Shane Baertsch was
finished fishing at 10 a.m. today, but even with four hours left to
fish, the Montana angler had enough to take the Day 2 lead at the 2012
Cabela’s Bassmaster Federation Nation Western Divisional on Flaming
switched to fishing for bedding bass this morning after the wind died
and caught two good smallmouth — 2 to 2 1/4 pounds each — off beds,”
said Baertsch, a foreman at Montana Rail. “Those filled out my limit. I
never threw anything back today.”
total weight is 23 pounds, 15 ounces. Behind him are Wyoming’s Stephen
Siddoway, 23-11; Idaho’s Josh Polfer, 23-10; and Arizona’s Andy
Baertsch worked a
reaction bite yesterday, when it was good enough for a limit of 11
pounds, 14 ounces. He continued it this morning when the conditions
changed. And as long as nobody gets to his spot — a 200-yard area — he
thinks he could find another limit there tomorrow.
tied for his team lead yesterday with Randy Gust, but now he has a 4
1/2-pound lead on Gust, which puts him in a good position for a
qualification to the 2012 Cabela’s Bassmaster Federation Nation
Championship in October on Alabama’s Wheeler Lake.
He joins several other
team leaders with a 4-plus-pound margin. Andy Bravence of Arizona, Jason
Hemminger of California, Frank Villa of Colorado, Franco Vallejos of
New Mexico and Ryan Furno of Oregon all have strong leads in their
states and could potentially leave tomorrow’s weigh-in with an
invitation to the championship.
states have much tighter races. Mike Lavallee of Utah has 19 pounds, 14
ounces, only 10 ounces more than Tyler Swaney. Jeremy Percifield has a
slim 5-ounce lead over Gene Batey Jr. in Washington’s competition. A
weight of 3 pounds separates Idaho contenders Josh Polfer (leader) and
Brent Shores, as well as Nevada contenders Timothy Klinger (leader) and
David Naugle. In Wyoming, Stephen Siddoway is a little more than a pound
ahead of Bill Golightly.
count anyone out yet, though, said Jon Stewart, B.A.S.S. Federation
Nation senior manager. “One fish can make all the difference in the
world,” he said, and the anglers have all day tomorrow to make it or
state team competition heated up today, with Washington making a huge
leap from seventh place yesterday to second today with 159 pounds, 11
ounces total. That puts Washington less than 14 pounds behind two-day
leader Wyoming. Utah now sits in third place with 151 pounds, 15 ounces.
The winning state will take home a Triton/Yamaha/MotorGuide/Lowrance boat package worth $35,000.
the whole, the competitors kept their fish today, rather than throwing
some back earlier in the morning in hopes of getting a bigger bite. The
no-cull rule has forced anglers to make their best predictions of what
size fish lie in wait for them. If they guess wrong and throw what they
think are small fish back, they could end up without a limit.
happened multiple times on Day 1, but only a few contenders — David
Naugle, Seth Garrison, Jake Cook and Bubba O’Neil — said they threw bass
back today. None of those four filled out their limits, but they are
all between places 20 and 29 overall after today.
biggest fish today was a 4-pound, 13-ounce smallmouth caught by Mike
Kramer of Utah. The only fish that came close to that one was a 4-7
caught by Andrew Sayles, California B.A.S.S. Federation Nation
president. If Kramer’s bass holds up tomorrow, he’ll win the Cabela’s
Big Bass award of $200 in gift certificates.