ROLAND LEADS WALMART FLW SERIES EVENT ON CALIFORNIA DELTA
Wright Leads Co-Angler Division
OAKLEY, Calif. (Sept. 23, 2009) - Bryan Roland of Brentwood, Calif., landed 5 bass weighing 25 pounds Wednesday, Sept. 23 to lead day one of the Walmart FLW Series® National Guard Western Division tournament on the California Delta. He now holds a narrow 5-ounce lead in the tournament featuring 89 pros and 89 co-anglers representing 11 states and Japan.
"You have to have bait fish," said Roland, who lives on the Delta. "That is key. I fished slow and ran the tide getting two big fish on high tide rolling in and the rest of my bag as the tide was going out."
Roland was flipping in grassy areas next to deep water using a 1 ounce Double Wide Sweet Beaver and a frog. Many of today's anglers also indicated that they were fishing in grassy areas, mostly hydrilla and hyacinth. Green-pumpkin Sweet Beaver was a common bait used during day one of fishing.
Many anglers complained of a slow start, indicating that the majority of the fish caught were not until around noon when the tide changed and rolled back out. Due to the heat, today's weigh-in time was moved up half hour which hurt several of the anglers who drew the first and second check-in times.
Gene Gray of Atascadero, Calif., is in the No. 2 spot with 5 bass weighing 24-11.
After a tough practice, Gray was just hoping he would be able to bag 14 pounds per day to stay in the money range; his 24-11 was a very happy surprise.
"I changed my game plan today after the lousy practice I had," said Gray. "I didn't have as many bites as I had during practice, but the ones I did get landed bigger fish and I'll take that any day! I followed the current, which seemed to be where the big fish were."
Rounding out the top five pros are Charlie Weyer of West Hills, Calif. (5 bass, 24-7); Nicholas Kanemoto of Elk Grove, Calif. (5 bass, 21-5) and Lorenzo Rossetti of Stockton, Calif. (5 bass, 19-12).
Jon Strelic of El Cajon, Calif., earned the day's $293 Folgers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 8-pound, 8-ounce bass he caught on a green-pumpkin Sweet Beaver.
The remaining top ten pros are Ricky Shabazz of Rialto, Calif., sixth, Leon Knight of Discovery Bay, Calif., seventh, Rusty Salewske of Alpine, Calif. eighth, Brian Carpenter of Livermore, Calif., ninth, and in tenth, Jon Strelic, of El Cajon, Calif.
Overall there were 387 bass weighing 989 pounds, 12 ounces caught by 89 pros Wednesday. The catch included 60 five-bass limits.
Pros are competing this week for a top award of $125,000 plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for a shot at the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup.
JR Wright of Truckee, Calif., leads the Co-angler Division with 5 bass weighing 13-13 followed by John Niedosik of Avondale, Ariz., in second place with 5 bass weighing 13-4.
"I really have to credit the pros I am fishing with," said Wright, who has a narrow lead after day one of competition. "I fished with a great pro today, Rusty Salewske (currently in eighth place), and punched with beavers all day long; color doesn't even matter. Cody Meyer is one of my fishing partners and he just recently taught me how to punch, it was great. "
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Tracy Patton of Oakdale, Calif. (3 bass, 11-10); Robert Faaborg of Ramona, Calif. (4 bass, 11-5) and Mike Iloski of Escondido, Calif, (5 bass, 11-4).
Richard Taylor of Shingle Springs, Calif., earned $195 for the Folgers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 7-pound, 7-ounce bass he caught on a Zoom Brush Hog watermelon candy while fishing with pro Sean Minderman of Spokane, Wash.
Overall there were 227 bass weighing 449 pounds, 11 ounces caught by 89 co-anglers Wednesday. The catch included 17 five-bass limits.
Co-anglers are competing this week for a top award of $25,000 as well as a shot at the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup.
Anglers will take off at 7 each morning from Russo's Marina located at 3995 Willow Road in Bethel Island, Calif. Thursday and Friday's weigh-in will be held at the marina beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday's weigh-in will be held at the Walmart store located at 4893 Lone Tree Way in Antioch, Calif., beginning at 4 p.m. Children will also be treated to a Family Fun Zone prior to Saturday's weigh-in from noon to 4 p.m. at Walmart. Activities in the Family Fun Zone include a National Guard boat simulator and assorted fishing-themed games. All activities are free and open to the public.
In FLW Series competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers. The total purse for the California Delta tournament is nearly $900,000, including $10,000 through 50th place in the Pro Division.
Top point earners from the Walmart FLW Tour, Walmart FLW Series, Stren Series, Walmart BFL, and the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Champion will advance to the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup in Atlanta, Ga., which will be held at Lake Lanier.
Coverage of the California Delta tournament, hosted by the City of Oakley, will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS, the network which brings anglers the best fishing programming on television featuring the most-trusted authorities on the water. The Emmy-nominated "FLW Outdoors," will air Oct. 25, from 12:30 to 1:30 ET. "FLW Outdoors," hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide, including internationally through agreements with WFN (World Fishing Network) and Matchroom Sport to such countries as Canada, Germany, China, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Hungary and the United Kingdom, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoor-sports television show in the world
Total awards are based on a full field of 150 boats in every tournament.
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. FLW Outdoors also is taking fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports, $10 million in cash and prizes. Sign up for Player's Advantage for only $10 to get your edge and win.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player's Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.
Source: flwoutdoors.com (2009-09-23)