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Copper fisherman increases his lead

Joe Bruce of Copperopolis lengthened his lead in the Pro Division Angler of the Year standings by tying for second place in the NorCal Bass Pro-Am Tournament at Lake McClure on the Merced River.

Bruce now has 429 points and a fat 25-point lead over second-place David McKenzie of San Jose. Bruce and partner Roy Champ of Prather brought in a five-fish limit weighing 8.48 pounds in the McClure event, the same as the limit taken by Gary Thomas and Milton Reynolds of San Carlos.

"I fished areas around Temperance," Bruce said. "All the fish came out of less than six feet of water."

Butch Bray of Murphys was fourth with partner Mark Villines of Escalon at 8.04 pounds. The winners were Anthony Pimentel of Modesto and Ron Henry of Ceres at 9.44.

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