Leading the Kentucky squad is Kaoru O'Bryan. O'Bryan currently sits second overall, but is first on his team with 27 pounds, 1 ounce. He says he remains focused on a team victory, although, if he remains in the lead after Friday's weigh-in, he will earn a trip to amateur bass fishing's world championship, the CITGO BASS Federation Championship, next April.
"These three-day touranaments, you know, it's not over until the last day," O'Bryan said. "I guess I really didn't take this whole thing that seriously. I was just in it for the fun and meeting the people. But I enjoy it. I'm sure if I make it, it'll be great and if I don't, there's always next year."
The overall leader, Alabama's Jamie Long, is way out in front of the next place angler from his state. His two-day total of 27-13 is over 10 pounds better than second place from his state. Nevertheless, Long is still a little worried about his shot at the Federation Championship.
"It took me a lot longer to get my limit today," Long said. "The water is dropping and the smallmouth are moving out and I don't know if there's another limit there. I just hope there is 10 pounds there tomorrow.
"If I can get a couple of keepers pretty quick (Friday), I would feel a lot better. The Federation Championship has been my goal. I missed it in 2002 by 14 ounces. It has just been my goal to get back and just have one more chance. I'm in a little better situation than I was last time. It's pretty neat."
North Carolina's Charles Davis is still holding the lead for the Purolator Big Bass of the Tournament. If his 5-pound, 11-ounce lunker from Wednesday's round holds out through the end of the tournament, he will earn the $1,000 prize.
The CITGO BASS Federation Southern Divisional will wrap up Friday at J.R.'s Executive Inn in Paducah, Ky. Launch is at 6:15 a.m., with the weigh-in beginning at 2:45 p.m.
BASS is the world's largest fishing organization, sanctioning more than 20,000 tournaments worldwide through its Federation. The CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail is the oldest and most prestigious pro bass-fishing tournament circuit and continues to set the standard for credibility, professionalism and sportsmanship as it has since 1968.
BASS Federation Sponsors Include CITGO Petroleum Corp., Busch Beer, Purolator, Triton Boats, Skeeter Boats, Mercury Marine, Yamaha Outboards, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Lowrance Electronics, Flowmaster Exhaust Systems, MotorGuide, Bass Pro Shops, Evan Williams and BankOne.
Associate Sponsors include G3 Boats.
Local Sponsors include J.R.'s Executive Inn and the Kentucky BASS Federation.
For more information, contact BASS Communications at (334) 551-2375 or visit www.bassmaster.com.