DEL RIO, Texas For the second day in a row, Karla Bullard of Del Rio utilized her local knowledge of spacious Lake Amistad to hold the top position in the season opener of the 2007 Mercury Marine Women's Bassmaster Tour presented by Triton Boats.
Her two-day total of 38 pounds, 10 ounces, gave Bullard a cushion of more than 3 pounds over Lucy Mize of Ben Lomond, Ark., who shot from 21st place on Thursday to second on Friday, thanks to a catch of 24 pounds, 13 ounces.
Mize said she found her pattern Friday, skipping the shallow water she got caught up in on Thursday. Bullard said that on both days she targeted fish with worms but played it close to the vest on the specifics.
The 56-year-old said she felt she could pull off the win, especially if the predicted winds of 30 mph Saturday happen.
"Let it blow," said the dental hygienist who holds the Val Verde (Texas) Federation Nation club's angler-of-the-year title, and is fishing her first WBT season. "Fishing in the wind is not fun, but we're used to it here and my fishing won't be affected."
"I feel great, I'm confident. I've saved half of my fish for tomorrow," she added.
Saturday's field will be cut to the top 25 and it includes Lisa Sternard of Clarksville, Tenn., in third with 34-0, less than two pounds behind Mize. Sternard's Friday catch included a 10-pound, 1-ounce lunker, easily earning her the Purolator Big Bass premium of $1,000. Sternard holds the distinction of landing the first bass in WBT history weighing more than 10 pounds.
On the heels of the top three were previous WBT winners Pam Martin-Wells of Bainbridge, Ga., with 32-8 and Dianna Clark of Bumpus Mills, Tenn., with 31-4. All in the top five brought five-fish limits to the scales, as did 27 other pros.
The co-angler leaderboard mirrored the situation on the pro side when Day 1 leader Kim Tucker of Red Bay, Ala., built on her first-day weight of 22 pounds, 2 ounces for a two-day total of 34-14. In position for a wire-to-wire win, Tucker was less than two pounds ahead of Crystal Langston of Leighton, Ala., with 33-3.
With the field cut to the top 25 pros and 25 co-anglers, the Lake Amistad WBT event concludes Saturday. Launch is scheduled for 7:15 a.m. at Diablo East. The weigh-in is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. also at Diablo.
2007 Mercury Marine Women's Bassmaster Tour presented by Triton Boats
Stop No. 1
Del Rio, Texas
Feb 8-10, 2007
Day 2 Big Bass
Pro: Lisa Sternard, Clarksville, Tenn., 10-1
Co-Angler: Linda Thomas, Pryor, Okla., 7-13
Co-Angler: Tina Newman, Soddy Daisy, Tenn., 7-13
Launch and weigh-in
7:15 a.m./3:30 p.m.
Diablo East Launch Ramp