KIMBERLING, Mo. -- No one can accuse early leader Pat Klausen of overconfidence going into Day Two of the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Central Divisional presented by Yamaha and Skeeter.
Fishing as a non-boater at Missouri’s Table Rock Lake, the Nebraska angler brought in an impressive limit of 20 pounds, 3 ounces, for a 4-1 lead over Oklahoma’s Jared Miller.
“We were fishing my partner’s water,” he said. “I think that the technique will hold up for me, but I’m not sure about the size.”
The Oklahoma team, meanwhile, has every reason to feel confidence, with 102 pounds, 12 ounces, and a 4-12 lead over second-place Arkansas. In 2010, the Sooner team won the Central Divisional on these same waters, and five of those anglers return.
Nebraska is in third this time around, with host team Kansas fourth, Texas fifth, Missouri sixth, Mississippi seventh, and Louisiana eighth.
Last year’s tournament occurred about a month earlier, with Oklahoma bringing in 81-14 on Day One and finishing with 264-04. Louisiana claimed second with 254-15.
Day One statistics suggest that totals will be higher this year, as steadily falling water seems to have turned on the bass in the wake of record high levels in late April. More than 13 inches of rain fell in about 72 hours and the water rose more than 21 feet to 935.57 feet above sea level, the highest ever.
On a hot, humid Wednesday, 96 anglers brought in 312 fish, weighing 681-2, with 35 limits. They caught a mixture of largemouth and smallmouth bass, with Oklahoma’s Shawn Clark claiming big fish honors with 6-7.
Jason Pecoraro of Louisiana is in third among individuals with 15-12, while Tom Jessop of Texas holds down fourth with 13-12 and Destre Dedeaux of Mississippi fourth with 13-5.
The top angler from each state will advance to the National Championship later this year.
Also the same as 2010, this year’s tournament headquarters is the Kimberling Inn Resort and Conference Center, with both the weigh-in and launch sites on the property near the Highway 13 bridge. Lots of space allows anglers and their families to spread out and cook out, with Louisiana and Kansas contingents sharing a dinner of shrimp, gator tail, and steaks on Wednesday night.
“It doesn’t get any better than this,” said BFN Director Don Corkan, in describing the facility and the fishery.