BASS Federation: 2009 Central Divisional - Day 1

Stark delivers sack full

John Neporadny Jr.

Day One Central Divisional Results
Greers Ferry, Ark.— Fishing unfamiliar waters failed to slow down Show-Me State angler Harold Stark as he fished his strengths today and took over the lead in the BASS Federation Nation Central Divisional presented by Yamaha Outboards and Skeeter Boats.

"I love throwing topwater and I love throwing a jig and those are what I caught my fish on today," said Stark, a 42-year-old self-employed mechanic from Eldon, Mo. The Simply Bass Club member caught a fish-fish limit weighing 11 pounds, 11 ounces while his non-boater partner, Richard Risewick, is in second place with 11-4.

"Everything went just as planned," said Stark, who is competing in his third divisional. " I found these fish on Monday and we went in there this morning and they were busting on top."

Risewick caught his limit early and Stark had three keepers in the morning. They moved to some of Stark's other spots where he caught two keepers and later culled out two fish. The sweltering heat never fazed Stark who caught fish as shallow as 1 1/2 feet in the afternoon. "We caught fish all day so (the weather) didn't bother me," he said.

Competitors from eight states are vying for individual and team honors in this event. Anglers finishing at the top of their team standings qualify for a berth to the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Championship, amateur bass fishing's premier event. Their daily catches are also added to their team's score with the eight Federation Nations competing for divisional bragging rights and the grand prize of a Skeeter bass boat/Yamaha outboard rig valued at $30,000.

Nebraska tops the team standings with 50 pounds, 6 ounces, while Missouri is in the runner-up spot with 94-6. Tournament leader Stark is also Missouri's leading angler and the seven other state leaders include Jared Taliaferro of Arkansas; Preston Frazell, Kansas; Samuel Anthony, Louisiana; Jay Ladner, Mississippi; Robert Degraffenreid, Oklahoma; Lucas Larson, Texas; and Risewick, Nebraska.

Central Divisional state champions and the top divisional team will be determined at the conclusion of this three-day event on Friday.

Daily launches and weigh-ins are being held at the Devil's Fork Park. Weigh-ins begin at 2 p.m. CDT each day.

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