Legendary South Carolina Fishery Hosts Regional B.A.S.S. Championship

SUMMERTON, S.C., June 6, 2001-The South's top amateur bass anglers hope the
fishing will be as hot as the weather next week on South Carolina's Santee
Cooper lakes, site of a regional competition with state bragging rights and
more up for grabs.

The B.A.S.S. Federation Southern Divisional is June 13-15 with amateur bass
anglers from seven states entered in the tournament. It is sanctioned by the
Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.), the world's largest fishing
organization. Competition waters include 100,500-acre Lake Marion and
neighboring 60,000-acre Lake Moultrie. Both fisheries make up the legendary
Santee Cooper system where B.A.S.S. first held a tournament on the lakes in
1975. Connected by a seven-mile canal, the lake system is so named because
of the Santee and Cooper rivers.

Represented in this regional championship are the states of South Carolina,
North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and Alabama. The 84
contestants qualified for their 12-man state teams after advancing from
local bass club tournaments to the state team level. While the contestants
measure up against the B.A.S.S. pros as amateurs, they are by no means
secondary in ability. Most fish weekly and can go rod to rod with their
professional counterparts.

Winning the overall tournament is one goal, but the more valuable objective
for anglers is finishing in first place on their respective state teams.
After the conclusion of the contest next Friday, seven state champions
advance to the next level of competition, the 2002 B.A.S.S. Federation
Championship. Four other regional tournaments held this year will also
determine qualifiers for the championship, dates and location to be
announced. Competing will be all 46 state champions and international
representatives from Canada, Japan, Italy, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Also up for grabs will be state bragging rights. The $67,000 prize purse
will be divided between the states based on how the finish beginning with
the first place team. The money will be used to fund conservation and civic
projects in their home state. Host state South Carolina is defending
champion with its win last year at the Southern Divisional held in Alabama
on Lake Eufaula.

Solving the colossal bass fishing equation on lakes Marion and Moultrie is
first on the minds of the 84 contestants next week. They will have their
hands full, to say the very least with the collective 160,500 acres making
up the tournament water. Marion is noted for its generally shallow, stumpy
water and standing timber. In contrast, Moultrie has more open water with
some scattered vegetation.

"The reports we have been receiving indicate the fish are in a post-spawn
mode," said Al Smith, national director of the B.A.S.S. Chapter Federation.
"With the fish having come off the spawning beds that should make for some
challenging fishing."

The rules for this competition allow each angler to bring back five bass
measuring at least 12 inches in length. The fish are held inside aerated
livewells, weighed and then released back into the fishery. A 4-ounce
penalty applies to any fish brought back dead, a costly mistake and one that
is rarely made by these conservation-minded anglers. Scores are based on
total pounds and ounces.

Daily weigh-ins will be held at the John C. Land Landing and begin at 2:30
p.m. (Eastern).

The B.A.S.S. Federation is the conservation and civic services arm of
B.A.S.S. The federation is a grass-roots organization of bass clubs whose
members plan, serve, endorse, lobby and support conservation efforts,
community service projects and youth programs. The global network of 51
federations and 2,800 clubs provides a critical lifeline from national ideas
to widespread implementation and action.

By sanctioning over 20,000 tournaments worldwide, B.A.S.S. is the world's
largest fishing organization. The 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.

ESPN2 will air an hour special on the 2001 BASS Masters Classic set for New
Orleans in early August. The telecast is August 18 at 9 p.m. (Eastern). The
program will provide complete coverage of bass fishing's world championship
held on the sprawling Louisiana Delta.

Sponsors of the 2001 B.A.S.S. Federation Western Divisional tournament are:
Ranger Boats, RangerTrail Trailers, Mercury Marine, Chevrolet Trucks,
Humminbird/Zercom Electronics, Pennzoil Marine, ACDelco Batteries,
Flowmaster Exhaust Systems, Motorguide Trolling Motors, Quantum Rods and
Reels, Berkley Trilene, Berkley Power Bait, Eagle Claw Fishhooks,
Worldwaters.com, First USA, Long John Silver's, Kumho Tires, Gore-Tex, GMAC
Insurance and Armstrong Industrial Hand Tools.


