Finding Unpressured Fish Gives Puts Biffle in Command at Central Open

Finding Unpressured Fish Gives Puts Biffle in Command at Central Open
Finding Unpressured Fish Gives Puts Biffle in Command at Central Open

MUSKOGEE, Okla. — Bassmaster Elite Series pro Tommy Biffle came to the scales with the second largest five-fish limit of the day, good enough to put the Wagoner, Okla., angler into a commanding lead in the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open going into the final day of fishing.

Mark Tyler’s five-fish limit weighing 17 pounds, 2 ounces was the largest bag of the day, but not enough for the Vian, Okla., pro to overcome a Day One two-fish bag weighing 3-11. Tyler finished 14th overall, just missing the Top 12 cut.

In second place going into Day Two was Janet Parker of Little Elm, Texas, who, like Biffle, was fishing from a jet boat. Parker didn’t get the bites she had the previous day, and came to the scales with a three-fish bag weighing just 5-13. Parker finished Day Two in 12th place with 20-15, tied with Chris M. Jones of Bokoshe, Okla.

“It was just a struggle for me today,” said Parker, who was fishing in backwaters only accessible by shallow draft jet boat. “I didn’t get the bites I did yesterday, and most of what I caught were a lot smaller.”


Unlike Parker, Biffle is still onto good fish and thinks he has enough to carry the tournament if he can get to them.


“The fish bit good all day long for me,” said Biffle. “I caught a lot of fish, and lost one 4-pounder that I’d like to have back. My amateur caught two or three nice ones too, so they’re definitely there.”

Biffle has been fishing the same area for the entire tournament, a spot he found on the last day of practice. His big concern going into the final day is the water level, which dropped 4 or 5 inches today as boats locked through into other sections of the Arkansas River.

“It’s just going to be a matter of being able to get in there tomorrow,” Biffle said. “I might not be able to get there. I’m hoping the rain comes early tomorrow or the water comes up, or I’ll just have to fish around those spots.”

Biffle caught all his fish today throwing a Biffle Bug with a hard head, working it down the pea gravel banks and bouncing it off the rock bottom. He’s fishing 30 minutes from the launch.


Lendell Martin of Nacogdoches, Texas, bumped up from fifth to second with a four-fish bag weighing 11-9. Martin has been running about 75 miles each way to the area he’s fishing.

“It was slow, but steady. I probably caught 11 or 12 fish all day,” Martin said. “I just tried to fish some different water today. That’s the problem with trying to move around too, you just have to try to get in an area that looks good and fish there.”

Trevor Romans of Plano, Texas, moved up from 13th place to third with a limit weighing 12-4, giving him 23-13 going into the final day of fishing. Stephen Browning of Hot Spring, Ark., sits in fourth with 23-5 while Shonn Goodwin of Moore, Okla., is fifth with 23-0.


The co-angler division saw the top two from Day One falter, allowing Matt McMillan of Fort Worth, Texas, to move from 13th to first with a three-fish limit of 7-8. McMillan was fishing with pro Jeff Cloud of Lubbock, Texas.

“I caught a three-and-a-half pounder the second or third cast of the day,” McMillan said. “Then it was pretty slow for a long time until we got into a section of brush and started flippin’ it. I was throwing a shaky head into the nastiest stuff, and managed to catch two more nice fish in there.”

McMillan fished the same pool they launched in, which gave him more fishing time. With the water dropping, the fish were pulling off the banks and into deeper water, making the fish more difficult to locate.

Sitting in second place just 10 ounces behind McMillan with 12-13 is Clayton Coppin of Wagoner, Okla. Coppin won the co-angler division during the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open on Lewisville Lake, Texas, in February, and got some good bites on the Arkansas River early, then culled up during the day.

“I had a limit by noon, culled at 12:30 and made another cull at 1:20. We were in fish all day,” said Coppin, who prefished the Arkansas River for three weeks prior to the tournament and was fishing small soft plastics and jigs. “I’m a bit nervous going into the final day.”

The Top 12 pros and co-anglers will fish the final day of the tournament tomorrow, starting with the 6:45 a.m. launch at Three Forks Marina in Muskogee. Weigh-in will take place at the Bass Pro Shops store in Broken Arrow, Okla., starting at 3:45 p.m. CT.

With water levels dropping, Biffle will have to contend with limited access to his fishing area, but whether the other 11 pros will be able to overcome the 9-pound, 15-ounce lead will be determined at the weigh-in for Day Three.

“I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be one of those things where you try to get in, hit a rock, have to back it up and try to get in another way,” Biffle said. “I’ll just keep on bumping until I hopefully find a way in.”

2011 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Official Sponsors: Toyota Trucks, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Mercury, Skeeter, Triton, Yamaha

2011 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Supporting Sponsors: Humminbird, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats

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 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, B.A.S.S. Federation Nation events presented by Yamaha and Skeeter Boats 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 Celebration, Fla.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Lure Lock Options Includes LED Light Boxes & More

Lure Lock Options Includes LED Light Boxes & More

Pro angler Jonathan VanDam showcases new offerings at ICAST 2019, including the ultra-thin, big bait boxes, LED-lighted boxes and backpack-able gear lockers. With Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

Costa and Captains for Clean Water

Costa and Captains for Clean Water

With the company's heavy involvement in initiatives like Kick the Plastic and Captains for Clean Water campaigns, Costa's Amanda Sabin tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead all about the sunglass maker's unwavering commitment to help the freshwater and saltwater environment.

MLF Pro Tips: How to Fish a New Lake

MLF Pro Tips: How to Fish a New Lake

Major League Fishing pros Alton Jones, Jeff Sprague, Anthony Gagliardi and James Watson share their thoughts on how to approach fishing a new lake for bass.

New Optimum and Optimum TS Downriggers from Canon

New Optimum and Optimum TS Downriggers from Canon

From rugged reliability to smooth integration of cutting edge technology across several different platforms, OSG's Lynn Burkhead learns that there's much to like about the new Optimum and Optimum TS downriggers from Canon.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options. Catfish

12 Great Catfish Baits

Jeff Samsel

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options.

Unless you live in Antarctica, the only continent they aren't known to inhabit, there is a species Catfish

10 Biggest Catfish World Records of All Time

Jack Vitek - December 08, 2014

Unless you live in Antarctica, the only continent they aren't known to inhabit, there is a...

          From Monksville Reservoir to Union Lake, plus five other picks, here's where you'll find Bass

7 Best Bets For New Jersey Largemouth Bass

October 04, 2010

From Monksville Reservoir to Union Lake, plus five other picks, here's where you'll...

As most catfish anglers know, blue cats, channel cats and flatheads will eat darn near anything that fits in their mouths. Catfish

5 Ways To Catch Catfish on Lures

Keith Sutton - September 16, 2015

As most catfish anglers know, blue cats, channel cats and flatheads will eat darn near...

See More Trending Articles

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.