WAGONER, Okla. — Second place is not bad, but first is better. Texas’ Scott Dean made the switch today at Fort Gibson Lake in the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open on Fort Gibson Lake. His five bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 11 ounces gives him 29-6 for two days, enough to pass Day 1 leader, Kevin Short (who slipped to third with 27-3), and take the lead. Seth Feider of Minnesota is second with 27-15. Five anglers are within 5 pounds of the leader with one day left to fish.
Dean is catching his bass shallow — in about 4 feet of water — around rocks and other cover. His fish are biting Gene Larew Biffle Bugs in green pumpkin candy that Dean is Texas rigging on a Biffle Hardhead and fishing very slowly.
“I’m using both the big Biffle Bug (4.25 inches) and the small Biffle Bug (3.5 inches),” Dean said. “I fish the big one behind a 7/16-ounce Biffle Hardhead and the small one with a 5/16-ounce Hardhead. I’m fishing it on a Falcon Mike McClelland signature series 7-foot, 3-inch 6-power rod on 15- or 20-pound-test High Seas fluorocarbon line.”
Dean caught six keepers (14-inch size limit) yesterday and six more today, culling just once each day to come up with his limit.
Yesterday’s leader, Short, came up a little … short today, with a small limit weighing just 10-8, putting him just 2 pounds off the lead. Yesterday he said he was working the “fish-my-butt-off” pattern. When asked if he was sticking to the pattern, he said, “I did it again today. I even caught more bass today, but they just weren’t the same quality. My bass weren’t as aggressive today under the bright sun, and I didn’t get the quality bites.”
Short’s optimistic that he can turn things around on the third and final day.
“I’m going right back out to my same areas,” he said. “It’s not going to be any easier tomorrow, and I think another 15- or 16-pound bag will win it.”
The weather on Fort Gibson has been challenging to say the least. Relentless sun and heat have been mixed with occasional showers. Today’s weather story was the wind, which came sweeping down the plain just like the song says, threatening the completion of the weigh-in at times.
Now, after weeks of temperatures in triple digits, forecasts are calling for a downright chilly Saturday morning (low 50s) with daytime highs in the 70s. What caught the bass the first two days, might not tomorrow, and the leaderboard could see a severe shakeup.
Reports from the water indicate that several of the leaders are catching their bass on topwater baits early in the morning. That type of pattern is notoriously fragile, especially in the face of a severe cold front. If the leaders are catching them on top, their catches might plummet in the finals, opening the door for other anglers who are fishing deeper, more stable patterns.
Elite pro and pre-tournament favorite Tommy Biffle rebounded on Day 2 after a mediocre first round. His limit of 14-13 gives him 25-8 for the tournament and puts him in fourth place. He has a share of the lead, though, if only because the lure being used by Scott Dean was designed by Biffle.
Rounding out the 12 pro finalists are Jason Christie, Kelly Power, Nathan Kawlewski, James Elam (whose 5-11 largemouth on the first day still holds the lead for Carhartt Big Bass of the Tournament), Wayne Diffee, Brian Clark, Greg Ryan and Elite pro Derek Remitz.
Among the co-anglers, Clayton Coppin of Oklahoma jumped up from sixth place after the first day with a three-bass co-angler limit weighing 11-7 to take the lead. More than half his catch came in one bass, a 6-10 largemouth that’s the biggest so far by anyone — pro or co-angler — in the tournament. Joe Lane of Missouri, the first round leader, dropped to second despite catching another limit. Lane is 9 ounces back.
With the top ranking anglers in each Opens division earning invitations to join the Elite Series in 2013, many eyes are focused on that race, which will be determined following tomorrow’s weigh-in.
At stake are cash and a Triton 19SE and 200 HP Mercury Optimax boat and motor package, as well as a berth in the 2013 Bassmaster Classic on Grand Lake, Okla., Feb. 22-24, and five invitations to join the Bassmaster Elite Series (for the Top 5 in overall points).
Top prize on the co-angler side includes a Nitro Z-8 and 200 HP Mercury Optimax.
2012 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series Title Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops 2012 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series Official Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Mercury, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha 2012 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series Supporting Sponsors: Boat U.S., BOOYAH, Carhartt, Humminbird, Luck “E” Strike, Minn Kota, Power-Pole
About B.A.S.S. For more than 40 years, B.A.S.S. has served as the authority on bass fishing. The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and an expansive tournament structure while connecting directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles.
The Bassmaster brand and its multimedia platforms are guided by a mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications — Bassmaster Magazine and B.A.S.S. Times — comprehensive website Bassmaster.com and ESPN2 and Outdoor Channel television programming, Bassmaster provides rich, leading-edge content true to the lifestyle.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series, Cabela’s B.A.S.S. Federation Nation events and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic.
B.A.S.S. offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members and remains focused on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Birmingham, Ala.
2012 BPS Bassmaster Central Open 3 Fort Gibson 9/6-9/8
Lake Ft. Gibson, Wagoner OK.
(BOATER) Standings Day 2
Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts Total $$$
1. Scott Dean Terrell, TX 10 29-06 153
Day 1: 5 15-11 Day 2: 5 13-11
2. Seth Feider Bloomington, MN 10 27-15 152
Day 1: 5 13-15 Day 2: 5 14-00
3. Kevin Short Mayflower, AR 10 27-03 151
Day 1: 5 16-11 Day 2: 5 10-08
4. Tommy Biffle Wagoner, OK 10 25-08 150
Day 1: 5 10-11 Day 2: 5 14-13
5. Jason Christie Park Hill, OK 9 25-00 149
Day 1: 5 14-00 Day 2: 4 11-00
6. Kelly Power Cape Fair, MO 10 24-14 148
Day 1: 5 12-04 Day 2: 5 12-10
7. Nathan Kawlewski Elkhorn, WI 10 24-04 147
Day 1: 5 14-06 Day 2: 5 09-14
8. James Elam Tulsa, OK 8 22-05 146
Day 1: 5 14-03 Day 2: 3 08-02
9. Wayne Diffee Oakhurst, OK 8 22-02 145
Day 1: 5 15-05 Day 2: 3 06-13
10. Brian Clark Haltom City, TX 10 21-07 144
Day 1: 5 11-08 Day 2: 5 09-15