ANGLER OF THE YEAR, HIT SONGWRITER WIN BASS ANGLERS AND ARTISTS TOURNAMENT AT CMA MUSIC FEST

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Country Music artists traded music scales for weigh-in scales on Saturday as they teamed up with BASS anglers for the BASS Anglers and Artists Tournament during CMA Music Festival/Fan FairŪ.  In the end, CITGO Bassmaster Angler of the Year Gerald Swindle and hit songwriter Monty Powell walked away with trophies and bragging rights at the benefit tournament.

"Get the best fisherman of the day," Powell teased his partner, one of the hottest pro anglers on the BASS circuit.  "That's his strategy."

"He was pretty good," Swindle admitted.  "He's very competitive and I like anyone that wants to win."

FINAL STANDINGS - BASS Anglers and Artists Tournament
1. Gerald Swindle/Monty Powell - 5 lbs. 7 oz
2. Roland Martin/Doni Harris - 4 lbs. 10 oz.
3. Marty Stone/Chely Wright - 4 lbs. 5 oz.
3. Ish Monroe/Billy Dean - 4 lbs. 5 oz.
5. Gary Klein/Tim Rushlow - 3 lbs. 15 oz.
6. Randy Howell/Craig Morgan - 3 lbs. 9 oz.
7. Dean Rojas/Shannon Brown - 10 oz.
8. Brent Chapman/Chris Cagle - no weight
8. Jay Yelas/Billy Currington - no weight
8. Zell Rowland/Rodney Atkins - no weight

The Anglers and Artists Tournament was introduced this year as part of the festivities surrounding 2004 CMA Music Festival/Fan FairŪ, an annual celebration of Country Music held in Music City.

In fact, Powell, who said he has been fishing for as long as he has written songs ("All my life" for both) was the first Country Music artist on board to participate in the exhibition tournament.

"I performed at the (CITGO Bassmaster) Classic last year, sang at the final weigh-in day," Powell said.  "That got us talking about how to integrate bass fishing and country music, since we have a lot of audience in common."

The pair caught their bass from the Cumberland River using light line spinning tackle along the rocky shoreline and were already deep in conversation at the weigh-in about opportunities to fish together on Swindle's home waters in Alabama.

On behalf of Swindle and Powell, Berkley baits will contribut $2,500 to CMA's "Cause For Celebration!" charitable benefit campaign. Through "Cause For Celebration!," artists and celebrities participating in CMA Music Festival select charities to receive a portion of the net proceeds from the annual music event. Since 2001, $300,000 has been given to charities as part of CMA's "Cause For Celebration!"

"I'm kind of a sucker for all of the charitable events," said Swindle, whose Angel Anglers program coordinates visits from pro fishermen to children's hospitals at stops along the Bassmaster Elite 50 circuit.  "Of course, we're also trying to let Country Music fans see what bass fishing is all about."

Marty Stone and Chely Wright brought in the Purolator Big Bass of the Day, which earned an additional $500 donation for "Cause for Celebration!" from Purolator.  Wright and Stone brought in a 3-pound, 6-ounce largemouth from the Cumberland River.

The weigh-in was held at the Sports Zone stage and the BASS Sponsor Expo, which are open and free to the public through Sunday. 

The BASS Sponsor Expo will feature an exhibit from Tennessee-based Triton Boats as well as the Mercury Outboards Racing Truck, the Skeeter Interactive Truck, CITGO's Lake CITGO Casting Challenge, a Pure Fishing merchandise trailer, Bass Pro Shops retail area, Purolator and Busch displays, and a Flowmaster-sponsored giveaway of a 50th anniversary Fender Stratocaster guitar.  BASS will also offer children the opportunity to participate in the Bassmaster CastingKids scholarship program presented by CITGO.

For up-to-the-minute information about CMA Music Festival, including information about tickets, travel, schedules, artist appearances and more, visit www.CMAfest.com and sign up for e-news. 2004 CMA Music Festival/Fan Fair is organized and produced by the Country Music Association.

BASS is the world's largest fishing organization, sanctioning more than 20,000 tournaments worldwide through its Federation.  The CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail presented by Busch Beer is the oldest and most prestigious pro bass-fishing tournament circuit and continues to set the standard for credibility, professionalism and sportsmanship as it has since 1968.

For more information, contact BASS Communications at (334) 551-2375 or visit www.bassmaster.com.