California's Aaron Martens ranks Table Rock as one of the toughest lakes he has ever fished.
"On a scale of one to ten, I'd say it's a good nine," Martens said. "I would say it's about like Lake Powell in '99. It's pretty tough. I'm sure some guys will catch them. There are some good spots out there. It's too big of a lake to find them in three days (of practice).
"There's tons of bait out there too," Martens added. "So the fish are going to be there. They might bite a little better if we get some cloud cover and some rain."
Alabama's Gerald Swindle was in agreement. Swindle thinks a big reason it has been so difficult is because the weather has been so nice - a rarity for the rain-soaked Tour this year.
"This is the hardest I've pre-fished and had such little result," Swindle said. "I just think a lot of the fish are just way out and suspended and they're not on the bank. Of course today was beautiful and sunny and that's probably the worst conditions you can have to try to catch them. ... (Yesterday) I fished till slam dark and from daylight to dark I had one bite.
"... A lot of standing timber still exists and a lot of cedar trees and you're supposed to catch them in those cedar trees. ... If you fish these cedars you'll catch them and I caught one out there today and that's it. I can't get another bite. However I catch one, I can't get one going after that. ... It's about the most confused I've been in a long time."
The tournament begins Thursday at Table Rock Lake. Launch is daily at the What's Up Dock Marina at 6:30 a.m. and daily weigh-Ins, also at the Marina, begin at 2:45 p.m.
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 the Kimberling City Lodging Association.
For more information, contact BASS Communications at (334) 551-2375 or visit www.bassmaster.com.