2004 Bassmaster Classic: Practice

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The official practice period for the CITGO Bassmaster Classic presented by Busch Beer wraps up Friday and the anglers who will be competing in the world championship event are predicting big things for the July 30-Aug. 1 tournament.

"The fish are biting really well," said Lake Wylie resident and South Carolina pro Jason Quinn. "It's going to change a lot between now and the Classic, though.

"We've had a lot of rain, and we have more coming this direction, so we'll have to see what happens. The water is really stained right now and a lot of the fish are shallow.

"The lake is extremely high, but things will change between now and then. I'm out there to do one thing and that's catch fish."

One of the season's hottest anglers Greg Hackney of Louisiana agrees. The BASS Rookie of the Year has big expectations for the lake later this month.

"I think it's going to be really interesting," Hackney said. "The conditions are off a little now than they will be when we come back here for the tournament, but I really expect it to be good.

"I expect the water to fall a good foot to a foot and a half. I also think the water temperature will heat up another 10 degrees.

"There is a lot of stuff to fish, a lot of wood and a lot of docks. I think the fish are going to go big, too. I think that you're going to see bigger weights this year than you have in the past two or three years."

The competition is July 30-Aug. 1 in Charlotte, N.C. Fans can view live coverage of the CITGO Bassmaster Classic presented by Busch Beer on ESPN and ESPN2.