UPCOMING EVENT: FLW SERIES - 2020 - Toledo Bend Lake

Steady Eddie

Steady Eddie
Eddie Armstrong put his local Columbus Pool knowledge to good use today, leading the Mississippi state team and the tournament overall with a day-one limit weighing 12 pounds, 3 ounces.

COLUMBUS, Miss. - Two local anglers scored the top two spots on the overall weight list on day one of The Bass Federation Central Division Championship presented by the National Guard on the Columbus Pool of the Tenn-Tom Waterway. Leading the overall 84-man field - and, more importantly, the Mississippi state team - is Eddie Armstrong of West Point with a five-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 3 ounces.

In TBF divisional competition, taking the overall lead does provide bragging rights, but the real competition this week is the race among the states and the competition within each state's team. Seven states - Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas - each sent 12 competitors to this week's event, and Armstrong is leading not only the overall weight race but also the Mississippi state team.

He has close competition there, though, as Matt Ferguson of Pontotoc, Miss., is second in his state and second overall with a four-bass catch weighing 11 pounds, 7 ounces. And while Mississippi anglers boast the top two overall catches today, Arkansas is actually currently leading the race among the states with a day-one combined haul of 60 pounds, just edging No. 2 Mississippi's 56 pounds, 10 ounces. Tournament cash awards are given to the winning state team, not to the winning angler, who does receive a $500 Wal-Mart gift card as the Castrol Maximum Performer.

Armstrong employs local know-how

Armstrong lives about 10 minutes away from the tournament host site of Columbus and put his Columbus Pool knowledge to good use today.

"It went pretty easy this morning," Armstrong said. "I had four of them quick, and then I caught my fifth fish and spent the rest of the day trying to get my partner to catch fish."

While some leaders ran to the Aliceville or Aberdeen pools, Armstrong stayed close to catch his 12-3 limit.

"I was fishing on the Columbus Pool, and I'm fishing deep but shallow," he said. "Where I went this morning, people hadn't been down there, but I could only get four there. Then I had to struggle, but I caught eight keepers today."

Indeed, fishing pressure resulting from last week's Stren Series event here on the Columbus Pool did have an impact on TBF competitors today. Armstrong's hole appeared unscathed from last week's onslaught.

As for his chances the next two days, Armstrong said, "They're fair. I think I have a chance to get close to that (weight) again."

Maloney leads Missouri, sits third overall

Brian Maloney leads the Missouri state team with a 10-pound, 6-ounce catch that put him third overall.Brian Maloney of Osage Beach, Mo., leads the Missouri state team with a five-bass limit weighing 10 pounds, 6 ounces that put him in third on the overall weight list. Despite what will surely be a threat from Mississippi anglers familiar with the Columbus Pool, Maloney stands a good chance given that he believes he's figured out something a little different.

"The entire week of practice, I've been paying attention to what everybody is doing and staying away from that," Maloney said. "There's nobody around me. I might have another day before everybody figures it out."

Maloney bagged an early limit and decided to make a test run out to farther waters, though that was a search that ultimately proved unfruitful.

"I'm just flipping very shallow water," he said. "I had those fish by 7:15 or 7:30, and I decided to run down, but I caught nothing to bump those five out."

Maloney ultimately caught 12 keepers, though, and it looks like he's hit a well that runs deep.

"I got here at 5 a.m. Saturday and went on the water - I was a little tired," he said of his practice time. "I've got some big ones I'm leaving alone."

Maloney, who is fishing this week as a boater, leads Kevin Smith in Missouri state competition by 1 pound, 6 ounces.

Glasgow tops Oklahoma team, fourth overall

Oklahoma state leader Jay Glasgow shows the crowd a 5-pound, 9-ouncer that helped put him in fourth place overall.With a four-bass catch weighing 9 pounds, 12 ounces, Jay Glasgow leads the Oklahoma state team and sits fourth on the overall weight list after day one. He opened up a substantial lead on his state team with that catch, as he currently tops Jody Linder by 4 pounds, 5 ounces.

When asked how he caught his fish today, Glasgow, whose sack included a 5-pound, 9-ouncer, responded "pure luck."

