JUNCTION CITY, Kansas -- BassTrakk can tell you a whole lot about what’s happening on the water at any particular time -- if the guys atop the leaderboard are using it.
If not, then it’s anyone’s guess until weigh-in begins.
Whether the leading anglers in the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Central Regional are utilizing BassTrakk today isn’t known right now. But if they are, it could be another long day for the 160 competitors in this derby on Milford Lake in the heart of the Sunflower State.
The top three anglers in the boater division on Day 1 of the regional have recorded no fish on BassTrakk as of 11:45 a.m. Central time on Day 2. That doesn’t necessarily mean they have empty livewells, but it could, given more than half the field zeroed Wednesday following a late-season snowstorm that dumped nearly a half-foot of snow on central Kansas a day earlier.
That storm set a few records, according to the National Weather Service, and it definitely was a curveball for the usually reliable lake. Local anglers reported solid action in the weeks leading up to the regional, noting it took 17 pounds to win a one-day tournament held on Milford last Friday.
Competitors from eight different states fishing in this event are hoping for a return to normalcy, and soon, as the field will be cut following Thursday’s weigh-in at Acorns Resort. The top 16 in both the boater and co-angler divisions will survive to fish on Friday, as will either of the two leading anglers for any of the eight states, provided they aren’t already among the top 16 in the standings.
Chris Johnson of Farmington, Ark. led the boaters on Day 1 with four bass that totaled 14 pounds, 12 ounces. Mike Wheaton of Ottumwa, Iowa was right behind him with four bass for 14-5 and Kris Bosley of Amarillo, Tex. was a pound back in third with 13-5. None of that trio have recorded a catch on BassTrakk on Day 2.
Jay Beffa, however, is making a move on Milford, according to BassTrakk. The Festus, Mo., reports having four bass on board Thursday morning that total 11 pounds. Added to his Day 1 total (one bass that weighed 1-15), Beffa would sit in fourth place with 12-11 through two days, and another 180 minutes to fish on Day 2.
B.A.S.S. Nation faithful will remember Beffa, who last October won the 2020 Central Regional when it was held on Toledo Bend in Louisiana.
Milford Lake produced a few surprises on Wednesday, with Johnson boating a 7-0 bass and Wheaton hooking one that weighed more than six pounds. Any angler who catches a bass that heavy will be a virtual lock to make the cut. A total purse of $34,500 is up for grabs in the event as are spots in the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Championship when it’s held Nov. 3-5 on the Ouachita River in northern Louisiana.
The Day 2 weigh-in will begin on Bassmaster.com at 3:30 Eastern at Acorns Resort, which along with the Geary County Convention and Visitors Bureau, is hosting the week’s events.