Dale Hightower continued on his path toward a win at the 2012 Cabela’s B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Central Divisional on the Atchafalaya Basin today with a bag of five bass that weighed 13 pounds, 7 ounces. That gave the Sand Springs, Okla., angler a total weight of 30 pounds, 12 ounces, and a firmer grasp on the lead.

Jason Pecoraro, fishing for Louisiana, moved into second place with the heaviest weight of the day: 15 pounds, 1 ounce. That put him 5 pounds, 6 ounces, off Hightower’s mark. Understandably, he was somewhat reluctant to say much about where he was fishing or what he was doing.

Nebraska’s Jared Knuth had a tough day after a super first day. He caught three bass that weighed 7 pounds, 10 ounces. That moved him down from second into third place.

“I have no excuses,” said a disappointed Knuth. “The rain last night muddied up my water and the fish just weren’t there, or if they were they weren’t biting. But hey, I’m less than 7 pounds out, so it’s still possible. I’m going to fish as hard as I can tomorrow. I know that for sure.”

Hightower indicated that his first spot was still producing although he did have to move around some. He switched from his fast-moving bait to one that worked along the bottom.

“I think I can put together a bag that’ll weigh around 10 or 12 pounds tomorrow,” said Hightower. I might be able to do better but it’ll depend on how the fish react to the pressure and the heat. And, if we get rain tonight that could change things, too.”

Dylan Hays (Arkansas), Ryan Lavigne (Louisiana) and Robbie Latuso (Louisiana) were within striking distance of the three leaders. Hayes was 6 pounds, 11 ounces short; Lavigne was 6 pounds, 14 ounces away; and Latuso was 7 pounds, 11 ounces back.

The Louisiana team led the competition with a total weight of 199 pounds, 7 ounces. Nearly every angler on the team caught fish and contributed to the two-day weight.

Oklahoma ranked second with 138 pounds, 11 ounces; and Kansas held down third with 131 pounds, 11 ounces. In fourth place was Missouri with 120-11; Arkansas ranked fifth with 119-2; and Texas was in the sixth slot with 114-1. Mississippi and Nebraska were seventh and eighth, respectively.

Kenneth Ryals (Mississippi) and Robbie Latuso (Louisiana) tied for big bass of the day. Each man weighed in a 4-pound, 15-ounce Atchafalaya Basin largemouth.

The Central Divisional will wrap up Friday. One winner from each state will qualify for the Oct. 25-27 Cabela’s B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Championship on Wheeler Lake out of Decatur, Ala. Six regional winners of that event will advance to the 2013 Bassmaster Classic.

2012 Cabela’s B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Title Sponsor: Cabela’s

2012 Cabela’s B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Official Sponsors: Toyota, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Mercury, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha

2012 Cabela’s B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Supporting Sponsor: BOOYAH, Humminbird, Lowrance, Minn Kota, Owner, Simms

2012 Cabela’s B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Clothing Partner: Simms

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