Mitchell coasts at FLW event

Compared to Monday, Kurt Mitchell had a pretty quiet day on the water Wednesday.

But that was OK with him,

Kurt Mitchell

After building a commanding opening-round lead, the Milford resident cruised into the next round of the Tackle Warehouse TITLE, the FLW Pro Circuit championship, which is being held in Sturgeon Bay, Wis.

Mitchell finished first in the 25-angler Group A. After pulling in bass totaling 119 pounds on Monday, he brought in only eight pounds, five ounces on Wednesday.

That still left Mitchell with a total weight of 127 pounds — 37 pounds more than second-place Evan Barnes of Arkansas. Mitchell caught a total of 36 bass over the two days.

Mitchell spent his day thoroughly exploring his primary fishing area. An intermittent, shifting 10- to 15-mph wind pushed water around Green Bay and Lake Michigan —and drastically changing the bite in areas that the 25 anglers in Group A made hay on two days earlier.

“I’ve done all I can here,” Mitchell said as he called it a day 30 minutes before lines out. “This area is just four bridges and a couple little isolated areas, there’s not much else to look at. If they’re not biting, I want to stay here and figure them out. I don’t want to leave here, I know the fish live here. I’m going to stay here, and figure them out during the tournament.”

The Group A fishermen have today off while Group B holds its second day of competition.

After two days of competition, the top-10 pros from Groups A and B will advance to Day 5. Only the top 10 pros after Day 5 will continue on to the sixth and final day of competition, with the winner earning the inaugural Tackle Warehouse TITLE championship belt.

Unique to the TITLE Championship, the event is being fished using the MLF catch-weigh-immediate release format.

In five years on the pro circuit, Mitchell has career earnings of $251,907 with four top-10 finishes. He just registered his first pro circuit victory last week in Sandusky, Ohio.

Mitchell finished with a five-bass total of 15 pounds, eight ounces to win the event.

“Today was a nail biter, I really thought I only had like 12½ pounds,” he said after posting the win. “It really hasn’t sunk in yet. Right now, I just feel relieved. I really thought I blew a 6-pound lead. That would have been horrible.”