JACK WOLLITZ Even pros can have bad days

All anglers experience tough days on the water and usually we blame them on a perceived lack of fish in the particular lake or river.
We all can take solace in the fact that even the best pro anglers in the world also endure times when they can't put a fish in the boat. And those days can be on some of the best waters in the world.
Such was the case at the Missouri CITGO Bassmaster Central Open presented by Triton boats last week. The pro bass tournament was on Lake of the Ozarks, long recognized as a great fishery.
But even local favorite Denny Brauer, one of the elite anglers in the pro bass ranks and a resident of the Lake of the Ozarks area, had a rough time.
Brauer and many other top pros failed to make limit catches during the three-day tournament. Brauer caught four bass the first day, but struggled with just one fish in the second round and added only one more bass on the final day.
So what was the deal? Just tough fishing lots of pressure, two things with which northeast Ohio anglers are familiar.
The winner was Jackie Davis, a Missourian, who started the first round with two bass, added two the second day and put it together in the final round to sack a five-bass limit. His total weight was 26 pounds and he won $50,000.
To unlock the mystery of how to generate bites, Davis keyed on bass suspended under boat docks and used a jig with a green pumpkin-colored Zoom Critter Craw trailer.
He also concentrated on putting the jig in hard-to-reach areas, particularly near underwater cables that often are avoided by anglers afraid of breaking off a bass.
Walleye on tour: The In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Tour 2002 tournament season will begin in April on Lake Erie.
The PWT released next year's schedule last week. The season begins April 17-19 out of Port Clinton on Lake Erie. Other Dee Zee East Division tourneys include Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin, June 19-21, and Lake Huron's Saginaw Bay, July 31-Aug 1,2. West Division events will be at Lake Francis Case on the Missouri River in South Dakota, May 8-10; Leech Lake in Minnesota, May 22-24; and Devils Lake in North Dakota, July 10-12.
PWT events feature competition in professional and amateur divisions. For information, call tourney headquarters at 218-829-0620. Or you can check the web site www.in-fisherman.com.
Bass school: Winter promises to be long and cold, so by the time February rolls around anglers will be looking desperately for entertainment. They'll certainly find relief at one of the CITGO Bassmaster University sessions that will be in our area.
The nearest B.A.S.S. school will be at Cleveland Airport Marriott March 9-10. Teachers will include Jimmy Houston, Larry Nixon, Mark Davis, Mike Auten, Terry Baksay and Danny Joe Humphrey.
Another session is scheduled in Dayton at the Best Western Executive Hotel Feb. 23-24. Lecturers are Nixon, Woo Daves, David Fritts, Randy Howell, Curt Lytle and Alton Jones.

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