KISSIMMEE, Fla. (Jan. 15) — Cabela’s/GEICO For Your Boat pro David Walker is within striking distance of advancing to the final day of the Bassmaster Southern Open No. 1 at Lake Tohopekaliga.
With the top 12 advancing to Saturday’s final day, Walker sits 19th out of the 200 anglers who took to the Central Florida lake on Thursday. Walker bagged five fish weighing 14 pounds, meaning he’s less than three pounds out of 12th place.
“It’s a long race, and the first one out of the gate doesn’t normally win,” Walker said. “We’ll see. Andrew Slegona got quite a lead, but now it’s our turn to try and catch him.”
Tournament leader Slegona, an infrequent Bassmaster competitor, caught more than 31 pounds of fish Thursday and leads by more than six pounds. But Walker said the first-day leader of this tournament is often an answer to a “trivia question” by the final day.
“It’s probably a long shot to win it, but I’m definitely not out of it,” Walker said. “The main goal is to make that top 12 on Saturday.”
Walker was one of the final anglers on the water Thursday, and his weigh-in happened after sunset. That means Friday will be an earlier day, and that’s OK with him.
“Tomorrow is a much shorter day, but that’s not so bad,” Walker said. “I caught most of what I caught before noon today anyway. I don’t look for that to change.
“You’ve got to make sure you don’t rush things because the clock is ticking a little faster. So I have to take my time and make sure I land what bites.”
There have been plenty of big fish in Lake Tohopekaliga this week, so the standings can change quickly. Many tournaments aren’t that way, so Walker has to keep an eye out for the lunkers.
“There have been enough eight- to 10-pounders weighed in today that can be difference-makers,” Walker said. “You’ve got to anticipate that the next cast might be a 10-pounder. You’ve got to keep that in your mind. It would be easy to talk yourself out of that, but the reality is that there are enough big fish in here that you could really make a rebound.”
Cabela’s/GEICO For Your Boat pro David Walker is within striking distance of advancing to the final day of the Bassmaster Southern Open No. 1 at Lake Tohopekaliga.