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Oklahoma’s Tommy Biffle Surges to Lead at Bassmaster Elite Event on Wheeler Lake

Category: press release

 Apr 4th, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Apr 4th, 2009 at 12:00 AM

DECATUR, Ala. – Three-time BASS event winner Tommy Biffle of Wagoner, Okla., fishing in a remote cove on Wheeler Lake catapulted to the lead of the Evan Williams Bourbon Dixie Duel with a two-day total of 36 pounds. Biffle has more than a 2-pound advantage over Takahiro Omori of Emory, Texas, who remains in second with 33-9.

Tommy Biffle with part of his Day 2 catch at Wheeler Lake (Photo Courtesy of BASS)

Friday’s competition of the Bassmaster Elite Series’ third stop was canceled due to unsafe river conditions. Biffle, who was sixth after Thursday, was pleased with the increased water level of Wheeler Lake that has swelled about 2 feet since Thursday.

Fishing fans can catch all of the on-the-water action from the Evan Williams Bourbon Dixie Duel on The Bassmasters, which airs Saturday, April 11, at 9 a.m. ET on ESPN2. The daily weigh-ins for this and all other regular-season Elite events as well as the two postseason events will air live at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN360.com, ESPN’s broadband sports network, while a wealth of unique content will also be available at Bassmaster.com.

The former race boat driver lost several larger fish from his location that he says is fairly close to the launch location. Biffle would not disclose specifics about the remote spot or his tournament strategy. He weighed in the biggest bag of the tournament so far tipping the scales at 19-14 on Saturday.

“I had a little bit of bad luck when I broke a big one off and lost a 5-pounder when he was coming over the side of the boat,” said Biffle, 51. “The big one was down under a log, and he was pulling hard and I was and my line just snapped.”

He was successful in upgrading his catch throughout the day and estimates he landed about 30 bass. Fishing in bluebird skies and adjusting to the rise of the river, Biffle hopes for similar conditions on Sunday.

“I hope they don’t adjust the water levels overnight,” he said. “Out of all of the years we have been coming here I have been hoping for a big stringer. I plan on fishing from this same spot until at least noon tomorrow.”

Omori, winner of the 2004 Bassmaster Classic, remained consistent in boating 16-1 Saturday, a little less than Thursday’s 17-8 total. The six-time BASS event winner will continue to deploy his strategy of moving to various spots and finding a shallow bite. Omori was only able to fish for several hours as his boat broke down and fellow competitor Jared Lintner of Arroyo Grande, Calif., hauled Omori in for the weigh-in.

“I only caught six keepers today that were the right size,” said Omori, who was in second after Thursday. “I was going to check another place but I hit something really hard that my lower end unit went out and that was the end of my day.”

Bradley Hallman of Norman, Okla., made a big move into the third position with a two-day total of 30-14. His bag consisted of a couple 5-pounders that propelled him from Thursday’s 28th position. Hallman ran over 70 miles to boat his day two catch of 16-1 and is fishing structure for most of his fish.

“I was fishing with about 25 other boats around me today,” said Hallman. “I did not go there the first day as the bites were not there for me in practice. I will probably go back there tomorrow. I fished about four or five different places nearby and my pattern is holding up.”

Rounding out the top five are Mark Tucker of Saint Louis, Mo., in fourth with 30-0, and 2003 Bassmaster Classic Champion Mike Iaconelli of Runnemede, N.J., in fifth with 29-13. Iaconelli was third after the first day of competition.

Also, BASS announced prior to the Saturday weigh-in that the field will be cut to the top 50 for Sunday’s competition due to Friday’s cancelation. Weather forecasts for Monday predict high winds, and tournament officials will announce how the tournament will conclude prior to Sunday’s launch at 7:15 a.m. The tournament will finish either Sunday with the top 50 fishing, or Monday with the top 12, only if the weather forecast is favorable.

Within the cutline was 2008 Bassmaster Classic champion Alton Jones (16); 2009 Elite Series winners Mark Menendez (12th) and Jason Williamson (27th); 2009 Bassmaster Classic champion Skeet Reese (45th); and four-time Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year Kevin VanDam (49).

