CORNELIUS, N.C. — Jeff Coble, a two-time Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series titlist, takes the lead at the 2008 Weekend Series Championship in hopes of capturing a fourth Bassmaster Classic berth. The Manson, N.C. resident brought 12.54 pounds to the scales Friday for an overall weight of 33.17 pounds after battling a full day of rain showers on Lake Norman.
The winner of the four-day event will receive a $100,000 top prize and a coveted Classic berth. If Coble hangs on through Saturday he would round out the 51-angler field for the 2009 Classic set for Feb. 20-22 out of Shreveport-Bossier City, La., on the Red River.
Coble, who competed at the 2002, 2006 and 2008 Classics, was the only angler of the 124-person field to weigh-in more than 10 pounds Friday.
"I've been fortunate enough to make it to the Classic three times before so I hope in this case, fourth time's the charm," Coble said. "I like these kind of conditions, wet and calm with no wind. Today I just had to grind them out and get a bite every once in a while."
Allan Engelmeyer of Severn, Md., slipped into second with a three-day total of 32.38 pounds, and remains less than 1 pound from Coble. Engelmeyer brought in a five-fish limit of 8.19 pounds Friday.
Day one leader David Williams of Maiden, N.C., remained in third with 30.27 pounds. Chris Dill of Hueytown, Ala., moved up one slot to fourth heading into the final day with 26.10 pounds, and David Wright of Lexington, N.C., is fifth with 25.54 pounds.
The field was cut to the top 25 pros and co-anglers for the last day of competition on Saturday. The weigh-in will be held at Gander Mountain in Mooresville, NC at 2:30 p.m.