Fed Nation: Lookin’ good on the Atchafalaya Basin

MORGAN CITY, La. — It’s Thursday, Day Two of the 2012 Cabela's B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Central Divisional, and things are lookin’ good. The Atchafalaya Basin hasn’t been nearly as stingy with her bass as some publicly lamented, and many more feared.

Just over one out of every four anglers weighed a limit yesterday and the fish averaged a little over 2 pounds. The limits speak for themselves. The weight is a little more problematic because of the 14-inch size limit but still, a 2-pound average is very respectable.

Dale Hightower (Oklahoma) and Jared Knuth (Nebraska) are locked in a tight battle for first place, one throwing “fast moving baits” with the other punching heavy vegetation. Only 10 ounces separate their weights. Each is averaging better than 3 pounds per fish, and they both say that they think their fish will hold up through Friday, the final day of competition.

Oklahoma competitor Bobby Myers isn’t so sure about the bass holding up, though. He has a very different take on things. If he’s right, today’s weigh-in could really shake things up and send the 2012 Cabela's B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Central Divisional down to the wire on Friday.

“As far as I’m concerned this is any man’s tournament,” he says while waiting to weigh his fish. “My partner and I caught around 70 fish today. There are plenty of fish to be caught out there. It’s just that keepers are hard to come by.”

Myers reports that he and his partner caught bass with trick worms, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and by flipping plastics. According to what he’s experienced, it’s not about what bait you throw as much as it is about finding the right size fish. In his view, anglers should put their trolling motors down and cover water, lots and lots of it.

“I wouldn’t put too much stock in today’s weights. The guys with 16 and 17 pounds are likely to have 7 or 8 pounds tomorrow. And the guys with 7 or 8 pounds today are likely to have 16 or 17 pounds tomorrow. This thing is still wide open. Don’t you believe otherwise.”

Hightower and Knuth may take issue with much of what Myers is saying but it is interesting to note that 18 anglers weighed 10-pound or better stringers on Day One. Another six anglers had limits of smaller fish. If a few of those fish grow a little today, things could get interesting, very interesting indeed.

We’ll know who’s right later this afternoon. The Day Two weigh-in starts at 2:15 p.m. CT.

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