Second Bassmaster Major, Site of the 2004 CITGO Bassmaster Classic, Offers $250,000 Top Prize

CELEBRATION, Fla. – With the conclusion of this week’s CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series’ Champion’s Choice in New York, BASS has finalized the 55-angler field for the second Bassmaster Major, the Bassmaster American presented by Advance Auto Parts, on Lake Wylie in Charlotte, N.C., July 27-30.

Going into the Champion’s Choice - the ninth Elite Series event of the season - only three anglers had cemented their status as Majors participants: 2005 CITGO Bassmaster Classic champ Kevin VanDam, 2005 CITGO Bassmaster Angler of the Year Aaron Martens and 2005 Toyota Rookie of the Year Dave Wolak, who qualified on the merit of their previous achievements.

Now the complete field is highlighted by four foreign nationals in the no-entry fee, high stakes tournament, including 2004 CITGO Bassmaster Classic champion Takahiro Omori. Joining him are fellow Japanese anglers Morizo Shimizu (37th); Kotaro Kiriyama (38th); and Yusuke Miyazaki (39th), based on their three-year combined CITGO Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings.

Omori’s sole Classic win came on Lake Wylie two years ago. Held at a similar time as the Major, Omori said the lake could produce familiar results, but he will be mindful to not rely on old patterns and instead, look for new water.

“Every time, the fish can be totally different,” said Omori, who qualified by being 10th on BASS’ list of all-time active money winners. “I need to approach it like a brand new tournament and stay calm.”

Peter Thliveros of Jacksonville , Fla., won the first Major and now qualifies for the Bassmaster American by being BASS’ sixth all-time active money winner. With the excitement of a historic win, Thliveros is prepared for a back-to-back performance. “It was an incredible feeling to win the first Major,” he said.

Anglers will fish both the north and south ends of Lake Wylie on Days 1 and 2 and then fish a marked off, six-hole course on Wylie’s mid-lake area on Days 3 and 4. Anglers also will fish from their own wrapped boats on all four days of competition, offering unmatched exposure for their sponsors and individual brands.

Forty anglers qualified for the Bassmaster American based on three-year combined Angler of the Year standings. Also qualifying are the top 10 active anglers from the BASS all-time money list. Once again, Steve Kennedy is currently leading the Toyota Rookie of the Year race and qualifies as well. Also qualifying under an exemption is Mark Menendez.

The American is in honor of the late Bryan Kerchal - BASS’ first and only Federation Nation angler to win the coveted CITGO Bassmaster Classic.

A complete list of qualifying anglers is below.

Additionally, will have complete coverage, a real-time leaderboard, live video of the weigh-ins and on-the-water live chats with anglers powered by Mobile ESPN.

Daily tournament launches begin at 6:50 a.m. and weigh-ins begin at 3 p.m. ET, July 27-30. The final day’s weigh-in will include same-day coverage on ESPN2, July 30 at 7 p.m. ET.


2005 Classic Champion: Kevin VanDam
2005 Angler of the Year: Aaron Martens
2005 Rookie of the Year: David Wolak
2006 Rookie of the Year Leader: Steve Kennedy
Previous Announcement: Mark Menendez

Top 10 All Time Money
Place Angler Name Winnings
1. Denny Brauer $2,077,751.71
2. Rick Clunn $1,761,244.53
3. Gary Klein $1,417,774.97
4. Shaw Grigsby, Jr $1,338,505.23
5. Davy Hite $1,246,400.00
6. Peter Thliveros $1,191,439.00
7. Zell Rowland $1,079,265.90
8. Michael Iaconelli $1,046,579.00
9. Tommy Biffle $1,027,478.80
10. Takahiro Omori $988,593.00

Top 40 2004, 2005, 2006 Angler of the Year Combined Standings
Place Angler Name Total
1. Greg Hackney 17
2. Skeet Reese 31
3. Edwin Evers 50
4. Kevin Wirth 51
5. Timmy Horton 58
6. Gerald Swindle 68
7. Terry Scroggins 74
8. Mark Tucker 78
9. Marty Stone 81
10. Brent Chapman 87
11. Kelly Jordon 89
12. Jason Quinn 91
12. Bernie Schultz 91
12. Dean Rojas 91
15. Lee Bailey 104
16. Scott Rook 116
17. Jeff Reynolds 123
18. Ishama Monroe 131
19. John Crews 135
20. Brian Snowden 136
21. Alton Jones 137
22. Mike McClelland 138
23. Matt Reed 146
24. Mike Wurm 147
24. Jeff Kriet 147
24. Paul Elias 147
27. Jimmy Mize 150
28. Chad Brauer 157
29. Mark Tyler 162
30. Randy Howell 168
31. Kenyon Hill 169
32. Mike Reynolds 175
33. Guy Eaker 190
34. John Murray 191
35. Todd Faircloth 197
36. Charlie Hartley 201
37. Morizo Shimizu 216
38. Kotaro Kiriyama 238
39. Yusuke Miyazaki 243
40. Stephen Browning 246

Local sponsors include the Charlotte Regional Sports Commission.

Sponsors of the Bassmaster Majors include CITGO Petroleum Corp., Toyota, Busch Beer, Purolator, Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Berkley, Lowrance Electronics, MotorGuide, Advance Auto Parts and Theraseed®.

BASS is the worldwide authority on bass fishing, sanctioning more than 20,000 events through the BASS Federation Nation annually. Guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans, BASS sets the standard for credibility, professionalism, sportsmanship and conservation, as it has for nearly 40 years.

BASS stages bass fishing tournaments for every skill level and culminates with the CITGO Bassmaster Classic. Through its clubs, youth programs, aquatic resource advocacy, magazine publishing and multimedia platforms, BASS offers the industry's widest array of services and support to its nearly 550,000 members. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.

For more information, contact BASS Communications at (407) 566-2208 or visit