The Evan Williams Bourbon Dixie Duel includes a top prize of $100,000 and awards valuable points in the 2009 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year title race. Fans are encouraged to attend Sunday’s launch (7:15 a.m. CT) and weigh-in (4 p.m.) at Ingalls Harbor, 701 Market Street NW, Decatur.

With 1,063 miles of shoreline, Wheeler is the largest of three Alabama lakes that connect with the Tennessee River. It has been the host of 10 BASS events, including the 1974 Bassmaster Classic, and also will feature the second Bassmaster Southern Open of 2009, set for April 30-May 2.

Sunday’s activities include the live taping of Hooked Up, hosted by ESPN Outdoors personalities Mark Zona and Tommy Sanders. The show, which will air live at 4:30 p.m. ET on Bassmaster.com, will preview Sunday’s action.

Other activities Sunday at the Dixie Duel will begin at 12 p.m. CT at Ingalls Harbor, featuring the popular Dog Training & Retriever Demonstrations Brought To You By SportDog. The fun also includes Skeeter boat demos; a rock-climbing wall presented by the U.S. Army; Jubilee Hot Air Balloon rides; an American Red Cross blood drive; the Just Add Kidz moonwalk, obstacle course and super slide; a BTK Motorsports booth with kart demonstrations; and the Sci Quest Hands-on Science Center for kids.

For more information, contact BASS Communications at (407) 566-2208 or visit Bassmaster.com. Visit ESPNOutdoorsMedia.com for ESPN Outdoors’ latest releases, schedules, other news and photos.

The local sponsor of the Dixie Duel is the Decatur-Morgan County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Sponsors of the Bassmaster Elite Series: Toyota Trucks, Berkley, BOOYAH Baits, Evan Williams Bourbon, Mercury, OPTIMA Batteries, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Marine; Bass Pro Shops, Costa Del Mar, Ramada, SpongeTech and Triton Boats.

About BASS

For more than 40 years, BASS has served as the authority on bass fishing. With its considerable multi-media platforms and expansive tournament trail, BASS is guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications Bassmaster Magazine, BASS Times and Fishing Tackle Retailer and comprehensive Web properties in ESPN360.com, ESPN’s sports broadband network, Bassmaster.com, BASSInsider.com and ESPNOutdoors.com, the organization is committed to delivering content true to the lifestyle. Additionally, television programming on ESPN2 continues to provide relevant content – from tips and techniques to in-depth tournament coverage – to passionate audiences.

The organization oversees the prestigious Bassmaster tournament trail, which includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bassmaster Opens, Women’s Bassmaster Tour and the Bassmaster Classic, the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing. Through its grassroots network, the BASS Federation Nation, BASS sanctions more than 20,000 events annually.

BASS also offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members while spearheading progressive, positive change on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.

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Media Contact: Anthony Bartkowski; (407) 744-4566 or [email protected]