"It was hot," he said. "Everything was pretty early. I caught them on worms, jigs and lizards."

Like the other leaders, Glasgow reported catching his fish close by.

"I'm fishing grass and wood," he said. "A combination of both is the best. But I may not catch a fish tomorrow. I'm going on a wing and a prayer."

Glasgow is competing this week as a boater.

Alexander leads Texas by more than 2 pounds

Dean Alexander leads the Texas state team and sits in fifth overall with a day-one catch of 9 pounds, 6 ounces.Taking command of the Texas state team is Dean Alexander of Florence, Texas, with a day-one limit of bass weighing 9 pounds, 6 ounces. That puts Alexander, a boater, ahead of Tom Enloe by 2 pounds, 3 ounces. The weight also put him fifth on the overall weight list.

"I had to work pretty hard," Alexander said of his day-one catch. "It's been fishing tough. This lake's been hit hard."

Despite the tough conditions, Alexander reported culling twice today en route to taking the Texas state lead.

"I'm just flipping shallow," he said. "I lost quite a few in the morning. I'm finesse-fishing in this pool."

Persistence, Alexander said, is the key to fishing Columbus Pool this week.

"I'm just staying after it," he said. "I ought to be able to get a limit every day."

Lancaster holds slim lead in Arkansas state competition

Holding a slim lead on the Arkansas state team is Justin Lancaster with 8-11 on day one.Justin Lancaster of Plainview, Ark., caught a limit of bass weighing 8 pounds, 11 ounces to top the Arkansas state team by a scant 8 ounces. His catch also landed him in the top 10 overall, as he ended the day seventh in the total-weight contest.

Lancaster, fishing as a co-angler this week, was able to fish part of the day from a spot of his choosing, a perk that turned out to be key.

"I started this morning on my partner's fish, and I missed a keeper," he said. "I thought it was going to be a long day. Then we went to my spot, and I caught my first keeper at 11 o'clock, and I caught my last one with seven minutes to go before weigh-in."

Lancaster was fishing a spinnerbait in the Columbus Pool to land his bass.

"I hope I get a good draw tomorrow," he said. "My fish got hit hard today. I just kept my head down and kept fishing."

Smith leads Kansas team with 6-8

Leading the Kansas contingent is Rick Smith of Gardener, Kan., with a day-one catch of five bass weighing 6 pounds, 8 ounces. That put him in front of fellow Kansas angler Robert Garver by 2 pounds, 2 ounces and landed him 14th on the overall weight list.

"We went up to the Aberdeen Pool," said Smith, who is competing this week as a co-angler. "I'd never been there - I spent four days in Aliceville. I caught them on the weedbeds, and I was flipping weedbeds and brush all day."

Smith said he caught nothing deep, with depths ranging from 6 inches to 2 feet proving productive for him today.

"I feel pretty good, as long as we stay on this pattern," Smith said of his tournament chances. "But they're bringing in good catches from other parts of the lake, so maybe I'll get lucky. I'm kind of at my partner's mercy."

Cagle takes small lead on tough Louisiana team

Rounding out the state leaders is Ross Cagle of Downsville, La., with a day-one limit of 5 pounds, 12 ounces that has him just 9 ounces in front of his nearest competition, Mike Baker of Bastrop, La. It stays tight from there, as Ernest Smoak is only 2 ounces behind Cagle, and Josh Moore sits just 2 ounces behind Smoak.

Kevin Smith of Lincoln, Mo., earned $250 for catching the daySmith takes big-bass lead

In big-bass competition, Kevin Smith of Lincoln, Mo., currently leads with a monster 6-pound, 8-ouncer that propelled him to second in his state competition. That fish earned him $250, and though he caught 9 pounds today, the 6-8 alone would have landed him tied for 14th overall.

Competition continues tomorrow

TBF Central Divisional qualifiers will head out again tomorrow on the Columbus Pool with a 5:30 a.m. takeoff from Columbus Marina, located at 295 Marina Drive in Columbus. Tomorrow's weigh-in will also be held there beginning at 2:30 p.m.

Tags: jennifer-simmons  headline-story  2007-06-13-divisional-tenn-tom-waterway 

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