Fed Nation: Hightower stretches lead

Dale Hightower continued on his path towards a win at the 2012 Cabela's B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Central Divisional on the Atchafalaya Basin today with a bag of five bass that weighed 13 pounds, 7 ounces. That gives the Sand Springs, Oklahoma, angler a total weight of 30 pounds, 12 ounces.

Jason Pecoraro, fishing for Louisiana, moved into second place with the heaviest weight of the day. He brought in a limit of largemouth that tipped the scales at 15 pounds, 1 ounce. As it stands right now he’s 5 pounds, 6 ounces off Hightower’s mark. Understandably, he was somewhat reluctant to say much about where he was fishing or what he was doing.

Nebraska’s, Jared Knuth, had a tough day after a super first day. He caught three bass that weighed 7 pounds, 10 ounces. That moved him down into third place.

“I have no excuses,” says Knuth showing obvious disappointment. “The rain last night muddied up my water and the fish just weren’t there, or if they were they weren’t biting. But hey, I’m less than 7 pounds out so it’s still possible. I’m going to fish as hard as I can tomorrow. I know that for sure.”

Hightower indicated after the weigh-in that his first spot was still producing although he did have to move around some, and he switched from his fast-moving bait to something that worked along the bottom.

“I think I can put together a bag that’ll weigh around 10 or 12 pounds tomorrow, for sure. I might be able to do better but it’ll depend on how the fish react to the pressure and the heat. And, if we get rain tonight that could change things, too. But for now they’re staying put, pretty much anyhow.”

Dylan Hayes (Arkansas), Ryan Lavigne (Louisiana) and Robbie Latuso (Louisiana) are all within striking distance of the three leaders. Hayes is 6 pounds, 11 ounces short; Lavigne is 6 pounds, 14 ounce s off the pace; and Latuso is 7 pounds, 11 ounces back.

The Louisiana State Team is leading the competition with a total weight of 199 pounds, 7 ounces. If you look at their team statistics, that won’t come as a surprise. Nearly every angler has caught fish and contributed to the total weight.  

Oklahoma ranks second with 138 pounds, 11 ounces; and Kansas is holding third with 131 pounds, 11 ounces. In fourth place is Missouri with 120 pounds, 11 ounces of largemouth bass; Arkansas ranks fifth with 119 pounds, 2 ounces; and Texas is in the sixth slot with 114 pounds, 1 ounce. Mississippi and Nebraska are seventh and eighth, respectively.

Kenneth Ryals (Mississippi) and Robbie Latuso (Louisiana) tied for big bass of the day. Each man weighed in a 4 pound, 15 ounce Atchafalaya Basin bass. Today’s total catch was 245 bass, one less than yesterday. Today’s total weight was 494 pounds, 9 ounces. That’s 14 pounds, 6 ounces under yesterday’s total.

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