A different Lake St. Clair awaits CITGO BASSMASTER Pros

Classic Champ VanDam predicts fewer fish, but big limits

Pro Entry List 

Mt. CLEMENS, Mich.- August 14, 2001- Anglers competing in the season-opening Michigan CITGO BASSMASTER Tour, Aug. 22-25, will find conditions have changed since they were here in August 1999.

"The water is lower and there is less grass," says 2001 BASS Masters Classic Champion Kevin VanDam, a pre-tourney favorite. "Fishing hasn't been what it was two years ago, but it is still pretty good."

Area experts say a lengthy winter and heavy ice on the lake stalled vegetation growth in areas where it had been abundant in previous years. Lake levels also are about a foot lower due to falling water tables throughout the Great Lakes region.

B.A.S.S. unveiled the fabulous smallmouth fishery when it held the first national tournament there in 1994. The relatively round, glacial lake is 26 miles long and 24 miles wide with an average depth of 10 feet.

The 1994 event was won by Kim Stricker of Howell, Mich., who figures to be a threat again this year, as is Texan Larry Nixon who won the 1999 tournament there in late August. Nixon's four-day catch weighed 73 pounds, 9 ounces and was dominated by big smallmouths. Stricker won with 61 pounds, 15 ounces.

In addition to Lake St. Clair, the pros will have access to the St. Clair River that flows from Lake Huron; the Detroit River that drains St. Clair and feeds Lake Erie; and dozens of canals and backwater bays.

"Just about every section of the lake or rivers has the potential of producing the winning catch," says VanDam. "But a lot of the places that produced in the past haven't been quite as productive this year."

Despite the changing conditions, VanDam says the winner will still need a 3- to 4-pound average to win. "There have been giant creels caught in tournaments this year, but the overall number of fish appears to be down," he describes. "The lake has a number of smaller bass right now."

Stricker agrees, noting that you can still catch 25 bass a day. "But only 10 will be in the 3-pound-plus class, which is still pretty good by any lake's standards," he says. "We aren't seeing the 50- to 100-fish days with dozens of big smallmouths that we used to see."

The same types of lures that produced in previous events -- tube jigs, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and Carolina rigs -- are likely to produce a lot of fish this year as well.

"Kevin and I have shown a lot of people how to fish Lake St. Clair, so it's not like we have a major home water advantage," says Stricker. "But I don't think the tournament can be won in one spot. I think the winner will have to move around to upgrade his catch throughout the day."

The weather could be a factor. Wind churns St. Clair into oceanlike waves and could hamper anglers fishing open water. "If it's calm, you're going to see a lot of big creels," says VanDam. "The wind will control a lot of what happens."

Daily weigh-ins will be held at Metro Beach Metropark beginning at 3 p.m. The field will be cut to 10 for Saturday's final day of competition.

 Additionally, a free CastingKids event, sponsored by Chevy Trucks and CITGO,
will be held there Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. This fun-filled national program encourages children to perfect the skills of casting, pitching and flipping. Local B.A.S.S. clubs conduct the events and provide instruction to all youngsters.

By sanctioning over 20,000 tournaments worldwide, B.A.S.S. is the world's largest fishing organization. The CITGO BASSMASTER Tournament Trail is the oldest and most prestigious pro bass fishing tournament circuit. It continues to set the standard for credibility, professionalism, and sportsmanship after more than three decades. B.A.S.S. is a wholly owned subsidiary of ESPN.

Sponsors of the Michigan CITGO BASSMASTER Tour event include: CITGO, Chevrolet Trucks, Mercury Marine, Yamaha Outboards, Triton Boats, Skeeter Boats, Lowrance Electronics, Pennzoil Marine, Flowmaster Exhaust Systems, Stowaway Batteries, Kumho Tires, Long John Silver's, Gore-Tex Outwear, MotorGuide Trolling Motors, Bass Pro Shops, Armstrong Industrial Hand Tools, GMAC/ B.A.S.S. Vehicle & Boat Insurance, B.A.S.S. Platinum Visa/First USA.

