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Eastern day 2 Derocher & Gildea tied up…. Vermont in command

The third and final day of Eastern Divisional competition kicks off Friday morning with a 7 o’clock takeoff from Northville State Boat Launch in Northville. Tomorrow’s weigh-in will also be held there beginning at 3 p.m.

JOHNSTOWN, N.Y. – Competition on day two of The Bass Federation Eastern Divisional championship on Great Lake Sacandaga was so tight it made yesterday’s crowded leaderboard look wide open in comparison. Currently, two state leaders are tied for the overall lead, with a third state leader just 2 ounces behind them.

Standing side by side atop the overall weight list are yesterday’s overall leader Jim Gildea of Weston, Mass., and Thomas Derocher of Bridgewater, Mass., with two-day catches of 10 bass weighing 24 pounds, 3 ounces. Their catches are strikingly similar, as Derocher caught 11-8 yesterday and 12-11 today while Gildea caught 12-10 yesterday and 11-9 today. If the tournament ended today, Derocher would win the $500 Wal-Mart gift card as the Castrol Maximum Performer because he currently boasts the heaviest one-day catch of the pair, but for now, the race remains all tied up.

However, Derocher’s lead atop the Rhode Island state team and Gildea’s Massachusetts state lead are of higher importance. This week’s Eastern Divisional features 72 anglers on six state teams, and the No. 1 angler from each state team at the conclusion of this week’s event will advance to the 2008 TBF National Championship as a boater. Each state’s runner-up will advance to the championship as a co-angler. The six states competing in the Eastern Divisional are Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

In the state standings Vermont is in command working toward back to back Eastern Divisional champion titles, Massachusetts sets in second 10 pounds back.