Dove Establishes Lead at Bassmaster Elite Series Event on Lake Amistad

DEL RIO, Texas - Demonstrating that Texas, Lake Amistad is still capable of surrendering impressive weights, Kurt Dove of Fairfax, Va., weighed 30 pounds, 8 ounces Friday to take the lead by more than 1 pound over his nearest competitor, Mike McClelland of Bella Vista, Ark., in the shortened Battle on the Border presented by Mahindra Tractors.

Dove was the only angler to weigh in more than 30 pounds and identified his successful pattern on the last day of practice, Wednesday. The tournament was condensed to three days after Thursday's competition day was canceled due to unsafe weather. The full field will fish Saturday with the top 12 moving on to Sunday.

Fishing fans can catch all of the big-fish action from Amistad on The Bassmasters on Saturday, April 19 at 9 a.m. ET. As always, fans can follow the competition with real-time leaderboards and live, streaming footage of the weigh-ins at

Dove said he is doing something totally different than many of the other competitors in the field but played it close to the vest on the specifics. He is not getting many bites but the ones that are biting are of the bigger variety.

"I'm still building on this pattern," said Dove, 35. "I am targeting a precise type of structure." Every time I find it, I get a bite like clockwork."

While Dove was confident his pattern would hold up, he did say that he only catches one on each spot he visits. He is focusing on deeper water and is doing a lot of running around the lake searching for the particular areas.

With a win, Dove would earn $100,000 and double his career BASS earnings.� A finish in the upper echelon of the field will also significantly boost his standings in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings, which feature a $250,000 top prize and are the main qualifying avenue into the Bassmaster Classic. Dove was in 105th in the standings entering the Amistad event.

McClelland, who weighed 29 pounds, 5 ounces, is searching for his fourth victory in Elite Series competition and his second in 2008. He fished a variety of methods Saturday and continues to work towards his goal of taking the Angler of the Year title. He was sixth heading into Amistad.

"It was just one of those days. It was phenomenal," said McClelland, 40. "I caught them throwing a stickbait, a swimbait and a Carolina rig. Things were definitely happening."

Despite a slow practice, McClelland stuck with his areas and they produced. He has a number of areas he didn�t fish Friday and will visit those if his primary area fails to produce.

Another Arkansan, Clark Reehm of Russellville, was third with 28-14. The Advance Auto Parts rookie is seeking his first BASS win.

Behind Reehm was Texas stalwart Ish Monroe of Hughson, Calif., with 27-12. Monroe scored victory on Amistad in the inaugural Bassmaster Elite Series event in 2006 and both of his BASS victories have been achieved in the Lone Star state. Tied with Monroe was Jami Fralick of Martin, S.D.

In the co-angler division, Victor Cunningham of Phoenix, Ariz., boated a three-fish limit weighing 18 pounds, 13 ounces and leads the chase for the $25,000 top prize. Trailing Cunningham were Louisiana�s Mike Williams (17-9) and Texan Billy Fillmon (17-4).

Daily launches through Sunday will be at 8 a.m. CT at Diablo East Marina on Hwy 90 in Del Rio. Daily weigh-ins begin at 5 p.m. CT at the marina.

Activities at the Battle on the Border, music by Nashville Songwriters, will begin Saturday, April 12, and Sunday, April 13, at 2 p.m CT. at Diablo East Marina.. Fans can "Ask the Experts" during Bassmaster University with the Elite pros, set for Saturday, April 12, at 4 p.m. CT at Diablo East Marina.

Sunday's activities include the live taping of Hooked Up, hosted by ESPN Outdoors personalities Tommy Sanders and Mark Zona. The show, which airs on on Sunday, April 13, at 4:30 p.m. CT, will preview Sunday's final weigh-in. Live, streaming video of the Battle on the Border�s daily weigh-ins begins at 5 p.m. CT on