Lakecaster Online

Tournament Pathfinder
by John Presley

The season opener of the Citgo Bassmaster Pro Tour was at the Harris Chain of Lakes in Leesburg, FL on January 9-12. This event is the first of 10 tournaments of the pro tour season. It is the debut of the Bassmaster Showdown format. In the four Bassmaster Showdown events this season pro anglers must make the cut to 12 after the first two days of competition. For the third day, their weights are cleared and they fish a links-style series of fishing holes with a set amount of time on each location. Also on the third day the top twelve amateurs compete for their final day of the tournament. At this tournament the final days of the tournament will be fished on Lake Yale which was off limits on the first two days. There was six locations and two anglers will fish every hole for one hour and 10 minutes each. On the final day of the tournament the field will be cut again to the "Super Six" who will carry their weights into payday. After the first day Jim Bitter of Fruitland Park, FL was in first with five fish that weighed 13-11, second place was Mark Menendez of Paducah, KY with five fish that weighed 11-15, third place was Chris Price of Church Hill, MD with three fish that weighed 10-14. After second day, Skeet Reese of Auburn, CA who was in tenth place moved to first with 10 fish 21-10, second place was Mark Menendez with 10 fish 20-05, third place was Jason Barber with 6 fish 19-00, fourth place was Mike Wurm of Hot Springs, AR with 9 fish 18-10, fifth place was David Walker of Sevierville, TN with 8 fish 16-09, sixth place was Mike O'Shea of Thousand Oaks, CA with 7 fish 15-12, seventh place was Woo Daves of Spring Grove, VA with 7 fish 15-09, eighth place was Brian Snowden of Springfield, MO with 7 fish 15-07, ninth place was Ishama Monroe of Patterson, CA with 9 fish 15-04, tenth place was the first day leader Jim Bitter with 6 fish 14-09, eleventh place was Eric Nethery of Acworth, GA with 8 fish 14-03 and twelfth place was Gerald Swindle of Hayden, AL with 7 fish 14-02. These twelve anglers weighs will start at zero to compete in the third day of competition at Lake Yale. After the third day David Walker was in first place on the pro division with 5 fish 11-05, second place was Gerald Swindle with 5 fish 8-10, third place was Woo Daves with 4 fish 7-12, fourth place was Jason Barber with 5 fish 7-04, fifth place was Jim Bitter with 4 fish 6-14, and making the final spot for day four was Skeet Reese with 5 fish 5-13. The top money winning amateurs after day 3 were: first place was Aaron Jakub with 4 fish 7-14 good for $36,000, second place Ron Montgomery with 2 fish 3-00 good for $35.000, and third place Bill Logsdon with 2 fish 2-11 good for $14,000.

On the fourth and final day of the tournament Skeet Reese had a total of 10 fish 15-02 good for $100,000, second place was David Walker with 8 fish 14-11 good for $38,000, third place was Jason Barber with 8 fish 13-08 good for $23,000, fourth place of Gerald Swindle with 7 fish 12-15 good for $20,000, fifth place of Woo Daves with 7 fish 12-08 good for $17,000 and sixth place was Jim Bitter with 8 fish 11-00 good for $14,000.

The next tournament will be held on January 16-19 at Lake Okeechobee in Okeechobee, Florida. This is Florida's largest lake at 467,000 acres. Located in far south Florida between West Palm Beach and Fort Myers.

In January at some of the boat shows you may have seen some of the new Lowrance sonar and GPS mapping units that are new for 2003. Some include the X47 a 168x132 pixel unit with 800 watts peak to peak power with a 200 kHz transducer with built in temp readings and a new quick-release mount. This unit has a great picture, power and is priced very affordable. The X58 is also a new unit this year it has 1500 watts of power and is 240 x160 pixels. It has a dual- frequency transducer plus temp speed and distance readings. The two new units that will be used the most by bass fisherman are the new X87 and X97. The X87 is a great LCD sonar performer at a great price with a super sharp picture 320x320 pixel and 1500 watts of peak to peak power. The X87 has a 200khz Skimmer transducer with built-in water surface temp sensor and the unit also has a flasher mode. The X97 is highly recommended for the most serious angler it has 320x320 pixels for a high resolution picture and 3000 watts peak to peak power. If you would like more info on these new units and others new for 2003 just click on Lowrance.Com or call 1- 800-324-1356. By the way, when I am not fishing tournaments, I am a full-time fishing guide on Lake Sam Rayburn. If you would like to book a trip please call me at 409-698-9713 or Ann's Tackle Shop at 409-384-7685. Or e-mail me at JOHN@SAMRAYBURNFISHING.COM. or check out my website at SAMRAYBURNFISHING.COM.

Good Luck and Good Fishing.

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