The final shot - Major League Fishing

The final shot

TBF Southern Divisional competitors head out with championships on their minds
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The sun begins to rise over Cooters Pond as anglers await day-three takeoff. Photo by Jennifer Simmons.
June 22, 2007 • Jennifer Simmons • Archives

PRATTVILLE, Ala. – The sun will beat down upon The Bass Federation Southern Divisional competitors for a third straight day on today’s final day of competition on the Alabama River. After two nearly identical days, both in conditions and in numbers caught, anglers are hoping for the numbers at least to get a little bit better today.

Those numbers were good the first two days of competition, with a few anglers bringing in sacks weighing in the double digits, though things weren’t quite as solid as pretournament predictions indicated. As such, nearly all anglers are reporting tough going out there on the Alabama River during this week’s event.

The Alabama state team has been dominant thus far, and that team’s No. 3 angler, Joseph Webster of Fulton, Miss., is among today’s optimists.

This angler is one of 84 looking for a slot in the 2008 TBF National Championship.“I think there will be several limits caught,” Webster said of day three. “I don’t know how big they’ll be. It will be better. They’re not going to run as much current, and the fish are going to pile up.”

One angler yesterday described the current as the key to figuring out the Alabama River bass this week. Water levels have fluctuated, pushing bass off cover and frustrating competitors for days. A high-pressure weather front and rains earlier in the week that muddied up the water haven’t helped either.

But as another competitor said yesterday, every day is a new day, and today brings the last shot for the 84 competitors to score one of 14 slots in the 2008 TBF National Championship. There are 12 anglers on every state team, with seven state teams in contention – groups from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

The top finisher on each state advances to the national championship as a boater, and the No. 2 angler on each state team will advance as a co-angler. There is also competition among the seven states for cash awards, which are given in this tournament to the states, not individual anglers. Currently, Alabama leads the charge, with their 12 anglers catching 168 pounds, 2 ounces of bass the last two days. They are trailed by North Carolina with 149-14.

Competitors will weigh in their final catches today beginning at 2:30 p.m. at Cooters Pond, located at 1844 Cooters Pond Road in Prattville.

Click here for Friday’s conditions.