KIMBERLING CITY, Mo. - Former world champion Paul Elias gained ground on Table Rock Lake Friday, ending the day two a full 4 pounds, 5 ounces ahead of his closest competitors at the CITGO Bassmaster Tour event presented by Busch Beer. The Mississippi angler and 1982 CITGO Bassmaster Classic champion's 37 pounds, 8 ounces is comfortably ahead of nine-time Angler of the Year Roland Martin and 1995 Classic champ Mark Davis, who are tied with 33-3.

"I started spinnerbaiting the bank and caught two big spots there," Elias said. "That's another little ace in the hole there. I feel like I've got enough areas that, if I'm on it enough, I should catch five."

Martin, of Florida, and Arkansas's Davis were happy to make Friday's cut to the Top 12 anglers and stay within striking distance of the lead.

"It all boils down to catching a big fish and I didn't catch one," Davis said. "I did not see any other anglers yesterday, but today, it got pretty crowded. That hurt me a little bit."

Martin, who was running and gunning much of day two, said the windy conditions helped a lot.

"You have to have three or four things," Martin said. "You have to have wind, you have to have shade and you have to have a shady bank, and they're hitting on spinnerbaits and jigs only in the shade; they won't hit in the sun. I caught them all day. I had a limit by about 10:30."

The Purolator Big Bass of the day went to South Carolina's Jason Quinn. His 7-10 lunker earned him a $1,000 bonus and, if it holds through Sunday's finale, will earn him an additional grand as the Purolator Big Bass of the Tournament. On the amateur side, North Carolina's Terry Chapman had the Purolator Big Bass, earning him $500.

The Busch Heavyweight of the day went to Missouri's Stacey King. His 18-4 catch earned him an additional $1,000 for the tournament. If that weight remains in the top 10 through the rest of the Tour and Bassmaster Elite 50 series, he will have the opportunity to fish in the $160,000 Busch Shootout tournament on a mystery lake In September.

The field of 12 who made the cut for day three also includes Texas's Takahiro Omori (30-5), Arizona's John Murray (28-10), South Carolina's Todd Auten (27-11), Alabama's Gerald Swindle (27-2), Illinois's Tom Burns (26-5), Illinois's Chad Morganthaler (25-5), Arkansas's George Cochran (23-12), Missouri's Chad Brauer (23-9) and Tennessee's Jack Wade (23-7).

John Harris of Arkansas leads the amateur side of the competition going into the amateurs' final day. His two-day catch of 15-14 leads Missouri's David Manglesdorf (15-3) and Colorado's Bob Bjorklund (13-3).

The CITGO Bassmaster Tour event on Table Rock Lake will continue through Sunday. Launch begins at 6:30 a.m. from the What's Up Dock Marina. Weigh-in will also be held at the What's Up Dock Marina beginning at 2:45.

Fans can watch "The CITGO Bassmasters" telecast of the Table Rock Lake tournament on Saturday, March 13 at 10:30 a.m. ET/9:30 a.m. CT on ESPN2.

The CITGO Bassmaster Tour events this season feature the highly interactive and family friendly BASS Sponsor Expo area. Sponsors present interactive exhibits and provide a fun family experience for all ages. The Expo will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 12 p.m. until 6 p.m. on Sunday at What's Up Dock Marina.

The CastingKids program, presented by CITGO will be held in conjunction with the BASS Sponsor Expo Saturday, from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the What's Up Dock Marina. Children between the ages of 7 and 14 can participate in the contest with the chance to earn a scholarship.

BASS is the world's largest fishing organization, sanctioning more than 20,000 tournaments worldwide through its Federation. This April, BASS introduces the all-new Bassmaster Elite 50 Series, a four-event, no-entry-fee circuit featuring a $1.6 million prize purse for the world's best anglers. The CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail presented by Busch Beer 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 and Bryant Heating and Air Conditioning.

Local Sponsors include Kimberling City Lodging Association.

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