By Mike Kays
Phoenix Sports Editor
It was a day of grinding for most of the field in the Bassmaster Bass Pro Shops Central Open No. 2. The changing water levels, overcast skies and breezy conditions on the Arkansas River made it tough to get limits for some.
Mark Goines of Shady Point stuck with what worked on day one and, aided by a sweet spot he found on the same Kerr pool he worked Thursday, netted 12 pounds, 10 ounces to grab the second-round lead at 26-12. He stood third after bagging 14-2 on Thursday.
“I noticed a whole lot of shad in the back of a (spot) I was fishing. I spent a little more time and covered more of the area and three of the good quality fish I had was there,” he said.
Goines survived some electrical problems on his boat for the second day in a row and hitched a ride back for the weigh-in.
Brock Mosley of Collinsville, Miss. had the biggest second-day catch among pros. His five-fish limit totaled 16-7 and he’s now second at 26-11. He was 42nd after Thursday’s 10-4.
“I had five in 2 1/2 hours yesterday. Today was a grind. At noon I had two fish and my wheels were starting to spin off, but I was able to pull it together and hopefully it’s put me in a good position for Saturday,” he said.
The top 12 move on to today’s 7 a.m. launch and 4 p.m. weigh-in, which will be shifted to the Bass Pro Shops location in Broken Arrow.
Jason Christie of Park Hill will join that group, catching 10-9. He sits eighth with 24-2.
“I’m pretty disappointed. I burned 3,000 gallons of gas in the last two days. The first five bites I got this morning I lose, and it’s just one of those days. At 1 p.m. I had one fish,” he said.
The other area member of Bassmaster’s Elite Series earned a check for at top 40 finish but didn’t make the final day cut. Tommy Biffle of Wagoner finished 19th with 11-8, finishing at 22-0.
The 2011 Elite series Sooner Run champion hung around the Muskogee pool on Friday.
“I ran a lot of stuff. I thought it would be a good day to catch them but it’s always tough here in September,” he said.
Chris M. Jones (12-15, 26-7) of Bokoshe, Trevor Romans (10-5, 24-14) of Plano, Texas, and Talala’s Terry Butcher (10-12, 24-5) are 3-5 behind Mosley. First-round leader Dale Hightower of Mannford is tied for sixth at 24-4 with Brett Hite of Phoenix after bagging just 9-2 on four fish. Hite’s Friday haul was 11-8.
Behind Christie, the other four anglers who will move into today’s finals are Roy Sanford (14-3), who was 50th on Thursday, Stetson Blaylock (11-5, 23-10) of Benton, Ark., Joel Baker (12-0, 23-4) of Talala and E.P. Fletcher (12-5, 23-0) of Fort Smith, Ark.
On the co-angler side, it was another good day for Hulbert’s John Thomas, who nabbed a 5-14 bass, the biggest among co-anglers thus far, and the 7-12 total on three fish kept him atop the division standings. He’s at 17-9 for the tournament.
Thomas caught the big one in pool 17, located near Wagoner.
“We caught a lot of smaller fish early on. I went back to doing what I was yesterday and it worked,” he said.
Had Fort Gibson’s Randy Morris come close to the day he had today on Thursday, Thomas would be chasing him. Morris had a haul of 10-12 on his three-fish co-angler limit. He had nothing to show for Thursday’s work.
And he credited his pro, James Niggemeyer of Van, Texas, for getting him into today’s co-angler finals. He sits in 11th.
“Yesterday I was with a guy who likes to fish and flip and that’s not my style. I’m a power fisher,” he said.
Clayton Coppin of Wagoner also made the co-angler finals. He’s ninth at 10-15 after struggling to get 4-12 on Friday.
Steven Gloden of Henderson, Texas, is second. His 7-15 puts him at 14-11.