Mt. CLEMENS, Mich. When he only caught six fish in practice, Indiana pro Chip Harrison didn't expect much success in the Michigan CITGO BASSMASTER Tour event being held on Lake St. Clair. However, after catching 17 pounds, four ounces on Thursday, he finds himself in the lead heading into day three.
"The spot I’m fishing is better than I ever dreamed," said Harrison, who leads second place Scott Rook by a mere 12 ounces. "There are so many fish in the spot that it is no science project to catch them. I know I can catch five tomorrow."
With the competition extremely tight heading into day three less than three pounds separates the top 10 positions the anglers will be attempting to qualify for the lucrative top 10 carryover positions for Saturday's final round. The 10 pros who make it into Saturday's finals will be vying for a top prize of $110,000.
Arkansas's Rook is second with 32-15 followed by fellow Arkansan Larry Nixon, 32-9. Kentucky's Kevin Wirth holds fourth at 32-2 and South Carolina pro Davy Hite moved to fifth with 32-1.
Rook is one of several anglers making the long run to Lake Erie where he is fishing green Mizmo tubes weighing as much as 3/4 ounce.
"I can win this thing, but I can't afford to lose a fish," said Rook, who recently finished second in the BASS Masters Classic. "I lost one in the Classic and it cost me; I can't afford to do that here."
Day one leader Kenyon Hill slipped to sixth place after only bringing in 12-14.
"One spot hasn't produced as well as I thought it would," said Hill. "In general, there aren't a lot of bites, but the ones I'm getting are good ones."
Nixon took big bass honors and the $1,000 bonus on the pro side with a 4-15 smallmouth and Tim Bertram of Morgantown, Ind., claimed the amateur big bass with 5-1.
Steve Kline of Fort Wayne, Ind., moved from third place into the lead in the amateur division with a two day total of 24-13.
Anglers in the event are competing for a share of an overall purse of $478,000.
Daily weigh-ins take place at Metro Beach Metropark beginning at 3 p.m. Anglers launch beginning at 6:20 a.m. The field will be cut to the top 10 pros for Saturday's final day of competition.
Additionally, a free CastingKids event, presented by Chevy Trucks and CITGO, will be held there Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. This fun-filled national program encourages children to perfect the skills of casting, pitching and flipping. Local B.A.S.S. clubs conduct the events and provide instruction to all youngsters.
By sanctioning over 20,000 tournaments worldwide, B.A.S.S. is the world's largest fishing organization. The CITGO BASSMASTER Tournament Trail is the oldest and most prestigious pro bass fishing tournament circuit. It continues to set the standard for credibility, professionalism, and sportsmanship after more than three decades. B.A.S.S. is a wholly owned subsidiary of ESPN.
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For more information contact: B.A.S.S. Communications at (334) 272-9530.