Anglers find bite small so far

What's at stake: $601,400 in cash to the top 25 pros, including $250,000 to the champion.

Telecast: Tournament coverage of the Bassmaster Memorial presented by Evan Williams Bourbon will be featured on ESPN2 at 9 a.m. ET Saturday, Aug. 4, on The Bassmasters. Additionally, live, streaming video of the weigh-ins and real-time leaderboards can be accessed on www.ESPNOutdoors.com. On the final day of competition, www.ESPNOutdoors.com will provide updates throughout the day and preview the final-day weigh-in with Hooked Up, hosted by Tommy Sanders and ESPN2 Outdoors personality Mark Zona.

The Pros said it
"The practice has been decent so far. I'm catching a lot of fish, but I just hope that they're all the right size during the tournament. I haven't keyed in on a specific pattern yet. You've got fish that are shallow, deep and everywhere in between. To do well I think you're going to have to move around and fish both deep and shallow areas."

— Bill Lowen, 32, North Bend, Ohio, one-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier, 41st in combined Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings for 2006 and 2007

"I fished Oneida Lake last year and it was quite good. I was able to catch them a lot of different ways, but this year it's a little tougher. I'm catching fewer and smaller fish, and the biggest bass have been around 2 ½ pounds. I just haven't quite figured it out — how to catch the big ones. But, I'm looking forward to it. I've waited all year to come back, because it's a nice little lake to fish."

— John Murray, 42, Phoenix, four-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier 10th in combined Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings for 2006 and 2007

"Practice has been really good and I've been catching a lot of fish. I feel like I'm going to do pretty well in the tournament. I don't know whether it's just excitement about the Bassmaster Memorial, since I won last year, but I feel very open-minded and I'm not fishing under pressure. I feel very relaxed and confident that I have a good shot at making the top-12 cut. I think everyone is going to have an opportunity to catch a lot of fish, but it will be who can catch the bigger bass."

— Peter Thliveros, 47, St. Augustine, Fla., 11-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier and defending 2006 Bassmaster Memorial champion

The Strategy
Lowen: The Buckeye estimates 14 to 15 pounds a day will be enough to make the top 12 to advance to Onondaga Lake for the final two days of competition. With water levels lower than last year, Lowen feels that smallmouth will be a bigger factor in this year's tournament. He will be using a variety of reaction baits to get his limit each day.

Murray: He is fishing a variety of patterns, concentrating on both largemouth and smallmouth bass. For largemouth, he is flipping into grass, and for the smallmouth bite he is using a drop-shot rig on outside reefs. He has found several locations both far from and near the launch site and estimates 15 pounds a day will be needed to make the cut to the top 12.

Thliveros: The Floridian will be using a variety of patterns to catch both largemouth and smallmouth bass, but says he is relying on one particular pattern more heavily to produce better numbers and better sized fish. He is fishing slowly, using a variety of soft-plastic lures. He estimates that 15 to 16 pounds a day will be needed to make the top 12.

Location and Field
Bassmaster American
Oneida Lake: Days 1 & 2
Onondaga Lake: Days 3 & 4
Syracuse, NY
July 26-29, 2007


51 pro anglers
Cut to top 12 after Day 2
Cut to top 6 after Day 3

Days 1 & 2
Oneida Shores County Park
9400 Bartell Rd.
Brewerton, N.Y.
8 a.m. ET

Days 3 & 4
Onondaga Lake Park
106 Lake Drive
Liverpool, N.Y.
9 a.m. ET

Onondaga Lake Park
106 Lake Drive
Liverpool, N.Y.
6 p.m. ET

Previous BASS Events on Oneida Lake:
2006, ESPN Outdoors Bassmaster Series
2006, Bassmaster Elite Series Empire Chase
2005, CITGO Bassmaster Northern Open
2003 CITGO Bassmaster Northern Open

Previous winners on lake
15-12, Aaron Wessels, 2006
63-10, Tommy Biffle, 2006
44-14, Joey Rodrigues, 2005
32-9 Art Ferguson, 2003

Highest Winning Weight:
63-10, Tommy Biffle, 2006

Lowest winning weight
15-12, Aaron Wessels, 2006

Editor's note: Check in each day for live video of the weigh-in and the realtime leaderboard at 6 p.m. ET. There will be a special Hooked Up show at 10 a.m. ET Saturday, with tournament updates Sunday at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and noon ET. The Hooked Up show begins at 5 p.m. Sunday and leads into the live final weigh-in.

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