Day One of TBF Central Division Championship

Yankton, South Dakota, – June 4, 2008

Today was a great day for fishing! Over 65% of the anglers caught a limit here on Day one of the TBF Central Division Championship in Yankton, S. Dakota. 96 fishermen from 8 states brought in nearly 400 fish today, totaling just over 563 lbs. All fish were released alive, and every angler caught at least one. In other words, there were a lot of smiling fishermen. Two days ago this might not have been the case for some. Due to water levels too low to navigate, as well as, safety issues, the tournament that was originally scheduled to be held at the Lewis and Clark Reservoir, had to be moved to Lake Francis Case. It happened at the last moment when the lake authority notified TBF officials on Monday that water levels would drop even farther. So, not only do these fishermen get solely one day to practice, but, most of them are driving 30 minutes more than planned every day. However, their work and dedication has definitely paid off, and the results have proved it.

The Oklahoma team is leading the pack with a combined weight of 85 lbs. 10 ounces. “Our team works really great together. Our strategy was to go out there for one day and pre-fish, then, pull in all the information from what every member had ran into. Each day we meet together, share and strategize so we can be successful as a team, and I think we’ve proved that today,” Oklahoma team captain, Don Linder, said.

The rest of the field is fairly tight; Arkansas is a mere 8 ounces behind Oklahoma with 85 lbs. 2 ounces. Missouri is third at 73 lbs. 12 ounces. So, it will be exciting to see what team is on top after tomorrows weigh-in. For the rest of the state standings click here.

Kelly Box from Arkansas came out on top overall in the individual standings with 10 lbs. 7 ounces. “Actually, this is not the kind of fishing I was prepared for, but I have made it work, and I’m loving fishing for smallmouth bass. Fishing as a co-angler can be a little harder, but I’m thankful to have had a great partner. We fished in one area close to the ramp, and even though today was tougher because of the sun, I caught what was needed to be at the top,” Kelly said.

Following close behind, is Marion Halbersma from Missouri. Marion also caught a 4 lb. smallmouth, making him the big bass winner for the day.

The TBF President, Robert Cartlidge, is leading his home state of Oklahoma with a 9 lbs 9 ounce limit. “It’s a pleasant surprise to be leading because I’m a power fishermen; muddy water, heavy line is where I feel at home, visibility at this lake is 15 ft. in places. While others were down sizing lines and baits, I stuck with what I knew; I caught every fish on either Berkley Vanish 20# Floruocarbon, or Trilene 15# Big Game on 7 12 foot flipping sticks.” Cartlidge said. For full individual standings, and which two anglers are currently leading their respective states, click here.

The top two leaders from each state will advance to the Federation National Championship in 2009. There they will compete for the largest purse in over 30 years of federation.

Day 2 of this 3 day event will get under way tomorrow, with weigh-in at 3:30 at Prairie Dog bay Ramp, in Northville state park. Weigh-ins are free to the public.