Nation: Missouri rallies to win Central


John Neporadny

The Missouri team won the state competition of the Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Central Regional presented by Magellan Outdoors.

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. — Missouri cashed in on its home-waters advantage to win the state competition of the Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Central Regional presented by Magellan Outdoors at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Trailing Kentucky by more than 9 pounds at the beginning of the day, the 20-angler Missouri team rallied to collectively catch 346 pounds of bass to take first place and win a Triton 189TRX bass boat, trailer and Yamaha VF150LA outboard motor worth $38,000. Arkansas finished second with 305-8 and Kentucky dropped to third place with 304-2.

"We had an outstanding group of fishermen," said Missouri team captain John Blankenbeker. "We had a state team that really came together."

Missouri dominated the boater standings with three anglers in the Top 5. Beau Govreau of Cedar Hill, Mo., leads the division with 41-12, followed by Mark Wiese Jr., High Ridge, Mo., in second place, 39-12; and Marcus Sykora, Osage Beach, Mo., in fourth place with 35-13.

The team included three anglers who live in the lake area: Sykora, Brian Maloney, Osage Beach, Mo., and Harold Stark, Eldon, Mo.

"That makes a big difference so they were able to put together some things," Blankenbeker said. "The guys who don't live religiously on this lake did well also. They were just a group of guys who discussed how and what they were catching fish on, and they worked together."

Fishing in his first regional, Govreau took the lead today in the boater division with a five-bass limit weighing 21-13. "I didn't have as many keepers as yesterday but I had just a little bit better fish today," the Lake St. Louis Bassmasters club member said. "It was a grind."

Govreau said he caught his fish sporadically throughout the day. "I would get a bite and catch a good one, and then I would go a few hours and weed through some little ones," said Govreau. "Then I would catch another good one. At the end of the day, with about 40 minutes left, I caught one of the biggest ones (over 5 pounds)."

The 36-year-old contractor said he tacked about 100 miles on his boat to catch his fish today. "I caught them from one end of the lake to the other," he said.

By moving into first place today, Govreau earned the Livingston Lures Day 2 Leader Award of $250 in the boater division. Frank Mixon of Abilene, Texas, collected the Livingston Lures Day 2 Leader Award of $250 in merchandise by moving into first place in the co-angler division with 24-4.

The regional features 20-angler teams from 19 states competing for top state honors and berths to the Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Championship presented by Magellan Outdoors. The Top 38 anglers and each state's Top 3 boaters and co-anglers will compete on the final day. The top boater and non-boater from each state will qualify for the national championship.

The final weigh-in on Friday will begin at 2:30 p.m. CT at the Lake of the Ozarks Grand Glaize State Park Public Beach No. 2.

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