EVAN WILLIAMS BOURBON DIXIE DUEL DAY 1

2009 Dixie Duel 4/2-4/5
Lake Wheeler, Decatur AL.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 2

Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts Total $$$

1. Tommy Biffle Wagoner, OK 10 36-00 305
Day 1: 5 16-02 Day 2: 5 19-14
2. Takahiro Omori Emory, TX 10 33-09 295
Day 1: 5 17-08 Day 2: 5 16-01
3. Bradley Hallman Norman, OK 10 30-14 290
Day 1: 5 13-01 Day 2: 5 17-13
4. Mark Tucker Saint Louis, MO 10 30-00 285
Day 1: 5 11-09 Day 2: 5 18-07
5. Michael Iaconelli Runnemede, NJ 10 29-13 280
Day 1: 5 17-01 Day 2: 5 12-12
6. Todd Faircloth Jasper, TX 10 29-13 276
Day 1: 5 14-15 Day 2: 5 14-14
7. Rick Morris Virginia Beach, VA 10 28-12 272
Day 1: 5 16-13 Day 2: 5 11-15
8. Edwin Evers Talala, OK 10 28-12 268
Day 1: 5 13-06 Day 2: 5 15-06
9. Randy Howell Springville, AL 10 28-04 264
Day 1: 5 16-06 Day 2: 5 11-14
10. Gary Klein Weatherford, TX 10 28-03 260
Day 1: 5 14-00 Day 2: 5 14-03
11. Stephen Browning Hot Springs National Pa 10 27-15 257
Day 1: 5 11-11 Day 2: 5 16-04
12. Mark Menendez Paducah, KY 10 27-01 254
Day 1: 5 16-01 Day 2: 5 11-00
13. Russ Lane Prattville, AL 10 26-14 251
Day 1: 5 13-13 Day 2: 5 13-01
14. Brent Chapman Lake Quivira, KS 10 26-10 248
Day 1: 5 13-10 Day 2: 5 13-00
15. Casey Ashley Donalds, SC 10 26-09 245
Day 1: 5 12-11 Day 2: 5 13-14
16. Alton Jones Waco, TX 10 26-08 248
Day 1: 5 17-12 Day 2: 5 08-12
17. Marty Robinson Lyman, SC 10 26-05 241
Day 1: 5 13-11 Day 2: 5 12-10
18. Jeff Connella Bentley, LA 10 25-14 239
Day 1: 5 13-03 Day 2: 5 12-11
19. Kenyon Hill Norman, OK 10 25-08 237
Day 1: 5 12-00 Day 2: 5 13-08
20. Bill Lowen North Bend, OH 10 25-07 235
Day 1: 5 11-06 Day 2: 5 14-01
21. Bernie Schultz Gainesville, FL 10 25-05 233
Day 1: 5 11-06 Day 2: 5 13-15
22. Todd Auten Lake Wylie, SC 10 25-03 231
Day 1: 5 12-12 Day 2: 5 12-07
22. Matt Herren Trussville, AL 10 25-03 231
Day 1: 5 12-12 Day 2: 5 12-07
24. Brian Clark Haltom City, TX 10 24-14 227
Day 1: 5 13-14 Day 2: 5 11-00
25. Cliff Pace Petal, MS 10 24-10 225
Day 1: 5 14-14 Day 2: 5 09-12
26. Kotaro Kiriyama Moody, AL 10 24-07 223
Day 1: 5 10-11 Day 2: 5 13-12
27. Jason Williamson Aiken, SC 10 24-06 221
Day 1: 5 15-07 Day 2: 5 08-15
28. J Todd Tucker Moultrie, GA 10 24-06 219
Day 1: 5 13-05 Day 2: 5 11-01
29. Greg Hackney Gonzales, LA 10 24-05 217
Day 1: 5 11-09 Day 2: 5 12-12
30. Terry Butcher Talala, OK 10 24-01 215
Day 1: 5 11-04 Day 2: 5 12-13
31. Timmy Horton Muscle Shoals, AL 10 24-00 213
Day 1: 5 15-02 Day 2: 5 08-14
32. Vince Fulks Purcell, OK 10 23-14 211
Day 1: 5 11-03 Day 2: 5 12-11
33. Kevin Short Mayflower, AR 10 23-11 209
