Like a deep bruise, Keith Poche won't forget this tournament for a while. Over the first two days, he caught the fish to be leading by three pounds going into today. However, the Pike Road, Ala., angler had to release 12 pounds on Thursday when he just missed the lock opening and, thus, his check-in time. He rallied on Day 2 from last place to 27th with a 19-pound, 5-ounce limit, the heaviest bag of the tournament so far. He earned some valuable points, at least, with the comeback.
"I said, what the heck, I haven't got anything to lose," Poche said. "So I went to where I wanted to go. I'd gotten in there in practice (without a co-angler in the boat). There's no way to get a fiberglass boat in this place. We had to shimmy, push-pole, walk up to the front of the boat here, walk back there. It took me 30 minutes to get in there. But I knew if I got there, I could catch 'em."
Poche always fishes from an aluminum boat with a 90-horsepower outboard motor when he comes to the Arkansas River.
"I went where I wanted to go, and I caught 'em the way I like to catch 'em," Poche said Friday. "I caught 'em flipping a green-pumpkin Berkley Pit Boss."