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Friday, December 29, 2006
Practice wraps at Legends

BASS Communications — Aug. 23, 2006

What's at stake: $601,400 in cash to the top 25 pros, including $250,000 to the champion as well as the Ray Scott Legends trophy.

Telecast: The CITGO Bassmasters will air all of the on-the-water action from the final day of competition on ESPN2 Saturday, Sept. 2 at 10 a.m. ET.

The Pros Said It

"The fishing is and will be very tough. It's a struggle to piece together a limit with the heat and no current, but you will see some fish caught. The bass are looking for easy meals and the shad provide that, so presenting light baits that mimic the shad should lead to some keeper bites." — Scott Rook, 45, Little Rock, Ark., one of six Arkansas anglers in the field.

"Whoever wins this tournament will certainly earn it. It will be a true test for someone to put together consistent days of catching fish at this time of year. But it's all about relating to the baitfish and I feel I can get five to six quality bites. From there, it's just a matter of me putting them in the boat." — Kevin Short, 44, Mayflower, Ark. Short qualified for his first Bassmaster Major on the strength of a sixth-place finish at the Capitol Clash presented by BUSCH Beer.

"I haven't caught a keeper during practice. I am still exploring, however, and I do see a few promising areas. There is a lot of activity and a lot of good-looking water, but I will have to capitalize on the morning bite to do well in this tournament - something I have not yet figured out how to do." — Dave Wolak, 29, winner of the second Bassmaster Major in July — the Bassmaster American presented by Advance Auto Parts.

"I'm mixing it up a little — flipping, throwing a crankbait and testing out a few topwater baits. There is a ton of shad balled up in certain areas of the river and the key will be relating to those baitfish." — Dean Rojas, 35, fourth on the Bassmaster Elite Series Power Index and third in the CITGO Bassamster Angler of the Year race.

The Strategy

Rook: Rook has caught a number of small fish but has yet to hit many of the key places he believes contain fish. The hometown favorite prefers a run-and-gun style as he attempts to locate active fish. He believes that 10 pounds a day will be enough to qualify for the top-12 cut on Saturday.

Short: Short, who plans to sleep in his own bed in Mayflower, Ark., throughout the tournament, loves the hot weather right now. Short is aided by his wealth of knowledge after having fished the Arkansas River hundreds of times. Considering the conditions, 18 pounds over two days should be enough to make the top-12 cut, according to Short, and he is confident he can accomplish it.

Wolak: Wolak was very blunt about his practice — characterizing it as a "struggle." Though he has yet to locate a quality pattern, he will spend the rest of his practice locating quality areas with active fish.

Rojas: Rojas described the fishery as "slow." He has located a ton of baitfish — much like the majority of the field — and will use a variety of lures to try to entice the bigger bass. While Rojas has struggled in practice, he feels the rest of the field has had a similar experience and still feels he can compete — and show up — in the final Major of the season.

Location and Field

Bassmaster Legends presented by Goodyear
Arkansas River
Little Rock, Ark.
Aug. 24-27

Field
55 pro anglers
Cut to top 12 after Day 2
Cut to top 6 after Day 3

Launch
North River Landing
100 Locust Street
North Little Rock, Ark. 72114
6:50 a.m. CT

Weigh-in
Statehouse Convention Center
100 E. Markham
#1 Stateside Plaza
Little Rock, Ark. 72201
3 p.m. CT

Background

Previous BASS events
1996 Bassmaster Invitational
1995 Bassmaster Invitational
1985 CITGO Bassmaster Classic
1984 CITGO Bassmaster Classic

Previous winners on lake
25-2, Mike McClelland, 1996
42-7, Ron Shuffield, 1995
45-0, Jack Chancellor, 1985
75-9, Rick Clunn, 1984

Heaviest winning weight
75-9, Rick Clunn, 1984

Lowest winning weight
25-2, Mike McClelland, 1996

Weather

Temperature
83 degrees

River level
Pool 4- 196.18 ft. above mean sea level
Pool 5- 213.83 ft. above mean sea level
Pool 6- 213.70 ft. above mean sea level
Pool 7- 249.96 ft. above mean sea level
Pool 8- 265.31 ft. above mean sea level