Ultimate Bass

Pros Compete for $250,000

BASSMASTER AMERICAN TO VISIT SITE OF 2004 CLASSIC

Top Qualifying Pros Compete for $250,000 First Prize on Charlotte’s Lake Wylie

CELEBRATION, Fla. – It was nearly two years ago that Lake Wylie garnered bass fishing’s spotlight when it hosted the 2004 CITGO Bassmaster Classic.

So it is fitting that the 13,443-acre reservoir located in the shadow of the big city of Charlotte will host the Bassmaster American presented by Advance Auto Parts, July 27-30, the second of three Bassmaster Majors in 2006- ground-breaking tournaments boasting a $250,000 top prize and a $601,000 total prize purse. The tournament will honor the late Bryan Kerchal, the 1994 Classic champion and only BASS Federation Nation angler to win bass fishing’s most major event. In a unique format, Majors anglers will fish the first two days on the southern and northern ends of Lake Wylie. The top 12 will rotate through a six-hole course in the mid-section of Wylie on Day 3.

On the final day, the top six anglers will fish the same six-hole course with the action prominently featured on ESPN2’s same-day coverage on Sunday, July 30, at 7 p.m.

At 102 years old, Lake Wylie is owned and operated by the Duke Power Company. Wylie is part of the Catawba River and straddles the Carolinas border.

Jason Quinn, who qualified for the Major via his combined Angler of the Year standings, is a former guide on Wylie. The South Carolina pro believes the current summertime conditions will make fishing “really tough” the first two days of the event.

“We have both rivers we can fish — the Catawba and the South Fork — which are going to have a little bit of current and a little bit of water color,” Quinn said. “Most of the guys are going to be in there fishing, and they’re going to do OK.

“But close to 60 percent of the fishable water is located in the six-hole course and that limits where you can go over the first two days.”

Quinn believes the most successful anglers early in the tournament will flip shallow wood in the off-colored water in the rivers.

Veteran North Carolina pro Guy Eaker, who knows Lake Wylie as well as anyone, is more optimistic than his younger counterpart.

“I think the fishing will be decent, I really do,” said the 66-year-old, who lives in nearby Cherryville. “This time of year the fish will be deep and they will be stacked up in certain spots where you can really catch them if you know how to fish deep. They will be schooled up on the drops a lot.”

Eaker added that the most productive patterns will involve an early-morning topwater bite, Carolina-rigging and deep fishing with a crankbait.

Quinn predicts that the winning weight will be around 48 pounds, with the majority of that coming from the six-hole course. Eaker estimates the winning weight at 55 pounds. “Wylie has a lot of decent fish in it,” he added. “It has always produced some quality fish.”

Additionally, BASS is hosting a Mercury Marine Women’s Bassmaster Tour presented by Triton Boats event on nearby Lake Norman July 27-29. The top six women will weigh-in on the Bassmaster American stage at Cricket Arena prior to the Major anglers on Saturday, July 29, where the winner of that event will be determined.

Daily tournament launches for the Majors will take place at Copperhead Island at 6:50 a.m. Daily weigh-ins will begin at 3 p.m. at the Cricket Arena.

Like the CITGO Bassmaster Classic, the Majors also include an ESPN Outdoors Expo, which will be held at The Charlotte Merchandise Mart Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

Local sponsors include the Charlotte Regional Sports Commission.

Sponsors of the Bassmaster Majors include CITGO Petroleum Corp., Toyota, Busch Beer, Purolator, Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Berkley, Lowrance Electronics, MotorGuide, Advance Auto Parts and Theraseed®.

BASS is the worldwide authority on bass fishing, sanctioning more than 20,000 events through the BASS Federation Nation annually. Guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans, BASS sets the standard for credibility, professionalism, sportsmanship and conservation, as it has for nearly 40 years.

BASS stages bass fishing tournaments for every skill level and culminates with the CITGO Bassmaster Classic. Through its clubs, youth programs, aquatic resource advocacy, magazine publishing and multimedia platforms, BASS offers the industry's widest array of services and support to its nearly 535,000 members. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.

For more information, contact BASS Communications at (407) 566-2208 or visit http://www.bassmaster.com.

2006 MAJORS QUALIFIERS

2005 Classic Champion: Kevin VanDam
2005 Angler of the Year: Aaron Martens
2005 Rookie of the Year: David Wolak
2006 Rookie of the Year Leader: Steve Kennedy
Previous Announcement: Mark Menendez

Top 10 All Time Money
Place Angler Name Winnings
—————————————
1. Denny Brauer $2,077,751.71
2. Rick Clunn $1,761,244.53
3. Gary Klein $1,417,774.97
4. Shaw Grigsby, Jr $1,338,505.23
5. Davy Hite $1,246,400.00
6. Peter Thliveros $1,191,439.00
7. Zell Rowland $1,079,265.90
8. Michael Iaconelli $1,046,579.00
9. Tommy Biffle $1,027,478.80
10. Takahiro Omori $988,593.00

Top 40 2004, 2005, 2006 Angler of the Year Combined Standings
Place Angler Name Total
—————————————-
1. Greg Hackney 17
2. Skeet Reese 31
3. Edwin Evers 50
4. Kevin Wirth 51
5. Timmy Horton 58
6. Gerald Swindle 68
7. Terry Scroggins 74
8. Mark Tucker 78
9. Marty Stone 81
10. Brent Chapman 87
11. Kelly Jordon 89
12. Jason Quinn 91
12. Bernie Schultz 91
12. Dean Rojas 91
15. Lee Bailey 104
16. Scott Rook 116
17. Jeff Reynolds 123
18. Ishama Monroe 131
19. John Crews 135
20. Brian Snowden 136
21. Alton Jones 137
22. Mike McClelland 138
23. Matt Reed 146
24. Mike Wurm 147
24. Jeff Kriet 147
24. Paul Elias 147
27. Jimmy Mize 150
28. Chad Brauer 157
29. Mark Tyler 162
30. Randy Howell 168
31. Kenyon Hill 169
32. Mike Reynolds 175
33. Guy Eaker 190
34. John Murray 191
35. Todd Faircloth 197
36. Charlie Hartley 201
37. Morizo Shimizu 216
38. Kotaro Kiriyama 238
39. Yusuke Miyazaki 243
40. Stephen Browning 246



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