2006 Elite Series - Pride of Augusta Clarks Hill Reservoir - Columbia County, GA, May 4 - 7, 2006

Elite Series rolls into Georgia

What's at stake: $673,150 in cash to the top 50 Elite pros and valuable points towards qualifying in the Bassmaster Majors, CITGO Bassmaster Classic 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 "Pride of Augusta Presented by Lowrance" will be aired on The CITGO Bassmasters May 13 at 10 a.m. ET on ESPN2.

 The pros said it

 "There will be a wide variety of patterns that guys will be fishing. I would say about 90 percent of the fish are in a post-spawn phase making this tournament a bit different than the first four." — John Crews, 27, Salem, Va., currently ranked seventh on the Bassmaster Elite Series Power Index

 "The best way I can explain it is that it's a mixed bag out here and there is no telling what could develop as the dominant pattern. The fish are in all three stages and I have even located a few nice fish on beds, but to be honest, it is kind of a crapshoot right now." — Ish Monroe, 31, Hughson, Calif., winner of the first-ever Elite Series event, the Battle on the Border presented by Mercury Marine and ranked 14th on the Bassmaster Elite Series Power Index

 "This is a monster lake and there are a ton of places to fish. I am using my practice time trash-fishing a number of different baits. I finished in the top 25 last year, but this lake really doesn't suit my style of fishing." — Aaron Martens, 33, Leeds, Ala., 2005 CITGO Bassmaster Angler of the Year and currently ranked fifth on the Bassmaster Elite Series Power Index

 "If I don't catch them in the morning, there is no way I will make the cut. I got to say though that I am really starting to get used to these big-weight tournaments and really enjoy them." — Bill Lowen, 31, Cincinnati, Ohio, currently ranked second in the Toyota Rookie of the Year standings

 The strategy

 Crews: The Virginia Elite angler has yet to pinpoint a go-to lure on the spacious lake. He emphasized that the tournament will not be won on a sight-fishing pattern and believes that 60 pounds over four days should be enough to win.

 Monroe: An accomplished sight-fisherman, Monroe is still attempting to locate bedding bass and has reported locating a few bass in the 6-to-7 pound range. The fish are in all three stages he said and although he indicated that he prefers to throw top-water baits early in the morning, he stressed that variety and adaptability will be key factors in this tournament.

 Martens: Martens has found the early-morning top-water bite like most of the other anglers. He is throwing a number of different lures in the afternoon- including crankbaits and reaction baits- hoping to find the right pattern to sustain the early-morning onslaught.

 Lowen: Lowen reported finding a few productive areas although he largely has left them untouched for the tournament, he said. The Elite Series rookie also indicated that he believes the winning weight will be around 80 pounds.

 Location and field

 Pride of Augusta Presented by Lowrance - CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series

 Clarks Hill Lake at Columbia County

 Columbia County, Ga.

 May 4-7

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