Idaho Takes Commanding Lead; Lippincott Sails Into First

With wind gusts up to 50mph on CJ Strike the anglers took a beating on day two of the 2012 Northwest Division Championship presented by Cabela’s in Mountain Home, Id.  The anglers weren’t the only ones, the winds shook the bite leaving the weights low and most anglers pulling up short.  Eric Lippincott from the Wyoming state team brought in 11lbs 15ounces to move into first with a total of 27lbs 15ounces, just eight ounces ahead of yesterday’s leader Jason Hickey.  Tomorrow, the anglers will leave it all out on the water as they face-off in the final day of the 2012 Northwest Division Championship.  The top two anglers, one boater and co-angler from each state, will advance to the 2013 Federation National Championship where they’ll vie for the national champion titles and the esteemed “Living the Dream” prize package, which includes paid entry fees as an FLW Tour Pro for the year and use of a wrapped Ranger Boat and Chevrolet truck.  There’s a lot on the line for these 60 anglers as the final day of the 2012 Northwest Division Championship begins tomorrow on CJ Strike Reservoir.

Eric Lippincott from Daniel, Wy., was worried about the wind yesterday but had goals to catch about 11-12lbs.  Today, he accomplished that goal to grab the top spot going into tomorrow’s final day weigh-in.

Yesterday’s leader, close behind Lippincott is Jason Hickey from Weiser, Id.  Hickey brought in 7lbs 4ounces making his two day total 27lbs 7ounces.  “It was a long day.  The wind was a major factor,” Hickey said.  “These bed fish are real shallow and the beating from the wind has got them all out of whack.”  Hickey was relying on them being there today.  But, with the wind gusts as they were his bed fish were hard to read.  “If they were up there feeding I think they would have held out, but we don’t have a lot of clear water around here to see what they are doing.  I think they are still there; they’re there or they’re not far away.”  Yesterday, Hickey was ready to bring on the rain, but after today he’s hoping it calms down overnight and clears up so they will be ready for the bite tomorrow.  “Bed fish at that stage aren’t going to leave.  I think they’re just hunkered down, irritated by the wind.”  Today, Hickey had company as other anglers settled in on his honey hole.  “Lots of boats, lots of baits, whoever figures out how to pull the trigger tomorrow figures out how to catch them.  It’s a home lake, so I outta know somewhere else to go if it doesn’t pan out; for me it will come down to when to stay and when to go.”

On the state team side Idaho has taken a commanding lead with 84lbs 15ounces making their two day total 234lbs 14ounces.  Oregon state team follows in second with 66lbs 9ounces today making their total 177lbs 1ounce.  Washington had 51lbs 3ounces in third with 156lbs.  In fourth and fifth, is Wyoming with 43lbs 9ounces, 152lbs total and Montana with 41lbs 5ounces, 142lbs 15ounces total.

Going into the final day the top two anglers from each state are as follows:  Idaho; Jason Hickey and Keegan Graves; Oregon; Rocky Ward and Edward Hodges; Washington; Ryan Gates and Roy Van Slyke; Wyoming; Eric Lippincott and Tory Thomas; Montana; Stan Fisher and Sid Ziegler.