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Milner wacks 16 pounds, Arkansas leads on a tough Truman Lake

Uncertainties shake bite; high water levels, imminent flooding play huge role

Weather conditions left anglers struggling as day one of the 2010 TBF Central Division Championship, Presented by Evinrude E-TEC kicked off today in Warsaw, Mo., on Truman Lake, as 96 anglers from eight states battle it out for the individual and state team championship titles. The three official practice days were lined with thunderstorms and the bite was fairly good by most reports. Today, high pressure, no wind and sunny, bluebird skies dominated. The lake is high which is rising about a foot per day; nearly everything on the bank is trampled by floods, leaving places and banks typically great for fishing out. With conditions nothing close to what they faced pre-fishing, several anglers found it tough to make the bite, as only 9 limits were caught and 26 anglers came up empty handed.

This week of competition will see 16 TBF anglers advance to the 2011 Federation National Championship where they’ll vie for nearly a quarter of a million in cash and prizes and the chance to “Live the Dream” on the FLW Pro Tour for a year with entries paid, travel expense money and use of a wrapped Chevrolet truck and Ranger boat. With all this in mind, anglers look to tomorrow to pick up the bite and see if the weather will shine them a grin.

As is always the case, someone figures out the puzzle. Pulling out above the pack, Kerry Milner, from Bono, Ark., caught a five bass limit today weighing 16lb 3ounces.

Milner started out fishing shallow, then moved to off-shore structure to catch his limit by 9am. “I hope tomorrow’s weather will be better, maybe help us out more,” Milner said. When asked about tomorrow’s strategy he said, “I really took it easy on them in those spots today; I think they’ll be there again.” Milner’s non-boater today also caught a limit of bass. “I had a great partner; we had a good time and both caught limits.”

Holding down second in individual standings is, Dennis Hastings, from Flower Mounds, Texas. Hastings only managed four fish, but they weighed a solid 12lb 13ounces. “Starting out we just made a milk run pitching all different types of vegetation,” Hastings said. He put together a pattern pre-fishing, but today changed all that. “It was nothing like we saw pre-fishing, it was sunny; that changed the bite a lot.” He commented the game plan tomorrow will reflect that, namely, based on what happens in the morning. “It’s just a grind; we adjusted in the morning and covered a lot of water; I actually caught my last fish 20 minutes before weigh-in.” He gave much credit to his Nebraska partner, Robert Hime. “I couldn’t have done what I did without him.”

On the state team side, Arkansas snatched a sound lead bringing in 76lb 4ounces. A few pounds away is the Nebraska state team with 61lb 15ounces. Next, is Kansas with 53lb 12ounces. In fourth, Missouri with 50lb even. Then, Louisiana-42lb 5ounces, Texas-39lb 5ounces, Mississippi-35lb 10ounces and Oklahoma-31lb 15ounces. But with these weights it is far from over, look for things to shake up tomorrow. Day 2 weigh-in begins at 2:30pm tomorrow at Long Shoal Marina and it is free to the public.

Full Results are HERE