CLEWISTON, Fla. — George Crain put on a show for his father-in-law today by catching another limit to stay in the lead at the Cabela’s B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Southern Divisional on Lake Okeechobee.
“I’d like to give a shout out to my wife’s dad,” Crain said on the weigh-in stage. “He had open heart surgery two weeks ago today, and he’s watching this. So I’d like to say hi to him.” The Alabama angler added a 15-pound, 4-ounce limit to his total to finish the day in first again with 40-1.
“I struggled today, I really did,” he said. “I had six bites and caught my big fish about 1:30 or 2 o’clock. I tried to go with the same pattern today but it was tougher. I just mainly tried to concentrate. I missed one bite today and you can’t miss any in this.”
The Shoal Creek Bass Chasers club member caught two keepers early and then got bites about every hour and a half. “It was hard to focus because I would make that 80th pitch and then all of a sudden one would have it,” said Crain.
The lack of wind today definitely affected Crain’s pattern. “The fish I am on are more current-oriented, so I think they like the wind a little bit better,” said Crain. He checked out two new areas by the end of the day and caught his biggest fish at one of the spots.
Just getting a chance to fish has been quite an accomplishment for Georgia’s Chris Blair, and when he did get to concentrate on fishing today he caught the biggest bag of the tournament, 28-9, to move into 10th place. “I have had a lot of trouble with my boat so far,” he said. “Last week I blew an engine, and this week I got out the first day of practice and my trim went out. I got that fixed and got back on the lake but then my prop spun out. Then the first day of the tournament my transom about got ripped off, so it has been an up-and-down thing for me.”
As the top angler on his Alabama team, Crain is in position to qualify for the 2012 Cabela’s B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Championship (BFNC) in October. Other state leaders looking to clinch a BFNC berth are Jeremy Pridgen of Georgia; Ed Cox, South Carolina; Raymond Trudeau, Florida; Mark Pierce, Tennessee; Rick Craft, Kentucky; and Roger Hoover, North Carolina.
In the team competition, Georgia moved into first with 309-1, and Alabama dropped to second with 281.
The final take-off for the Southern Divisional will be at 7 a.m. tomorrow at Roland and Mary Ann Martin’s Marina.