MASSENA, N.Y. (WWTI) — A pro angler from Florida took home the top spot in the second day of fishing in the North Country.

During two-day Qualifying Group B round at the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour General Tire Stage Five at the St. Lawrence River Presented by Berkley in Massena, Berkley Pro John Cox of DeBary Florida advanced straight to the championship round.

Cox took home the winning spot after her caught 23 scorable bass on Monday, June 28, which weighed 75 pounds, 15 ounces.

His two-day total, after previously competing on June 26, weighed in at 175 pounds even after catching 54 bass, earning him the victory by a 23-pound, 11-ounce margin.

“Oh my gosh, I feel like I won the tournament, just making it to the Championship Round,” expressed Cox. “I’ve never won one of these rounds before, so this is a new experience for me. I’m really excited to be able to allow the fish to rest a little before the next round.”

With a full day off on Tuesday, Cox said he plans to take his kids tubing down below the locks and is looking forward to enjoying the family time prior to Wednesday’s competition.

Following the qualifying round, Phoenix Boats Pro James Elam of Oklahoma caught a total of 51 bass weighting 151-5 to end the round in second place, and Shelby, North Carolina Pro Bryan Thrift finished the round in third place with a two-day total of 51 bass weighing 149-11.

The remaining 38 anglers will now compete Tuesday, June 29 in the “Knockout Round,” where weights are zeroed and the anglers compete to finish in the top eight to advance to Championship Wednesday.

The top 20 pros in Qualifying Group B that now advance to Tuesday’s Knockout Round on the St. Lawrence River are:

1st:           John Cox, DeBary, Fla., 54 bass, 175-0
2nd:          James Elam, Tulsa, Okla., 51 bass, 151-5
3rd:          Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 51 bass, 149-11
4th:           Terry Scroggins, San Mateo, Fla., 49 bass, 149-2
5th:           Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla., 44 bass, 132-10
6th:           Jared Lintner, Arroyo Grande, Calif., 41 bass, 127-1
7th:           Dustin Connell, Clanton, Ala., 33 bass, 126-6
8th:           Gerald Spohrer, Gonzales, La., 35 bass, 125-9
9th:           Ott DeFoe, Blaine, Tenn., 42 bass, 125-6
10th:        Britt Myers, Lake Wylie, S.C., 44 bass, 123-14
11th:        Brett Hite, Phoenix, Ariz., 37 bass, 122-14
12th:        Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash., 41 bass, 116-15
13th:        Fletcher Shryock, Guntersville, Ala., 37 bass, 114-15
14th:        John Murray, Spring City, Tenn., 38 bass, 110-11
15th:        Shin Fukae, Osaka, Japan, 29 bass, 104-12
16th:        David Walker, Sevierville, Tenn., 36 bass, 102-12
17th:        Matt Lee, Cullman, Ala., 32 bass, 100-0                                 
18th:        Edwin Evers, Talala, Okla., 31 bass, 96-9
19th:        Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 34 bass, 96-6
20th:        Andy Montgomery, Blacksburg, S.C., 34 bass, 94-14

Overall, there were 594 bass weighing 1,808 pounds, 8 ounces caught by the 39 pros on Monday.

The Championship Round on June 30 will feature Group A Winner Jacob Wheeler, Group B Winner John Cox and the top eight anglers from the knockout round. All will compete for the top prize of $100,000.

The Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour General Tire Stage Five at the St. Lawrence River Presented by Berkley will conclude in Massena, New York on Wednesday, June 30, 2021.