Rodriguez and Delaware State Team Hold Tight to the Lead

Mid-Atlantic state team anglers inched one day closer to the titles and all the glory as day two of the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Division Championship wrapped up on the Potomac River.  The competition’s wide open as the standings are tight both in the individual and overall state team standings.  But, yesterday’s leaders Rodriguez of Maryland and the Delaware state team are fighting hard to shut them down.  Tomorrow, we’ll see who will claim the division champion titles and earn a ticket the national contest.

The 14 anglers advancing from TBF’s Mid-Atlantic division will meet next spring on Grand Lake in Grove, Okla.  There they’ll compete against each other and the top two division champions in each state from six other TBF divisions. 94 total anglers, including the top two Canadian Bass Federation anglers and the ACA Collegiate National Champions, will go head to head for over $200,000 in cash and prizes and the esteemed “Living the Dream” prize package.  The package includes paid entry in the FLW Tour as a tour pro for the year with travel expenses and use of a wrapped Ranger Boat and Chevrolet truck.

Dan Rodriguez from Monkton, Md., put together another solid limit of bass today that weighed 13lbs 13ounces.  “I’ve been burning a lot of gas, covering a lot of water,” Rodriguez said.  “It was hectic.  My non-boater today said he’d never fished with anyone that ran around so much.”

Rodriguez had a healthy 9-10lb limit, but continued to work the water right up to the bitter end.  “We pulled up to the last spot and I threw in with about four minutes left to catch my 5lb 1ounce kicker.”  The 5lb 1ounce beauty helped lock him into first, but it might take more than that to seal the deal.

“It was tougher for me today, because I like low water.  The weather was beautiful and the tide came in really good, but it didn’t want to go out.”  The wind came out of the south, southeast and blew the water up hurting Rodriguez’s shallow water hunt.  He’ll go into the final day holding on to the leader board, and we’ll see if he can put it together just one more time. “Winning the tournament would be great, but if I can win in my state; that’s what really matters.”

Inching closer to his number one goal is the 2009 TBF National Champion and “Living the Dream” angler, Robert Harkness, from Elizabeth, W.Va.  Harkness moved from third to tie Brian Laclair from Denton, Md., for second.  Harkness had a limit of bass weighing 14lbs 1ounce making his tournament total 27lbs 1ounce.  Laclair, who tied Ed Loughran from Nations Capitol for second yesterday, has made it clear he’s not going anywhere.

Laclair caught a limit weighing 14lbs for a two day total of 27lbs 1ounce.  “It was tough today, just had to work hard,” Laclair said.  “I got the bites I needed, but it took me all day to get them.”

Rodriguez is not the only angler troubled by the south wind.  “The south wind is locking the tide and is not helping me any.  If the tide leaves, the bite is on.”  Laclair broke one good fish off at the end of the day that could have pushed him to the top.  “I had one fish I needed to cull but other than that it was just the tide that kind of messed me up. I’ll have to do some more scrambling tomorrow.”

Laclair’s settling into a honey hole that’s surprisingly quiet.  “There’s a lot of fish in there but it’s kind of lonely, which is good.  Angler’s are coming and going but I guess they’re just not giving it the tender loving care it needs.”  Tomorrow, he’s going back in to see if can find what he needs to break away from the second place slot.  “I’m going to go see if they break, if not my teams going to help me out.  I think it’s going to take another 14-15lbs to win it, but as long as I maintain my lead in Delaware I’ll be good.  Tomorrow we will just see what happens.”

In the team standings, Delaware continues to lead it with 51 fish today weighing 105lbs 7ounces making their two day total 195lbs 3ounces.  In second, is the Virginia state team with 50 bass weighing 83lbs making their two day total 169lbs 2ounces.  Pennsylvania made a huge move to third with 47 fish weighing 91lbs 8ounces and a tournament total of 150lbs 9ounces.  West Virginia is in fourth with 149lbs 14ounces.  Nations Capitol moves to fifth with 149lbs 1ounce followed by New Jersey and Maryland.  Full Results Here

Tomorrow, all roads lead to the 2013 Federation National Championship as the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Division Championship continues on the Potomac River.