Day Three Central Divisional Results
Kimberling City, MO—While waiting through a 1-hour, 15-minute delay of the takeoff due to lightning, Zachary King was wishing the weather would stay in his favor.
"I was hoping we were going to cancel this thing this morning," King told the crowd at the final weigh-in of the BASS Federation Nation Central Divisional. "It ended up being a good day though."
King led going into the final day and even though the weather didn't grant his wish, King went out and caught his third straight double-digit limit (11-3) to claim the Central Divisional crown with 40 pounds, 6 ounces. "It was real slow this morning. I caught a lot of my fish on a (4 1/2-inch) Basstrix Swim Bait and I was sight fishing too. I can usually catch them pretty good off of beds and today I found one that I went to 15 times. I probably spent three hours on that fish and never caught it." The 31-year-old Cabin Creek Bassmasters club member caught the rest of his fish off of beds with a white Texas-rigged Yum Money Craw.
Since he also finished as his team's top angler, King qualified for the ultimate test of amateur bass fishing's best, the BASS Federation Nation Championship (FNC) set for Oct. 25-29 on the Red River at Shreveport, La. Other state champions who advanced to the national championship were Travis Tunnell, Kansas; Jamie Laiche, Louisiana; Randy Ladner, Mississippi; Brian Maloney, Missouri; Kenny Wasmund, Nebraska; Dale Hightower, Oklahoma; and Tom Jessop, Texas. The eight Central Divisional qualifiers will be among the 55 FNC contenders vying for a berth to the Bassmaster Classic slated for Feb. 18-20 in New Orleans, La.
Oklahoma earned bragging rights in the team competition and won the divisional's top prize of a $40,000 Skeeter bass boat rigged with a Yamaha outboard motor. The 14-man Okie squad recorded a cumulative weight of 264 pounds, 4 ounces.
Today's competition also featured the Junior Bassmasters Central Divisional with the catches of 16 young anglers added to the cumulative weights of their respective state teams in the adult competition. Winning the 11- to 14-year-olds age division was Nick Luna of the Kansas team with a catch of two bass weighing 3 pounds, 15 ounces. Matt Nobile of Louisiana topped the 15-18 age group with four bass totaling 11-15. Both age group winners qualified for the Junior Bassmasters World Championship to be held in conjunction with the Federation Nation Championship in October.