It's no surprise to anyone who has followed B.A.S.S. for years that 54-year-old Arkansas angler Stephen Browning made the top 12 cut here at the Arkansas River, or that he took an early lead with the quickest limit of the final day. Browning, who now lives in Hot Springs, Ark., grew up in Pine Bluff, Ark., fishing the Arkansas River there.
"I grew up on it, a couple of hundred miles south of here," said Browning, after finishing sixth yesterday, 3-14 out of the lead. "It's river fishing. That's the big thing. You can't overanalyze it."
There are acres and acres of water in the three pools available to the anglers this week. But often one angler is fishing within sight of another. Even with only 12 boats remaining today, Browning is fishing within sight of Day 2 leader Dale Hightower. This is the sixth Central Open at Muskogee in the last 10 years.
"I think that we've been here so many times that guys have eliminated a lot of the river," Browning said. "When we first came here there was a lot of stuff I fished when I didn't have any company."