Elite 50 Anglers Still Have Opportunity to Crack Top-10 List

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Who’s in? Who’s out? Those are the questions among anglers as the Elite 50 Series, which is part of the CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail presented by Busch Beer, enters its final two days of qualifications for the BUSCH Shootout, the end-of-season championship tournament.

Anglers are competing this week at the final Elite 50 event in Paducah, Ky. on the Ohio, Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers. Two of the world’s top bass anglers, Denny Brauer and Ben Matsubu, are on the bubble as they wait to see if their one-day total weight catch will hold up in the qualifying portion of the $160,000 tournament (see full “BUSCH Shootout” standings attached).

“It looks like I’ll qualify based on the sacks I’ve seen here,” Brauer said. “I’ll really feel left out if I don’t get to be a part of the BUSCH Shootout. I think this is an awesome event and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it.”

Brauer currently ranks ninth on the “BUSCH Shootout” standings. Matsubu ranks tenth but he said he too is confident his BUSCH Heavyweight sack will hold.

“I like the 13 to one odds to win $100,000,” Matsubu said. “It’s really nerve-racking but if I get to fish in the BUSCH Shootout, I’ll be counting down the days like a kid waiting for Christmas.”

The all-expense-paid “BUSCH Shootout” championship tournament will take place on Sept. 18, with the 13 qualifying anglers taken to an undisclosed “mystery lake” in the United States where they will compete under a “modified showdown format” that will be announced only hours before the tournament. The angler with the largest catch of the day will collect a $100,000 grand prize and each of the other participating anglers will receive a check for $5,000 - creating a “Shootout” for the top honors and a chance for all participants to earn money. The “BUSCH Shootout” will be taped for television broadcast to air Sept. 25 on ESPN2, with three rebroadcasts to follow.

This is when the qualifying portion of the BUSCH Shootout gets really interesting,” said Jim Lukowski, brand manager, BUSCH and Natural families. “We’ve got a great field of champion anglers that will result in an exciting and competitive BUSCH Shootout this fall.”

BUSCH beer is the “Official Beer of BASS,” the presenting sponsor of the “CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail,” the “CITGO BASS Federation Championship,” the “CITGO Bassmaster Classic” and “The CITGO Bassmasters,” a weekly fishing show on ESPN2. BUSCH beer is committed to supporting BASS anglers across the country through its continued association with BASS, and its sponsorship of Denny Brauer, 14-time winner of the CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail presented by BUSCH beer and 1987 BASS Angler of the Year.

Introduced in 1955, BUSCH Beer quickly and steadily grew and is now the second-largest selling beer brand in the sub-premium category and is the sixth best-selling beer brand in the country (Natural Light is the best-selling beer in the subpremium category). BUSCH beer is brewed by Anheuser-Busch, Inc. Visit www.busch.com for more information.

Since Anheuser-Busch was founded in 1852, the company has been dedicated to preserving the environment and conserving natural resources.

Based in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. is the leading U.S. brewer and holds a 50 percent share in Grupo Modelo, Mexico’s leading brewer. In a survey of 10,000 business leaders and securities analysts, Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. ranked first overall in quality of products and services among nearly 600 companies researched in FORTUNE magazine’s 2004 “America’s Most Admired Companies” listing. The company also is one of the largest theme park operators in the United States, is a major manufacturer of aluminum cans and is the world’s largest recycler of aluminum beverage containers. For more information, visit www.anheuser-busch.com.

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 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.

For more information, contact BASS Communications at (334) 551-2375 or visit www.bassmaster.com.