Wednesday, November 7, 2001

Talk about a dream come true. Professional tour angler Davy Hite, of Prosperity, S.C., says just before competition began in the Louisiana CITGO Bassmaster Tour event on the Red River, his wife dreamed he would be victorious, becoming a back-to-back winner on the prestigious tournament circuit sanctioned by the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society.
You guessed it. Last Saturday, at the conclusion of the tournament, Hite brought in 12 pounds, 8 ounces of live largemouth bass, and the dream came true.
Hite won the $110,000 first-place prize with a four-day catch total of 41 pounds, 8 ounces. Only a short time before the Red River tournament, the South Carolinian also won the BASS Tour’s 2001-2002 season opener on Michigan’s Lake St. Clair.
Said Hite after his wife called him to make her prediction: “I told her that she must have been drinking something because I didn’t even catch a keeper during [the first] practice day.” Little did he know that after only two fishing tournaments his bank account would increase by $221,000.
Hite’s four-day catch total was 5 pounds, 4 ounces ahead of second-place finisher Guy Eaker, of Cherryville, N.C. Eaker earned $48,000. Todd Faircloth, of Jasper, Texas, got $37,000 for third, and Summerville, S.C., angler Carl Maxfield made $36,000 for his fourth-place finish.
Hite learned that winning back-to-back tour events has occurred only 14 times in 359 pro outings over the 34-year history of the Bassmaster Tournament Trail. To accomplish his feat Hite relied on two lures, a 3/4-ounce Hawg Caller spinnerbait in chartreuse and white and a 4-inch Gambler tube bait in black and white. Hite concentrated on areas that showed rip-rap stones, dikes and isolated wood with water depths that ran from two to five feet.
The sad story of the tournament belongs to Arizona’s Dean Rojas, who had been in the lead but saw his first two days’ catches disqualified because he fished an off-limits area a pool-like spot that displayed a “No Trespassing” sign. Although such signs are seen all over the impounded parts of the Red River, many were placed there illegally and are being widely ignored. However, the one Rojas faced was legitimate.
BASS’ Chris Murray said, “Rojas was acting no differently than anyone else. He just got unlucky.”
But imagine this: Although he could have gotten away with it, Rojas himself brought it to the attention of tournament officials.
George McNeilly, the head of the BASS public relations office, said, “Dean met with me and admitted that he had made a mistake by fishing in off-limits waters during the first two days of competition. As a result of this, his catch for those days was disqualified. I feel compelled to tell you that Dean could have simply withdrawn from this event and headed for home but instead [continued to fish] because he didn’t want to leave his amateur partner waiting at the dock. You must applaud Dean’s professionalism and integrity.”
Readers who enjoy seeing the latest updates in the high-octane world of professional tournament angling should check out the Web site.
The best bass angler of all time? On the subject of the Web site, the people who run it recently asked bass fishing fanatics to pick the best tournament fisherman of all time. They chose the former world champion of bass fishing, Denny Brauer, of Camdenton, Mo.
More than 1,500 people participated in two rounds of voting over two weeks, and Brauer was picked by a narrow margin over the legendary Rick Clunn, who also resides in Missouri. Brauer received 40 percent of the votes, followed by Clunn with 38 percent. Then came Arkansas’ Larry Nixon, 9 percent; Texas’ Gary Klein, 7 percent; Florida’s Roland Martin, 4 percent; and clean-up batter Kevin VanDam, of Michigan.
Fly-fishing seminar The new Bass Pro Shops “Outdoor World” store in Anne Arundel County invites you to come to a fly-fishing seminar, Friday, Nov. 9, 7:30 pm. Fly-fishing guide and co-author of the book, “The Definitive Guide to Maryland Trout Fishing,” Larry Coburn will cover everything from making the transition from conventional spin fishing to the fly, to rods and how they work, casting, the different flies and how best to apply them under various conditions, along with a lesson in executing special casts, such as the roll cast.
Although the seminar is free, the store asks that you call its “White River Fly Shop” so a seat can be reserved for you. “Outdoor World” is located at Arundel Mills Mall on Arundel Mills Drive, in Hanover, Md., just off Route 100. Call 410/689-2500 for directions and reservations. The store manager, Joe Evans, can be reached on ext. 4206.

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