February 6, 2003
BAINBRIDGE, Ga. - Reigning CITGO Bassmasters Classic champion Jay Yelas grabbed the day one lead at the CITGO Bassmaster Tour event presented by Busch Beer on Georgia's Lake Seminole with four bass topping the scales at 22 pounds 9 ounces.
"This was a great day, I'll never forget it," said Yelas, whose bag was anchored by a 10 pound 4 ounce largemouth. "I had a tough practice and that big one was a gift."
Yelas enters day two with a nearly 3 pound lead over Arkansas' Ron Shuffield and Washington's Luke Clausen who tied for second with 19-10.
Texan Gary Klein follows in fourth with 19-2, Kentucky's Mark Menendez is fifth with 18-12 and California's Morizo Shimizu rounds out the top six with 18-5.
Anglers were forced to contend with overcast skies and chilly conditions throughout the day and those conditions are not expected to improve.
In fact, the weather is forecast to deteriorate even further with rain and cooler temperatures expected throughout the remaining four days of competition.
"This is a strange place," said Shuffield, "You can do really well one day and then not catch anything the next. I got lucky today, that's all there is to it."
The 182-angler field will be cut after Friday's weigh-in to the 12 anglers with the heaviest cumulative weights.
The top 12 will be cut after Saturday's weigh-in to the Super Six, who will fish Sunday for the $100,000 top prize.
Kimbrel Brown of Quincy, Fla. holds the amateur lead with 12-6. He is followed in second by John Pettit of Calhoun, Ga. with10-11 and in third by Michael Deen of Nicholls, Ga. with 9-10.
A new component of the CITGO Bassmaster Tour events this season is the interactive BASS Sponsor Expo area.
Exhibits are present from the various BASS sponsors many of which are interactive and allow an enjoyable experience for all family members.
The Expos are completely free to those attending and take place from noon until five on Fridays; and from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at each Tour stop.
Weigh-ins take place at Earl May Boat Basin near Bainbridge beginning at 3 p.m. Admission to all events is free.