Mt. CLEMENS, Mich. Oklahoma pro Kenyon Hill saved the best for last at Wednesday's opening day weigh-in for the Michigan CITGO BASSMASTER Tour event, bringing in 19 pounds, 1 ounce to take the lead.
Hill, who was one of the final anglers to weigh-in on day one, moved around between several locations, finally zeroing in on three key spots to catch his fish. He enters the second day of competition with a 1 pound, 2 ounce lead over Texan Gary Klein.
Most anglers had to contend with difficult and overcast conditions, including rain on Lake St. Clair. But not Hill.
"The wind and rough water really didn't affect one of my spots at all, that is the reason I located it, because it is protected from the wind," explained Hill whose lone victory on the CITGO BASSMASTER Tournament Trail came at the 1998 Louisiana Top 150. "One of the other spots could be affected by calmer conditions tomorrow. The fish though, are roaming, moving in and out of areas feeding."
Klein brought in 17-15 placing him second; Ohio's Charlie Hartley is third with 17-2; Texas pro Jay Yelas holds fourth at 16-11 and Arkansas's Scott Rook is fifth with 16-10.
"The waves looked like mountains," said Klein, a two-time CITGO B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year. "It was hard to be efficient with the conditions the way they were. You couldn't walk from one end of the boat to the other. You had to crawl."
On the amateur side of the competition Greg Scott of Dearborn, Mich., brought in 16-6 to take the lead and Cody Collins of Foreston, Minn. caught a 4-15 bass to take big bass honors for the day. Detroit Red Wings right winger Pat Verbeek finished day one in 43rd place.
On the pro side South Carolina's Carl Maxfield captured day one big bass honors with a 5-0 smallmouth.
Anglers in the event are competing for a share of the $478,000 purse of which $110,000 is awarded to the top pro. The winning amateur will claim $35,000 in prizes.
Daily weigh-ins take place at Metro Beach Metropark beginning at 3 p.m. Anglers launch beginning at 6:20 a.m. The field will be cut to the top 10 pros for Saturday's final day of competition.
Additionally, a free CastingKids event, presented by Chevy Trucks and CITGO, will be held there Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. This fun-filled national program encourages children to perfect the skills of casting, pitching and flipping. Local B.A.S.S. clubs conduct the events and provide instruction to all youngsters.
By sanctioning over 20,000 tournaments worldwide, B.A.S.S. is the world's largest fishing organization. The CITGO 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.
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