BAINBRIDGE, Ga. - February 7, 2003
Texan Gary Klein leads the field of 12 pros advancing in the CITGO Bassmaster Tour event presented by Busch Beer taking place on Lake Seminole after bringing in a second day limit of 17 pounds 3 ounces.
"This lake is always changing," said Klein who is originally from northern California. "I'm fishing so slowly I can't fish all the water I've got in two days."
Also making the cut behind Klein, who has a two day total of 36-5, is current Busch BASS Angler of the Year points leader Jim Bitter of Florida with 33-4 and Texan Ben Matsubu third with 33-3.
Arkansas' Ron Shuffield is fourth at 32-8, fellow Arkansan Jimmy Mize is fifth with 32-2 and Todd Auten of South Carolina is sixth with 30-15.
Pros qualifying in the second through 12th positions include Paul Elias, Kotaro Kiriyama, Danny Correia, Casey Iwai, Shaw Grigsby and Luke Clausen. Day one leader Jay Yelas brought in a single bass on Friday, slipping to 16th position.
"I thought I would catch some small fish today," said Bitter, whose catch was anchored by two large bass.
"Catching the two big ones was a major surprise." Regardless of the outcome of the tournament, Bitter will remain the leader in the Busch BASS Angler of the Year race and will claim his second $1,000 bonus award from Anheuser-Busch.
The champion in the season-long points race will receive $100,000. A
nglers will continue to face poor weather conditions during the competition with cool temperatures and intermittent rain forecast through Sunday.
The top 12 amateurs competing on Saturday include: Floridian Kimbrel Brown, 19-9; David Galloway of North Carolina, 13-1; New Jersey's Christopher Oeser, 12-14; Georgia's John Pettit, 12-12; Florida's Mike Prance, 12-11 and Jimmie Davis also of Florida with 12-8.
Sylvester's Jason Law came in 12th to just make the cut and will fish another day in the amateur division.
The field will be cut again following Saturday's weigh-in to just the Super Six pros who will compete for the top prize of $100,000.
Weigh-ins take place at Earl May Boat Basin near Bainbridge beginning at 3 p.m. Admission to all events is free.