CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Sixty-six young anglers from 42 states and Canada are just a week away from dropping a line in competition at the Junior Bassmasters World Championship, July 26th on Charlotte's Lake Norman.

The two divisions, 11-14 and 15-18, will be competing for a share of over $25,000 in scholarships and prizes.

"I'm a bit nervous, but excited that the first Junior Bassmaster World Championship is almost upon us," said BASS Youth Manager Stacy Twiggs. "The Federation, its membership and the state Youth Directors, with regard to their supportive efforts in this endeavor, have been fantastic. The pro anglers have embraced this dynamic program as well and they will bridge a generation gap."

BASS sponsor Purolator, maker of the official oil and air filters of BASS, has stepped up big for the youth world championship. Purolator will award an additional $1,000 scholarship for the competitor in each age group who catches the Purolator Big Bass of the Tournament.

"I'm delighted that Purolator has partnered with BASS to preserve the future of the sport, not only through conservation, but through education," Twiggs said.

Monika McCarrick, 13, qualified to compete in the world championship from her local bass club, the Carolina Bassers, where she has competed for the last three years. McCarrick, one of two youth anglers competing in their home state, said she is thrilled by the opportunity.

"I'm pretty excited," she said. "I like to throw a spinnerbait, mostly. I really don't catch all that many, but I try. I really like fishing wood and trees when they pop out of the water. Sometimes I like fishing docks, too.

Mc Carrick hopes to fish with fellow Tar Heel Marty Stone, who is one of her favorite pros.

Another angler who is chomping at the bit to get on Lake Norman is Oklahoma pro Edwin Evers. Evers will be participating with the Junior Bassmasters as a mentor and boat driver for the World Championship and also a partner for the practice day pro-am tournament.

"I'm really looking forward to it. It's an awesome deal and I am really excited," Evers said. "It would have been huge to have this when I was growing up. If I would have had the chance to go fishing with Rick Clunn or Mark Davis, that would have been great."

Competition for the Junior Bassmasters World Championship begins Monday, July 26 on North Carolina's Lake Norman. Launch will begin at 7 a.m. at Blythe Landing. Weigh-in will be at Blythe Landing as well beginning at 2 p.m. The young anglers will also partner with the pro anglers competing in the Classic during a practice day pro-am competition on Sunday, July 25.

BASS is the world's largest fishing organization, sanctioning more than 20,000 tournaments worldwide through its Federation. The CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail presented by Busch Beer, which includes the all-new Bassmaster Elite 50 series, is the oldest and most prestigious pro bass fishing tournament circuit and continues to set the standard for credibility, professionalism and sportsmanship as it has since 1968.

Sponsors of the CITGO Bassmaster Classic presented by Busch Beer include CITGO Petroleum Corp., Busch Beer, Purolator, Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Lowrance Electronics, Flowmaster Exhaust Systems, MotorGuide, Bass Pro Shops, and BankOne.

Local Sponsors include the Charlotte Regional Sports Commission, Visit Charlotte, the Auditorium-Coliseum-Convention Center Authority, the Rock Hill Sports and Tourism Council and Time Warner Cable.