6/7/12 – A little cloud cover and drizzle made for a perfect combination for fishing today on Okeechobee for day two of the 2012 Southern Division Championship, presented by Ranger. Three anglers brought in bags that weighed over 20 lbs today.
The largest sack of the day and the tournament so far, was brought in by host state Florida State Team Member Scott Bumgarner. He brought in a monstrous sack of fish that weighed 27 lbs 8 oz. He had three fish over six pounds each. “I caught them all on frogs and swimbaits. I had a late bite because of the moon, I caught my first big one right at noon. From then until 2:30, I was catching them all in about a 200 yard stretch,” said Bumgarner. Okeechobee is his home lake where he fishes at least once a month. This is Bumgarner’s first appearance on the Florida Bass Federation State Team after fishing for almost 15 years in the Federation. Bumgarner has a near 15 lb lead in his state standings over Scott Pritt. The top two of each state will fish in the 2013 TBF National Championship next spring.
In a very close second place is Kentucky Bass Federation’s Brian Hickey. Hickey weighed in a 24 lb 14 oz bag today to jump him up to the top rankings, taking a nearly 7 lb lead over the 3rd place angler, NC’s Michael Collins, who was the day one leader. “This is my first time to Okeechobee. I don’t get to fish shallow/vegetation waters. I am used to ledge fishing on Kentucky/Barkley Lake. I had been looking forward to this and it has been everything I thought it would be. It’s amazing how shallow the lake is,” said Hickey. “I am keying in on hydrilla, using my strengths with soft plastics. I’ve got areas I haven’t fished yet. Tomorrow I will go back to the place I’ve been catching them, if I don’t catch what I need to, I’m going to run up to the water I’ve been saving.” Hickey is really impressed by the sportsmanship of the Southern Division competitors, especially the teams from Alabama and Florida. “These teams are just classy and ethical. Those two teams know where I’ve been catching them and none of their state team members have come in on my areas. It’s something you don’t see in the sport of bass fishing much anymore, and I’m very thankful for their ethical and sportsmanlike class.” Hickey has qualified for the Kentucky State Team before, but this would be his first trip to Nationals if he keeps up the good work tomorrow.
In the state team standings, Bumgarner’s 27 lbs today helped jump Florida to the top in state standings with 257-6. In second is Georgia with 235-8. Alabama is in 3rd with 219-7.
Tomorrow, 14 anglers will be advancing to the 2013 TBF National Championship in hopes of winning it all and be named the National Champion with the $100,000 “Living the Dream” prize package. The top of each state advances as a boater and the 2nd place angler in each state will advance as a co-angler.
Be sure to tune in to FLW Outdoors THIS Sunday. The 2012 TBF National Championship will be aired on NBC Sports Network at 1PM EST.
The Southern Division concludes tomorrow on Lake Okeechobee. Weigh-in begins at 2:30 and are open and free to the public.
For more information about The Bass Federation, visit www.BassFederation.com, join us onwww.Facebook.com/TheBassFederation and follow us on Twitter @bassfederation