, Muskogee, OK


September 19, 2013

Bassmaster tourney set for launch

The second of three Central Open stops on the Bassmaster Bass Pro Shop series gets underway today with launches at Three Forks Harbor on the Arkansas River.

At stake is a berth in the Bassmaster Classic on the Elite Series tour. Stephen Browning of Hot Springs, Ark., the winner of Central Open #1 in Shreveport, La., just has to compete in the final two to earn a spot in the Classic. Browning rallied from 12 spots back with a final day 16-pound, 10-ounce hail to win the first stop. Winners of any of the open events just have to have competed in each of them to move on to the Classic.

The Central Open #3 is in Ridgeland, Miss., on Oct. 17-19.

Locals Jason Christie of Park Hill and Wagoner’s Tommy Biffle, both already part of the Elite Series, will also compete for the boat-and-motor package plus roughly $10,000 in cash.

Both were in last year’s final Central Open, held on Fort Gibson Lake, with Christie taking the title over Arkansas’ Kevin Short. In fourth was Biffle, who in September 2011 won the Sooner Run on the Elite Series here.

“We’ve had two big tournaments in the past two years, and from both of those, I know it’s going to be tougher during a tournament than it normally is to catch fish here,” Christie said. “This river does have a lot of fish in it, but because of the number of boats and the amount of fishable water, pressure is going to play a big part in this tournament.”

Another Elite Series pro who will compete is Bixby’s Fred Roumbanis.

Anglers will take off daily at 7 a.m. from Three Forks Harbor. The weigh-ins on Day 1 and Day 2 will be at 3 p.m. at the harbor. On Saturday, the weigh-in shifts to 4 p.m. at Bass Pro Shops in Broken Arrow.

Central Open 2

Bassmaster Bass Pro Shops Series

Launches: 7 a.m. Thursday-Saturday, Three Forks Harbor.

Weigh-ins: 3 p.m. Thursday-Friday at Three Forks Harbor; 4 p.m. Saturday at Bass Pro Shops, Broken Arrow.

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