Jim Moulton of Merced, Calif., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the EverStart Series Western Division event on the California Delta with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 59 pounds, 13 ounces. For his victory Moulton earned $34,636 plus a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinurde or Mercury outboard motor.

“This was so much fun!” Moulton exclaimed about his first FLW win. “I just had a great week and can’t express how happy I am.

“I had a great pre-practice, found a lot of fish and had marked a lot of places,” Moulton went on to say. “But then on the first day, everywhere I went there was a boat. I was scratching my head, because every spot I had marked was taken, so I had to figure something else out.

“I decided to move away from the bank and started fishing behind the rest of the boats. I moved about 25 to 30 feet off the bank targeting grass. It was a grind, though. I only had one or two fish by noon each day. As the tide went out in the afternoon it started to push the fish off the banks and that’s when I started getting steady bites.

“Today the tide was horrible and everybody struggled,” Moulton continued. “But I got 14 pounds, and that was all I needed. Normally there is a four-foot swell, but today there was only a two-foot change, and with no movement in the water, the fish weren’t moving either.”

Moulton said that unlike most of the anglers in the tournament, he was not flipping or drop-shotting. He said that he was throwing Revenge Viberator baits, a Chatterbait-style bait, in brown and orange and Reaction Innovation Sweet Beavers in the Big Texan color. He was using 70-pound-test braided line and indicated that the line was key, as it would rip the baits through the grass.

The top 10 pros on the California Delta were:

1st: Jim Moulton, Merced, Calif., 15 bass, 59-13, $34,636 plus a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor
2nd: Toshitada Suzuki, Katusikaku, Japan, 15 bass, 57-2, $12,988
3rd: Benjamin Byrd, Moab, Utah, 15 bass, 56-7, $8,659
4th: Stephen Tosh Jr., Turlock, Calif., 14 bass, 55-13, $7,793
5th: Miles Howe, San Clemente, Calif., 15 bass, 54-5, $6,927
6th: Timothy Venkus, Wilton, Calif., 15 bass, 54-1, $6,061
7th: Jeff Michels, Lakehead, Calif., 15 bass, 50-15, $5,195
8th: Vu Au, Tucson, Ariz., 15 bass, 50-8, $4,329
9th: Sean Stafford, Fairfield, Calif., 15 bass, 48-1, $3,464
10th: Aaron Lesieur, Rancho Murieta, Calif., 15 bass, 45-2, $2,598

Nick Welton of Galt, Calif., caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division on Friday – an 11-pound, 9-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s EverStart Series Big Bass award of $248.

John Browning of Payson, Ariz., won the co-angler division and a Ranger Z117 with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 42 pounds, 2 ounces.

The top 10 co-anglers on the California Delta were:

1st: John Browning, Payson, Ariz., 15 bass, 42-2, Ranger Z117 with 90-horsepower outboard
2nd: Dante Ray, Sparks, Nev., 15 bass, 40-9, $4,477
3rd: Kurt Chase, Petaluma, Calif., 12 bass, 36-7, $3,582
4th: Martino Adra, Discovery Bay, Calif., 14 bass, 36-2, $3,134
5th: Neil Sterud II, Antioch, Calif., 15 bass, 35-14, $2,686
6th: Charles Peak, San Jose, Calif., 15 bass, 34-15, $2,239
7th: Barry McCoy, Castro Valley, Calif., 14 bass, 32-14, $1,791
8th: Roy Desmangles, Lincoln, Calif., 12 bass, 32-13, $1,343
9th: Jack Farage, Discovery Bay, Calif., 12 bass, 31-3, $895
10th: Kenneth Mueller, Lodi, Calif., 13 bass, 30-13, $716

Browning caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division Friday – an 8-pound, 14-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s EverStart Series Big Bass award of $165.

The EverStart Series consists of five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of four tournaments where competitors are vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Strike King Angler of the Year title, which allows them to fish the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup.

The next EverStart Series Western Division event is scheduled for Oct. 10-12 on Clear Lake in Lakeport, Calif. Konocti Vista Casino Resort and Marina will be sponsoring the event.

Logo courtesy FLW Outdoors

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