Weather Gets Better, Fishing Gets Tougher

TBF Championship, Day 2

David Hart

The 88 anglers competing in The Bass Federation Championship were greeted with warmer weather on the second day, but after bringing their fish to the scales at the Branson Convention Center, it’s safe bet many of them wanted the nasty weather they dealt with on Day 1 to return There was no snow, no wind and the daytime high inched up into the 40s. The fishing on Bull Shoals Lake, however, went the other way. Although 23 anglers in the boater division brought limits to the scales, only two broke the 15-pound mark.

One of them was Wisconsin angler Nicholas Smyers, who moved from second overall to first with a two-day total of 34 pounds, 11 ounces. He edged out Derek Cummings, yesterday’s Northern Division leader, by 3 pounds, 9 ounces to advance to the final day. The top boater and co-angler from each Federation division advanced to the final day and keep their cumulative weights from the first two days.

Brandon Craner of Idaho weighed a 13-pound limit for a two-day total of 30-3. He’s in second overall. Tennessee angler Daniel Ellis is in third with 28-3; Zach King of Arkansas caught five today that weighed 12 pounds, 7 ounces. His two-day weight stands at 27-10. Robert Harkness of West Virginia caught 27 pounds, 2 ounces over two days and is in fifth. New York angler Rob LaMoy is in sixth place with 19-13.

It was even tougher for the co-anglers, who brought 11 five-bass limits to the stage on the first day, but only two on the second day. The top six co-anglers in order are Mark Modrak of Michigan, Woody Parks of Lincolnton, Georgia, Terry Necaise of Mississippi, David Martinez of Arizona, Eric Stewart of West Virginia, and Peter De Moya of Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Ironically, Stewart and boater Robert Harkness have switched roles for this tournament. Stewart fished as a boater for the West Virginia state team at the Mid-Atlantic Divisional tournament while Harkness fished as a co-angler.

All 12 of the anglers fishing in the TBF Championship’s final day will advance to the $1 million BFL All American in May. But first, they will be focusing on catching another limit on the final day of the TBF Championship. The winner of the boater division will not only win a cash prize, he’ll win the TBF’s Living The Dream package, which includes paid entry into either the Wal Mart FLW Tour or Series, the use of a wrapped Chevy truck and Ranger boat, merchandise and expense money. He’ll also win a trip to the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup in August where he will compete against the best anglers in the world. The winner of the co-angler division will also advance to the Forrest Wood Cup.

The final weigh-in will be held at 3 pm at the Branson Convention Center.