Guerrette increases Western lead

BULLFROG, Utah — Catching a bigger limit of bass Thursday increased the lead of Arizona angler Jeff Guerrette in the BASS Federation Nation Western Divisional, but technical difficulties could hinder the leader at Lake Powell.

Guerrette relied on a jig again today to catch a limit of five fish totaling 14 pounds, 1 ounce, which gave the Surprise Bassmasters club member a two-day catch of 27-15 and more than a 4-pound lead over runner up Ben Schilling. The 32-year-old tile contractor from Glendale, Ariz., burned a lot of gas Thursday to reach his spots, which are spread out on the massive lake.

Both days Guerrette has left his primary spot after catching limits there. "I left the area pretty early today and tomorrow I just get to burn it up and try to catch everything I can," disclosed Guerrette. "Yesterday when I caught the big fish (a 6-pound, 14-ounce largemouth that leads big bass honors) I got out of there too. That's why tomorrow I can hopefully stay in that area."

That's if he can get there since Guerrette threw a blade on his prop Friday and his spare prop gave him some problems. "It got me in but it just isn't working on my boat that well," revealed Guerrette.

Top finishers from each of the Federation Nations in this event advance to the BASS Federation Championship, the only international contest giving amateur bass anglers a shot at the Bassmaster Classic and a world title.

State leaders after the second day of competition include Guerrette, Arizona; Mark Torrez, California; Eric Inman, Colorado; Brent Shores, Idaho; Bob Lechel, New Mexico; Jesse Milicevic, Nevada; Audie Palmantier, Washington; Matt Fisher, Utah; Sidney Reeves, Wyoming; Dan Jordan, Oregon; and Schilling, Montana.

Qualifiers for this year's BASS Federation Nation Championship are determined by a series of regional events. The Western Divisional is the first of six qualifying tournaments for the championship.

The divisional also pits teams from 11 states competing for a total payout of $58,000. The prize monies awarded to each Federation Nation are to be allocated to each states' conservation, civic and fishing programs. Montana leads with a collective weight of 164 pounds, 4 ounces.

The final weigh-in of this three-day event begins at 3 p.m. Rocky Mountain time Friday at Bullfrog Marina. 

Also By This Author