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20 Bass/41.8 Lbs Claims Louisiana BASS Top-150
By Ed Snyder

$478,000 Louisiana CITGO BASSMASTER Top-150 Tour.
Saturday, November 3, 2001, Clarks Marina on the Red River, Shreveport, LA.

After three grueling days of competition on the Red River, the final saw only the top ten BASS/Pros, from the original field of 142, launching out of Clark's Marina to compete on the fourth, and final day of this marathon BASS event. Among those who were pushing their bassin' expertise to the max was a long time legendary Bassmaster from North Carolina, a World BASS Classic Champion from South Carolina, and a young two time BASS Classic qualifier from East Texas.

Recap-Day-October 31, 2001 - Dean Rojas of Lake Havasu City, AZ, put a 15 lb 8 oz limit on the scale to take the lead for day-1 competition. Trailing Rojas for 2nd place lead was Rick Lillegard, Atkinson, N.H., 13-6 lbs; third place Curt Lytle, Suffolk, Va., 12-14 lbs; fourth place O.T. Fears III, Sallisaw, Okla., 12-9 lbs; and fifth place Guy Eaker, Cherryville, N.C., 11-9 lbs. Leading the amateur side of the event was Bud Goeke of Pickneyville, Ill. with 8-3 lbs.

Day-2-- November 1, 2001 - Dean Rojas maintained a 1st place lead with 15 lbs 8 ozs on Thursday to boost his leader-board mark to 31-0 lbs, Trailing Rojas in 2nd was Guy Eaker, Cherryville, N.C., 23-11 lbs; third place, Tommy Biffle, Wagoner, Okla., 21-2 lbs; fourth place, Pete Gluszek, Franklinville, N.J. 20-14 lbs, and fifth place Chuck Economou, Redington, Fla., 19-13 lbs. Leading amateur- Truitt D. Roberts Pineville, La, 15-11 lbs.

Day-3- November 2, 2001 - Rick Lillegard of Atkinson, NH, entered Friday's third round of competition in 23rd place, but after some extraordinary circumstances, Rick's five fish limit weighing 14 pounds, 5 ounces put him in the lead.

The extraordinary circumstance: Dean Rojas, who had over a seven pound lead coming into the 3rd day top-10 cut, suddenly realized that he may have been fishing questionable waters and approached tournament officials to confirm his fears. It turned out that he had in fact been casting into an area that was off-limits to anglers for this event.

"I was going over some paperwork last night and realized that I may have committed a rule infraction," stated a very disappointed Rojas. "So I approached tournament officials about the situation. It's unfortunate that this happened, but rules are rules. "As a result of this, Dean's previous two day catch was disqualified and Rojas' 7-9 lb 3rd day weight was not able to qualify him for the 4th day top 10 cut.

Anglers making up the top 10 cut for the final round included: Roland Martin, Clewiston, Fla; Frank Scalish, Cleveland, Ohio; Jeff Magee, Mendenhall, Miss; Jay Yelas, Tyler, Texas; Guy Eaker, Cherryville, N.C; Davey Hite, Prosperity, SC; Todd Faircloth, Jasper, TX; Carl Maxfield, Summerville, SC; Pete Gluszek, Frankinville, NJ; and Rick Lillegard, Atkinson, NH;

Pro/Anglers in the final round competed for a first place prize of $110,000 from a total tournament purse of $478,000.

On the amateur side of the event Pineville, La. Angler Truitt Roberts caught 18-0 lbs over the three days to claim a fully rigged Skeeter bass boat valued at $35,000.

1st place-(20 bass/41 lbs 8 ozs)-World Classic Champion, Davey Hite of Prosperity, SC, became a back-to-back winner on this premier BASS angling tournament, making his wife's dream of him doing just that, come true. Claiming his fifth career victory Hite moved into a tie for 11th place on the all-time victory list. With the $110,000 first prize, the Prosperity, S.C. angler also moves his single season earnings after just two events to $221,000. Hite's four-day total of 41-8 was enough to give him a 5 pound 4 ounce victory over second place Guy Eaker. "I almost made a serious error on the final day, Davey informed the crowd, "by making a 40 mile run "away" from my winning fish. "Realizing my mistake, Hite informed, "I immediately turned and headed back, barley getting into the Lock before it closed. Davey Hite used a 3 bladed "Hogcall" spinner bait to slow-roll his top-150 win from a fishing spot not 10 minutes from the weigh-in site.