Day 1: 5 08-01 Day 2: 5 15-10
34. Matthew Sphar Pavilion, NY 10 23-05 207
Day 1: 5 12-11 Day 2: 5 10-10
35. Charlie Hartley Grove City, OH 10 23-05 205
Day 1: 5 11-06 Day 2: 5 11-15
36. Mark Burgess Norton, MA 8 23-03 203
Day 1: 3 10-07 Day 2: 5 12-12
37. Jason Quinn York, SC 10 23-01 201
Day 1: 5 13-14 Day 2: 5 09-03
38. Scott Campbell Springfield, MO 10 23-00 199
Day 1: 5 14-12 Day 2: 5 08-04
39. Aaron Martens Leeds, AL 10 23-00 197
Day 1: 5 13-10 Day 2: 5 09-06
40. Denny Brauer Camdenton, MO 10 23-00 195
Day 1: 5 10-11 Day 2: 5 12-05
41. Ish Monroe Hughson, CA 10 22-14 193
Day 1: 5 15-02 Day 2: 5 07-12
42. Mark Davis Mount Ida, AR 10 22-14 191
Day 1: 5 14-07 Day 2: 5 08-07
43. Steve Kennedy Auburn, AL 10 22-14 189
Day 1: 5 12-09 Day 2: 5 10-05
44. Dustin Wilks Rocky Mount, NC 10 22-14 187
Day 1: 5 11-11 Day 2: 5 11-03
45. Skeet Reese Auburn, CA 10 22-13 185
Day 1: 5 15-10 Day 2: 5 07-03
46. Shaw E Grigsby Gainesville, FL 10 22-12 183
Day 1: 5 08-02 Day 2: 5 14-10
47. Guy Eaker Cherryville, NC 10 22-11 181
Day 1: 5 10-09 Day 2: 5 12-02
48. John Murray Phoenix, AZ 10 22-07 179
Day 1: 5 10-04 Day 2: 5 12-03
49. Kevin VanDam Kalamazoo, MI 10 22-04 177
Day 1: 5 12-02 Day 2: 5 10-02
50. Jared Lintner Arroyo Grande, CA 10 22-04 175
Day 1: 5 10-12 Day 2: 5 11-08
51. Mark Tyler Vian, OK 10 22-02 173
Day 1: 5 08-15 Day 2: 5 13-03
52. Jami Fralick Martin, SD 10 22-01 171
Day 1: 5 11-13 Day 2: 5 10-04
53. Mike McClelland Bella Vista, AR 10 21-14 169
Day 1: 5 10-01 Day 2: 5 11-13
54. Kevin Wirth Crestwood, KY 10 21-14 167
Day 1: 5 11-03 Day 2: 5 10-11
55. Jon Bondy Windsor CANADA 10 21-13 165
Day 1: 5 09-15 Day 2: 5 11-14
56. Billy Mccaghren Mayflower, AR 10 21-12 163
Day 1: 5 11-01 Day 2: 5 10-11
57. Zell Rowland Montgomery, TX 10 21-10 161
Day 1: 5 09-13 Day 2: 5 11-13
58. Greg Vinson Wetumpka, AL 10 21-10 159
Day 1: 5 11-00 Day 2: 5 10-10
59. Chad Griffin Cresson, TX 10 21-09 157
Day 1: 5 13-09 Day 2: 5 08-00
60. Jeff Kriet Ardmore, OK 10 21-09 155
Day 1: 5 10-11 Day 2: 5 10-14
61. Yusuke Miyazaki Forney, TX 10 21-08 153
Day 1: 5 10-01 Day 2: 5 11-07
62. Brent Broderick Oregonia, OH 9 21-08 151
Day 1: 4 07-02 Day 2: 5 14-06
63. Peter E Thliveros St Augustine, FL 10 21-04 149
Day 1: 5 11-07 Day 2: 5 09-13
64. Marty Stone Fayetteville, NC 10 21-00 147
Day 1: 5 10-12 Day 2: 5 10-04
65. Clark Reehm Russellville, AR 10 20-13 145
Day 1: 5 10-00 Day 2: 5 10-13
66. Byron Velvick Del Rio, TX 10 20-12 143
Day 1: 5 12-02 Day 2: 5 08-10
67. Brian Snowden Reeds Spring, MO 10 20-08 141
Day 1: 5 10-07 Day 2: 5 10-01
68. Paul Elias Laurel, MS 10 20-07 139
Day 1: 5 11-08 Day 2: 5 08-15
