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Phenomenal fishing expected at 'Battle on the Border'

12/29/2006

What's at stake: $673,150 in cash to the top 50 Elite pros and valuable points towards qualifying in the CITGO Bassmaster Majors and the race for the CITGO Bassmaster Angler of the Year award. The top 25 co-anglers compete for $115,400 in cash and merchandise.

Telecast: The "Battle on the Border" will be aired on The CITGO Bassmasters on March 18 at 10 a.m. ET on ESPN2.

The pros said it

"The numbers of fish are absolutely incredible. Everywhere you stop and every lure you try is going to get bites. The key is firing up those bigger fish. It's teeing up to be a great heavyweight tournament."
—Nine-time CITGO Bassmaster Classic qualifier and ranked 42nd on the Bassmaster Power Index Alton Jones, 42, Waco, Texas

"There's a ton of different ways we're going to catch fish. We will catch some sight-fishing, and we will also catch fish deep. This is just a phenomenal fishery. There will be more fish caught and a heavier average weight per angler than ever before … This was a hidden jewel, but it's exposed now."
— 22nd-ranked Power Index angler Matt Reed, 43, Madisonville, Texas

"This is the best largemouth bass fishery I've been on in the last few years. Most anglers are catching 50 to 100 fish each day. It's just incredible. The key will be finding a lure to catch those 5- to 8-pounders."
— 1999 CITGO Bassmaster Classic champion and sixth-ranked Power Index angler Davy Hite, 40, Ninety Six, S.C.

"The lake is unbelievable. This is by far the best lake we've been to; there's nothing even close. The trick is finding the big ones. The fishing is phenomenal. Any time it's this good, it's scary,"
— Three-time CITGO Bassmaster Classic qualifier and 14th-ranked Power Index angler Jeff Kriet, 36, Ardmore, Okla.

The strategy

Jones: Jones is searching for the big bite using 20-pound test Silver Thread line and throwing big lures including a 10-inch YUM Ribbontail worm, a YUM Dinger and spinnnerbaits. He's fishing both a deep and shallow water pattern.

Reed: Reed is fishing a variety of lures, but plans to key in on bass by sight-fishing and casting a Senko with Bass Pro Shop's XPS 14-pound flourocarbon line.

Hite: Hite caught fish on everything he cast out in practice, including spinnerbaits, topwaters, crankbaits and jigs and in depths ranging from 2 to 25 feet. He hasn't pinpointed a lure that will really attract those big fish and is sure that will be the dilemma of the tournament - catching quality fish.

Kriet: Kreit is throwing a Kinami Flash worm on Yo-Zuri Hybrid 15-pound test line. He's experimenting with a variety of lures and techniques but feels the worm will be a big winner in the tournament. As the fish move up to spawn, he plans to work the worm around bushes and fish slowly.

Location and field

Battle on the Border - CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series
Lake Amistad

Del Rio, Texas
March 9-12

Field
106 pros, 106 co-anglers
Cut to top 50 after Day 2
Cut to top 12 pro anglers after Day 3

Launch
Diablo East Marina
Hwy. 90 West
Del Rio, Texas 78841
6:30 a.m.

Weigh-in
Diablo East Marina
Hwy. 90 West
Del Rio, Texas 78841

3 p.m.

Background
Previous BASS events
The first stop of the 2006 Elite Series marks the first BASS tournament held on Lake Amistad in Del Rio, Texas.

Weather
Temperature
71 degrees

Lake level
1,109.48 ft. above mean sea level

Sponsors

Local support: Local sponsors include the Del Rio Chamber of Commerce.

CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series sponsors: Sponsors of the CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series include CITGO Petroleum Corp., Toyota, Busch Beer, Purolator, Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Berkley, Lowrance Electronics, MotorGuide, Advanced Auto Parts and Theraseed.