HomeFishing NewsREDCREST Day 1 Results: Michael Neal Day 1 Leader: 52 lb 9...

REDCREST Day 1 Results: Michael Neal Day 1 Leader: 52 lb 9 Ounce at Lay Lake

Courtesy of MLF Photographer Garrick Dixon

Michael Neal takes day 1 lead at Major League Fishing’s Bass Pro Shops Redcrest 2024, as he showcases his mastery on the waters of Lay Lake. This sets the stage for an intriguing tournament. Can he sustain this lead against the other pros? Get the details on Neal’s strategy right here.

REDCREST Day 1 Summary

Michael Neal dominated Day 1 of Major League Fishing’s Bass Pro Shops REDCREST 2024, leveraging his deep knowledge of Lay Lake and a strategic mix of adaptability and precise bait selection to secure an impressive lead.

The REDCREST 2024 tournament showcased a diverse range of fishing strategies and techniques by top anglers, emphasizing the importance of versatility and real-time decision-making in response to challenges such as weather changes and water conditions.

The competition remains intense moving forward, with the Knockout and Championship Rounds resetting weights and presenting high-stakes challenges, as top contenders battle for the $100,000 prize and the prestige of winning the REDCREST 2024 title.

Michael Neal’s Impressive Performance at REDCREST 2024

Dalton Head REDCREST 2024
Courtesy of Major League Fishing. Photographer Garrick Dixon

Michael Neal’s leadership on Day 1 of Bass Pro Shops REDCREST 2024 was a masterclass in strategy and adaptability. As the first six hours unfolded, Neal remained unshakably in his starting area on the main lake, strategically targeting offshore spotted bass. He deftly navigated the warmer waters for bass, never losing focus of his plan to seek fresh fish schools on the second day. This careful consideration of the different spawning times of spotted and largemouth bass was a testament to his deep understanding of the sport.

Yet, the path to success wasn’t without hurdles. Neal faced formidable challenges, including:

  • Competition pressure potentially altering fish behavior
  • Looming weather conditions that could stir up pollen
  • Changing water conditions and a slack current, which necessitated a search for new areas with less angling pressure

Nonetheless, Neal demonstrated the cool-headed resolve of a seasoned angler, maintaining his lead throughout the day without feeling the need to upgrade his fish later on.

By the end of Day 1, Neal had secured a significant lead, with an impressive 8 pounds and 3 ounces advantage over the second-placed angler, Dalton Head. This commanding lead was a testament to Neal’s strategic prowess and his deep understanding of the waters. The angling world watched in awe as Neal masterfully navigated the challenging conditions and emerged as the frontrunner in this high-stakes tournament.

The question on everyone’s mind now is whether Neal will be able to maintain his lead as the competition intensifies. With several formidable competitors vying for the top spot, the upcoming stages of the tournament promise to be a thrilling spectacle of skill and strategy.

Key Factors in Neal’s Success

Neal’s outstanding performance on Day 1 can be attributed to a combination of factors, including his local knowledge, careful bait selection, and versatile techniques. His deep familiarity with Lay Lake proved instrumental in identifying prime fishing spots, propelling him to the top of the leaderboard. Neal’s bait selection, tailored to the behavior of spotted bass focusing on baitfish during late winter and early spring, was a significant factor in his success.

Moreover, Neal exhibited strong decision-making skills. He chose not to target largemouth bass near the bank, a decision that aligned with his strategy based on the behavior of the fish and not just the warm water temperature. This strategic move demonstrated Neal’s intricate knowledge of the sport and his ability to adjust his tactics based on the conditions.

In addition, Neal showcased his versatility by using a spinning rod setup to locate spotted bass. This technique resulted in a series of early catches, propelling him to the top of the leaderboard. Neal’s mix of local knowledge, precise bait selection, and strategic decision-making created a winning combination that set him apart from the competition on Day 1.

The Competition

While Michael Neal’s performance stole the spotlight, other top anglers also showcased exceptional skills on the first day of the competition. Here are the top anglers from Day 1:

  1. Michael Neal – total catch weighing 51 pounds and 10 ounces
  2. Dalton Head – total catch weighing 44 pounds and 6 ounces
  3. Anthony Gagliardi – total catch weighing 38 pounds and 13 ounces
  4. Dustin Connell – total catch weighing 38 pounds

Interestingly, a significant number of the top 10, including Neal, strategically chose to focus their efforts along a stretch in the main channel on the lower end of Lay Lake, where they caught nine bass. This strategic move highlighted the importance of location selection in professional angling and the significant role played by local knowledge in navigating the waters effectively.

As the tournament progresses, the competition is set to intensify. With top anglers like:

  • Neal
  • Head
  • Gagliardi
  • Connell

showcasing their prowess, the Bass Pro Shops REDCREST 2024 promises to be a thrilling spectacle of skill, strategy, and suspense.

Bass Pro Shops REDCREST 2024: Event Overview

The Bass Pro Shops REDCREST 2024 is a unique event, showcasing the best of professional angling in a captivating format. The tournament features an innovative Major League Fishing (MLF) catch, weigh, and immediate-release live scoring format, providing real-time action for participants and spectators alike. This year, the tournament took place at Lay Lake in Alabama, from March 14 to March 17, drawing in top anglers from around the world.

The standings after Day 1 on Lay Lake are:

1st: Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 21 bass, 52-9
2nd: Dalton Head, Moody, Ala., 17 bass, 44-6
3rd: Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 15 bass, 38-13
4th: Dustin Connell, Clanton, Ala., 16 bass, 38-0
5th: Ryan Salzman, Huntsville, Ala., 10 bass, 35-11
6th: Jacob Wheeler, Harrison, Tenn., 15 bass, 35-9
7th: Ron Nelson, Berrien Springs, Mich., 13 bass, 33-14
8th: Cole Floyd, Leesburg, Ohio, 13 bass, 32-1
9th: Keith Poche, Pike Road, Ala., 10 bass, 31-0
10th: Nick Hatfield, Greeneville, Tenn., 11 bass, 29-2
11th: Jonathon VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich., nine bass, 26-11
12th: John Cox, DeBary, Fla., 10 bass, 26-9
13th: Alton Jones, Jr., Waco, Texas, 10 bass, 25-12
14th: Greg Vinson, Wetumpka, Ala., nine bass, 25-1
15th: Jesse Wiggins, Addison, Ala., 10 bass, 24-6
16th: Gerald Spohrer, Gonzales, La., nine bass, 22-15
17th: Matt Becker, Ten Mile, Tenn., seven bass, 22-9
18th: Ott DeFoe, Blaine, Tenn., eight bass, 21-14
19th: Todd Faircloth, Jasper, Texas, eight bass, 21-4
20th: Matthew Stefan, Junction City, Wis., eight bass, 20-11
21st: Bradley Roy, Lancaster, Ky., eight bass, 19-11
22nd: Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., eight bass, 18-15
23rd: Spencer Shuffield, Hot Springs, Ark., seven bass, 18-14
24th: Dakota Ebare, Brookeland, Texas, six bass, 17-15
25th: Nick LeBrun, Bossier City, La., six bass, 17-5
26th: Takahiro Omori, Tokyo, Japan, six bass, 16-8
27th: Adrian Avena, Vineland, N.J., six bass, 16-6
28th: John Hunter, Shelbyville, Ky., six bass, 15-6
29th: Alton Jones, Lorena, Texas, six bass, 14-14
30th: Cliff Pace, Petal, Miss., five bass, 14-12
31st: Dylan Hays, Hot Springs, Ark., five bass, 14-5
32nd: Cody Meyer, Star, Idaho, five bass, 13-12
33rd: David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., five bass, 13-11
34th: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., four bass, 13-8
35th: Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., five bass, 13-2
36th: Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., five bass, 13-1
37th: Joshua Weaver, Macon, Ga., four bass, 11-15
38th: Mark Rose, Wynne, Ark., five bass, 11-6
39th: Jordan Lee, Cullman, Ala., three bass, 10-8
40th: Emil Wagner, Marietta, Ga., four bass, 10-4
41st: Mark Daniels, Jr., Tuskegee, Ala., three bass, 9-2
42nd: Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., three bass, 8-12
43rd: Jeff Sprague, Wills Point, Texas, three bass, 8-9
44th: Josh Butler, Hayden, Ala., three bass, 7-8
45th: Edwin Evers, Talala, Okla., three bass, 7-0
46th: Kelly Jordon, Flint, Texas, three bass, 6-5
47th: Chad Mrazek, Montgomery, Texas, two bass, 5-12
48th: Chris Lane, Guntersville, Ala., two bass, 4-4
49th: Kevin VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich., one bass, 3-8
50th: Andy Montgomery, Blacksburg, S.C., one bass, 3-2

Upcoming Tournament Stages and Schedule

Looking ahead, the competition format for each stage of the 2024 Bass Pro Tour promises to keep the excitement high. The tournament features six days of competition using the catch, weigh, immediate-release format, providing a thrilling and dynamic experience for participants and spectators alike. The tournament includes the following stages:

  1. Qualifying Round
  2. Elimination Round
  3. Knockout Round
  4. Championship Round

The Knockout Round and final day Championship Round are considered the highlight stages of the tournament, where the competition intensifies and the stakes are high, following the seven regular season tournaments and the two day qualifying round.

In the Knockout Round, weights are reset to zero, and anglers strive to place in the top 10 for a chance to advance to the Championship Round. This format adds excitement and uncertainty to the competition. With nearly all anglers remaining in contention to make the cut after Day 1, the upcoming stages promise to be fiercely competitive and exciting.

With a combination of skill, strategy, and a bit of luck, the top anglers will advance to the Championship Round, where they will vie for the coveted title and the hefty prize. As the tournament progresses, the upcoming stages are set to offer thrilling moments, intense competition, and an unforgettable angling experience.

Knockout Round

The Knockout Round at Bass Pro Shops REDCREST 2024 is a critical stage in the tournament, with the top 20 anglers based on previous standings competing for a spot in the Championship Round. The cut line for advancing to the Knockout Round settled at 20 pounds, 11 ounces, with Matt Stefan holding the 20th-place spot.

The objective for anglers in the Knockout Round is to secure a position in the top 10 to progress to the Championship Round. As the anglers vie for these coveted spots, the Knockout Round promises to deliver high-stakes competition and thrilling action for both participants and spectators.

Championship Round

The Championship Round at Bass Pro Shops REDCREST 2024 is the final stage that determines the tournament winner. It features intense competition among the top 10 anglers vying for the trophy. Taking place on March 17, the final day of the tournament will see elite anglers including:

  • Cole Floyd
  • Justin Lucas
  • Jacob Wheeler
  • James Watson

battling for the title.

The stakes in the Championship Round are high, with a lucrative $100,000 top prize at stake for the winning angler. This substantial monetary reward adds an extra layer of excitement to the competition, making the Championship Round a thrilling culmination of the tournament.

As the Bass Pro Shops REDCREST 2024 progresses towards the Championship Round, the anticipation is palpable. With the title, trophy, and a significant prize up for grabs, the Championship Round promises to be a thrilling spectacle of skill, strategy, and suspense.


As we wrap up our journey through the first day of Bass Pro Shops REDCREST 2024, it’s clear that this tournament is a testament to the skill, strategy, and competitive spirit that define professional angling. From Michael Neal’s impressive lead to the thrilling performances of top anglers, the tournament showcased an exciting mix of strategy, skill, and suspense.

Lay Lake, with its unique challenges and opportunities, served as a captivating backdrop for the tournament. The anglers demonstrated their adaptability and strategic thinking, navigating changing conditions and employing diverse tactics. The upcoming stages of the tournament promise to be equally thrilling, with the Knockout and Championship Rounds set to test the skills and strategies of the top anglers.

As the Bass Pro Shops REDCREST 2024 unfolds, we can expect more thrilling moments, intense competition, and a deep dive into the fascinating world of professional angling. So, stay tuned and join us on this captivating journey!

Frequently Asked Questions

Who won MLF Redcrest?

Bryan Thrift won the 2023 MLF REDCREST Championship on Lake Norman.

Where is the Redcrest Expo in 2024?

The Redcrest Expo in 2024 will take place on Lay Lake from March 14-17 and will showcase 50 top MLF anglers competing for a $300,000 prize.

Where is the 2025 Bassmaster Classic near me?

The 2025 Bassmaster Classic will take place in Fort Worth, Texas.

Who led the Bass Pro Shops REDCREST 2024 after Day 1?

Michael Neal led the Bass Pro Shops REDCREST 2024 after Day 1 with 21 bass weighing 52 pounds and 9 ounces.

What were the unique challenges faced by anglers on Day 1?

On Day 1, anglers faced challenges such as obscured visibility due to pollen in the water and changing water conditions, which forced them to adapt their strategies. adapting to these conditions was crucial for their success on the first day.

Jason George
Jason Georgehttps://guidefishing.com
Jason George, with a remarkable career spanning over 30 years, stands as a paragon in the world of fishing journalism. Jason fishes the Bassmaster Opens as a Co Angler and is an Active Member of Outdoor Writers Association of America. Jason is edicated to sharing the joys, techniques, and news of the fishing world with all of you.

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