Fish-off could be determined by clouds

MANY, La. — Stiff winds have blown throughout the Bassmaster Central Open on Toledo Bend, and that wasn't a big concern this morning for the two pros fishing the 3½-hour tie-breaking fish-off.

 However, cloud cover that moved in overnight could be a deciding factor for Bassmaster Elite Series pro James Niggemeyer as he tries to best Texas' Jerrel Pringle, with whom Niggemeyer tied for first place during what was supposed to be the tournament's final weigh-in yesterday.

 "The only thing that could be worse is if it was raining," Niggemeyer said minutes before the two anglers parted ways. "This (cloud cover) is second."

 That's because he built his two-day 37-pound, 14-ounce bag sight-fishing on the lower end of the reservoir. If the clouds don't move out before he has to head back for the 11 a.m. weigh-in, Niggemeyer could be in trouble.

 "They're going to be around," he said. "It's just a matter of seeing them."

 Pringle, on the other hand, said he wasn't concerned at all about the leaden skies because he's not fishing bedding bass. Instead, he's working deeper stumps situated around corners of drains on the north end of the lake.

 "Those fish are committed, so they'll be there," he said. "The only thing that will mess with me is if some knot head is in there.

 "If I have it to myself for two hours, (Niggemeyer) better catch them."

 The weigh-in for the shortened day will be held at 11 a.m. at Cypress Bend Park's pavilion. The public is invited to attend.

 Sponsors of the 2009 Bassmaster Opens include: Toyota Trucks, Berkley, BOOYAH Baits, Evan Williams Bourbon, Mercury, OPTIMA Batteries, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Marine.

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