Associate Sponsors include: Bass Cat Boats, G3 Boats

The Michigan CITGO BASSMASTER Tour event is presented locally by the Detroit Convention & Visitors Bureau.

For more information contact:
B.A.S.S. Communications at (334) 272-9530.

 Pro Entry List Lake St. Clair, Michigan

Fred Bland, Birmingham
Dalton Bobo, Northport
Marty Carter, Hamilton
Rickie Harp, Cottondale
Tim Horton, Muscle Shoals
Randy Howell, Trussville
Roger Schofield, Killen
Gerald Swindle, Hayden

Stephen Browning, Hot Springs
George Cochran, Hot Springs
Mark Davis, Mount Ida
Doug Garrett, Cabot
Keith Green, Arkadelphia
Robert L. Kilby, Hot Springs
Mike McClelland, Springdale
Larry Nixon, Bee Branch
Scott Rook, Little Rock
Mark Rose, Marion
Ron Shuffield, Bismarck
Mike Wurm, Hot Springs

Brett Hite, Phoenix
Ishama Monroe, Phoenix
John Murray, Phoenix
Dean Rojas, Lake Havasu City
Rob Vander Kooi, Mesa
Robert Lee, Angels Camp
Aaron Martens, Castaic
Skeet Reese, Auburn
Mark Rizk, Redding
Mark Tyler, Concord
Warren Wyman, Castaic
Lee Bailey, Jr., Amston
Terry Baksay, Monroe
Jim Bitter, Fruitland Park
Steve Daniel, Clewiston
Chet Douthit, Clewiston
Chuck Economou, Redington
Shaw E Grigsby, Jr, Gainesville
Larry Lazoen, Port Charlotte
Roland Martin, Clewiston
Bernie Schultz, Gainesville
Terry Segraves, Kissimmee
Peter E. Thliveros, Jacksonville
Gerry Williams, Winter Garden
Charlie Youngers, Oviedo

Mickey Bruce, Buford
Tony Couch, Buckhead
Paul Hanley, Hull
Mark Hardin, Canton
Michael Johnson, Talking Rock
Danny Kirk, Bartow
Johnny Lesesne, Blue Ridge
Tom Mann, Jr., Buford
Jimmy Millsaps, Canton
Jim Murray, Jr., Arabi

Tom Burns, Carbondale

Chip Harrison, Jr., Bremen
Timothy Wilson, Gas City

Brent Chapman, Shawnee

Mike Auten, Benton
Terry Bolton Jr., Paducah
Mark Menendez, Paducah
Dan Morehead, Paducah
David Walker, Cannon
Kevin Wirth, Crestwood

Roger Boler, Slidell
Homer Humphreys, Jr, Minden
Mark Sabbides, Bastrop
Sam Swett, Covington
Rodney Wagley, Baton Rouge

Danny Correia, Marlboro

Aaron A. Hastings, Boonsboro

Dave Barnes Sr., Weeks Mills

Art Ferguson III, St. Clair Shores
Gerald Gostenik, Dearborn
Kyle Greene, White Lake
Kim Stricker, Howell
Kevin VanDam, Kalamazoo

Basil E Bacon, Springfield
Randy Blaukat, Lamar
Denny Brauer, Camdenton
Chad Brauer, Osage Beach
Rick Clunn, Ava
Dion Hibdon, Stover
Stacey D. King, Reeds Spring
Tim Sainato, Branson
Brian Snowden, Springfield
Mark Tucker, Kirkwood

Paul L Elias, Pachuta
Tim Loper, Terry
Jeff Magee, Mendenhall

Todd Auten, Gastonia
Chris Baumgardner, Gastonia
Guy H. Eaker, Cherryville
Chris Elliott, Raleigh
David Fritts, Lexington
Robert Graham, Mooresville
Doyle Hodgin, Durham
James A. Parker, Fayetteville
Joel G. Richardson, Kernersville
Marty Stone, Linden
Jeffrey Thomas, Broadway
Eric M. Weir, Gastonia
Dustin Wilks, Raleigh
Scott Canelas, Pelham
Rick Lillegard, Atkinson

