Day Two Western Divisional Results
COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — The single 20-pound stringer that came across the scales of the BASS Federation Nation Western Divisional, when compared to the 10 weighed in on the first day, gave proof to increasing difficulties on the water.Further proof? Only six anglers failed to weigh fish during the first day of the BASS Federation Western Divisional Championship, but that number doubled to 12 on the second day as weather turned from overcast and cool to clear and warm.However, while weights fell across the board, Oregon's Mike Baskett still managed to add 18 pounds, 15 ounces to his first-day stringer to take the lead with a total of 40-11.The only problem is that his waters are anything but secret."There are a lot of people around me," Baskett said. "Bites are hard to get."Baskett said he received 17 bites all day, missing only two of them. Of the bass he landed, only six were keepers.
And he said there really is nothing special about what he was doing, so he wasn't sure why he was able to land such a strong bag when others struggled in the same area."I'm watching guys, and they're doing the same exact thing I'm doing," Baskett said. "It might be the bait, and it might be the presentation (of the bait) after it hits the water. Much of the field worried on stage that pressure on the few hot spots would hurt the bite on the last day, while others complained that cold runoff from melting snow on the surrounding mountains was cooling water temperatures and hampering the bite.However, Baskett said his area is protected from snow melt, so the continued warming trend predicted by forecasters should strengthen his hand.
"The water's warming up, and it's going to continue to warm up," he said. "I think more fish will be moving up."
His only concern was that there wasn't much space between him and the other top leaders: Just over 4 pounds is all that separated Baskett from fifth-place Jim Armstrong of Montana.
"I need to maximize (his efforts) tomorrow," Baskett said. "I don't feel I can lose two fish like I did today."
In addition to leading the individual competition, Baskett leads his state team in the race for a spot at the BASS Federation Nation Championship set for November at Kansas' Milford Lake. There are 11 state teams competing at Coeur d'Alene Lake, and the top anglers from each of those teams moves onto the championship in search of a 2009 Bassmaster Classic berth.
Joining Baskett in the state-team competition are Murray White, Arizona; Pat Wilson, California; Dave Gerhardt, Colorado; Brandon Palaniuk, Idaho; Jim Armstrong, Montana; Tim Myers, Nevada; Mickey Trousdale, New Mexico; Mike Powell, Utah; Jim Garrett, Washington; and Bill Golightly, Wyoming.While each angler is trying to win the overall title and beat their fellow state team members, team members also are working together to win the team competition. Leading that part of the tournament is Idaho, which is more than 30 pounds ahead of its nearest competitor with a two-day weight of 172-9. Oregon is in second with 141-5, and Montana remained in third with 124-8.Daily launches begin at 9 a.m. at Higgins Point outside Coeur d'Alene, with weigh-ins beginning there each day at 5 p.m.