Results: Day One
Matt Massey of Lakewood, Co., only registered four fish during the first day of competition in the 2009 Federation Nation Championship on the Harris Chain of Lakes in Tavares, Fla., but his 14-pound, 12-ounce stringer leads.
"Today was totally different than practice, yesterday it was windy and cloudy, but today it was flat with bluebird skies," he said. "I was getting five or six quality bites in practice, but today I had to work for every bite and cover a lot of water to get what I got."
The Colorado Bassmasters angler thinks he can repeat today's performance if his spots replenish.
In second is Skip Sjobeck of Randolph, Vt., whose two-fish bag weighed 12-5. In his bag was the big bass of the day, a 9-5 lunker. Sjobeck thinks he's on the pattern to win the tournament.
"I've got the big fish pattern figured out, I'm not going for a limit of small fish," he said. "If I were to get a limit, it would only be in the 7-9 pound range, so I'm going for big fish."
Rounding out the top five is Tom Jessop of Delhart, Texas with an 11-5 limit in third, and hot on his heels with 11-4 is Brent Long of Catawba, N.C., and finally Randy Wieczorek of Buffalo City, Wis., who has 10-15.
The Federation Nation Championship is represented by anglers from six divisions, the Northern, Southern, Mid Atlantic, Western, Central and Eastern. The top angler from each division gets a Bassmaster Classic berth while the overall tournament winner is the Federation Nation Champion.
The Mid Atlantic divisional leader is Gerry Jooste of Harare, Zimbabwe, who sits in 15th for the tournament. The Southern leader is Brent Long of Catawba, N.C., who is in fourth, the Northern leader is Randy Wieczorek of Buffalo City, Wis., the Western leader is tournament leader Matt Massey of Lakewood, Colo., the Central leader is Tom Jessop of Delhart, Texas and the Eastern leader is Skip Sjobeck of Randolph, Vt.
Launches, at 7:30 a.m. ET daily, and weigh-ins, at 3:45 p.m., will be at Wooten Park, 200 S. Rockingham Ave., Tavares, Fla. Fans can watch live, streaming video of all three days of weigh-ins at Bassmaster.com, along with real-time leaderboards. Daily standings, stories and photo galleries also will be available at Bassmaster.com.
Also during the same week, the Junior Bassmaster World Championship and will take place on nearby Lake Yale. Kids in two age divisions (11-14, 15-18) will weigh their bass at 3:45 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, on the Federation Nation Championship stage in Tavares.
Also to be played out will be the Bassmaster CastingKids National Championship. Kids in two age groups (7-10, 11-14) will cast, pitch and flip to targets. The CastingKids finals will begin at Noon Friday, Oct. 30, at the Lake Sumter Community College gymnasium in Leesburg, Fla.
Youth prizes will include trophies and scholarships.