March 29, 2012 – Marc Snyder from St. Johns, Mich., bags a whopping 20lb 5ounce sack to snag the lead on day one of the 2012 Federation National Championship, presented by the National Guard. 94 of North America’s best bass club anglers faceoff this week on Bull Shoals Lake, in Flippin, Ark. The bite’s on, and should get better the next two days, as the 2012 TBF National Champion titles and all the glory are up for grabs. This week, the TBF national champion boater will earn the esteemed $100,000 “Living the Dream” prize package, including cash and prizes, fully paid entry fees into the FLW tour, travel funds and use of a wrapped Ranger Boat and Chevrolet truck for the year. The 14 division champions will receive berths in the 2012 BFL All-American and the national champion boater and non-boater will also receive berths in the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup. There’s a lot on the line for these anglers and the competition is tight. Tomorrow, it’s all or nothing as the final cut will decide the top 14 division champions, seven on the boater and non-boater sides, who will vie for the 2012 Federation National Champion titles.
Snyder, out on top with an impressive 20lb 5ounce bag and a limit of bass today started out slow but kept it steady. “I caught fish pretty much all day, once I started to figure out what they were doing,” Snyder said. “Started out slow; everything was dead on the water until about an hour and a half or so when I caught my first fish.” By 10:30am, Snyder had four fish, but not any large fish like the 6lb beauty he brought in around 11am. “I just have to figure out where they’re gonna be at, and I think I can go back tomorrow and catch at least five.” Snyder has advanced to the Northern Division Championship four times, but this is his first time to make it to nationals. “If everything works out for me tomorrow, I plan to lay off of them. I’d like to catch five, maybe 12-15lbs. Then go find something else, and go from there.”
Close behind Snyder is Joseph Webster, from Fulton, Miss., with a five bass limit today weighing 15lbs 15ounces. “It’s just a grind all day,” Webster said. “I caught two keepers pretty early. Later in the afternoon the fishing got better; the fish are just moving shallow.” Webster caught seven keepers and culled two. “I don’t know if I have anything left for tomorrow. I do have some areas I didn’t fish today where I caught some in practice.” This is Webster’s third trip to the national championship, but his first time to be in the race. “I have not been this close before. I just hope more fish show up tomorrow. These fish are all pre-spawn so I hope more pile in and set up and we can catch ‘em; tomorrow, we’ll just see how it all falls in place.”
The top seven non-boaters from each division will advance tomorrow to battle for the national title and all that comes with it. The tournament field consists of the top two anglers from 45 states, the top two anglers representing the Canadian Bass Federation, and the two BoatsUS Collegiate National Champions, all of whom competed at local, state and regional qualifiers to advance to the national contest. For most, the road to nationals has been a two year process and for many, it’s been several years of federation fishing to finally make it this far. Now, they compete to make it all worthwhile. Tomorrow, the competition continues as 94 TBF anglers compete for a dream of a lifetime at the 2012 Federation National Championship, presented by the National Guard.
Take-off is 7am at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock; weigh-in begins at 3pm
Take offs and weigh-ins are free to the public.