The change in venue of the Bassmaster Elite Series suited Wagoner, OK pro Tommy Biffle just fine. Fort Gibson Lake is Biffle’s home lake and his knowledge of the lake is paying off as he leads after Day 1 by just an ounce at the AutoZone Sooner Run with 19 pounds and 11 ounces.
Biffle is a shallow water power-house and is using his experience on Fort Gibson to fish areas that so far, he has to himself, at least from the other anglers. He does have about 20 spectator boats following him.
Biffle is looking for a good finish here to boost him into the top 12 in points and give him the opportunity to fish the post season. He is currently in 17th place in points in the Angler of the Year race.
In second place is Russ Lane of Prattville, AL with a weight of 19 pounds and 10 ounces and is relying on schooling fish for the majority of his catch.
Lane began this tournament in 15th place overall and is also hoping to stay at the top and make the top 12.
Rounding out the top ten are:
3. Mike McClelland; Bella Vista, AR; 19-08
4. Pat Golden; High Point, NC; 18-15
5. Jared Lintner; Arroyo Grande, CA; 18-05
6. Jami Fralick; Martin, SD; 18-04
7. Matt Herren; Trussville, AL; 18-03
8. Kevin VanDam; Kalamazoo, MI; 17-10
9. Steve Kennedy; Auburn, AL; 17-03
10. Randy Howell; Springville, AL; 17-00
For the first two days of competition, weigh-ins will be held at Sequoyah Bay. Daily launches will be conducted from there as well. The public is invited to attend the all festivities surrounding the event. Launches will begin at 6:30 a.m. CT and weigh-ins will take place at 3:30 p.m. CT. Weekend festivities will kick off Saturday and Sunday at Three Forks Harbor, 5201 Three Forks Rd., Fort Gibson, Okla., at 12 p.m. CT. All events are free and open to the public. Included in the Three Forks Harbor festivities will be a Kid’s area with face painting, arts and crafts and games.
On Saturday, the penultimate day of competition, the Okayed Country Music Fest will take place featuring Jason Boland and the Stragglers; Brandon Jenkins and The Swon Brothers. On Sunday, Brian Jackson will be on hand and will attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records in the category of blowing up the most balloons by an individual.
Toyota Trucks Championship Week is set for July 24-31 and will be played out once again on two productive Alabama fisheries. The first leg, the July 24-25 Trophy Chase, returns to Lake Jordan out of Wetumpka. The finale, the Evan Williams Bourbon Trophy Triumph, is slated for July 30-31 on the Alabama River from Montgomery.
For more information on the Bassmaster Elite Series or on how to join Bassmasters, visit ESPN/Bassmasters website.