2011 B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Western Divisional
Navajo Lake - Bloomfield, NM, May 11 - 13, 2011

B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Western Divisional Day One

Robert Montgomery
The weigh-in for the Western Divisional sits on a bluff above the Navajo Lake State Park Marina.

BLOOMFIELD, N.M. -- Colorado used a team effort to claim first place among 11 states on Day One of the Western Divisional presented by Yamaha and Skeeter. With 76-14, it leads New Mexico by 1 pound, 1 ounce.

By contrast, the host team relied on the day’s two largest limits to claim second and distance itself from third-place Washington by more than 10 pounds.

With conditions less than ideal because of two days of cold weather, Jay Salisbury of nearby Aztec still managed 15-9, while teammate Kenny Hansel contributed 12-9.

But Colorado anglers brought in 5 of the day’s 27 limits, anchored by Ed McCaw’s 10-6. His five-fish bag featured a 4-9 smallmouth.

“We better be leading,” said teammate John Gardner after he brought in a 9-7 limit. “This is kind of our home lake.”

Steve Ragsdale, New Mexico B.A.S.S. Federation Nation president, agreed with that assessment. “We fish Navajo every year as one of our four tournaments, so all our guys have been here,” he explained.

“But the guys from Durango fish it a lot and so does the club up in Cortez.”

Both Durango and Cortez are in Colorado, just across the state line in this Four Corners area, where Arizona and Utah complete the intersection.

Ragsdale added that he was disappointed in Navajo’s performance on this May day when the high temperature probably didn’t reach 60 and gusty winds blew out of the north/northwest.

“Three weeks ago, there were three limits of 16 pounds brought in (during a tournament), and an 8.67 (pounds) largemouth,” he said. “Normally, at this time of year, you could expect some 20-pound bags by now, and you’d expect to see more blacks (largemouth bass), but this cold front has messed things up.”

Most of the 359 bass weighed in were smallmouths, but several 4-pound-plus largemouths were taken on this 15,000-acre impoundment that also is home to trout, northern pike and kokanee salmon.

As is typical in a tournament’s first round, anglers didn’t want to reveal what baits they used to catch their fish. The notable exception was Utah’s Tyler Swaney, who said that he used a pink fluke to catch the day’s smallest keeper, a 1-2 smallmouth. “It was a pink fluke,” he said, “and it won’t be on the deck tomorrow.”

Following Colorado, New Mexico, and Washington in the team standings are Oregon, California, Idaho, Arizona, Montana, Utah, Wyoming and Nevada.

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