Jay Wright of Seal Beach, Calif., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 26 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the EverStart Series Western Division event on Clear Lake with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 74 pounds, 5 ounces. For his victory, Wright earned $26,155.
“We got here on Sunday and it was 90 degrees and there were bed fish everywhere,” Wright, who made his first top-10 cut and won his first major tournament said. “You could catch 30 pounds in your sleep. But then things started to change and a major cold front was predicted so I knew I had to find another pattern, I knew those bed fish wouldn’t last.
“On Tuesday I was able to find some staging fish on dock poles and rock piles,” Wright went on. “I tried using a big swimbait; the bass would follow it but they wouldn’t eat it.”
A major cold front rolled through on Wednesday evening bringing gale force winds and rain. Wright indicated that water temperatures cooled off 6 to 8 degrees depending on where you were on the lake. He was right, bed fishing was over.
“On Thursday you couldn’t see the bed fish any longer due to the wind and rain,” Wright continued. “I caught all my fish with a 6-inch Robo Worm around dock poles, rock piles and tules. The second day the big swimbait finally worked. I caught six bass with it. However, my big 7-pounder came drop-shotting a worm.
“Today conditions were perfect for me. It was sunny with just enough wind to make the bass eat my big swimbait. It was amazing. I think the biggest thing for me was being able to stay in the tournament mentally. I stayed calm and stayed with my plan and it paid off.
“This is an amazing feeling,” Wright went on. “We work so hard for this and put in so many hours I can’t even describe how I am feeling. I wouldn’t be able to do this without the support of my family, friends and co-workers, I am truly blessed. And I especially want to thank my old hockey coach Reg Dunlap who taught me to never stop swinging for the haymakers.”
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: Wayne Breazeale, Kelseyville, Calif., 15 bass, 73-3, $8,967
3rd: Mark Crutcher, Lakeport, Calif., 15 bass, 72-10, $7,437
4th: Paul Bailey, Kelseyville, Calif., 15 bass, 70-13, $6,726
5th: Jimmy Reese, Witter Springs, Calif., 15 bass, 70-11, $5,978
6th: Troy Lindner, Los Angeles, Calif., 15 bass, 68-13, $5,231
7th: Tony Franceschi, Livermore, Calif., 15 bass, 68-4, $4,484
8th: Mark Casey, Fairfield, Calif., 15 bass, 66-12, $3,736
9th: Greg Gutierrez, Red Bluff, Calif., 15 bass, 66-8, $2,989
10th: Charlie Weyer, West Hills, Calif., 15 bass, 63-1, $2,242
Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Troy Lindner caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Pro Division Friday – a 7-pound, 12-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s EverStart Series Big Bass award of $194.
Seventeen-year-old Travis Bounds of Roseville, Calif., won the Co-angler Division and a Ranger 177TR with an Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor and a with a three-day total of 14 bass weighing 61pounds, 7 ounces.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd Jack Farage, Discovery Bay, Calif., 57-14, $3,591
3rd Mike Rychard, Anderson, Calif., 57-4, $3,192
4th: Gary Morris, Tracy, Calif., 56-11, $2,793
5th: Carl Limbrick Jr., Bonita, Calif., 53-4, $2,394
6th: Jared Frantzich, Sacramento, Calif., 53-0, $1,995
7th: Daniel Leue, Colusa, Calif., 49-0, $1,596
8th: Gary Haraguchi, San Jose, Calif., 46-13, $1,197
9th: Phil Risnes, Hartford, S.D., 45-9, $798
10th: Kevin Gray, Hermiston, Ore., 41-2, $767
Kevin Gray caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Thursday – an 8-pound, 15-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s EverStart Series Big Bass award of $129.
The EverStart Series consists of five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of four tournaments and competitors are vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Strike King Angler of the Year title. The top 40 pros and co-anglers from each respective division will qualify for the EverStart Series Championship that will be held on the Ouachita River in Monroe, La., Nov. 1-4.
The Clear Lake tournament marked the fourth and final event in the Western Division. Pro Jeff Michels of Lakehead, Calif., earned the Strike King Angler of the Year title and Daniel Leue earned the Co-angler title. Michels will receive $5,000 for the award and Leue, who made all four top-10 cuts in the Western Division, will receive $2,000.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow FLW on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.