Herbert Holman of Delaware, Arkansas leads the field of anglers in day one of the Simmons Bank Big Bass Bonanza with a 7.25-pound bass from the Dardanelle pool. He caught the fish in the 1 p.m. hour to take the overall lead on the first day of the three-day tournament.
Leaders in the other four pools are:
David Shopher 6.11 – Dumas pool (2012 Winner)
Gary Goodman 5.25 – Pine Bluff pool
Scott Boatright 5.21 – North Little Rock pool
Steve Sanchez 5.18 – Fort Smith pool
The top fish of the three day tournament wins the guaranteed $50,000. Each of the other four pool leaders has the potential to win a guaranteed $10,000 for catching the largest fish in each of the other pools during the tournament. Additional prize money is awarded for the top-three catches each hour in each pool, 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. The amount of hourly prizes will be determined by the number of participants for the three days and will not be announced until Sunday.
Academy Sports and Outdoors will be giving the following prizes in addition to other tournament prizes.
$300 gift card to any exact three-pound fish on the third payout hour, 9:01 to 10 a.m.
$400 gift card to any exact four-pound fish on the fourth payout hour, 10:01 to 11 a.m.
$500 gift card to any exact five-pound fish on the fifth payout hour, 11:01 a.m. to noon.
The chance to win these bonuses will be awarded each day and for each of the five fishing pools.
Academy Winners (day one):
John Rickard of Alma
Marcus Langford of Russellville
Tim Law of White Hall
Five lucky anglers who fish all three days of the tournament will win a fishing prize package including a Plano A-Series tackle bag, Aqua-Vu Micro underwater camera and a St. Croix Rod Mojo bass rod. Winners will be announced during the awards event on Sunday afternoon.
The tournament spans more than 300 miles of eligible fishing waters on the river inside the state’s borders. The event is divided into five pools, and tournament action will resume at 6 a.m. Saturday morning with the final weigh-in being held Sunday at 1 p.m. Fishermen can still register at any weigh-in location Saturday and Sunday. The grand prize and other cash awards will be presented during Sunday’s award event, which will begin at 4 p.m. near the North Little Rock/Verizon Arena boat ramp.
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
Pool 5 – Pendleton Bridge/east of Dumas.
Major sponsors of the tournament are Simmons Bank, Academy Sports & Outdoors, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission and Hardees. Other sponsors include Heart of Arkansas, Southland Park Gaming & Racing, North Little Rock Visitors Bureau, Pine Bluff Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Russellville Adventures & Promotions.