Before the sun was even up on day-two, bass fishing boats crowded the Timber Creek cove bobbing gently in the pre-dawn light awaiting day-two blast off. 6:45am brought the call for “Boat-One” as what would be an eventful day on the water began. When the waves subsided and the scales were closed shortly after 2:30pm a new leader would emerge and a new champion would be crowned for the District 58 2012 season.
Jim Clay of Cherryvale would prevail over all competitors with a two-day weight of 26.97 pounds. The first place finish earned Clay the top spot for the weekend tournament and the district’s angler of the year award, allowing him to represent District 58 at the Individual National Championship later this year on Hudson Lake in Oklahoma.
Kevin Newberry fell just shy of first place with a second place weight of 26.6 pounds for his two-day total. Third was Terry Knueppel with 23.99 pounds, fourth was Zac Udock with 23.18 and fifth went to Eric Craft with 23.03.
The biggest mover from day-one to day-two was sixth place finisher Jim Zaleski who for the second tournament in a row earned the big bass award for weighing in the largest fish of the event. Zaleski would leapfrog from outside the top-ten after day-one to sixth place in the final standings with a 6.18 pound largemouth anchoring his day-two weight.
Fish were caught in a variety of manners including top-water plugs in the early morning and small crankbaits throughout the day. Anglers targeted tree lines and channel swings in their pursuit but many admitted to catching the majority of their fish in shallow water despite temperatures exceeding 100 degrees in the many weeks leading to the tournament.
This was also Zaleski’s last event as District 58 Tournament Director as he announced his retirement from the position following the 2012 season. The new director will be Jodi Udock of Joplin, Udock has already scheduled a 2013 qualifying tournament for District 58 on Grand Lake in mid-September.
For those wishing to learn more about the American Bass Anglers tournament trail they can visit www.Americanbassanglers.com.