Horton widens lead in Bassmaster Elite Series Event

Jul 14, 2007 - 11:03 PM PLATTSBURGH, New York (Ticker) -- Pursuing his first BASS tournament victory since 2004, Timmy Horton of Muscle Shoals, Ala., padded his lead Saturday in the Bassmaster Elite Series Champion's Choice presented by Toyota Tundra on Lake Champlain by boating 18 pounds, 8 ounces of largemouth bass. Horton's total heading into the final day of competition was 64 pounds, 6 ounces, almost 10 pounds in front of Steve Kennedy of Auburn, Ala., in second with 54 pounds, 9 ounces.

The top 12 anglers from the original field of 108 will compete Sunday for the $100,000 first prize. Fishing fans can watch the action on The Bassmasters on ESPN2 Saturday, July 21, at 9 a.m. ET.

The 34-year-old Horton, who was the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year in 2000 and is a seven-time Bassmaster Classic contender, is ready for a win. The most recent of his three BASS titles was in November 2004 on Florida's Lake Okeechobee.

"Consistency-wise, I haven't really been in a dry spell," said Horton. "I haven't missed a Classic in my career but from a win standpoint it's been a couple of years. I'd really like to break that streak if I could."

As he had in the first two days of competition, Horton used a Booyah Football Head jig Saturday in several productive spots far south of the tournament's Plattsburgh, N.Y., launch point. He had most of his weight in the boat by 7:30 a.m.

"That's really a neat spot and I hope I can go down there and get 15 (pounds) off of it (Sunday)," he said. "Then if I can pick up another fish here or there, I'll feel pretty good about it."

Horton said he spent part of Saturday trying some smallmouth bass spots north of Plattsburgh. He said he wanted to reserve his largemouth spots for the final day.

"It's one of the biggest strategies that you have," he added. "You don't just go sit on them. When you've got them, you spend a lot of time not catching them because you are looking for new areas. It's very important to keep looking."

Kennedy, who led the first day but fell further behind Horton Saturday, tried some of his favorite spots in the far southern end of the lake but has a different strategy for Sunday.

"There are a couple of spots that I haven't tried," he said. "They might have a big one, you never know. I'm going to try maybe an hour on each one."

Kennedy revealed that he has been fishing with a black frog with the tails altered to blue.

"I didn't feel like I had all that good a day," he said of his 13-pound, 5-ounce catch. "I struggled. I stopped on my best spot and caught three fish the last 10 minutes. I was lucky to have what I have because I never got a big bite."

Britt Myers of Mount Holly, N.C., moved to third in the standings with 51 pounds, 14 ounces. Fred Roumbanis of Auburn, Calif., held tight to third place with 51 pounds, 9 ounces. Peter Thliveros of Jacksonville, Fla., moved up from 22nd into fifth place with 50 pounds, 13 ounces.

The other seven Elite anglers who made the top 12 to compete on Sunday were Skeet Reese, Yusuke Miyazaki, Shaw Grigsby Jr., Tommy Biffle, Takahiro Omori, Cliff Pace and Bradley Hallman.

Reese has an opportunity to overtake Kevin VanDam in the Toyota Tundra Angler of the Year race. VanDam finished 27th and did not make the final cut. Reese is second to VanDam's lead in the AOY standings.

Vermont's Marc Lamphier won the co-angler side of the tournament and a Triton/Mercury boat package valued at $50,000. Lamphier boated 41 pounds, 11 ounces, beating the 39 pounds, 7 ounces caught by runner-up James Hill of Alabama. Larry Triplett of Colorado finished third with 37 pounds, 8 ounces.

BASS is the worldwide authority on bass fishing, sanctioning more than 20,000 events through the BASS Federation Nation annually. Guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans, BASS sets the standard for credibility, professionalism, sportsmanship and conservation, as it has for nearly 40 years.

BASS stages bass fishing tournaments for every skill level and culminates with the Bassmaster Classic. Through its clubs, youth programs, aquatic resource advocacy, magazine publishing and multimedia platforms, BASS offers the industry's widest array of services and support to its nearly 530,000 members. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.

For more information, contact BASS Communications at (407) 566-2208 or visit www.bassmaster.com.

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