Roumbanis Retains Lead, Attempts to Fend Off Competition

SHASTA LAKE, Calif. – The CITGO Bassmaster Western Open on Shasta Lake is still very much any angler’s tournament, as first and ninth place are separated by just 5 pounds.

Auburn, Calif., angler Fred Roumbanis was able to retain his lead on Day 2 with a two-day total of 22 pounds, 8 ounces. The 27-year-old benefited from warm and sunny weather with light winds that encouraged big bass to bite.

“I fished the same program I did yesterday with swim baits and drop shots,” he said, “but today, it was as if you had one chance to hook them in a microsecond before they dove deep.”

Howard Hughes, 60, of Redding, Calif., jumped from 25th place to second at the end of Day 2. The crowd cheered when his 20-pound, 14-ounce, two-day total was announced. “The day started slow. I picked up three smaller legal fish but those larger fish were the ones I needed. I switched to a finesse bait and slowed down and in two casts, I landed my largest fish. I caught 16 keepers and culled.”

Meanwhile, Cameron Smith, 29, of Dana Point, Calif., dropped from second place to third on Day 2 with a total of 20-11. “Tomorrow, I have to throw out the play book. I'm going to have to find new water that has not been pounded to possibly win this event.”

Chad Martin, 38, of Sacramento, Calif., made the biggest leap in the standings. He moved from 32nd place to fourth with a two-day total of 20-7, well within striking distance of a first-place finish. To find fish, Martin said he followed an eagle flying overhead that was watching schools shallow in the water.

The technique also earned him the Purolator Big Bass award for a 4-14 bass. In the non-boater class, Jonas Lowry of Anderson, Calif., and Chris O'Brien of Tracy, Calif., both weighed in a 2-pound, 2-ounce fish for the Purolator Big Bass award.

The winning boater takes home a $50,000 prize package and the winning non-boater takes a Triton boat with Mercury motor valued at $25,000.

This is the last of three Western Opens that will send the top 15 boaters and non-boaters in the points standings to the CITGO Bassmaster Open Championship on the Alabama River, Dec. 1-4, in Prattville, Ala. The top five boaters from that tournament advance to the 2006 CITGO Bassmaster Classic, Feb. 24-26, on Lake Tohopekaliga in Kissimmee, Fla.

Local sponsors: Local sponsors include the Shasta Lake Chamber of Commerce and Phil’s Propellers.

Bassmaster Open Series sponsors: CITGO Petroleum Corp., Toyota, Busch Beer, Purolator, Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Berkley, Lowrance Electronics, MotorGuide, Bass Pro Shops and Cialis (tadalafil).

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.

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