High winds sweeping over Little Bay de Noc off Lake Michigan forced tournament officials to cancel Friday's second day of the first-ever AOY Championship in Escanaba, Mich.
In Friday's early morning hours, 35-mile-an-hour south winds push five-foot waves into the bay created what Bass Anglers Sportsman Society tournament director Trip Weldon said was unsafe boating condition for the 50-angler field and the volunteers, called "marshals," who ride with those anglers.
“We will err on the side of caution and the safety of our anglers and their marshals,” Weldon said.
Greg Hackney, the national touring pro from Gonzales, holds the overall lead in the Angler of the Year standings. He was in 17th place after Thursday's first round. He was six pounds behind tournament leader Brett Hite, who brought in five smallmouth bass weighing 24 pounds, 6 ounces. If Hackney finishes in the top 15, no other angler in the field can overtake him for the AOY title and $100,000 bonus.
Cliff Crochet from Pierre Part was in 46th place after the first round.
According to the B.A.S.S. announcement, Weldon said the tournament will continue Saturday, weather permitting. The strong south winds comes in advance of a cold front predicted to move through Michigan's Upper Peninsula early Saturday morning.
The original schedule had the anglers taking a day off the water Saturday to participate in Bassmaster University seminars and a Military Appreciation Day. The revised plan calls for anglers to be on the water and for Sunday's final tournament day.