5 BASS PROS IN
CITGO BASSMASTER OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP PUNCH CLASSIC TICKETS
PRATTVILLE, Ala. (Dec. 3, 2005) - Using a variety of fishing
strategies, baits and techniques, five of the world’s top BASS pros
competing in the CITGO Bassmaster Open Championship on Saturday each
secured a coveted berth into the 2006 CITGO Bassmaster Classic on
Lake Tohopekaliga, Feb. 24-26, in Kissimmee, Fla.
Those anglers include Day 1 and 2 leader Mike McClelland of Bella
Vista, Ark., who maintained his grip on the lead in the Alabama
River tournament with a 10-pound, 1-ounce limit. The catch pushed
his brought him to a three-day total of 39-1.
McClelland caught fish in the same area he’s fished throughout the
tournament, but the fish, he said, are diminishing. “I went to my
key stretch on the river and the current wasn’t there,” he said. “I
was a little more open to leaving today – I knew I needed to do
something to help me for tomorrow.”
Like many of the anglers on Day 3 of the Open Championship,
McClelland was focused on securing a Classic berth. He and the
following anglers are now headed to the Super Bowl of bass fishing
as well as the final day of the Open Championship: Rick Morris,
Lanexa, Va.; Chad Brauer, Osage Beach, Mo.; Randy Howell,
Springville, Ala; and Mark Menendez, Paducah, Ky.
Morris, who was in second place with a three-day total of 36-8,
fished the Tallapoosa River, one of the tributaries that flow into
the Alabama, and the only reported to have a current.
Third place Brauer fished backwaters for largemouth bass and
weighed-in 11-9 Saturday for a three-day total of 34-15.
Howell, in fourth place with 28-4, moved from spot to spot on the
water Saturday. He fished moving water on the main river, then
targeted rocks and stretches of banks. “I’m just hustling … so, I
think this is a new pattern – a non-current pattern.”
Menenedez, who made a comeback this year from a bout with viral
meningitis, was in fifth place – and is now a contender in the
Classic. “I’m just glad to be back,” he said. The Kentucky pro
brought in 6-8 and squeaked into the top five after tying for the
last slot with Matt Reed of Madisonville, Texas. Ties are broken
based on the total number of fish caught. Menendez had 15 and Reed
On the non-boater side, William Beekman of East Quogue, N.Y.,
claimed the top slot with a tournament total 21 pounds. Dow Cox of
Jonesborough, Tenn., was in second with 15-9 and Jack Farage of
Discovery Bay, Calif., was in third with 13-9.
The Open Championship will air on ESPN2 on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2006,
at 10 a.m. EST.
Daily weigh-ins at Cooters Pond Park are free to the public.
Weigh-ins begin at 3:30 EST and BASS founder Ray Scott, who was at
the tournament today, will lend a hand at the weigh-in on Sunday.
The final round features the top five pros and weights each day
carry over. The winning boater takes home an $80,000 prize package.
Courtesy of BASS Inc.