2009 Western Divisional – Day 2

Day two finds a new leader, Utah still on top

Twenty, TBF anglers are one, 8 hr day away from qualifying for the 2010 Federation National Championship presented by the National Guard. Ten anglers from the Northwest Division and 10 Southwest Division anglers will move on to fish for their share of nearly a quarter of a million dollars, which includes $100,000 TBF Living the Dream Package. Each state will advance their top angler as the boater and their 2nd place finisher as the non-boater. The race is tight, and the top spots could go to anyone, so, the last day of the 2009 Western Division Championship should be one exciting day of fishing.

The anglers who are currently holding the top two spots in their states, and who will be fighting to defend those spots tomorrow are as follows: from the Northwest Division, Ariz., Jason Rayls and Jeff Erickson; Calif., Cameron Smith and Mitch Thiele; Colo., Sean Hinton and Scott Johnson; Nev., Mitch Geyer and Mike Ledford; Utah, Mike Bozner and Wayne Crowder; from the Southwest Division, Idaho, Brandon Palaniuk and Bill Golightly; Mont., Sid Ziegler and Tyler Polesky; Ore., James Thompson and Edward Chin; Wash., Aaron Echternkamp and Jeff Boyer; Wyo., Larry Wilkins and Tom Schachten.

In the overall standings, Brandon Palaniuk from Rathdrum, Idaho pulled ahead of the pack today with a limit of bass weighing 12lb 3oz., making his two day total weight 24lb 11oz. Brandon said he will be sticking with the same plan tomorrow. “I plan on covering a lot of water and hopefully pulling in another 12lb bag,” Brandon said. “I’ve been using the same three different baits the whole tournament, and one certain bait has helped me find fish everyday.” He caught his limit before noon and didn’t let the change in weather affect him. “I definitely thought the weather was better yesterday, I liked the cloud cover.” Brandon is currently the top angler in the Northwest Division, but close behind is Aaron Echternkamp from Moses Lake, Wash., with a limit weighing 11lb 6oz, making his total weight 24lb 3oz. Aaron caught his limit very early and also plans on doing the same thing tomorrow. “I caught my limit before 9:30am, site fishing using a sniper snuck and a zoom fluke,” Aaron stated. Yesterday’s leader, Cameron Smith, from Dana Point, Calif., has fallen to the third spot, but only a pound separates him from the top. He brought in a limit of bass weighing 12lb 8oz, making his total weight 23lb 3oz. The leader of the state of Utah, Mike Bozner, came in fourth and he’s looking to inch up there tomorrow. Despite having boat problems early, Mike caught a limit of bass weighing, 11lb 3oz, making his total weight 21lb 15oz. “I caught two fish off the main lake and the rest were bed fish,” Mike said. “I saw lots of smaller males, the big females haven’t quite come in yet, but they will be ready to spawn soon. I definitely know I can go get another 8-9 lbs tomorrow, so I’m just hoping to find that big one.” The top angler from the state of Arizona, Jason Rayls, also said he will be fighting to hold his position. “Today was a little tougher, I was finesse fishing, and I plan on doing the same thing tomorrow,” Jason said. “I’ve never qualified for Nationals, so I’m pretty excited; I’m going to give it my best, and hopefully I will make it to the Championship.”

The Utah Bass Federation held their number one position in the tournament today, weighing in a two day combined weight of 199lb 6oz. A mere eight pounds separates the second place team, The California Bass Federation, weighing in 191lb 1oz. The Idaho Bass Federation is currently in third with 190lb 6oz. In fourth, is the Washington Bass Federation with 189lb 10oz. The home state federation of Wyoming is in fifth with 176lb. Indeed, tomorrow will be an exciting day of fishing, as only 20lb separates the top five state federations. Any angler and any state could pull out on top, as the last day of the Western Division Championship gets underway.