March 30, 2012
BRANSON, Mo. - After the second day of 2012 TBF National Championship competition, Marc Snyder, of St. Johns, Mich., managed to maintain the overall lead in the Boater Division with another five bass limit weighing 10 pounds, 13 ounces, giving him a two-day total of 31 pounds, 2 ounces. "I started out in the same spot I ended up yesterday," Snyder said. "The first fish I had on I lost, then not even 10 minutes later my co-angler put the first one in the boat." Snyder had a good start this morning with two keepers in the first hour, but then had some trouble mid-afternoon trying to finish up. "Probably an hour and a half into the tournament I'm looking pretty good," he said. "Then, for about three hours it was pretty dry. After that, I got my first spot, and put my fourth fish in the boat." Less than 30 minutes until check-in Snyder rolled in on a honey hole. "I found a place loaded with fish," he said. "My first one snapped off on me and in five minutes my co-angler lost a limit. Hopefully, they will stay; I'm pretty sure they aren't going anywhere." Snyder hopes there are some beauties waiting on him tomorrow and, for now, that thought is helping him out. "It is helping," he said. "If I can go in there and catch my limit, anywhere from about 12 to 15 pounds, I can get my flippin' stick out and look to catch me a big fish." This is Snyder's first trip to nationals after qualifying four times for the Michigan state team and fishing the divisional tournaments. "If I can win this I will be tired, and call it a day," he said. "I've worked 34 years and many waters to get to this point." For the full field of 94 TBF competitors - and Snyder especially - Friday proved to be yet another beautiful day on Bull Shoals Lake. However, by the end of the day's competition, 80 anglers had been eliminated as the field was cut down to the top 14 anglers (representing the highest finishing boater and co-angler from each of the seven divisions) heading into the final contest. Best of the rest Leapfrogging from third to second and less than 4 pounds off the lead is Jeff Erickson of Phoenix, Az., with a limit of bass weighing 12 pounds, 13ounces. "I've been site-fishing mainly," said Erickson, who now boasts a two-day total of 27 pounds, 13ounces. "There are still a lot of fish moving up in the shallows. Hopefully, there will be some new fish out there again tomorrow." Erickson has been covering a large spread of water, and with weather changes rolling in tomorrow he's thinking it might help out the bite. "I actually think it will help the fishing," he said. "There might not be as much site-fishing, but I think it will turn the bite on in general. I'm looking forward to getting out there and beating them up." Yesterday, Erickson said all he needed was to make it to the final day and now he's right in the mix. "I'm right there in range in second overall; I'm not far out of it now." This is not Erickson's first time facing the pressure of being in the top 14 and fishing on final day. Consequently, Erickson says he knows what it's like to be so close to a victory and what it means to go home without that title. "I'm really calm and I feel good about tomorrow, like I have a good shot," he said. "There's a lot of fish out there to be had just got to stay focused and get it done." Erickson was quick to thank a handful of sponsors and his greatest supporter, his wife. "I'd love to thank Gary Yamamoto custom baits and Denali rods, as well as, my wife who supports me; I'm very happy." He also thanked his family back home and everybody in the TBF, FLW and Forrest Wood and Ranger Boats. Mrs. Erickson echoed her husband's enthusiasm with pride written on her face. "I'd like to say how proud I am of my husband," she said. "It's been a long road; he has worked so hard and I'm so proud of him." ACA Collegiate National Champion and boater in the Northwest Division, Miles `Sonar' Burghoff made history today by being the first to win his division and qualify to fish the final day for a shot at `Living the Dream'. He has also earned a berth in the 2012 BFL All-American for qualifying for the finals, which has been one of his major goals for the last three years as an angler in the ACA College circuit. The Cabela's Angler Cash program for TBF members proved its value today for Brian Maloney, from Osage Beach, Mo., and Wesley Taylor from Decherd, Tenn. Maloney is in third place on the boater side with 17 pounds, 6 ounces, bringing his two day total 27 pounds, 9 ounces. Taylor is currently leading on the co-angler side with 16 pounds, 6 ounces bringing his total weight to 24 pounds, 15 ounces heading into the finals. Maloney and Taylor were the highest finishing registered TBF national championship contenders with the Cabela's Angler Cash program on the boater and co-angler sides. Each walked away Cabela's Angler Cash winners with $1,000 cash. For a complete list of results in the Boater Division, click here. For a complete list of co-angler standings, click here. Tourney overview The top 14 anglers at the 2012 TBF National Championship, seven on the boater and co-angler sides, will not only earn the 2012 Division Champion titles but berths in the 2012 BFL All-American as well. After Saturday's final day of competition, the top boater and co-angler will walk away 2012 National Champions and earn berths in the prestigious 2012 Forrest Wood Cup. The national boater will also receive the $100,000 "Living the Dream" prize package, including cash and prizes, fully paid entry fees into the FLW Tour, travel funds and use of a wrapped Ranger Boat and Chevrolet truck for the year. The anglers know what's at stake and they've made the race tight. The 2012 Federation National Championship continues with the final day weigh-in on the FLW Tour main stage in Branson, Mo. The final day of the Federation National Championship will be held in conjunction with the FLW Tour event at the Walmart Supercenter in Branson, Mo. The weigh-in begins at 3 p.m. and will be streamed on FLW Outdoors live. For updates, follow TBF on www.BassFederation.com, www.Facebook.com/TheBassFederation or on Twitter @bassfederation.