LITTLE ROCK –Saturday brought a new leader to the Arkansas Big Bass Bonanza. Jerry Overton of Hot Springs took the lead with a 6.19 pound bass caught in the Dardanelle pool. Overton’s bass was part of an impressive 45.5 pounds of fish weighed in at Dardanelle in the 10:00 hour.

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 date is 2/22/2013-2/24/2013 in Tulsa, OK
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 $300.00 Gift Card to any exact 3lb. fish on the 3rd  payout hour, 9:01-10 am
A $400.00 Gift Card to any exact 4lb. fish on the 4th payout hour, 10:01 -11am
A $500.00 Gift Card to any exact 5lb. fish on the 5th payout hour, 11:01-12 (noon)
So far, 3 $300, 3 $400 and 1 $500 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.

For more information on the tournament and complete results, visit