Plainview, Arkansas Native Justin Lancaster leads the Individual Overall
June 3, 2009 – Lake Dardanelle, Russellville, AR
Three Oklahoma anglers turned in the five fish limit to help push their team to first place in the opening round of the three day central division championship. The total team weight was 77 lbs 2 oz. John Pritchett of Claremore, OK led the team with a total weight of five fish weighing 14 lbs 5 oz, making him second in the overall standings for day one, right behind him on the Oklahoma team is Ada, Oklahoma’s Johnny Babb with 11-12. Only 1 lb 8 oz separated Oklahoma and Texas, who is in a very close second place. Louisiana sits in third with a team total of 65-10.
Nathan Bourque of Humble, Texas wins the Big Bass prize for day one. He turned in a 5 lb 4 oz bass, making his first day total 13 lbs 5 oz which landed him 3rd in the overall individual standings. Nathan and his paired partner, Eugene Morris of Farmerville, LA, both caught their limit today.
On a scale of one to ten, for Dardanelle, it is fishing about a “3 or 4” according to one local angler. The consensus among the contestants is that fishing “was tough.” Twenty of the ninety-six championship anglers did not manage to catch a minimum length 15” fish. Only three boating partners both filled their five-fish limit, one of which was Nathan and Eugene. Johnny Starks of Conway Springs, AR and Curtis Walker of Carl Junction, MO both caught limits in the same boat placing them in the individual standings at 9th and 10th place respectively. The final pair was Justin Lancaster of Plainview, Arkansas and Don Heaslet of Owasso, Oklahoma.
Heaslet’s limit landed him in 11th spot overall and third on the Oklahoma Team with 10 lbs 12 oz.
Lancaster’s bag landed him squarely in the overall tournament leader position after day one. His five fish limit weight turned in was 15 lbs 3 oz. Any day of holding the lead at a championship event is something special. For most a TBF Division Champion title is a once in a lifetime event. But Lancaster knows his work is not done just yet as there are two more days to go and he is taking nothing for granted as he has an Okie and two Texans on his tail. With the kinds of weights coming in right now. It would appear there is no middle ground, you are either “on them” or your struggling so tomorrow’s day two will likely tell the story in the individual standings as far as who the two or three anglers are that holds this tournament in their hands “to lose.”
Hopefully the cold front forecast for tomorrow won’t have a negative effect on tomorrow’s fishing day. Highs are supposed to be in the low 80s with possible record breaking lows overnight Thursday night.