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Bass Master Classic 2012

February 25, 2012 by staff 

Bass Master Classic 2012, A former Louisiana boy who now calls Alabama home made the biggest splash Friday during the opening day of the 2012 Bassmaster Classic.

Nachitoches Central High graduate Keith Poche, who attended Northwestern State and played football at Troy, bagged 17 pounds, 13 ounces of Red River bass to lead the Super Bowl of bass fishing by a mere ounce over buddy Greg Vinson.

“This is a position I never figured to be in and I’ll probably have a tough time sleeping tonight,” said Poche, who has relatives in the Shreveport-Bossier City area. “My roots are in Natchitoches, so it’s great to be here and to be leading the Bassmaster Classic.”

Close on Poche’s heels is road-rooming buddy Vinson, a former NAIA All-American pitcher at Auburn University in Montgomery, Ala. Both Montgomery residents locked through to Pool 4 on the river, but weren’t fishing in the same area.

“I had my area all to myself and it was a protected area with a lot of clean water,” Vinson said. “The water temperature was 62 degrees and that really expanded the area I was able to fish.”

The 42nd Classic leaderboard was filled with few of the big names fishing fans are accustomed to seeing. Kevin VanDam was 27th with 11.00 pounds, Mike Iaconelli was 31st with 10.70 pounds and Denny Brauer was 39th with 8.13 pounds.

“I went to an area with a lot of dirty water and it wasn’t happening for me,” VanDam said. “These river fish are very sensitive to temperature and I suspect you’ll see some changes in the leaderboard on Saturday.”

The Classic will launch again Saturday out of the Red River South Marina with the 49-angler field facing a cut to 25 anglers after Saturday’s 4:30 p.m. weigh-in at Bossier City’s CenturyLink Center. The anglers will share a $1.2 million purse with the winner cashing a $500,000 check. Second place falls to $45,000.

Rounding out the top-five anglers, none with a Classic win, were Dustin Wilks of Rocky Mount, N.C., David Walker of Sevierville, Tenn., and Ott DeFoe of Knoxville, Tenn. Just out of the top five are brothers Chris and Bobby Lane, tied for sixth with 16.40 pounds and still in contention for their first Classic title.

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