26 pounds of bass put Elias in 1st Deep-water spots pay off

Schultz just 1 ounce back

Fishing

August 28, 1998|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,SUN STAFF

The big ones got away from Paul Elias yesterday, but the Mississippi angler still managed to move into first place in the B.A.S.S. Federation's Kmart Top 150 tournament being fished this week on the Potomac River.

Elias, who won the B.A.S.S. Masters Classic in 1982, weighed in 14 pounds, 15 ounces to bring his two-day total to 26 pounds, one ounce ahead of second-place Bernie Schultz of Gainesville, Fla.

Unlike many of the 312 anglers in the pro-am competition, Elias has fished deep water in the mainstem of the river, and he said he has lost more weight in bass than others have caught in a full day during the four-day tournament. Yesterday, he lost both a 5-pounder and a 7-pounder.

"I hooked the 7-pounder on a jig, got it up to the boat and I got down on my knees [because] I knew it was going to come up and jump again," said Elias. "Unfortunately, it jumped right in my face and spit the jig. [Wednesday] I should have had 16 or 17 pounds and probably 20 today."

Elias said he has been fishing both a jig and crankbait in 12 feet of water, and if the wind does not come up over the next two days, he thinks his spots will continue to produce big bass.

Schultz, on the other hand, has been fishing sheltered water he calls "some of the best habitat I've seen on this river in years. The kind of place that can win a tournament."

Schultz said he's been fishing a 100-yard stretch of hydrilla where the vegetation covers a slope and produces a single target zone.

"I can catch my limit fast as the tide moves in and, as it comes up, the bigger bass displace the smaller ones," Schultz said.

This year's Classic champion, Denny Brauer of Camdenton, Mo., moved up to 11th place on the pro side of the tournament.

Dale R. Jackson of Dickson, Tenn., leads the amateurs with 21 pounds even. Baltimore's Donald Muir is in third place with 17 pounds, 11 ounces.

The amateur competition will end today and the pro field will be cut to the top 10 for the final round on Saturday.

Daily weigh-ins are held at Smallwood State Park near Marbury in Charles County, starting at 3 p.m. Admission is free and the public is welcome.

The top 5

Pros -- 1. Paul Elias, Pachuta, Miss., 26-00; 2. Bernie Schultz, Gainesville, Fla., 27-15; 3. Rick Morris, Virginia Beach, 27-11; 4. Ken McIntosh, Leesburg, Ind., 27-08; 5. Jerry Williams, Conway, Ark., 26-04.

Amateurs -- 1. Dale R. Jackson, Dickson, Tenn., 21-00; 2. Robert W. Martin Jr., Egg Harbor, N.J., 18-09; 3. Donald Muir, Baltimore, 17-11; 4. Keith J. McClain, Arlington, Va., 16-12; 5. Jeff Mandes, Townsend, Del., 16-11.

Pub Date: 8/28/98

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