Yankton, S.D.—Doing a good deed for the day paid off for Nathan Bourque today at the BASS Federation Nation Central Divisional at Lewis & Clark Reservoir.
On his run up the river in the morning he noticed a boat stuck in the shallows, so he pulled over to help. "It delayed 30 minutes off our time but it was my nephew (Tim Carmouche) so I had to stop and push him off," said Bourque. The 39-year-old analyzer inspector for Shell Oil Company still found plenty of time in the morning to catch a 12-pound, 1-ounce limit and take over the lead in the Central Divisional.
"The fish are spawning," said Bourque, who estimated he caught 15 to 17 keepers throughout the day and had his limit by 8 a.m. "They were in the same place that I found them in practice and they hit the same bait."
Although he has never fished the lake before, Bourque has plenty of experience with the pattern he is employing. "What I am doing is typical South Louisiana type fishing," revealed the Ascension Area Anglers club member.
This combined tournament features competitors from eight states vying for individual and team honors. Anglers finishing on top in their team standings qualify for a berth to the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Championship, amateur bass fishing's ultimate event. Their daily catches also count towards their team's score with the eight Federation Nations competing for divisional bragging rights and the grand prize of a ZX180 bass boat/Yamaha outboard rig valued at $30,000.
Oklahoma leads the team standings with 95 pounds, 8 ounces while Texas is in the runner-up spot with 94-6. Tournament leader Bourque also tops his Louisiana team and the seven other state leaders including Michael Palmer, Arkansas; Dennis Hamel, Kansas; Skipper Smith, Mississippi; Greg Cooper, Missouri; Jared Knuth, Nebraska; Dale Roden, Oklahoma; and Bryan Schmidt, Texas.
Central Divisional state champions and the top team of the divisional will be determined at the conclusion of this three-day event on Friday.
Daily launches and weigh-ins are being held at the Midway unit of the Lewis & Clark Recreation Area. Weigh-ins begin at 2 p.m. CDT each day.