Southern Divisional showdown

CLEWISTON, Fla. — If George Crain struggles the same way he did yesterday, he could win the Cabela’s B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Southern Divisional today.

Crain’s struggle produced a 15-pound, 4-ounce limit that helped him stay in the lead with 40 pounds, 1 ounce.

“I hope they feed a little better than they did yesterday,” he said.  “I am going to try and expand on what I fished on yesterday. I feel like I am running out of fish. I feel like a pack of wolves are closing in.”

The pack of wolves includes the top five of Jeremy Pridgen  of Georgia, who has 37-6; Edward Cox, South Carolina, 37-5; Raymond Trudeau, Florida, 36-12; and defending Southern Divisional champ, Mark Pierce, Tennessee, 34-9. Crain guesses he will need 15 pounds again to win this event.

“There was a lot more pressure where I was fishing the day before, which is not uncommon,” said Crain, who will be trying a couple of new areas that he fished yesterday.  “I think I am going to make a move to them quicker.”

When he caught his 24-3 limit the first day, Crain was aided by strong winds, but the wind died down yesterday and his fish turned finicky. “It sounds like the wind is going to be close to what it was yesterday,” said the retired fireman. He noted the forecast calls for the winds to increase after 3 p.m., which won’t help his cause.

Sunshine has helped Crain’s pattern. “The sun sort of moves them into the thicker cover; otherwise, there is so much to choose from,” he said. “Early in the morning you feel like you are pitching in an ocean because the fish could be from the edge back.”

Most of his fish have come off of an LC jig and an Alron jig.  Crain selected the Alron jig because he was looking for something in the 1-ounce range to punch through the weed mats.   He plans on starting at the same spot he has fished the past two days.

The Cropwell, Ala.,  angler has led a Southern Divisional before at West Point Lake but he is unsure if he learned anything from the experience that will help him today.

“It is such a tough position to be in,” he said.  “I would much rather come from behind because you have no pressure on you then. When you are on top, everybody is shooting at you.”

The adults and junior competitors of the Southern Divisional will weigh in their fish at 3 p.m. ET today at Roland and Mary Ann Martin’s Marina. 

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