UPCOMING EVENT: ABU GARCIA COLLEGE FISHING - 2020 - Harris Chain of Lakes

Brighter prospects

Brighter prospects
Amid the soft glow of navigational lights, TBF anglers discuss strategies for day two of the Championship on Bull Shoals Lake.

BRANSON, Mo. - They might actually shed a jacket today. Absent the cold, dreary grayness that blanketed day one, anglers in the second round of the TBF National Championship action on Bull Shoals Lake will see more blue above them and feel less chill around them.

The cold front that sent air temperatures on a 20-degree plunge two nights prior to the tournament lingered through the opening round and even dropped a few snowflakes on the Ranger bass boats furnished to competitors. Today's high will reach about 46 degrees - some 10 notches warmer than Leading the event by a slim margin, Michigan boater Derek Cummings will return to the crankbait pattern that he fished on day one.yesterday.

Presented by the National Guard, the TBF Championship will cut its 44-boat field to six after today's competition. The top boater and the top co-angler from each of the six TBF divisions will advance to Saturday's final round.

Day one saw several competitors weighing sacks of 15-plus pounds. Topping the boater field, as well as his Northern Division, Derek Cummings of Mason, Mich. carries 19 pounds, 3 ounces into day two. Trailing Cummings by four ounces is Franksville, Wisc. Boater Nick Smyers - a man on a mission.

Sitting just four ounces out of the lead, Nick Smyers of Franksville, Wisc. said he"I have to get it done today so I'm going to put the screws to it," Smyers said. "There's no day three if you don't do it on day two."

Cummings plans to maintain his position by replicating what he did on day one - cranking transitional areas where bluffs blend into chunk rock. Using a C-Flash crankbait in threadfin shad color to target spots in 10-12 feet, Cummings said a different scene for day two won't alter his pattern.

"I don't think it's going to affect me," he said. "I would definitely like to see a little wind and cloud cover, but I don't think (today's conditions) are going to change it too much."

Cummings caught a mix of spotted, smallmouth and largemouth bass on day one. He's looking for more Many anglers, like New Jersey boater, Scott Weiland, will be throwing crankbaits.of the latter - ideally those with bulging girths. "Of course, I'd like to catch another 19-pound bag, but I think if I can get between 17 and 18, I'll be ok. I'd like to catch more of the largemouths because they tend to be the heavier ones."

Also throwing a crankbait, along with a jerkbait and a jig, New Jersey boater Scott Weiland will be looking to improve on the 7-pound bag he weighed on day one. He said he'll start with a Wigglewort crank and alter his tactics based on how the fish respond.

Co-angler Derrick Martineau rigs up a rod in the pre-launch darkness."The crankbait bite slowed down yesterday and it seemed like they got on the jerkbait a little better, so I'll mix it up a little bit" Weiland said. "I'll start off with the crankbait to see if the fish are more aggressive than they were yesterday and I'll make my adjustments as the day progresses. The crankbaits gets more quantity of bites, but the jerkbait definitely gets the bigger bites."

Weiland is hoping that today's brighter skies will yield opportunities for targeted presentations. "I think (the sunshine) will help. Maybe it will tighten them up to cover better and I can pick them apart with a jig."


Logistics

The TBF Championship comprises 44 boaters and 44 co-anglers representing six TBF divisions nationwide. Competitors qualified through local, state and divisional championship series tournaments. The boater and co-angler with the heaviest cumulative weight from three days will win their respective championships.

TBF National Championship anglers are competing for their share of over $200,000 in cash and The tournamentmerchandise. The top boater and top co-angler from each of the TBF's six divisions will advance to the 2009 Wal-Mart BFL All-American presented by Chevy. The TBF National Champion boater and co-angler also qualify for the 2009 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Castrol. Additionally, the winning boater at the TBF National Championship will receive $10,000 cash, the use of a "Living the Dream" wrapped Chevy truck and Ranger boat powered by Evinrude or Yamaha, sponsor merchandise, paid entry fees into the winner's choice of either the 2010 FLW Tour or Wal-Mart FLW Series and travel expense money.

Anglers will take off daily from the K-Dock Marina located at 295 Highway K Marina Drive in Kirbyville, Mo. Anglers will weigh in today at 4 p.m. at the Branson Convention Center, located at 200 W. Main St. Saturday's weigh-in will begin at 3 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Eager to make the cut for day three, TBF anglers blasted off with great expectations.In conjunction with the weigh-in today and Saturday, as well as Sunday's final weigh-in of the FLW Tour event on Table Rock Lake, FLW Outdoors will host a free Family Fun Zone and outdoor show at the Branson Convention Center each day at noon. The Family Fun Zone offers fans a chance to meet their Fantasy Fishing team anglers face-to-face and review the latest products from Berkley, Lowrance, Ranger, Evinrude, Yamaha and other sponsors while children are treated to giveaways, fishing themed games and rides like the Ranger Boat simulator. Children 14 and under visiting the Family Fun Zone on Sunday will receive a free rod and reel combo courtesy of US 97 FM while supplies last.
The TBF Championship is hosted by the 2009 TBF National Championship is hosted by Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau as well as the Missouri Bass Federation.

Friday's conditions:

Sunrise: 7:29 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 30 degrees
Expected high temperature: 46 degrees
Water temperature: 48-54 degrees
Wind: from the ENE 8 mph
Humidity: 4 percent
Day's outlook: Partly cloudy

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2009-03-12-tbf-national-championship 

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