Quality not quantity proved to be the case today as the Delta released some large beauties, but still kept the bite tight, as day two of the 2010 Southwest Division Championship presented by Radback Energy came to a close.
It was apparent that fishing was tough again today for many anglers as they brought their days catch back into Russo’s Marina. Now, these TBF anglers are looking to tomorrow’s weigh-in, the final day of competition, to see who will be crowned the 2010 Southwest Division Champions. 10 TBF anglers will advance to the 2011 Federation National Championship presented by the National Guard, where they will vie for the championship title and their share of nearly a quarter of a million in cash and prizes. There’s a lot on the line for these anglers and the contest is tight, so they’re all eager to see what the Delta will look like for them tomorrow as the final day of the 2010 Southwest Division Championship will be underway.
Big stick, Phillip Garcia, from Yuba City, Calif., is leading the pack again today bringing in a five bass limit weighing 13lb 6ounces making his tournament total 31lb 15ounces.
“I did what I said I was going to do, just go out there and wing it,” Garcia said. He caught his big fish, a 5lb bass in one little spot that was the first place he’d ever fished on this lake. “I had one big one and other than that I pretty much have the same bag as everyone else. All stuff from my local knowledge; I knew the bite was so tough so I couldn’t go to the same places.” This would be Garcia’s first time to qualify for the national championship. When told he was lucky he said, “number one rule in fishing, you’re not lucky, just fortunate.”
Exactly one pound away from taking the top spot is, Larry Hardy, from Tonto Basin, Ariz., who brought in a limit of bass weighing 14lb 4ounces making his total tournament weight 30lb 15ounces.
Hardy was in second yesterday trailing by less than two pounds; today, he’s closing the gap inching closer and closer to the SouthWest Division championship title. Hardy has been a federation fisherman for 20 years and never qualified for a national contest, so, qualifying tomorrow would be an amazing accomplishment for him and his wife. “I did the same thing as yesterday, and in almost the same place,” Hardy said. “Only it took me about an hour longer to catch my limit.” Yesterday, he had his limit by 7:45, and today it was around 8:45. “I would have had it sooner but I decided to jerk one fish and it broke off. Tomorrow, I just hope they’re there; I’m going to the same place, I saved many places to try and I’m not leaving there.”
Colorado’s Ben Lind weighed in a personal best and tournament big stringer of 21lb 4ounces, including tournament big bass of 9lb 15ounces.
Lind vaults into 7th from his 44th place standing yesterday and leads the Colorado team now. He caught his big bass around 12:30.
Lind had several people to thank. He broke a shaft on his trolling motor, and Greg Gizzi, from Widefield, CO., lent him his spare. “I’m so grateful for him and what he did for me,” Lind said. “Also, without my travel partner, Brandon White, and his evil eyes spotting we wouldn’t have spotted those fish in practice.” Lind also wanted to thank his partner today, his non-boater, James Spence, from Elko, Nev. “He let me fish those big fish today. He is awesome and just an all-around great guy.”
Tomorrow, 10 TBF anglers will walk away with bragging rights and the opportunity to fish in the most prestigious federation tournament there is, the Federation National Championship, presented by the National Guard, with the hopes of one day being able to “Live the Dream”.
The final days take off begins tomorrow Friday at 6am, the final weigh-in begins at 2pm at Russo’s Marina, on Bethel Island, Calif.
It is all free to the public.