DeBord Maintains Lead at Bassmaster National Championship
The top 400 weekend anglers from more than 40 states compete in two divisions. In the Co-Angler Division, Dennis McGouirk of Carrolton, Ga., leaped from 47th place into the top spot with a 15.75-pound effort anchored by a 7.19-pounder. In two days, he landed six bass weighing 22.33 pounds. On the first day, he landed 6.58 pounds."I told my boater that it was a perfect flipping spot," McGouirk explained. "I flipped a plastic in the grass and the big one took off with it."Richard Peek of Centre, Ala., also landed two consecutive three-bass daily division limits for a total of 20.09 pounds. Fishing consistently, he landed 10.07 pounds on Day 1 and followed that with 10.02 pounds on Day 2.Day 1 division leader, Dana Foster of Ocala, Fla., dropped to third place with four bass for 18.43 pounds. After catching three bass for 13.73 pounds, including the first day division lunker at 7.45 pounds, he only managed one bass weighing 4.70 pounds on the second day.Mark Pirkle of Cleveland, Tenn., holds fourth place with six bass at 18.33 pounds, including a 3.94-pound kicker. He caught 8.93 pounds on Day 1 and 9.40 pounds on Day 2.Patric Hulsey of Rockmart, Ga., dropped from third to fifth in the division with a two-day catch of five bass weighing 17.09 pounds. On Day 1, he landed 10.93 pounds and followed with 6.16 pounds the next day.Ronnie Stiek of Skiatook, Okla., holds the big bass title so far. On the second day, the co-angler landed an 8.05-pounder."I caught it on a peanut butter and jelly jig with a craw in about 20 feet of water," Stiek said. "When it hit, I thought it was a big catfish or drum. When she came up, I about hit the floor. My boater netted it. It was just barely skin hooked. I just had to take a moment to myself and thank God."The action continues through Nov. 6 at Guntersville State Park in Guntersville, Ala. Free and open to the public, the daily weigh-in begins at 3 p.m. The full field fishes the first three days. Only the top 25 anglers in each division will compete on the final day.The winning boater will take home a check for $100,000 and qualify to fish 2011 Bassmaster Classic, slated for Feb. 18-20, 2011, in New Orleans. In addition, the boating champion could add as much as $105,000 in cash bonuses for using a Triton boat, a Mercury outboard motor and a MotorGuide trolling motor. The boater who catches the largest bass each day will receive a $1,000 bonus.The winning co-angler will pocket $50,000 and could accumulate up to $52,500 in bonus cash. The non-boater who brings in the daily division lunker pockets a $500 bonus.Besides watching the weigh-in, fans can check out the cooks competing in the ABA BBQ Championship Cook-off, sponsored by Early Times Whisky, or participate in various activities during the outdoors festival from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 6. The festival includes exhibits from various sponsors and vendors, a Kid's Fun Zone, silent auction and a U.S.O. show featuring the Bama Girls. Ashley Davis of Dothan, the reigning Miss Alabama, and Jeff Cook from the musical group Alabama will also be on hand.For more information on this tournament, call (888) 203-6222. On line, see www.americanbassanglers.com.