Fishing & Boating News

Rainy Days Make Practice Tough On Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway

Anglers Struggle In Bassmaster Elite 50 Series Practice


(May. 18, 2004 - COLUMBUS, MS.) The pros on the CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail presented by Busch Beer are having some tough practice days on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, site of the second of four events in the $1.6 million Bassmaster Elite 50 series. "I'll tell you, it seems like it's spotty," said Arizona pro Brett Hite. "I haven't caught any big ones. I've caught some gar and some mudfish, but you never know what you're going to get." Hite, who has been pitching and flipping in very stained water, doesn‚t think big catches will be a factor for this tournament, which will be telecast in two parts Saturday, May 29 and Saturday, June 5 at 10:30 a.m. ET/9:30 a.m. CT on ESPN2. "I don't think we‚re going to see any big weights this time," Hite said. "I think if you catch 11 to 13 pounds a day, you'll be doing really well, but it may take more than that you never know. If the rain comes in it may actually help. A little pressure may just trigger them. It can't get any muddier, that's for sure." Michigan pro Kevin VanDam agreed with Hite's assessment. "It's going to be a challenge," VanDam said. "Fish are going to be few and far between, with the emphasis on few. The fish are definitely done spawning, but, to me, they don't even seem like they're in post spawn. They seem like they're in transition from spawn to summer patterns." VanDam has been plagued by the muddy water as well, but thinks backwater areas may be the key to locating the fish. "Some of the backwater areas are somewhat clear, but all you can do is start going and hitting the high points. It's going to be difficult. I don't think it's going to take much to win this one, but I'm sure somebody will find them. Somebody always finds a honey-hole, so, it's going to be interesting." The Bassmaster Elite 50 series event on Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway begins Wednesday, May 19 and runs through Saturday, May 22. Launch begins at 10 a.m. and daily weigh-ins will begin at 7 p.m. at the Stennis Lock and Dam and are free to the public. 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 Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau.