

“I think we’ll see fish in every stage of the spawn and there will be a lot of power fishing in this event – not much forward-facing sonar in play,” said Dudley. “I think most of the fish will be caught in three foot of water or less. Fishing in a foot of water will be considered deep.”

While the minimum weight requirement is only 1 pound, 8 ounces, Dudley said he expects to see some big fish caught during the event.

“The Chowan River is a great fishery, with some big bass in it,” said Dudley. “I think we’ll see a 7-pounder win the Berkley Big Bass each day and it will probably take 12 scorable bass per day to advance to the next round.”

Anglers will launch at 7:30 a.m. each day from Pembroke Creek Park, located at 716 W. Queen Street in Edenton. Each day’s General Tire Takeout will be held at the park, beginning at 4 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all launch and takeout events and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLFNOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at

On Saturday and Sunday, June 8-9, from 1-6 p.m. MLF welcomes fans of all ages to visit Colonial Waterfront Park, located at 510 S. Broad St. in Edenton, for the MLF Watch Party and Kids Fishing Derby. Fans can watch the pros live on the MLFNOW! big screen, enjoy free food, enter to win hourly giveaways and cheer on their favorite pros. The first 50 kids 14 and under will receive a free rod and reel from Pure Fishing each day. Additional fishing gear will be provided onsite for the fishing derby or kids can bring their own. The final 10 Championship Round Bass Pro Tour anglers will be on hand at the trophy celebration on Championship Sunday to meet and greet fans, sign autographs and take selfies.

The Bass Pro Tour features a field of 79 of the top professional anglers in the world, competing across seven regular-season tournaments around the country, for millions of dollars and valuable points to qualify for the annual General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and the REDCREST 2025 championship.

The 40 Anglers in Group A compete in their two-day Qualifying Round on Tuesday and Thursday – the 39 anglers in Group B on Wednesday and Friday. After each two-day Qualifying Round is complete, the anglers that finish first through 10th from both groups advance to Saturday’s Knockout Round. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed, and the remaining 20 anglers compete to finish in the top 10 to advance to Sunday’s Championship Round. In the final-day Championship Round, weights are zeroed, and the highest one-day total wins the top prize of $100,000.

The MLFNOW!® broadcast team of Chad McKee and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action live on the final four days of competition from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET. MLFNOW!® will be live streamed on and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

Television coverage of the event will air as a two-hour episode starting at 7 a.m. ET, on Saturday, Oct. 26 on Discovery, with the Championship Round premiering on Nov. 2. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on Discovery, with re-airings on Outdoor Channel.

For complete details and updated information on Major League Fishing and the Bass Pro Tour, visit For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF’s social media outlets at Facebook, X, Instagram and YouTube.