Roumbanis Takes Day 1 Lead at Bassmaster Legends

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – Seeking his second victory of the 2007 Bassmaster Elite Series season, Fred Roumbanis of Broken Arrow, Okla., caught five bass totalling weighing 20 pounds, 5 ounces, Thursday to take a more than 1-pound lead over Greg Hackney of Gonzales, La., in the first round of the Bassmaster Legends presented by Ramada Worldwide at Lake Dardanelle.

Fishing fans can catch tournament coverage of the Bassmaster Legends at 9 a.m. ET on Saturday, Sept.1 on The Bassmasters on ESPN2.

Roumbanis, who recently relocated to Oklahoma but grew up fishing the delta waters of California, said he has driven past Lake Dardanelle many times but has never fished it. With Dardanelle’s abundance of grass and structure, the 28-year-old Roumbanis said it is very similar to his favorite waters back home, making it easy for him to construct a pattern.

His lone BASS victory came in the first Bassmaster Major of the season, the Bassmaster American out of Greensboro, N.C. With a victory this weekend, he would earn $250,000. Peter Thliveros of Jacksonville, Fla., is the only Elite Series anglers to post two Major victories.

That pattern, of which Roumbanis revealed little, produced a full limit of heavy fish, including one that weighed 6-12, which was good enough for Purolator Big Bass honors and the $1,000 premium.

“Today went perfect,” said Roumbanis, who played it close to the vest on specifics of his pattern. “I figured out something pretty special. This is a lot like the places I fish in California, so I just went back to my roots.

“The area I found was pretty close to a creek channel and a distinct channel ledge, and it’s got a lot of grass. I’m swinging for the fences now. There is no point in backing off.”

Roubmanis’ limit included a 6-12 lunker, which was good enough for Purolator Big Bass Honors and the $1,000 premium.

Trailing Roumbanis was the 33-year-old Hackney, a three-time BASS winner, who grew up in Star City, Ark. He caught five bass that totaled 18-10.

Hackney said he hasn’t fished Lake Dardanelle since the 2005 Bassmaster Elite 50 and the lake looks much different than it did then.

“It’s changed so much since three years ago,” Hackney said. “With all this grass, it looks like the lower part of the river where I grew up. What’s amazing is how the fish have adjusted to it.”

Hackney said he had an inconsistent practice and covered a lot of water, but Thursday he quickly found a productive pattern.

“I just dialed in and found a spot that had fish and caught them,” the 2004 Toyota Rookie of the Year said. “I didn’t know how I was going to fish coming in, but I knew some areas. I have a lot of places that are equal, so I started on one and caught them there.”

Hackney said he fished in the upper section of Lake Dardanelle, where the water is darker and the current is more noticeable.

Rounding out the top five were two-time BASS winner Ish Monroe of Hughson, Calif., in third with 18 pounds, 5 ounces, 2007 Elite Series winner Timmy Horton of Muscle Shoals, Ala., in fourth with 16 pounds, 5 ounces, and Mike Wurm of Hot Springs, Ark., in fifth with 16 pounds, 3 ounces.

The full field of 50 anglers will fish Friday. Only the top 12 anglers will move on to Saturday’s third round, when weights will be zeroed. Sunday, the final day of action, will feature only the top six anglers. On Saturday and Sunday, anglers will fish a six-hole course in a rotating and timed manner.

Additionally, live, streaming video of the weigh-ins and real-time leaderboards can be accessed on On the final day of competition, will provide updates throughout the day and preview the final-day weigh-in with Hooked Up, hosted by Tommy Sanders and ESPN2 Outdoors personality Mark Zona.

Local Sponsors: Local sponsors of the Bassmaster Legends presented by Ramada Worldwide include Russellville Advertising and Promotion.

Bassmaster Majors Sponsors: Sponsors of the Bassmaster Majors include Toyota Tundra, Purolator, Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Berkley, Advance Auto Parts, Lowrance Electronics, MotorGuide, Costa Del Mar, Ramada Worldwide and Evan Williams Bourbon.

For more information, contact BASS Communications at (407) 566-2208 or visit Visit for ESPN's latest releases, schedules and other news, plus photos, video and audio clips and more.

BASS is the worldwide authority on bass fishing, sanctioning more than 20,000 events through the BASS Federation Nation 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 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 530,000 members. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.