La Crosse, Wisc. (Sept. 5, 2012) – Ben Otto of the Wisconsin State Team leads overall after the first day of the 2012 TBF Northern Division Championship, presented by Cabela’s on the Mississippi River at La Crosse, Wisc. The anglers are fishing pools 7, 8 & 9 this week.
Twenty-nine year old Otto, who was also the Wisconsin State Champion, took a very early lead when he weighed in 17-00 lbs. He had a kicker smallie that weighed 4 lbs. “I caught most of my fish on one little school. I had a pretty good limit by 10 o’clock today,” said Otto. “I know we have a weather change coming up, it could make things interesting on the third day, but things are going ok so far.” Otto is very familiar with the waters, he grew up in La Crosse, but now lives near Green Bay.
The race within the Wisconsin State Team is close with fellow teammate, Chad Richardson not far behind. Richardson is sitting in 2nd place overall. He had a limit that weighed 15 lbs 4 oz today. The top two anglers of each state will be moving on to the 2013 TBF National Championship next spring. The first place state team member will advance as an angler, the second place will advance as a co-angler.
Wisconsin Bass Federation sponsored the daily big bass prize by awarding each winner with a free customized Atomic Bass jersey. Today’s big bass goes to Bryan Thrasher of the Illinois State Team who weighed in a 4 lb 14 oz large mouth. Thrasher is currently in 4th place overall with 13 lbs 13 oz and is leading his state.
In the state team standings, it is no surprise the host Wisconsin Bass Federation has taken a commanding 22 lb lead over Ohio with 146 lbs 13 oz. “We are actually doing quite well, but our lead should have been a lot bigger than what we have. We will be discussing a few things in our team meeting tonight and hopefully will do a little better tomorrow,” said Andy Ritchie, Wisconsin Team Captain.
Ohio is in 2nd place in team standings with 124 lbs 2 oz, Indiana is in 3rd with 112 lbs 15 oz; Illinois – 106 lbs 11 oz; Minnesota – 86 lbs 7 oz and Michigan in 6th with 80 lbs 10 oz. Minnesota will be giving up their cup on Friday to the new Northern Division Champs of 2012.
The race continues tomorrow for these 72 Northern anglers. The weather is expected to change on Thursday evening with a strong cold front moving in, making the high on Friday 67 with rainy conditions.
Daily take offs and weigh-ins are at Clinton Street Landing West. They are open and free to the public. Weigh-ins begin daily at 3pm. Be sure to follow updates on BassFederation.com, Facebook.com/TheBassFederation or follow us on twitter @bassfederation.
The TBF Divisional Series of 2012 wraps up this month. Next week, the Eastern Division takes place on Lake Champlain. The Mid-Atlantic takes place the following week on the Potomac. Once the divisionals are finished, the qualifying field for the 2013 TBF National Championship will be determined. Anglers from 47 Federations will be competing for the coveted “Living the Dream” $100,000 prize package.