Federation Southern Divisional Championship Entry List

 
ALABAMA           
Joe Buchanan, Abbeville, AL
Edward Gettys    , Stevenson, AL
Larry Hall, Mobile, AL
Scott Holmes, Moody, AL
Jamie Horton, Centerville, AL
Jason Kilpatrick, Satsuma. AL
Joe Lay, Duncanville, AL
James Patterson, Pisgah, AL
Greg Pugh, Cullman, AL
Al Redding, Notasulga, AL
Henry Rockhill, Tuscumbia, AL
Nicholas Turner, Jones, AL
Russell Wallace, Gordo, AL
Larry Walters, Northport, AL

FLORIDA           
Benny Beckham, Gainesville, FL
David Beveridge, Port St Lucie, FL
Harvey Ford, Okeechobee, FL
Jim Hooven, Lakeland, FL
John "Mark" Hudnell, Tampa, FL
Kelly Jenkins, Cocoa, FL
John Kinchen, Palm Bay, FL
Robert Miller, Port St Lucie, FL
Todd Mowery, Jacksonville, FL
Chris Ranew, Naples, FL
Ronald Roker, Naples, FL
Mike Schmaeling, Naples, FL
Tony Strickland, Deltona, FL
Jesus "Chunky" Villegas, Miami, FL

GEORGIA           
Alan Brightwell, Norman Park, GA
Carson Browning, Jackson, GA
Mark Goodin, Cobb, GA
Brian Gunn, Savannah, GA
Robert Haldeman, Acworth, GA
Clarence Hambree, Taylorsville, GA
Karl Hughey, Washington, GA
Larry Jones, Columbus, GA
Justin Lanier, Macon, GA
Larry Lewis, Roswell, GA
Bryan Phillips, Avondale Est, GA
Skip Ray, Salem, AL
Brendan Smith, Kennesaw, GA
Steven Stewart, Donalsonville, GA

KENTUCKY          
Gerald Andrews, Benton, KY
Gary Fint, Frankfort, KY
Mike Hensley, Hopkinsville, KY
Greg Hoskinson, Louisville, KY
Tommy Johns, Louisville, KY
Scott Jones, Louisville, KY
Jamie Kinkade, Greenville, KY
Todd Leatherman, Kuttawa, KY
Paul Lewis, Richmond, KY
Greg Scythes, Ironton, OH
Richard Smith, Wine Grove, KY
Steven Taylor, Coxs Creek, KY
John Thorpe, Mortons Gap, KY
Tom Whiles, Alex. KY

NORTH CAROLINA    
Phil Bain, Youngsville, NC
Tom Baird, Cary, NC
Robert Bland, Elm City, NC
Donald Lee Boivin, Fayetteville, NC
Ed Cannon, Lenoir, NC
Gary Cline, Lexington, NC
Gordon Cowan, Williamston, NC
Rusty Dail, Bailey, NC
Morris Freeman, Ahoskie, NC
John Harris, Lexington, NC
Jimmie Ritter, Hertford, NC
David Swain, Nashville, NC
Eddie Williams, Bessemer Cty, NC
Kevin Woodall, Angier, NC

SOUTH CAROLINA    
Tony Bennett, St. Stephen, SC
Nathan Burgess, Summerville, SC
William "Bill" Davis, Simpsonville, SC
Carl Harrington, Kingstree, SC
Tony Jackson, Duncan, SC
Tommy Lindler, Lexington, SC
Doug Mahoney, Belton, SC
David Miller, Batesburg, SC
Hugh Moss, Gaffney, SC
Greg Rikard, Leesville, SC
Brent Riley, Ridgeville, SC
Darrell Shull, W Columbia, SC
Nelson Walker, Manning, SC
Kyle Yates, Greenwood, SC

TENNESSEE         
Jeff Barnett, Jackson, TN
Gary Beeler, Piney Flats, TN
James Campbell, Palmer, TN
Tim Cody, Charleston, TN
Randall Cutshall, Gray, TN
Daniel Ellis, Gleason, TN
Edward Lewis, Knoxville, TN
Jeffrey Lokken, Gallatin, TN
Charles Mitchell, McEwen, TN
Elton Moore, Tn Ridge, TN
Ron Riley, Hohenwald, TN
Rick Sanson, Winchester, TN
Douglas True, Centerville, TN
Terry Vittetoe, Dandridge, TN