LAGRANGE, Ga. — Despite fishing with a couple of handicaps the first two days, David Mock has moved into the lead at the BASS Federation Nation Southern Divisional on West Point Lake.
Last month Mock broke a bone in his foot while fishing in a tournament and he has been competing in this event while wearing a foot cast. Yesterday, the Tallahassee, Fla., angler lost more than an hour of fishing time when he brought in his non-boater partner, Angelo Koundourakis, who had to leave for a family emergency.
Mock has remained rock solid though, as he caught a 17-pound, 4-ounce limit and the big bass of the day (7-06) yesterday and followed up with a 10-05 limit today to move into the lead with 27-09.
Competing in his third divisional, the 49-year-old Mock has been catching his fish each day throwing a medium-diving crankbait along drop-offs and a lipless crankbait in the shallows of rocky points. The biggest adjustment he had to make today was finding a way to fish around the crowds since he estimated about 20 boats were on his first spot.
"There was a lot more pressure and I figured I had to slow down since everbody in front of me was hitting the banks," said Mock, an assistant tournament director and member of the Tri-State Bass Slayers club.
"I didn't beat the fish that hard," said Mock. "I got my limit and then I kind of got off that area."
Mock is noticing more fish coming up shallow since the water is warming quickly, so he believes he can catch another limit tomorrow.
Eight Federation Nation states are contending for the top prize of the tournament, a $41,000 Skeeter ZX190 bass boat/Yamaha VZ150 outboard rig. South Carolina leads with a total weight of 189 pounds, 1 ounce, followed by Kentucky with 173-15.
In addition to helping their team win, the Southern Divisional anglers are vying for berths in the BASS Federation Nation Championship. They qualify for the amateur bass fishing championship by finishing as the top angler on their state team.
Competitors from the 14-man Florida team have to surpass front-runner Mock to qualify for the championship. Other state leaders after Day Two include George Crain of Alabama; Ben Bennett, Georgia; Brandon Card, Kentucky; Rob Digh, North Carolina; Jeff Green, South Carolina; and Donnie Cox, Tennessee.
Winners in the individual and team competitions and the Junior Bassmaster divisional will be determined tomorrow when the final weigh-in for the Southern Divisional begins at 3:15 p.m. ET at Highland Resort Marina.