SUN BREAKS IN SYRACUSE DAY TWO WEIGHTS HOLD STRONG

SYRACUSE, NY - Day two at Oneida Lake saw a break in the weather, but not the fishing. New Jersey native, Jess Salmon had the big weight of today with 17 pounds and 6 ounces, but it wasn?t enough to move him ahead of Michigan?s Art Ferguson, III who?s two day weight of 32-9 keeps him in the lead.

"I've been really blessed this week," Ferguson said. "I have one key area that has produced most of my fish for me and I've got a couple of back-ups. I caught one of my biggest fish this afternoon in one of my back-up areas. It's a place that they migrate into this time of year and the bait fish are really moving through.

"I've caught them on three different wind directions, three different types of days and hopefully it'll hold out one more day." "My biggest thing, coming in here this week was the Classic and I think that pretty much wraps up the classic, even if I don?t catch another fish, I think that should put me high enough in points. That takes a lot of pressure off right there and will take a lot of pressure off the whole tour season this year, too. It feels good going into tomorrow knowing that I can have fun."

Kentucky's own Kevin Wirth tore up the competition again today as well with a day two bag of 15-8 and second place going into the final day with a total of 29- 15.

"I started in some of the same areas I fished yesterday and tried to work the same patterns to no prevail today. I caught one really quick this morning then I lost one and struggled for a long time to catch my second one. I made a move and tried to look for the numbers and it wasn't working so I decided to fall back on my largemouth pattern. "The water temperature has dropped about ten degrees and I think that's what's messed up my largemouth pattern. "Everyday is going to be different. The fish are moving quite a bit and I think the largemouth bite is going to dive pretty good, so I might not spend any time doing that tomorrow, but I'll have to sit down and think about it tonight."

With the lake much calmer today and the temperatures reaching the mid 50's, the anglers were finding the bite a bit slower. Kenyon Hill, out of Oklahoma, climbed to a third today with 29-5 and was elated that the weather broke.

"It was a slow day for me, it really was, but I just kept with what I was doing. Kept on the spots I was fishing. I know there are fish there. They were biting really funny for me today. I had some good fish on that came off. I found a bunch of large mouth in practice and had one bite in two days. We have a bit of high pressure sitting on us and I think that's why they bit slower for us. Tomorrow another front is supposed to come through, I ought to be able to sack them tomorrow."

Salmon and Conecticut's Jordan Paullo finished the day tied for fourth with a two day weight of 29-2.

Staying in the lead for the second straight day for the non-boaters was Lee Cox of Maryland. Cox's two-day weight of 26-11 is only a slim 2 ounce margin over Carl Luther a native New Yorker.

"I'm working mostly the south shore, 10- 12 feet of water, mostly rock and weeds," Luther said. "Today was a little tough in the beginning but it got better in the afternoon. I'll get them tomorrow."

Tomorrow marks the final day of competition. The field has been cut to the top 50 boaters and non-boaters and will take-off in two flights of 25 at 6:45 a.m. Weigh in will start at 3:00 p.m.

BASS is the world's largest fishing organization, sanctioning more than 20,000 tournaments worldwide through its Federation. In 2004, BASS will introduce 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.

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