Pittsburgh, Pa.—He lost a hefty fish and ran out of gas, but everything else went right for Pennsylvania angler Darin Doll today in the BASS Federation Mid-Atlantic Divisional.
The 37-year-old electrician from York, Pa., caught a limit of five smallmouth weighing 8 pounds, 3 ounces to take over the lead in the individual standings. "The fishing was incredible this morning when it was cloudy, but when the sun came out they shut off," said Doll, who had a limit by 9:30 a.m. and lost a fish he guessed weighed between 3 to 5 pounds.
During practice, the York County Bass Club member made a 54-mile run in his jet boat up to the Youghiogheny River and back with some gas to spare, but today he fell short on the return trip. "If I would have tendered the throttle a little bit I would have made it because that's what I did the other day in practice, but I got a little too hard on the throttle and fell about a gallon and a half short," said Doll, who was towed back to the weigh-in on time
Competitors from six states are vying for individual and team honors in this tournament. Anglers finishing in the top spot in their team standings qualify for a berth to the BASS Federation Nation Championship, the ultimate event of amateur bass fishing. Their daily catches also count towards their team's score as the six states compete for divisional bragging rights and the grand prize of a Triton Boats TR-186 bass boat and Mercury 150 h.p. outboard rig (total value of $32,000).
Virginia is tops in the team competition with a cumulative weight of 41-14. Pennsylvania is second at 33-13. Tournament leader Doll also holds the top spot on the Pennsylvania team and the five other state leaders include Shelton Walters, Delaware; Wayne Lauback, Maryland; Eric Woodward, New Jersey; Jeff Freeman, Virginia; and David McKinney, West Virginia.
Mid-Atlantic team champions and the top state 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 South Side Riverfront Park. Weigh-ins begin at 3 p.m. EST each day.