COLUMBUS, Miss. – Arkansas pro Mark Davis brought in a five-fish limit Thursday that lifted his two-day weight up to 33 pounds, 5 ounces and gave him the lead on day two of the Bassmaster Elite 50 tournament on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.

Davis and his fellow pros are fishing for one of 10 berths in the 2004 CITGO Bassmaster Classic presented by Busch Beer, as well as the $1.6 million prize purse at the end of the first no-entry-fee series on the CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail presented by Busch Beer.

“I fished the same areas as yesterday,” Davis said. “It took a long time to catch a limit today, though. I had one by about one (o’clock), but between three and four, I caught about 20, and all those fish were 2 or more pounds.”

Although the fishing was good in his area, Davis will have to leave it for day three, as the top 12 pros will fish a specially designated six-hole course for the final two days of competition.

“Anytime you have a place like that, you want to go back,” Davis said, “but we all know what we’re getting into, so I think I’ll be OK.”

The three-time CITGO Bassmaster Angler of the Year continued to use his Strike King 3X ribbon tail worm Thursday to catch his limit.

Another former Angler of the Year, South Carolina’s Davy Hite, brought in 22-4 to claim second place. Hite also stayed with the same pattern he was fishing on Wednesday, working a Gambler worm.

“I think the key was just being patient,” Hite said. “Just realizing that the bite was off, settling down and figuring them out.

“I feel good about tomorrow. I can fish the same way that I have been. I think what I’m doing can definitely work here.”

Missouri’s Brian Snowden had a big payday Thursday, picking up two $1,000 bonuses. The first, a check from Purolator for having the Purolator Big Bass of the Day, came from a 4-pound, 12-ounce lunker that anchored his five-fish limit weighing 12-8. That 12-8 was enough to earn him another $1,000 for the Busch Heavyweight of the Day, a voluntary contingency program from Busch Beer for the angler with the largest catch each day.

The catch pushed Snowden’s weight up to 21-12 for two days and put him in third place going in to Friday’s competition.

Texas’ Gary Klein (21-8), Arizona’s John Murray (20-15), Texas’ Alton Jones (20-13), Michigan’s Kevin VanDam (20-5), Oklahoma’s Tommy Biffle (18-5), Missouri’s Stacey King (18-5), North Carolina’s Dustin WIlks (17-12), Texas’ Ben Matsubu (17-6), and Texas’ Zell Rowland (17-4) round out the top 12.

The Bassmaster Elite 50 series, which will be telecast in two parts on ESPN2, May 29 and June 5 at 10:30 a.m. ET/9:30 a.m. CT, continues Friday. Launch begins at 10 a.m. and daily weigh-ins will begin at 7 p.m. at the Stennis Lock and Dam and are free to the public.

The BASS Sponsor Expo will be held Friday and Saturday, also at the Stennis Lock and Dam. Fans can take part in the interactive exhibits starting at 3-8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Saturday.

The Bassmaster CastingKids program, sponsored by CITGO, will be held in conjunction with the BASS Sponsor Expo Saturday, from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. at the Columbus Marina. Children between the ages of 7 and 14 can participate in the contest with the chance to earn scholarships.

BASS is the world's largest fishing organization, sanctioning more than 20,000 tournaments worldwide through its Federation. The CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail 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 Tournament Trail presented by Busch Beer include CITGO Petroleum Corp., Busch Beer, Purolator, Triton Boats, Skeeter Boats, Mercury Marine, Yamaha Outboards, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Lowrance Electronics, Flowmaster Exhaust Systems, MotorGuide, Bass Pro Shops, and BankOne.

Associate Sponsors include G3 Boats.

Local Sponsors include the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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