90 Anglers Vie for 5 CITGO Bassmaster Classic Spots

CELEBRATION, Fla. – In less than two weeks, 90 anglers searching for a spot in the 2006 CITGO Bassmasster Classic will converge on the Alabama River in Prattville, Ala., for their chance for a berth through the 2005 CITGO Bassmaster Open Championship.

The anglers – the top 25 in the points standings in the Northern, Southern and Central Open and the top 15 from the Western Open – will compete Dec. 1-4 for five berths into the Classic.

While a handful of well-known BASS anglers are competing, including Texans Gary Klein, Takahiro Omori and Arizona’s John Murray, some anglers say the championship will be anyone’s game. “If the conditions work to their favor, any of these anglers could be really good,” said Chad Brauer of Osage Beach, Mo., a two-time Classic qualifier and 2006 CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series angler.

Others, like Jim Davis of San Jose, Calif., are simply excited to compete. “When you get an opportunity like this, it's more than just exciting,” said Davis, who finished second in the Western Open points standings. “To fish with and against this country's best anglers is an opportunity that does not come along that many times.”

Down in the Southern Opens, Alabama's Mark Rizk – who took second place in the 2000 CITGO Bassmaster Classic and hasn’t qualified since – is hoping to use his Open momentum to get back into the year’s most important tournament. “I don't have much experience on the river,” said Rizk, “but I'm very good at catching spotted bass. Confidence means a lot.”

Oklahoma’s Jeff Kreit, a 2006 CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series angler who fished the Central Opens, already earned his berth into the Classic with his performance on the 2005 CITGO Bassmaster Tour, but is still looking for a challenge on the Alabama River. “I have no idea what it’s going to look like out there,” he said, “but I am looking forward to it.”

Ken Cook, who hasn’t qualified for the Classic since 1999, said the Open Championship is offering him a road to the Super Bowl of bass fishing again. “I want another peak in my career before I retire,” said the Elite Series angler who qualified through the Northern Opens. “I’m not ready to go yet and I feel like the championship gives me a shot to continue building my career towards the Classic and Elite Series.”

Last year’s championship winner, Bradley Stringer of Huntington, Texas, just missed the cut this year. Stringer was in 26th place in the Central Open standings.

Non-boaters in the Open Championship are competing for five berths into their choice of the CITGO Bassmaster Northern or Southern Tours as well as a Triton boat and Mercury motor valued at nearly $40,000 for the top winner. The top non-boater also gets $40,000 Triton/Mercury package.

BASS is retiring the Opens next year and instead offering the CITGO Bassmaster Northern and Southern Tours. The former Tour is being replaced by the CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series and is reserved for the world’s top anglers.

BASS is the worldwide authority on bass fishing, sanctioning more than 20,000 events through the BASS Federation 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

2005 CITGO Bassmaster Open Championship Field - Boater

From the Central Opens
David Wharton Texas
Jeff Kriet Okla.
Gary Klein Texas
Terry Butcher Okla.
Jeremy Guidry La.
Tommy Martin Texas
Ben Matsubu Texas
Mike McClelland Ark.
Matt Reed Texas
Conrad Picou La.
Jeff Magee Miss.
Paul Ferguson Texas
Craig Dowling La.
Steve Kennedy Ala.
Jeff Connella La.
Cliff Pace Miss.
Tony Chachere La.
Jeff Buchanan Texas
Chad Brauer Mo.
Doug Garrett Ark.
Doc Seger Mo.
Brad Hallman Okla.
Homer Humphreys, Jr La.
Randy Dearman Texas
Takahiro Omori Texas

From the Northern Opens
Mike Desforges Canada
Rodney Sorrell N.C.
David Smith Okla.
Frank Scalish Ohio
Rick Morris Va.
Paul Hirosky Pa.
Shinichi Fukae Texas
Lawren Wetzel Canada
Chris Daves Va.
Joey Rodrigues Conn.
Jami Norman Ohio
Ken Cook Okla.
Steven Clapper Ohio
Jon Bondy Canada
Ed Allen Ohio
Justin Riley Md.
Ryan Hawthorne Conn.
Jamie Fabian Ohio
Doc Merkin Ill.
Darrin Schwenkbeck Md.
Ken Brodeur Conn.
Dean Meckes N.Y.
Kotaro Kiriyama Ala.
John Chaffo Pa.
Jess Salmon N.J.

