CORNELIUS, N.C. — Through a day of rain, Allan Engelmeyer jumped to the lead of the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series Championship on North Carolina's Lake Norman after catching 13.04 pounds Thursday for a two-day total of 24.19 pounds.
In addition to the coveted Classic berth, the winner of the four-day event will receive a $100,000 top prize. If Engelmeyer 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.
The Severn, Md. angler, who took the day two Big Fish title with a 3.74 pound bass, has been fishing the Weekend Series the past two years. Engelmeyer had four bass earlier in the day, with the largest coming at 2:30 p.m.
"I really enjoy the opportunity to fish close to home by fishing this trail and for me the number one reason is to win a berth into the Bassmaster Classic," Engelmeyer said. "I've been watching the Bassmaster Classic since I was 7 years old, and it has always been my dream to one day be on that stage weighing in my own fish. Maybe this will be my year."
Jeff Coble of Manson, N.C., moved into second with 20.63 pounds with a 9.84-pound catch. Coble is going after a third Weekend Series title and hopes of a fourth Classic berth.
Day one leader David Williams of Maiden, N.C., dropped to third with 20.43 pounds. Bob Perkins of Crosslake, Minn., is in fourth with 19.1 pounds and Chris Dill of Hueytown, Ala., is fifth with 18.96 pounds to round out the top five of the 124-angler field.
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