Second Major Poised To Launch

2004 Classic lake plays host of the lucrative Bassmaster American, with a $250,000 top prize and same-day television coverage on ESPN2

Editor's Note: ESPN2 is providing same-day coverage of the Bassmaster American presented by Advance Auto Parts on Sunday, July 30 at 7 p.m. ET. Tune in to see who wins the second Bassmaster Major and takes home the $250,000 top prize.What's at stake: $601,400 in cash to the top 25 pros, including $250,000 to the champion as well as the Bryan Kerchal American trophy.

 Telecast: ESPN2 will provide same-day coverage of a regular-season BASS event. Coverage of the on-the-water action and weigh-in at Cricket Arena can be seen on Sunday, July 30 at 7 p.m. ET., on ESPN2.

 ESPN2 will re-air tournament coverage on Saturday, Aug. 5, at 10 a.m. ET.

 The Pros Said It

 The fishing is going to be tough, but guys will be able to catch them either shallow or deep. Right now, the fish are relating to the shad which are tightly clustered. It's going to be situational as far as presentation goes and I expect there will be a lot of junk fishing." — Bernie Schultz, 51, Gainesville, Fla., seven-time CITGO Bassmaster Classic qualifier.

 "My earlier weight predictions were way too high, and after practicing, I am going to have to say that 33 pounds would be a good number over four days. The area just experienced some heavy rain and for some reason, the fish aren't biting that much. To be successful, I will have to find a unique area with little boat pressure, fill my deck with a variety of rods and lures and hope to find the right combination." — Guy Eaker, 66, Cherryville, N.C., a 10-time CITGO Bassmaster Classic qualifier.

 "Right now, there are just not a lot of fish that are biting. The water is dirty and is lower than normal and that makes for a tough, summertime bite. I am going to use my practice time to cover a lot of territory and hopefully find some shallow areas to catch some fish." — Kenyon Hill, who will turn 42 on Thursday, Norman, Okla., two-time BASS winner.

 "The fish are located both on the banks and offshore. I have found some schooling fish and I can see a ton of baitfish, so I am optimistic. It should be a tough tournament, but that suits me just fine." — Charlie Hartley, 41, Grove City, Ohio, currently ranked in 61st on the Bassmaster Elite Series Power Index.

 The Strategy

 Schultz: The Florida angler has found some areas he is optimistic about, but has yet to find the right lure that will entice quality-sized bass. Schultz isn't sure if the better fish are located deep or shallow and will spend the remainder of his practice time trying to locate the right depth. He believes if he catches 8 pounds a day, he will make a check, which is his goal at this event.

 Eaker: The Cherryville, N.C., resident has a distinct advantage as the experienced angler has previously fished Lake Wylie. He is concerned with the boat traffic on most of his productive crank bait spots and will attempt to find new water away from the crowds. Right now, he characterizes the fishery as "very tough", and he is well-prepared with a deck full of rods.

 Hill: Agreeing with former Lake Wylie guide Jason Quinn, Hill estimates that 9 pounds a day will be enough to make the top 12 cut on Saturday. Hill is currently keying in on water of 10 feet or less, throwing a variety of different lures.

 Hartley: Hartley believes anglers can find keeper fish in any depth of water. This is the first time he has visited Lake Wylie and despite his inexperience, he is excited to fish the American. He has located some schooling fish and believes that finding the lures that imitate the primary baitfish (shad) will be the key to making the cut.

 Location and Field

 Bassmaster American presented by Advance Auto Parts

 

Lake Wylie

 

Charlotte, N.C.

 

July 27-30

 

Field

 

55 pro anglers

 

Cut to top 12 after Day 2

 

Cut to top 6 after Day 3

 

Launch

 

Copperhead Island

 

15200 Soldier Road

 

Southwest Park District

 

Charlotte, NC 28278

 

6:50 a.m. ET.

 

Weigh-in

 

Cricket Arena

 

2700 East Independence Blvd.

 

Charlotte, NC 28205

 

3:00 p.m. ET

 

Background

 

Previous BASS Events

 

2005 ESPN Outdoors Bassmaster Series

 

2004 CITGO Bassmaster Classic

 

1982 South Carolina Invitational

 

Previous winners on lake

 

15-9, Jimmy Drum, 2005

 

39-2, Takahiro Omori, 2004

 

54-2, Billy Noah, 1982

 

Heaviest winning weight

 

54-2, Billy Noah, 1982

 

Lowest winning weight

 

15-9, Jimmy Drum, 2005

 

Weather

 

Temperature

 

79 degrees

 

Lake level

 

552.3 ft. above mean sea level

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