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Pro Fisherman details rules of Bassmaster Elite Tournament - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Pro Fisherman details rules of Bassmaster Elite Tournament

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Pro fishermen are navigating the Sabine River practicing for the Bassmaster Elite fishing tournament, which begins Thursday in Orange.

The leisure activity has become big business for 102 anglers who are looking for the clearest waters and hoping to reel in that big catch that will earn them $100,000.

Pro fisherman Matt Greenblatt spent Monday casting his line along the banks of the Sabine.

"The water is so big. There's so much. There's so much backwater and bayous," says Greenblatt.

It's here where the fisherman could run into troubled waters because a rule of the game is that anglers can only cast artificial bait.

"The fish here are use to feeding on shrimps, crabs, whatever they can get," says Greenblatt.

The anglers can not use live bait or prepared bait.

Greenblatt's tackle box is full of imitation baits.

"Here they're usually feeding on it. So, we have to have shrimp imitation baits," says Greenblatt.

Before he puts his hook on the line, he uses his GPS to find the clearer waters, which he hopes will guide him to where the big fish are feeding. He hopes to bring back five big bass.

"It's five fish. They have to be alive. If they're not alive when we return to the dock, we get a penalty,' says Greenblatt.

Timing is everything and the distance is free game as long as they dock by deadline.

"We leave around 7:30 in the morning which is safe flight. We return anywhere from 3 to 3:45," Greenblatt tells 12News, "I can go to Louisiana. I can go deeper into Texas. I just have to make it back in time."

Greenblatt says he is staying close, hoping the fish here prove that everything is bigger in Texas.

He says the key is to find a spot where fish can ambush or hide from currents.

There can only be two people on each boat during the tournament: the angler and a marshall, who makes sure all the rules are followed.

The tournament kicks off Thursday at the Orange Boat Ramp on Simmons Drive. It ends on Sunday.

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