Meet the first class anglers: Bass Pro Tour is coming to Cayuga Lake with a kick-off festival this weekend

The Bass Pro Tour is coming to Lake Cayuga next week, August 6-11, for the sixth stage of the Major League Fishing (MLF) 2022 regular season. Eighty of the world’s best bass fishermen will compete for a $805,000 purse, with a maximum payout of $805,000. $100,000.

The last professional bass fishing tournament held on Cayuga Lake was the Bassmaster Elite event in 2019.

Hosted by Union Springs Village, the six-day tournament includes MLF bass pros Kevin Van Damme, out Defoe, Jacob Wheeler, Jordan Lee and champ Bobby Lane. A crowd fest kicks off Saturday noon at Frontenac Park in Union Springs.

The tournament will feature catch, weight, and instant release MLF format. There is a minimum weight of 2 lbs. Hunters pick up as much weight as they can each day, and bags are constantly tracked onto a live leader board, adding to the stress.

“Cayuga is a truly unique lake,” said Kevin Van Damme, a professional fisherman from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Van Damme praised the variety of different fishing opportunities the lake offers, from the shallow grassy areas at the northern end to the deeper rock structure in the main lake.

Van Damme has also noted the increasing size of bass he’s caught in Cayuga Lake over the years, which he attributes to the presence of zebra and guppy mussels.

“The last time I fished there, I won an event,” Van Damme said. “There was a ridiculous number of 5 pounds caught.”

In June, Thomas Russell, of Albion, set a new state record for smallmouth bass in Cayuga Lake with an eight-pound, 5.8-ounce Lanker.

“The championship can be won in depth or on shallow ground,” Van Damme said. “Whether Ish (Monroe) wants to throw a shallow frog, or (Justin) Lucas or (Josh) Bertrand fish their power offshore, they can all fish how they want to fish.”

Takeoffs begin every day at 7:30 a.m. from Frontenac Park, located at 15 Creamery Road in Union Springs. Take-out parties will also be held in the park, starting at 4pm, fans are welcome to attend all launch events and takeaways.

Weekend Festival details

This coming weekend, August 6-7, from noon to 5 p.m. every day, there will be a festival in Frontenac Park where fans can meet their favorite professional bass hunters, take a selfie with them, or get an autograph. Kids can visit the kids’ zone to meet Skye and Marshall from the Paw Patrol and fish at the kids’ fishing pond.

The first 50 guys present on both days of the festival will receive a free rod and reel set from Abu Garcia. There will also be gifts of a 42-inch Toro without rotation, a 70-inch LED TV, or a $500 VISA gift card.

For more information about the festival, visit

Championship day activities

On Thursday, August 11, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., MLF will host a championship celebration at Frontenac Park. Fans of all ages are welcome to hang out with the fishermen from the Bass Pro Tour as the MLF crowns the champion. The tournament’s last 10 poachers will be there to meet and greet fans, sign autographs, and take selfies.

Prior to celebrating the championship, MLF will host a viewing party in Frontenac Park starting at 1:30 p.m. The first 50 middle school or high school anglers will receive a free $100 Abu Garcia reel and rod set.

current arrangement

After five championships in the regular 2022 Bass Pro Tour season, Jacob Wheeler’s 2021 Angler of the Year (AOY) award once again takes first place with 379 points, while 2020 AOY Jordan Lee is directly behind Wheeler in second with 341 points. Dayton Andy Morgan of Tennessee is third with 315 points, while Kevin Van Damme is currently fourth with 302.5 points. Florida professional Randall Tharp finishes the top five with 302 points.

Championship collapse

Forty players in Group A compete in a two-day qualifying round on Saturday and Monday. The qualifying rounds for forty players in Group B will take place on Sunday and Tuesday. After the qualifying rounds are completed, the first place winners from each group advance directly to the championship round on Thursday. The leaderboards advance from second to 20th to the knockout round on Wednesday.

In the knockout round, weights are eliminated. The top eight hunters advance to the championship role. In the tournament round, the weights are again eliminated, and the highest single-day total wins the $100,000 first prize.

All six days of competition, from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., will be broadcast live on and the MyOutdoorTV app. Television coverage of the tournament will air in a two-hour episode at 7 a.m. on Saturday, November 12, on the Discovery Channel.

Steve Featherstone covers the outdoors beyond the standard, And the Call him at or on Twitter Tweet embed. You can also follow all our external content at Or follow us on Facebook at

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