BASS Masters Classic 2003 Coverage
Birmingham - August 1-3, 2003
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Classic Day 1
Kansan Brent Chapman in 28th with limit of smaller fish
Menendez And Four-Legged Friend Take Classic Lead
Kentucky Pro and His Yellow Lab
Team Up to Best America's Top Anglers
by BASS Communications/ BASS

(Aug. 01, 2003 - NEW ORLEANS, LA)... Kentucky pro Mark Menendez, joined in his boat by a yellow Lab named Barkley, posted a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 10 ounces on Friday to take the first-round lead in the $700,000 CITGO Bassmaster Classic presented by Busch Beer.

Menendez, 38, gave Barkley plenty to watch, beginning with the day's largest bass (6 pounds, 2 ounces) that came on the fifth cast of the morning. He went on to enjoy an action-filled day - catching 11 legal-size bass and nine short fish.

That was enough to stake Menendez to an opening-round lead of 1 pound, 4 ounces over New Jersey's Michael Iaconelli (15-6). Veteran Texas pro Gary Klein is third with 13-15, followed by Alabama's Tim Horton (12-4) and Harold Allen of Texas (11-10).

"Today exceeded my expectations," said Menendez, who is making his fourth Classic appearance. "I expected to catch 12 or 13 pounds out of my area, so I was happy with what I caught.

"I didn't lose a single fish or miss a fish today. I had a very strong start and where I'm at today is where I'd love to be two days from now. I'm in a groove, and I'm comfortable with the area I'm fishing. I feel like I'll get the bites I need."

Although Menendez did not reveal his fishing location in the massive Louisiana Delta, most of the first-day leaders said they were making the long run to the Venice area where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico. The two-hour ride limited their actual fishing time to about three hours, but it was apparently a gamble worth taking.

One of those marathon runners was Iaconelli, a 31-year-old BASS winner competing in his fourth Classic. Fishing a variety of aquatic vegetation with spinnerbaits, jigs and crankbaits, he boated 30 keepers.

"I was power fishing - almost junk fishing because I was alternating so many different baits," Iaconelli said. "I found these fish a month ago, and when I checked them Wednesday during our one practice day I had 12 bites in an hour but didn't stick any of them. So I was really excited. And when I got down there today I had a limit in the first 15 minutes."

Klein, 45, has never won the Classic in an impressive 21 tries.

"I'm fishing junk down in the Venice area," he said. "I didn't have a whole lot in practice, so I just went fishing today. Sometimes good things just happen."

The 33rd Classic concludes on Sunday.

BASS is the world's largest fishing organization, sanctioning more than 20,000 tournaments worldwide through its Federation. The CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail 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 Classic presented by Busch Beer include CITGO Petroleum Corp., Busch Beer, Chevrolet Trucks, Yamaha Outboards, Mercury Marine, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Lowrance Electronics, Flowmaster Exhaust Systems, Kumho Tires, Progressive Insurance, Abu Garcia, Berkley, Diamond Cut Jeans, MotorGuide Trolling Motors, and BankOne.

Associate Sponsors include Bryant Heating and Air Conditioning and G3 Boats.

Local sponsors include the State of Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, and Jefferson Parish.

