Horton hoping for a repeat

MONROE, La. — During the first week of November in 2006, Centerville, Ala., angler Jamie Horton won a Bassmaster Series South Central Regional on the Ouachita River.

After catching another limit today, he is in position to win again on the Ouachita River as he leads the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Championship (FNC) presented by Yamaha Outboard and Skeeter Boats with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 26 pounds, 3 ounces.

“I am feeling pretty good,” said Horton, a four-time FNC qualifier and 2002 Bassmaster Classic contender. “I kind of thought it would take 33 pounds to win and now I am just hoping I can duplicate that. I had to work pretty hard today. I never could figure out what the big fish were doing. Yesterday I figured out what the big fish were doing pretty quickly and I was able to run with it. But today it took me a little longer to figure out what to do.”

Horton went to the same area as he did yesterday.

“You can’t help but fish some of the places where you caught them the day before because a lot of these fish live in certain little areas," he said. "It was just something a little bit different today; they weren’t sitting as high on stuff like they were yesterday.”  

The closest challenger to Horton is Tennessee’s Mark Pierce, who has 22-1.

“I am doing the same thing as I did yesterday,” said Pierce, who had an 11-6 limit yesterday and 10-11 today. “I am doing a milk run on the river throwing a reaction bait.”

The overall winner of this event will take home a fully rigged Skeeter/Yamaha boat and motor package worth more than $45,000 and receive an invitation to enter the 2012 Bassmaster Elite Series.

The 54 amateur anglers are also competing for six Federation Nation divisional berths to the 2012 Bassmaster Classic to be held Feb. 24-26 on the Red River out of Shreveport-Bossier City, La. The top angler for each of the six divisions will be awarded a Classic seat and receive automatic qualification into the 2012 Bass Pro Shops Central, Northern and/or Southern Opens.

Tournament leader Horton continues to top the Southern Division and the leading anglers in the other five divisions include New Hampshire’s John Diaco with 19-11 in the Eastern; Josh Polfer of Idaho with 19-6 in the Western; Indiana’s Matt McCoy, 19-5, Northern; Jared Miller of Oklahoma, 18-7, Central; and Maryland’s Chris Price, 17-9, Mid-Atlantic.

The final day takeoff will begin at 7:15 a.m. CDST tomorrow at the Forsythe Park boat ramp (2201 Riverside Dr., in Monroe).