Pete Gluszek, Franklinville
Michael Iaconelli, Woodbury Heights
Kotaro Kiriyama, New Milford

Jack A. Gadlage, Logandale

Tom Dolin, Palatine Bridge

Charlie Hartley, Grove City
Frank Scalish, Cleveland
Joe Thomas, Milford

Tom Biffle, Wagoner
Ken Cook, Meers
Edwin Evers, Mannsville
O. T. Fears III, Sallisaw
Marty Fourkiller, Cyril
Kenyon Hill, Norman
Jimmy Houston, Cookson
Jeff Kriet, Ardmore
John Sappington, Wyandotte
Dave Smith, Del City

David Hall, Kunkle Town

Davy Hite, Prosperity
Carl Maxfield, Summerville
Ray Sedgwick, Cross

Gary Alverson, Soddy Daisy
Charles Ingram, Santa Fe
Rufus Johnson, Strwplains
Tommy Stiles, McMinnville
Jack L. Wade, Knoxville

Cody Bird, Granbury
Randy Dearman, Onalaska
Todd Faircloth, Jasper
Alton Jones, Waco
Kelly Jordon, Mineola
Gary Klein, Weatherford
Lee Knight, Mineola
Elton Luce Jr., Nederland
Tommy Martin, Hemphill
Lendell Martin, Jr., Nacogdoches
Ben Matsubu, Mineola
Takahiro Omori, Emory
Bud Pruitt, Spring
Zell Rowland, Montgomery
Clark Wendlandt, Cedar Park
David Wharton, Sam Rayburn
Bill Wilcox, Burleson
Darren Wolf, Longview
Gary Yamamoto, Mineola
Jay Yelas, Tyler

Woo Daves, Spring Grove
David Dudley, Lynchburg
Mike Hicks, Mineral
Curt Lytle, Suffolk
Rick Morris, Virginia Beach

Sean Minderman, Spokane
Yusuke Miyazaki, Bellevue

Amateur Entry List Lake St. Clair, Michigan

Todd Ary, Birmingham
Darrel L. High, Opelika
Bill King, Mt. Olive
Dennis McGee, Madison

Jack Lee, Harrison

Lewis Southard, Chandler
Derek Yamamoto, Tempe

Bruce Bygrave, Brantford, Ont
Garrett S. Green, Bracebridge, ON
Roddy Horricks, Merrickville, Ont
Tim Jarrold, Windsor, Ontario
Bill Nicholls, Whitby, Ontario
Alan Roy Nick, Thorold, Ontario
Bill Wray, Welland, Ontario

David Maynard, Monument

Rob Germain, Berlin

Robert C. Kimbrough, Vero Beach

William Bridges, Tallapoosa
Ray Doss, Duluth
Tim Howell, Ball Ground
Danny D Johnson, Griffin
Doyle Tankersley, Chatsworth

Jim Blumenstein, Bolingbrook
Keith Carpenter, Blue Island
Rick Dahlman, Mokena
Marc A. DiMenna, West Chester
Bud Goeke, Pinckneyville
Frank Ledger, Lake Villa
Jack Mangano, Crete
John Moffett, Illiopolis
Bob Provax, Chicago
James E. Spurlock, Ramsey

Terry Barnett, Muncie
Tim Bertram, Morgantown
Don Deerwester, Demotte
Kim Earney, Oolitic
Kevin Galbreath, Yoder
Brian Garr, Sellersburg
John Hampel, Westville
Bill Hovermale, Ft. Wayne
Steve Kline, Fort Wayne
J. D. McClarren, Washington
Kieth Moon, Highland
Jeff Neels, Fort Wayne
Jim Palmer, Marion
Dan Pardue, Morgantown
Charlie Risch, Crown Point
Frank Randol, Angola
Rick Seidel, Washington
Ronald L. Short, Indianapolis
Allen Trillingham, Rossville