Day 1 standings August 1-3, 2003 Louisiana Delta, New Orleans, La.
Name City, State Day1#Fish Day1Lbs - Oz Tot#Fish TotLbs - Oz
1 Mark Menendez Paducah, KY 5 16-10 5 16-10
2 Michael Iaconelli Woodbury Heights, 5 15- 6 5 15- 6
3 Gary Klein Weatherford, TX 5 13-15 5 13-15
4 Tim Horton Muscle Shoals, AL 5 12- 4 5 12- 4
5 Harold Allen Shelbyville, TX 5 11-10 5 11-10
6 Jay Kendrick Ooltewah, TN 5 10- 8 5 10- 8
6 Jay Yelas Tyler, TX 5 10- 8 5 10- 8
8 Davy Hite Prosperity, SC 5 10- 7 5 10- 7
8 Zell Rowland Montgomery, TX 5 10- 7 5 10- 7
10 Jeff Reynolds Platter, OK 5 10- 5 5 10- 5
11 Greg Hackney Oak Ridge, LA 5 10- 4 5 10- 4
12 Roland Martin Clewiston, FL 5 10- 2 5 10- 2
13 Peter E Thliveros Jacksonville, FL 5 10- 1 5 10- 1
14 Todd Faircloth Jasper, TX 5 9- 2 5 9- 2
15 Mark Kile Payson, AZ 5 9- 1 5 9- 1
16 Matt Reed Madisonville, TX 5 8- 9 5 8- 9
17 Alton Jones Waco, TX 5 8- 8 5 8- 8
18 Curt Lytle Suffolk, VA 5 8- 6 5 8- 6
19 Kenyon Hill Norman, OK 5 8- 4 5 8- 4
20 Kelly Jordon Mineola, TX 5 8- 0 5 8- 0
21 Homer Humphreys Minden, LA 5 7- 9 5 7- 9
22 David Lefebre Erie, PA 5 7- 6 5 7- 6
22 Mike Reynolds Modesto, CA 3 7- 6 3 7- 6
24 Tom Hamlin, Jr Macon, GA 5 7- 4 5 7- 4
25 Mark Davis Mount Ida, AR 5 6- 4 5 6- 4
26 John Murray Phoenix, AZ 5 6- 3 5 6- 3
27 Joel St Germain Cumberland, RI 2 5-15 2 5-15
28 Brent Chapman Shawnee, KS 5 5-13 5 5-13
29 Randy Howell Trussville, AL 4 5- 8 4 5- 8
30 Tom Schachten Driggs, ID 3 5- 7 3 5- 7
31 Lee Bailey, Jr. Amston, CT 3 5- 0 3 5- 0
32 Chad Morgenthaler Coulterville, IL 4 4-13 4 4-13
33 Todd Auten Lake Wylie, SC 3 4-12 3 4-12
34 Shaw E Grigsby, Jr. Gainesville, FL 3 4- 7 3 4- 7
35 Edwin Evers Mannsville, OK 4 4- 6 4 4- 6
36 Jason Quinn Lake Wylie, SC 3 4- 5 3 4- 5
37 Dustin Wilks Raleigh, NC 3 4- 3 3 4- 3
38 Kevin Vandam Kalamazoo, MI 2 4- 1 2 4- 1
39 Mike Wurm Hot Springs, AR 3 3- 9 3 3- 9
40 Ron Shuffield Bismarck, AR 2 3- 5 2 3- 5
41 Tom Mann, Jr. Buford, GA 2 3- 1 2 3- 1
42 Wesley A Strader Spring City, TN 2 3- 0 2 3- 0
43 Michael Johnson Talking Rock, GA 2 2-15 2 2-15
44 Kevin Wirth Crestwood, KY 1 2-14 1 2-14
45 Tommy Stiles McMinnville, TN 2 2-13 2 2-13
46 Takahiro Omori Emory, TX 2 2- 7 2 2- 7
47 Jerry Shawver II Jacksonville, FL 1 1-12 1 1-12
48 Jim Bitter Fruitland Park, FL 1 1-11 1 1-11
49 Jeff Kriet Ardmore, OK 1 1-10 1 1-10
50 Jack L Wade Knoxville, TN 1 1- 9 1 1- 9
50 Gerald Swindle Hayden, AL 1 1- 9 1 1- 9
52 Roger Boler Slidell, LA 1 1- 8 1 1- 8
53 Randall R Romig Barto, PA 1 1- 5 1 1- 5
54 Cole Garrett Calvin, LA 1 1- 4 1 1- 4
54 Elton Luce, Jr. Brookeland, TX 1 1- 4 1 1- 4
54 Skeet Reese Auburn, CA 1 1- 4 1 1- 4
54 Bud Pruitt Spring, TX 1 1- 4 1 1- 4
58 Mike Gough Gainesville, FL 1 1- 3 1 1- 3
59 Karl Guegold Westerville, OH 0 0- 0 0 0- 0
59 Ishama Monroe Phoenix, AZ 0 0- 0 0 0- 0
59 Koby Kreiger Osceola, IN 0 0- 0 0 0- 0

BIG BASS
Day Lbs-Oz Name City, State
1 6- 2 Mark Menendez Paducah, KY
Day #Fish Lbs-Ozs #Limits
1 195 354- 2 26

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