69. Fred Roumbanis Bixby, OK 10 20-06 137
Day 1: 5 08-00 Day 2: 5 12-06
70. Pat Golden High Point, NC 10 20-05 135
Day 1: 5 12-01 Day 2: 5 08-04
71. Jeff Reynolds Idabel, OK 10 20-03 133
Day 1: 5 08-09 Day 2: 5 11-10
72. Rick Clunn Ava, MO 10 20-00 131
Day 1: 5 08-13 Day 2: 5 11-03
73. Dean Rojas Lake Havasu City, AZ 10 19-12 129
Day 1: 5 12-03 Day 2: 5 07-09
74. Matt Reed Madisonville, TX 10 19-11 127
Day 1: 5 11-11 Day 2: 5 08-00
75. Bobby Lane Lakeland, FL 10 19-06 125
Day 1: 5 10-01 Day 2: 5 09-05
76. Derek Remitz Grant, AL 10 19-03 123
Day 1: 5 10-09 Day 2: 5 08-10
77. Dave Wolak Wake Forest, NC 7 19-03 121
Day 1: 5 12-06 Day 2: 2 06-13
78. James Niggemeyer Van, TX 10 19-01 119
Day 1: 5 11-07 Day 2: 5 07-10
79. Boyd Duckett Demopolis, AL 8 18-10 117
Day 1: 5 13-15 Day 2: 3 04-11
80. Jim Murray Arabi, GA 10 18-00 115
Day 1: 5 08-15 Day 2: 5 09-01
81. Davy Hite Ninety Six, SC 10 17-14 113
Day 1: 5 10-11 Day 2: 5 07-03
82. Grant Goldbeck Gaithersburg, MD 10 17-12 111
Day 1: 5 07-13 Day 2: 5 09-15
83. Gerald Swindle Warrior, AL 10 17-10 109
Day 1: 5 07-00 Day 2: 5 10-10
84. Chris Lane Lakeland, FL 10 17-09 107
Day 1: 5 09-05 Day 2: 5 08-04
85. Mike Wurm Hot Springs, AR 10 17-07 105
Day 1: 5 09-02 Day 2: 5 08-05
86. Kelly Jordon Mineola, TX 10 17-04 103
Day 1: 5 10-04 Day 2: 5 07-00
87. Ken D Cook Lawton, OK 10 17-01 101
Day 1: 5 07-08 Day 2: 5 09-09
88. Terry Scroggins San Mateo, FL 10 17-01 99
Day 1: 5 08-02 Day 2: 5 08-15
89. Britt Myers Lake Wylie, SC 10 16-15 97
Day 1: 5 10-00 Day 2: 5 06-15
90. Pete Ponds Madison, MS 10 16-14 95
Day 1: 5 11-10 Day 2: 5 05-04
91. Jeremy Starks Charleston, WV 10 16-13 93
Day 1: 5 08-09 Day 2: 5 08-04
92. Scott Rook Little Rock, AR 10 16-03 91
Day 1: 5 06-09 Day 2: 5 09-10
93. Wade Grooms Bonneau, SC 10 15-05 89
Day 1: 5 07-01 Day 2: 5 08-04
94. Luke Gritter Kalamazoo, MI 10 14-15 87
Day 1: 5 08-11 Day 2: 5 06-04
95. Morizo Shimizu Osaka JAPAN 8 14-13 85
Day 1: 5 10-02 Day 2: 3 04-11
96. David Smith Del City, OK 10 13-06 83
Day 1: 5 08-00 Day 2: 5 05-06
97. John Crews Salem, VA 10 13-06 81
Day 1: 5 07-05 Day 2: 5 06-01
98. Elton Luce Jr. Brookeland, TX 8 12-08 79
Day 1: 3 05-13 Day 2: 5 06-11
99. Jimmy Mize Ben Lomond, AR 6 10-08 77
Day 1: 5 09-08 Day 2: 1 01-00
100. Kevin Langill Terrell, NC 5 06-11 76
Day 1: 5 06-11 Day 2: 0 00-00
———————————————————————–

BIG BASS
Day
1 Alton Jones Waco, TX 07-00 $0.00
2 Shaw E Grigsby Gainesville, FL 07-02 $0.00

———————————————————————–
Totals
Day #Limits #Fish Weight
1 97 495 1147-08
2 95 484 1055-06
———————————-
192 979 2202-14

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