Alan Edwards, Leitchfield
Barrett Moss, Somerset
Scott Rawlings, Alexandria
Darrell Stewart, Bowling Green
Johnny Urban, Bowling Green
Gary Varney, McCarr

Vance E. Manchester, Melrose
Peter Vellucci, Cambridge

Fred Carney, Openton
Denise M. Saunders, Baltimore

Jeff Auvenshine, Eaton Rapids
Kevin Barrows, Redford
Randal Beattie, Perry
William Benson, Rochester Hill
Jason Bird, Grand Rapids
Richard L. Blemaster, Maple Rapids
Philip Borsa, Redford
Joe Bozarth, New Boston
Michael T. Benkarski, Novi
Daniel Chapman, Interlochen
Rich Cialone, South Rockwood
David C. Clark, Edwardsburg
Kyle L. Coon, Hesperia
Steve Cypher, Grand Ledge
Bill Dodge, Laingsburg
Willie Esmont, Fowlerville
Jeff Gehring, Novi
Sal Gusmano, Dryden
Richard Ireland, Clinton TWP
Larry Jones, Detroit
Thomas G. Kiefer, Fowlerville
Michael Krumpholz, Brighton
Kim Krzeszewski, Reese
Mike Kujawski, North Branch
John Lehman, Lake Orion
Larry Leslie, Walled Lake
Pete Merckx, Westland
Michael V. Mullaly, Chelsea
Mark D. Myles, Oscoda
Travis Norton, Hastings
Terry Reece, Ypsilanti
David Richardson, Beaverton
Greg Scott, Dearborn
Roger D. Smith, Southfield
Kenneth Spencer, Conklin
Anthony Stanza, Sterling Heights
Michael J. Stein, Warren
James E. Templin, Farmington Hills
Tim Thompson, Grand Rapids
Bill Tinges, Holt
Bill Tucker, Allen Park
Jeff Uetrecht, Cold Water
Marty Wiebelhaus, Taylor

Gary Baranowski, St. Michael
Cody Collins, Foreston
Richard D. Owens Jr., Brooklyn Park
Richard Walter, Orono

Jimmy Batts, Raleigh
Tim Lybrand, Wilson

John Breen, Rochester

Thomas Lesinski Jr., Bridgewater
Peter Rathjens, Wharton

Craig Daino, Central Square

Ken Bargo, Carlisle
Jarrod Bishop, Belle Center
Kenneth Caudill, Delaware
Marty Cedoz, Pemberville
Stephen A. Coulter, Heath
William Fitzsimmons, Hubbard
Mike Haarman, St. Bernard
James M. Hopkins, Gnaden Hutten
Kenneth B. Howell, Toledo
Jerry Jackson, Portsmouth
Miles Johnson, Beaver Creek
James Moody, Sylvania
Michael L. Murphy, Miamisburg
Walter Neubig, Reynoldsburg
Bryan A. Plenzler, Sylvania
Marshall Royer, Germantown
Whitney Stephens, Piketon
Stephen A. Summers, Toledo
Paul Tracy, Groupport
Larry Vucelich, Powhatan Point
Philip Ward, Springboro
Rick Wright, West Lafayette

Mark McQuown, Tulsa

James DeZort, Oakmont
Tim Macknair, Rices Landing
Bruce Neal, Manheim
Keith M. Schultz, Aliquippa

Bryan S. Moeller, Cola
Gordon L. Smith, Lake Wylie

David M. Shelton, Nashville

Mike Klimaszewski, Harker Heights

Stuart Hicks, Arlington
George A. Joly, Jr., Christiansburg
Don Warren, Richmond
Carl Whipple, Fredricksburg

Christopher Darling, Swanton

Cal Clausen, Veradale

Brian Brecka, Alma
Bill Castillo, Madison
Ted C. Joyce, Crivitz
Robert Nabstedt Jr., Oshkosh
David J. Ulrich Jr., Oshkosh
Mike Weiss, Kansasville

Tom Spiker, Fairmont