Sept. 7, 2011, Brainerd, MN – The winds were calm and the race is tight after the first day of the 2011 TBF Northern Division Championship, presented by Cabela’s at Gull Lake in Brainerd, Minn. The fish are there, 70 limits were caught today (out of 72 anglers), but bigger fish appear to be harder to find.
That is not so much the case for Minnesota’s Scott Bonnema of Zimmerman, MN. He is leading the tournament in overall standings with 15 lbs 11 oz. “I caught a lot of fish all day long, culled around 13-14 lbs,” said Bonnema. “The fish are in a transition, moving shallower. There are a lot of fish here, but the bigger ones are harder to come by, a lot of 2 pounders. I only fished 3 spots today and will hit some other spots tomorrow. I hope the lead holds, 13-15 lbs per day will put you in good shape.”
In second place is Indiana Bass Federation Angler, Aaron Ault. He trails Bonnema for the lead by only 1 lb 3 oz with a 5 bass limit of 14 lbs 8 oz. “The winds were dead calm today, which is not how it’s been all week. I need the wind to blow to help my bite out deep. I only had 3 big bites over 2 lbs today,” Ault stated. “Tomorrow I’ll be mixing it up between shallow and deep and hope for some wind.” Ault qualified for the TBF National Championship in 2010.
In the state federation standings, Indiana barely leads with 130 lbs 14 oz, exactly 1 pound over 2nd place federation, Illinois. Wisconsin isn’t too far behind with 127 lbs 2 oz.
The tournament continues tomorrow at Gull Lake, with Friday being the final day. On Friday, 12 anglers will qualify for the 2012 Federation National Championship next spring. There they will be competing against the top angler from 46 other state federations for the $100,000 ‘Living the Dream’ Prize package. The TBF Federation National Champion earns the TBF “Living The Dream” prize package to include; cash, fully paid entry fees to the FLW Walmart Tour as a tour pro, PLUS use of a custom Living The Dream wrapped Chevy Truck and wrapped Ranger Boat on tour for the year, PLUS a travel stipend for each event. The 2011 Champion came from the Northern Division, Allen Boyd of Salem, Ind. who is a member of the Indiana Bass Federation.
Daily takeoffs and weigh-ins are always free and open to the public at Cragan’s Resort. Take off is at 6:30am and weigh-ins begin at 3pm. The Minnesota High School Fishing State Championship will be held Saturday at the same lake. For more information, visit www.highschoolfishing.org