BASS NEWS: CITGO BASSMASTER OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP ANNOUNCED
 

CITGO BASSMASTER OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP TO BE HELD IN MONROE LOUISIANA

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Officials from BASS, the worldwide authority on bass
fishing, announced today that the CITGO Bassmaster Open Championship
presented by Busch Beer will be held Dec. 2-5 in Monroe, La.  The tournament
waters will be the Ouachita River, the site of last November's Central Open
finale.

"We are very excited about our return to the Ouachita River," said Dean
Kessel, Vice President and General Manager of BASS.  "Last November's
Central Open was so well attended by the fans and the media that it just
made sense to have the Open Championship there this year."

The daily launches and weigh-ins will take place at the City of West Monroe
Lazzarre Point Recreation Area.

"There are a lot of BASS members in the area," said Julia Trichell, the
Executive Director of the Monroe/West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"There are so many people in the area that just love BASS, and it makes such
an economic impact on the area.  We are really excited to have (BASS) back."

The 2003 Open Champion, Arizona's John Murray, is hoping to get back to the
Open Championship in 2004, not only to defend his title, but also because
the top five anglers in the Open Championship gain entry to the CITGO
Bassmaster Classic presented by Busch Beer.

"I didn't expect to do so well on Toledo Bend last year," Murray said.  "I
think there will be a little more pressure on guys to do well in the Opens
this year, though, because there's only (five) Classic spots from the Opens.
That's what everybody wanted and I think that's the way it should be, too.

"It's so tough to make the Classic from the Tour.  Now, it's so much more
important to do well in the Open Tournaments just so you can qualify for the
Open Championship to have a shot at the Classic."

BASS is the world's largest fishing organization, sanctioning more than
20,000 tournaments worldwide through its Federation.  The CITGO Bassmaster
Tournament Trail 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.

Sponsors of the CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail presented by Busch Beer
include CITGO Petroleum Corp., Busch Beer, Purolator, Triton Boats, Skeeter
Boats, Mercury Marine, Yamaha Outboards, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Lowrance
Electronics, Flowmaster Exhaust Systems, MotorGuide, Bass Pro Shops, and
BankOne.

Associate Sponsors include G3 Boats.

Local Sponsors include the Monroe/West Monroe Convention and Visitors
Bureau.

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