David Williams of Maiden, N.C., jumped out to the Day 1 lead at the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series National Championship on North Carolina's Lake Norman. Williams leads a field of 120 pros who are competing for a 2009 Bassmaster Classic berth.
In addition to the coveted Classic berth, the winner of the four-day event will receive a $100,000 top prize. If Williams hangs on, he would round out the 51-angler field for the Classic, set for Feb. 20-22 out of Shreveport-Bossier City, La., on the Red River.
Although Williams has been tournament fishing for over 10 years, this was his first tournament experience on Norman and with a five-fish limit weighing 12.29 pounds, he found success.
I've waited for a long time to be able to fish a really big tournament on Lake Norman so this is like a dream come true for me", said Williams, who is the owner of a taxidermy business.
Trailing Williams was Alabama's Chris Dill in second with 11.2 pounds. In third was Maryland's Allan Engelmeyer with 11.15 pounds and Alabama's DeAndrae Kimbrough, who took Big Bass honors, was fourth with 10.94 pounds.
Jeff Coble of Manson, N.C., was fifth with 10.79 pounds. Coble is looking to score his third Weekend Series Championship and fourth Classic.
On Saturday, the field will be cut to the top 25 pros and co-anglers. The weigh-in will be held at Gander Mountain in Mooresville, NC at 2:30 p.m.