Tennessean Shoots Into Women’s Tour Lead

Lisa Sternard and Other Women’s Tour Finalists Will Share the Spotlight Saturday with Bassmaster American Anglers

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. — Lisa Sternard of Clarksville, Tenn., zoomed from ninth to first place on Friday to lead the field of six pros and six co-anglers who made the cut in the Mercury Marine Women’s Bassmaster Tour presented by Triton Boats event on Lake Norman. Sternard, 45, brought in a limit of five bass to take the pro-division lead with a two-day total of 16 pounds, 12 ounces. She’s leading Tammie Muse of North Little Rock, Ark., by less than a pound.

“Lake Norman’s been challenging,” said Sternard, adding that she worked a Carolina rig almost exclusively both days. “To catch fish here, your presentation has to be very precise.”

An occupational therapist when she’s not fishing competitively, Sternard said she owed her second-day weight of 10 pounds, 1 ounce, to the co-angler she was randomly paired with, Ronda Kirby of Indianapolis, Ind., who taught Sternard about fizzing. Kirby showed her how to release the pressure from the swim bladder of bass caught deep so the fish remain alive in a boat’s livewell.

The Day 2 leader will have to fish hard Saturday to keep Muse at bay. Just 13 ounces behind Sternard, Muse, 46, climbed one spot to second place Friday with a two-day weight of 15-15. She brought in three largemouth bass, all caught on one of the 1/4-ounce buzzbaits she makes herself.

A win or strong finish on Lake Norman could push either woman to the top of the WBT points standings. Sternard’s currently in seventh, and Muse is in 15th place.

Points count toward qualifying for the inaugural Women’s Bassmaster Tour Championship, Feb. 22-25, 2007, on Lake Mitchell in Alabama. Only the top 12 pros and 12 co-anglers in the points standings are invited to compete.

Also at stake is the first Toyota Women’s Bassmaster Tour Angler of the Year title. At the end of the season, the points leader is awarded the title and a 2007 Toyota Tundra.

Finishing Friday in third was Patti Campbell of Waxahachie, Texas. With a two-day total of 13-7, Campbell moved up from fifth place. Capturing fourth place was Christie Thomas of Limpopo, South Africa, with 13-4. Fifth was Sheri Glasgow of Muskogee, Okla., with 12-12.

Rounding out the top six was Day 1 leader and Best Angler ESPY recipient Tammy Richardson of Amity, Ark., who had a two-day total of 11-10.

Just two weeks ago, Richardson received the ESPY for her outstanding angling achievements, including winning the inaugural women’s event in April and holding second place in the points race. “I’m going to my room tonight to study my notes and put together a winning game plan,” said a determined Richardson when she learned she made the cut.

After the 12 anglers fish Lake Norman on Saturday, they will trailer to Cricket Arena in Charlotte for a 3:15 p.m. ET weigh-in. The women will take the stage before an audience of fishing fans who also will see the Day 3 weigh-in of the Bassmaster American presented by Advance Auto Parts. After the American wraps up Sunday, ESPN2 will provide same-day coverage at 7 p.m. ET.

Sternard said she is nervous about Saturday’s weigh-in, “but this is an awesome opportunity for all of us fishing the WBT.”

The pro winner earns a Triton boat rig with Mercury outboard valued at $50,000. The event pays a total of about $85,000 to the top 25 finishers in the pro division.

On the co-angler side, six women are pumped to fish Saturday and enjoy bringing their catches to the scales in Cricket Arena. First-day leader Monica Altman of Angier, N.C., hung on to the top spot with a two-day total of 14-5. In second was Linda Berry of Madison, N.C., with 7-4; third was Denese Freeman of Lawton, Okla., with 6-11; and fourth was Susan Bowes of Batavia, N.Y., with 6-3. Tied for fifth with two-day totals of 5-7 were Kirby and Cheryl Bowden of Plano, Texas.

The six co-anglers are competing for a first-place prize of a Triton boat with Mercury outboard valued at $24,000, plus $1,000 cash.

For more information, contact BASS Communications at (407) 566-2208 or visit http://www.bassmaster.com.

Mercury Marine Women’s Bassmaster Tour presented by Triton Boats

Lake Norman
Huntersville, N.C.
July 27-29

94 pros, 94 co-anglers
Field cuts to top six pros and top six co-anglers for Day 3

Day 2 Big Bass
Pro: Conny Jenkins, Knob Noster, Mo., 4-2
Co-Angler: Monica Altman, Angier, N.C., 3-14

Day 2 Big Bag
Lisa Sternard, Clarksville, Tenn., 10-1

Blythe Landing
15901 Highway 73
Huntersville, NC 28078
6:15 a.m. ET

Weigh-in Day 3
Cricket Arena
2700 E. Independence Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28205
3:15 p.m. ET

Mercury Marine Women’s Bassmaster Tour presented by Triton Boats Sponsors
Mercury Marine, Triton Boats, MotorGuide, Lowrance, Advance Auto Parts, Plano Tackle Systems, Mustang and Toyota

Local Sponsors
Local sponsors include the Lake Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau and Hawthorne Suites, Ltd.

BASS is the worldwide authority on bass fishing, sanctioning more than 20,000 events annually through the BASS Federation Nation annually. Guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans, BASS sets the standard for credibility, professionalism, sportsmanship and conservation, as it has for nearly 40 years.

BASS stages bass fishing tournaments for every skill level and culminates with the CITGO Bassmaster Classic. Through its clubs, youth programs, aquatic resource advocacy, magazine publishing and multimedia platforms, BASS offers the industry’s widest array of services and support to its nearly 530,000 members. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.

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