Jason Pecoraro, Louisiana’s qualifier in the Cabela’s Bassmaster Federation National Championship, has a high hill to climb going into Friday’s second round after catching two bass weighing 3 pounds, 6 ounces during Thursday’s first day on Wheeler Lake near Decatur, Ala.
Pecoraro, like the other 55 anglers in the field, had set his sights on using the three-day championship to earn one of six berths for next February’s Bassmaster Classic in Oklahoma.
He will have to outduel the seven Federation Central Division anglers in front of him to accomplish that goal, and will have to overcome the 16-1 stringer brought to the scales by overall leader Dale Hightower, the Central Division fisherman from Sand Springs, Okla.
To qualify for the Classic, a competitor must beat the other anglers in his division. Hightower holds a near six-pound leader over Nebraska’s Jared Knuth after the first round. There are nine Central Division qualifiers, and Pecoraro is eight in that standing.
Overall, the Central Division leads the other five division teams by more than 10 pounds.
Live coverage of the championship begins at 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday on the Bassmaster website: http://www.bassmaster.com.