2nd place-(17 bass/36 lbs 4 ozs)- Longtime legendary Bassmaster, Guy Eaker of Cherryville, N.C. claimed $48,000 for his 36-4 total. Guy was fishing june-bug worms, Lil crank-baits, and specially Eaker designed Xcaliber spinner baits that had counter-rotating blades. Guy was fishing a creek area just north of the tournament site, which had clear water, grassy ridges, and lots of timber. "My fishing area silted up during my final day of competition, Eaker informed, "But God blessed me today to catch enough bass to win 2nd place

3rd place-(20 bass/36.2 lbs)-Two Time World BASS Classic qualifier, Todd Faircloth of Jasper, Texas, brought in 36-2 lbs for claiming his $37,000 3rd place position. Todd Faircloth fished mill-foil, hydrilla patches along timber-ridges with shad colored crank-baits and Lake Fork Tackle straight-tail "Twitch-Worms" to catch his 3rd place win. "I rigged the Lake Fork Tackle "Twitch-Worm" wacky style on a 2/0 Gamakatsu hook with a nail in the head, Todd Faircloth, informed the crowd. Todd Faircloth managed to come up from a 30th place day-1 position to claim his 3rd place prize.

In a "very moving" scene, led from the Bassmaster stage by Tyler TX, BASS/Pro, Jay Yelas, the huge tournament crowd stood up and sang rousing and heartfelt "God Bless America", which had event the most rugged Bassmaster wiping tears of pride, as during the entire run of this top-150 tournament American B-52 bombers were flying to and from nearby Barksdale Air Force Base to keep our Nation Free.

Top 10 Pros:
1-(20 bass/41-8)-Davy Hite/Prosperity SC------------------$110,000
2-(17 bass/36-4)-Guy Eaker/Cherryville NC----------------$48,000
3-(20 bass/36-2)-Todd Faircloth/Jasper TX-----------------$37,000
4-(20 bass/35-12)-Carl Maxfield/Summerville SC---------$36,000
5-(18 bass/35.0)-Pete Gluszek/Franklinville NJ------------$17,500
6-(19 bass/34-8)-Jeff Magee/Mendenhall MS--------------$12,000
7-(20 bass/33-14)-Roland Martin/Clewiston Fla-----------$10,000
8-(19 bass/32-6)-Frank Scalish/Cleveland OH-------------$8,000
9-(20 bass/31-6)-Jay Yelas/Tyler TX------------------------$7,000
10-(11 bass/30-10)-Rick Lillegard/Atkinson NH-----------$6,500

Big Bass
1-(4-10)-Art Ferguson/ St. Clair Shores, MI- $1,000
2-(5.03)-Jim Murray, Jr./Arabi, Ga.--------- --$1,000
3-(5-10)-Todd Auten/Lake Wylie, S.C.------- $1,000
4-(3.08)-Davy Hite/Prosperity, S.C.----------- $1,000
Tournament Bass Totals
Day #Limits #Fish Weight
1 9 49 95-07
2 8 45 89-08
3 9 47 91-04
4 8 43 71-03
34 184 347-06

All Bass recovered and live released by the Bassmaster fish recovery team.

For more information on the Bassmaster Tournament trail contact
B.A.S.S. Communications at (334) 272-9530.

Bassmaster Top-150 Tournament Trail Sponsors of the Louisiana CITGO BASSMASTER Tour event include: CITGO, Chevrolet Trucks, Mercury Marine, Yamaha Outboards, Triton Boats, Skeeter Boats, Lowrance Electronics, Pennzoil Marine, Flowmaster Exhaust Systems, Stowaway Batteries, Kumho Tires, Long John Silver's, Gore-Tex Outerwear, MotorGuide Trolling Motors, Bass Pro Shops, Armstrong Industrial Hand Tools, GMAC/ B.A.S.S. Vehicle & Boat Insurance, B.A.S.S. Platinum Visa/First USA, and the Top-150 Tournament Anglers.

Todd Faircloth taking 3rd place win with 20 bass/36-2 lbs

Davey Hite with Top-150 Championship Trophy

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Tournament MC Fish Fishburn "messin-with" 2nd place winner Guy Eaker

"The $110,000 Moment of Truth" as Davey Hite wins the BASS/Top-150

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