RAIN DAMPENS ANGLERS' HOPES ON LAKE GUNTERSVILLE
GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. - All season, CITGO Bassmaster Angler of the Year points leader Scott Suggs has looked forward to fishing the grass beds common on Lake Guntersville, site of the third stop on the CITGO Bassmaster Tour presented by Busch Beer, but after three days of practice Suggs thinks the tournament is going to be a bit tougher than he expected.
"It's been a different deal here," said Suggs, who lives in Arkansas. "I was looking so forward to coming here and doing my old thing. I've heard a lot about the grass beds here, but they're different. Techniques that I used down home don't really work here. It's been cold and the grass is 90 percent dead and it's tough to fish a bait in it; it sticks to everything.
"I've been hearing rumors of big sacks coming out of here. I only had two bites my first day, I got a 5- and a 6-pounder, but I had a really good day yesterday. I think I found a good area and modified my techniques a bit, so I feel really confident in what I plan to do."
Anglers' chief concern for the tournament, which starts Thursday, is the rain currently muddying the water. The forecast calls for a slight chance of continuing rain Thursday, and cloudy weather through the weekend.
Another angler who is trying to find confidence in his style is Kentucky's Mike Auten. Auten has been struggling to find a familiar rhythm on the fishery and is keeping one eye on the skies.
"I don't think there will be a lot of limits caught," Auten said. "I only caught two keepers today. I think if the rain stops and the sun would come out, then the water temperature would warm up and the fish will come up and feed. It's all still winter fishing here.
"If you do get a bite, it's going to be a good one. I think it will take around 15 pounds a day to make the cut, though."
The last time the BASS train pulled into the 69,100-acre Tennessee River impoundment, Texan Kelly Jordon was the big winner with 81 pounds, 11 ounces.
Fans can watch Auten, Suggs and the rest of the BASS anglers on Lake Guntersville in the ESPN2 telecast of "The CITGO Bassmasters" at 10:30 a.m. ET/9:30 a.m. CT on Saturday, March 6.
BASS is the world's largest fishing organization, sanctioning more than 20,000 tournaments worldwide through its Federation. This April, BASS introduces the all-new Bassmaster Elite 50 Series, a four-event, no-entry-fee circuit featuring a $1.6 million prize purse for the world's best anglers. The CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail presented by Busch Beer is the oldest and most prestigious pro bass-fishing tournament circuit and continues to set the standard for credibility, professionalism and sportsmanship as it has since 1968.
Sponsors of the CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail presented by Busch Beer include CITGO Petroleum Corp., Busch Beer, Purolator, Triton Boats, Skeeter Boats, Mercury Marine, Yamaha Outboards, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Lowrance Electronics, Flowmaster Exhaust Systems, MotorGuide, Bass Pro Shops, and BankOne.
Associate Sponsors include G3 Boats and Bryant Heating and Air Conditioning.
Local Sponsors include the City of Guntersville, State of Alabama Conservation Department, Marshall County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
For more information, contact BASS Communications at (334) 551-2375 or visit www.bassmaster.com.
Source: bassmaster.com (2004-02-25)