Day two wraps up on Lake Navajo in Navajo State Park today. Tomorrow, the final day of the 2012 Southwest Division Championship presented by Solar Bat will boast two division champion titles, one in the individual and state team standings. 10 TBF anglers, the top two from each state, will earn spots in the 2013 Federation National Championship to vie for the national titles and all the glory. The national champion boater will earn the “Living the Dream” prize package, which includes paid entry fees as an FLW Tour Pro for the year, use of a wrapped Ranger Boat and Chevrolet truck, as well as, cash and prizes. Today, Colorado fell to third as the Utah state team took the lead. Mezenen remains on top, but an angler climbing 19 slots to second might have something to say about it as the championship continues tomorrow on Lake Navajo.
Yesterday’s leader, Roger Mezenen, from Clinton, Utah brought in four bass weighing 12lbs 10ounces making his two day total 26lbs 6ounces. Mezenen is in first overall, but he says he’s been here before, twice. “Two different times I’ve lead for Utah; I’ve went in leading on day one and day two only to get beat out by ounces,” Mezenen said. “I just want to lead my state. Winning overall would be nice; it would be a bonus.” Mezenen had a solid day of fishing on day one, and went into today with the same expectations. “It was a brutal day of fishing. I stuck with my game plan, but it just wasn’t there.” Mezenen ended up catching his limit, but had to leave one behind to avoid a short fish penalty. “I had a 14 inch fish that shrunk up on me, I didn’t want that penalty. It was a little brutal, definitely more of a grind than what I expected, but I did catch that limit.” Mezenen was late getting to “his” spot, and by the time he did it was crowded. “It’s no secret spot; everybody is in there pounding the big fish. I’m just afraid they are going to be burnt up.” Tomorrow, Mezenen is hoping there’s still big fish to be found and that more move in. “I’m going to go to my best spot, grind it out and hope to get 8lbs or more. It’s going to be interesting.”
Taking a mighty leap from 21st to second is Ben Gross from Kingman, Ariz., with a limit of bass weighing 17lbs making his two day total 25lbs. “As they say in golf, ‘it was moving day,’” Gross said. “Actually, it was a struggle this morning; I just ended up in the right spot at the right time.” Gross caught his limit in one spot, and had some luck switching it up from reaction baits to plastics. “I did about the same thing I did yesterday, but yesterday it was too little too late. Today, I stumbled upon them early and they were bigger.” Bigger and better is right, Gross caught three solid largemouths to skyrocket him 19 places up the leader board. “I didn’t think I would move to second, but I knew I would move way up there. I just want to thank Quantum and Powell rods.
Tomorrow, Gross along with Mezenen and the entire field hope the fish move in and replenish the bite as the final day of the 2012 Southwest Division Championship begins. “There’s a chance some fish could move in, but in this lake there are so few largemouths. I don’t look for them to be there, big plus if they are.”