MADISON, Tenn. — A bag of largemouth that weighed more than 13 pounds put Judy Wong of Many, La., into the lead after two days in the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Women's Tour on Old Hickory Lake.
Wong, the winner of the 2007 WBT Championship on South Carolina's Lake Keowee, brought in 20-15 of Old Hickory bass over two days, jumping her from third to first and stepping over Heather Broom of Sylva, N.C., who had 19-9 over two days and remained firmly in second place.
Also on Friday, Lisa Sternard of Clarksville, Tenn., jumped into third place with 17-11. Fourth with 14-15 was Kim Bain-Moore of Alabaster, Ala., who as the 2008 Toyota Tundra WBT Angler of the Year was the first woman to qualify for a Bassmaster Classic.
Hookups with short bass have been plentiful this week, but not limits. After weighing just three fish the first day, Wong had one of eight pro-division limits Friday. Her Day Two bag was anchored by two largemouths, one more than 5 pounds, another about 4 pounds.
She said both came from one area — a rare one-two on Old Hickory this week. She said she worked another spot — hard — for the other three.
Broom, the last angler to weigh-in Friday, said she had hoped her limit would weigh just a bit more than it did — 10 pounds, 9 ounces, to put pressure on Wong, an early leader of the day.
"I can pull five more tomorrow — I'm pretty sure I can," said Broom, whose limit came by 9 a.m. "I know there's going to be some local tournaments tomorrow, and that's often a factor on Saturday, but I'll go back and see what I can get."
In fifth place with 13-15 was Robin Babb of Livingston, Texas, who said she was motivated to do well at this tournament so she could earn enough points to advance to the 2009 Academy Sports + Outdoors WBT Championship, which is set for Oct. 16-18 on the Red River out of Shreveport-Bossier City, La.
"That's why I fished so hard today and yesterday," Babb said. "I really want to be in the championship. I've had a difficult season and year, so I got focused. I decided I better get serious."
The Old Hickory event ends Saturday, wrapping up the regular WBT season and setting the 20-pro field for the 2009 championship. That's where the season-long points race will cross the finish line and one pro will claim the season's biggest prize package: the Toyota Tundra WBT Angler of the Year crown, a Toyota Tundra, and an invitation to the 2010 Bassmaster Classic, Feb. 19-21 on Lay Lake out of Birmingham, Ala.
Pam Martin-Wells of Bainbridge, Ga., had 850 points going into the Old Hickory event. Just nine ticks behind was Juanita Robinson of Highlands, Texas. Martin-Wells was 10th place after the second day of the Tennessee tournament with 11-8. Robinson was seventh with 13-1.
The co-angler division went through a leaderboard shake-up. Bonnie Ward of Snohomish, Wash., shot from eighth place into the lead with 11-3 over two days. Regina Pierpaoli of Gallatin, Tenn., was second with 10-13. Terri Bittner of McKinleyville, Calif., took a big step from 35th place into third with an 8-14 two-day total.
First prize in the co-angler division is $500 and a Triton/Mercury boat rig valued at $25,000. Co-anglers also are competing for qualifying points for the October championship.
The Old Hickory competition will resume Saturday at 6:15 a.m. CT, when the top 20 launch from Sanders Ferry Park, 100 Sanders Ferry Road in Hendersonville, Tenn. The finale weigh-in is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. CT at the Academy Sports + Outdoors store, 2350 Gallatin Pike N., Madison.
All WBT events are free and open to the public.
The local sponsor is Sumner County Convention and Visitors Bureau (www.sumnercvb.com).