Friday could get loopy

MANY, LOUISIANA – Things could get really interesting later today during the final weigh-in of the Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Central Regional presented by Magellan Outdoors.

Not to state the obvious, but Toledo Bend can turn an angler’s fortune around in a hurry. Just ask any of the guys who hooked up with the 6-, 7- and 8-pounders the past few days. There was a 9-pound lunker in the mix too, and the big bass of the tournament (so far) weighed a whopping 11 pounds, 6 ounces.

Trophy bass galore, ya’ll.

Big bites like those are the reason Iowa’s Bob Blumenstein leads the boater division. His two-day total of 10 bass weighing 42-11 is quite the haul, and the 25-13 limit he weighed Thursday is the big bag of the tournament.

He’s fishing today with Louisiana’s Charlie Hewitt, who is the non-boater leader after two days with six bass weighing 26-7. Hewitt’s Day 1 total of three bass for 18 pounds was an extraordinary sight.

Anything close to a repeat of those bags almost certainly would secure for both anglers a spot in the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship later this year. And it just might win them individual championships here, as well as the cash prizes ($6,500 and $3,250 respectively) that go to winners in both divisions.

But here’s where things could get a bit loopy for the leaders.

Blumenstein said that his Thursday bite was successful in part because of a lack of wind. He located a honey hole in practice, but couldn’t access it on Wednesday because of steady winds, and conditions are quite the same today with consistent 13 MPH winds and higher gusts.

No telling if that hinders Blumenstein’s bite or not. Only time will tell.

For his part, Hewitt was hoping his boater would be fishing grass someplace in the Toledo Bend Reservoir. It appears that’s not what Blumenstein has been doing however, so things could be equally tough for Hewitt. Both men may have to adjust if they’re going to hang onto their leads.

There’s a host of anglers, of course, who would like nothing better than to knock both leaders from the pole positions. But the field has work to do.

Blumenstein started the day with a 4-pound, 1-ounce lead over Team Iowa’s Greg Vance (38-10) and is more than 7 pounds up on Minnesota’s Corey Brant (currently in third place with 35-9.)

Hewitt also has some wiggle room. Team Wisconsin’s Josh Crededio is in second place (22-9) and Louisiana teammate Todd Newchurch (21-15) was in third heading into the third and final day here on Toledo Bend.

Who wins? It’s anyone’s guess, but there’s a sure-fire way to find out!

Stay tuned for the live weigh-in beginning at 2:30 p.m. CST right here on Bassmaster.com. Later this evening, we’ll have complete results from both the boater and non-boater divisions, photos and more.