Editor's Note: Federal officials have amended an order that prohibited the interstate and international transfer of live fish from states and provinces known to be infected with the deadly Viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS). BASS took a leadership role in lobbying for the interests of recreational anglers, including those who compete in BASS tournaments throughout the region. Click here to learn more.
GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. — A professional elk-hunting guide, Audrey McQueen of Canon City, Colo., sprinted from fourth place to the top of the standings on Friday at the Mercury Marine Women's Bassmaster Tour presented by Triton Boats on Lake Guntersville.
With a two-day total of 32 pounds, 12 ounces, McQueen stayed 12 ounces ahead of two-time WBT winner Tammy Richardson of Amity, Ark., whose weight was exactly 16 pounds two days in a row.
McQueen and Richardson led the list of 25 pros who made the cut to compete Saturday. The event's top prize is a Triton/Mercury boat rig worth $50,000.
Co-owner of Trophy Ridge Outfitters in New Mexico, and holder of eight world titles from elk-bugling competitions, 29-year-old McQueen brought 17-7 to the scales on Friday.
"I know I need to be consistent and bring in another 17-pound sack," said McQueen. "That will put me close. I think it will be enough to win."
She said that Friday she worked spinnerbaits and a shad-colored jerkbait through grass. A creature bait worked slowly hooked her largest fish, a 4-6 bass.
Richardson, who said her Friday catch "on plastics" happened by 11 a.m. in about 10 feet of water, was optimistic about her chances for a third WBT win. She said she began the Guntersville event determined to improve her 2007 season.
"Sometimes it does you good to do badly," she added. "I don't want to be 12th or 20th — that's where I've been so far this season."
In third on Friday with 29-11 was Cindy Hill of Smyrna, Tenn., who slipped from first to third with a Day 2 catch of 12 pounds, 7 ounces.
Sheri Glasgow of Muskogee, Okla., put together 26-14, which moved her from seventh into fourth place and improved her chances for back-to-back WBT victories. She took her first win last month at the Lake Dardanelle WBT event in Arkansas, and came into the Lake Guntersville event as the leader of the WBT points race.
Capturing fifth place with a two-day total of 25-10 was Kathy Womack of Trussville, Ala. Tennessean Dianna Clark, a two-time WBT winner and the reigning Toyota Women's Bassmaster Angler of the Year, dropped from second into sixth. Her two-day weight was 24-8.
For many WBT anglers, the Guntersville tournament — the '07 season's midpoint — is pivotal. Pros who have done well in the season's first two events must maintain their pace against the up-and-comers in the Toyota Angler of the Year race. All have an eye on the title and prize, a 2008 Toyota Tundra.
Going into the Guntersville event, Sheri Glasgow of Muskogee, Okla., led the Angler of the Year race with 605 points, but Texas' Juanita Robinson had 590 and Georgia's Pam Martin-Wells had 575.
Emerging Friday as the leader in the co-angler division was Virginia Buckner of Scottsboro, Ala., with a two-day total of 26-0. She bested first-day leader Elizabeth Sanders of Brandon, Miss., whose two-day total was 22-7.
Behind the co-angler leaders were Jan Hudson of Harrison, Ark., with 19-1; Phyllis Free of Flowery Branch, Ga., with 18-11; and Karol Whitehurst of Winnsboro, Texas, who had 17-11.
The 25 co-anglers who made the cut to compete Saturday are vying for a first prize of $1,000 cash and a $25,000 Triton/Mercury rig.
Besides cash and merchandise prizes, co-anglers and pros are competing for points to qualify for the season-ending WBT championship. On the pro side, points also count in the 2007 WBT Toyota Angler of the Year race.
The pro with the most points at season's end will receive the coveted Angler of the Year title and a 2008 Toyota Tundra.
Saturday, WBT fans can watch live video of the Guntersville event weigh-in and view a real-time leaderboard at www.espnoutdoors.com. The live coverage begins at 2:10 p.m. CT.
Mercury Marine Women's Bassmaster Tour presented by Triton Boats
Stop No. 3 of 2007 season
Lake Guntersville, Ala.
Day 2 Big Bass
Pro: Tammie Muse, North Little Rock, Ark., 6-5
Co-angler: Kim Tucker, Red Bay, Ala., 6-9
94 pros, 94 co-anglers
Cut to top 25 after Day 2
Launch and Weigh-in
5:45 a.m./2:10 p.m. CDT
Lake Guntersville State Park
7966 AL Highway 227
Guntersville, AL 35976
Local sponsors include the Guntersville Chamber of Commerce, Lake Guntersville State Park, Holiday Inn of Guntersville, Covenant Cove Lodge of Guntersville, Jameson Inn Albertville and Microtel Inn of Albertville.
Women's Bassmaster Tour sponsors
Mercury Marine, Triton Boats, Lowrance Electronics, MotorGuide, Advance Auto Parts and Plano