LITTLE ROCK - Leaders in the other four pools are:
• Les Irons of McGehee (5.93) - Dumas Pool
• Craig Flowers of Midland (5.22) - Fort Smith Pool
• Jess Everette of White Hall (5.38) - Pine Bluff Pool
• Charlton McCall (4.63) - Little Rock/North Little Rock Pool
This year's anglers are all competing for part of the $100,000 in guaranteed prize money. The top fish wins the angler $50,000, as well as a paid spot at the 2012 Bassmaster Open.
Each of the other four pool leaders will win a guaranteed $10,000 prize for catching the largest fish in each of the other pools. Additional place money is awarded $900 for second, $700 for third, $400 for fourth, and the Willow Leaf Award of $1,000 will be presented to the parent/child or grandparent/grandchild pair weighing the biggest fish during the three days, currently being led by Bill Casey, Sr and his grandson Dillon Taylor. The amount of hourly prizes will be determined by the number of participants for the three days. New this year, anyone entered into the tournament is eligible for a Bassmaster Classic VIP package. This package includes:
• VIP credentials to the Bassmaster Classic behind the scenes tour
• Access to BASS life member lounge
• Early entry into the Bassmaster Classic Expo
• The dates are Feb. 22-24 in Tulsa, Okla.
Academy Sports and Outdoors is also adding prize money by awarding gift card bonuses to anglers.
The Academy Sports and Outdoors bonuses include the following amounts will be awarded each day and for each of the five fishing pools:
• A $300 gift card to any exact 3-pound fish during the third payout hour, 9:01 a.m. to 10 a.m.
• A $400 gift card to any exact 4-pound fish during the fourth payout hour, 10:01 a.m. to 11 a.m.
• A $500 gift card to any exact 5-pound fish during the fifth payout hour, 11:01 a.m. to 12 noon.
So far, three $300, three $400 and one $500 gift cards have been awarded.
The annual tournament is the result of a 13-year partnership between the Arkansas Hospitality Association and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The tournament spans more than 300 miles of the Arkansas River inside the state. The event is divided into five pools; tournament action will resume at 6 a.m. Sunday, with the final weigh-in at 1 p.m. Fishermen can register at any weigh-in location Sunday. The grand prize and other cash awards will be presented during Sunday's award ceremony at 4 p.m. at the Riverside RV Park in downtown North Little Rock.
The five weigh-in sites are: Pool 1 - Clear Creek Park, Fort Smith; Pool 2 - Dardanelle State Park/Russellville side; Pool 3 - North Little Rock/Verizon Ramp; Pool 4 - Regional Park/ Pine Bluff, and Pool 5 - Pendleton Bridge/east of Dumas.