From the Western Opens
Jared Lintner Calif.
Jim Davis Calif.
Vince Hurtado Calif.
Mick Karshner Calif.
Ricky Shabazz Calif.
Zachary Thompson Calif.
John Murray Ariz.
Jimmy Reese Calif.
Ron Colby Ariz.
Gary Howell Calif.
Sean Minderman Wash.
Chad Martin Calif.
Fred Roumbanis Calif.
Ken Cassettari Calif.
Brett Hite Ariz.

From the Southern Opens
Terry Scroggins Fla.
Mark Rizk Ala.
Michael Johnson Ga.
Scott Rook Ark.
Thomas O'Bryant Tenn.
Tom Hamlin Ga.
Keith Philips Ala.
Eric Nethery Ga.
Todd Auten S.C.
Jason Quinn S.C.
Kurt Dove Va.
Lee Hartley Ga.
Mark Menendez Ky.
William Smith, Jr Ky.
John Pollard Ala.
Pete Ponds Miss.
Chris Lane Fla.
Kevin Langill N.C.
Stephen Browning Ark.
Randy Howell Ala.
Britt Myers N.C.
Johnny Lesesne Ga.
Guy Eaker N.C.
Jay Kendrick Tenn.
Larry Jones Ga.

2005 CITGO Bassmaster Open Championship Field – Non-Boater

From the Central Opens
Rusty Harvey Texas
Bill Gift Ark.
Joe Lee Texas
Glenn Maxwell Ark.
Bennie Anderson Texas
Matthew Jones Mo.
Mike Aycock Miss.
Austin Banks Miss.
Allen Rhoden Texas
Brian Merrifield Texas
Adrian Coble Texas
Scott Darragh Texas
David Kayda Texas
Mike Wisenbaker Texas
Bill Bonner La.
Harry Durham Texas
Dell Brown Texas
Dean Perkins Texas
Ronny Bates Texas
Joel Mixon Texas
Ray Beck Texas
Nathan Bourque La.
David Kelly Texas
Buck Buchanan Texas
Jeff Smith Texas

From the Northern Opens
Joe Ritzenthaler Ohio
Michael Schmitt N.Y.
David Hovanec N.Y.
William Langille Pa.
Tim Gavek Pa.
Dave Reminga Mich.
Steven Brinster N.J.
Christopher Clemence Ohio
Del Smith Ohio
Andrew Karcich N.J.
Jim Staszewski Maine
David Morrissette Mass.
Larry Iden Md.
Jim Mathews Md.
Les Underwood Ky.
William Beekman N.Y.
Shawn Leonard Ohio
Travis Green Mich.
Jim Kline Md.
Royce Madden N.C.
William Sanders Md.
Donald Muir Md.
Carl Hansen Pa.
Steven Bunt N.Y.
Matthew Daddio N.Y.

From the Western Opens
Hideki Maeda Japan
Chris Zaldain Calif.
Scott Burke Calif.
Gary Morris Calif.
Rommel Bagay Calif.
Jack Farage Calif.
Gary Haraguchi Calif.
Greig Sniffen Calif.
Clarence Pinkerton Calif.
Ralph Wells Calif.
Lewis Southard Ariz.
Kirk Lizama Calif.
Tony Pratt Calif.
Rick Spinney Calif.
Cody Meyer Calif.

From the Southern Opens
Steve Harris Ala.
Allen Burkhalter Ga.
Stanley Chandler Fla.
Chris Heath S.C.
Robb Williams Ala.
Jesse Wood Ga.
Wayne Pomeroy Fla.
Frelon Moore Ala.
Bill Williams Ky.
Kevin Girt Tenn.
Bradley Dortch Ala.
Dow Cox Tenn.
Russ Osborne Fla.
Jason Nixon Ala.
John Pate Ala.
Steve Graziano Ala.
Tim Windham Ala.
Clay Morris Ala.
Teb Jones Miss.
James Anderson Fla.
Jeff Graham Ga.
Matt Fair Fla.
Phillip Lee Fla.
James Blount Ala.
Terry Nunnelly Ala.