<
>

Day 4 morning report

5/7/2007

  • TV viewers take note: For the first time ever, ESPN2 will provide same-day coverage of a BASS event outside of the CITGO Bassmaster Classic. Coverage of the Bassmaster Memorial weigh-in airs today at 7 p.m. ET.

    FORT WORTH, Texas — Fifty-five anglers began the quest for a $250,000 paycheck and the right to be the winner of the Bassmaster Memorial — and the first Major champion.

    Now, only six remain.

    Peter Thliveros, one of the most successful anglers in tour history, leads the pack with a 15-pound, 3-ounce total he pulled from Benbrook Lake on Saturday. Trailing him are Mark Menendez (13-14), Michael Iaconelli (10-12), Skeet Reese (10-9), Greg Hackney (7-10) and Edwin Evers (7-3).

    The Super Six anglers will compete again Sunday on Benbrook and fish a six-hole course. Every fisherman is required to fish 70 minutes on each of the six holes before being allowed an hour of fishing on any spot of their choice.

    Thliveros has proven his mettle not only on Benbrook, but also on Eagle Mountain Lake where this event began. He landed the biggest fish of the day on Friday, a 7-pounder he boated at Eagle Mountain, and followed with a 7-5 lunker Saturday on the first day of fishing at Benbrook. He's fished the same pattern on both bodies of water.

    "I don't expect anything to change," he said. "If I can continue to get the bites that I've gotten, it's just a matter of how many fish I'll land. If I can get the same number of bites, I should be OK.

    "It's a luck thing with the big fish. You don't plan to catch them. But two days in a row, to catch big fish on the same pattern, it sure gives you a lot of confidence."

    Thliveros will begin the day on Hole No. 5, which he hopes will put him on his best holes (Nos. 1 and 6) during prime fishing hours. He caught each of his four keepers in those spots on Saturday.

    Menendez is beginning on Hole No. 4 Sunday and is looking forward to the chance to close the gap on Thliveros.

    Menendez, like all of the other remaining pros, had never fished on Benbrook prior to Saturday's round, but feels that he learned enough to make a run for the Memorial title. He was the only person in Saturday's 12-person field to land a five-fish limit.

    "I know my rotation and I know my times," Menendez said. "I'm really comfortable with that. I know what to do and when to do it. Plus, I'll be able to spend my happy hour without cranking my big motor. That's what paid off yesterday.

    "Hopefully, I can get a few early bites. That sure would make me feel a lot better."

    Iaconelli, who leads in the CITGO Bassmaster Angler of the Year race, has nearly five pounds to make up on Thliveros, but feels confident he can do that Sunday.

    "You look at these six guys that are here, we've all got a shot to win," Iaconelli said. "No one's out of it. Everyone has fished excellent this week. Again, I think this is a tough lake. The guy who can put five in the boat, the guy who catches the limit, that's the guy who's going to win the tournament."

    Reese said he likes his chances, as well.

    "There's no pressure on me," Reese said. "It's all on Peter. All I have to do is go fishing. If I get the bites, I do. If I don't, I don't. I've had a good tournament. I've always felt it's good to be sitting just behind the leader on the last day."

    Hackney had only three keeper bites on Saturday and said he'll have to make some changes to catch Thliveros.

    "Today, I'm going to have to be more aggressive and get into the timber," Hackney said. "I fished the perimeters around it yesterday.

    "I feel like they're really good areas, but the deal is, you've got an hour and ten minutes and you can't spend 45 of it idling back in there. You'll kill two holes. So today I'm going to have to chance it and get in there."

    Weigh-in is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET Sunday at Will Rogers Memorial Center.

  • TV viewers take note: For the first time ever, ESPN2 will provide same-day coverage of a BASS event outside of the CITGO Bassmaster Classic. Coverage of the Bassmaster Memorial weigh-in airs today at 7 p.m. ET.