For the anglers participating in the up-coming Future Pro Tour event on May 14th, however, there will be no time for hiking or bird watching. At stake in this 3rd event of a 7-event season are points crucial towards attaining a coveted spot in the 2005 Future Pro Tour Classic and the opportunity to win a fully-rigged Ranger Boat with Evinrude Outboard, Minnkota, and Hummingbird electronics.
With two events already behind them, these amateur-level anglers must do a 180-degree about face, and “gear-down” so to speak to find a pattern that will for the most part, be totally different from what was required at the Clearlake event. ”I’m a delta rat – through and through!“ commented Speedy Griffin of Stockton. My partner Marcus Lampley and I made a decent showing at Clearlake (31st) and took home a check, because that shallow water/big bait stuff is just the kind of fishing we like” he added. Shasta is going to be tough…but that’s why were fishing the Future Pro Tour - to expand our overall fishing knowledge and become complete anglers”.
Speedy’s points on expanding his knowledge base are well put in that the Future Pro Tour – presented by People's Folsom Lake/Stockton – Chrysler-Jeep-Nissan-Hyundai-Isuzu, is designed to offer the amateur-level angler an opportunity to learn the basics of competitive bass fishing, meet lots of great people, and just have fun.
It's goal simply put, is to provide a venue in which the entry/amateur level angler can improve on their bass fishing skills in a friendly yet competitive environment. Requiring only a nominal entry fee ($80), participants are encouraged to share information, and be part of making our events a fun experience for all.
The Future Pro Tour is a team format and features 2 divisions – Div I (0-90hp) and Div II (91hp and above), where anglers in each division fish for that division's prize money.
According to locals at Shasta, in particular the crew down at Phil's Prop's/Tackle, the bite is tremendous and getting better with each passing day. “Fish are in the 5' to 15' zone and are being taken on everything from darterheads to Zara Spooks”, noted one of the fellows behind the counter at Phil's. “Come game day – it ought to be wide open”!
Much more information about how to catch em' at Shasta in the spring will be available to Future Pro Tour anglers at the FREE seminar that will be held at West Marine Product (2607 Bechelli Ln, Redding) the evening prior to the event.
Three of Shasta Lake's most accomplished pros will be present at the pre-registration seminar to share with Future Pro Tour anglers:
§ Bill Townsend
An accomplished pro, Billy is one of only a few pro anglers on Shasta Lake that is consistently thought of by his fellow competitors as the odds-on favorite to win any major event on Shasta lake – at any time of the year. Recognized as deep-water expert, he will share the secrets that have earned him many championship titles on Shasta Lake, including a top 3 finish in the 2000 Bassmaster Western Invitational.
§ Greg Gutierrez
A pro noted for his versatility and angling prowess on Shasta Lake, Greg will provide 1 on 1 instruction for those that need a little more in-depth, “hands on” instruction regarding techniques to catch bass on Shasta lake. A member of the Nitro boats pro-staff, Greg scored a 1st place victory in the B.A.S.S Open on Shasta Lake in 2004. He also placed 6th in the B.A.S.S Tour event on lake Norman in March 2005. Greg is a touring pro, and fishes all of the major circuits throughout the country and is a keynote speaker at the ISE sportsman's shows.
§ Russ Meyer
Those who are new to tournament fishing may not have heard of Russ Meyer, but please believe me when I tell you - he is no stranger to the winners circle in the professional ranks. Back on the tournament trail after a brief hiatus, Russ is “back in the saddle”, and on a roll posting an outstanding 2nd place finish in the March 2005 B.A.S.S Open (behind Greg Gutierrez). Russ carries an impressive resume of western Classic championship titles, AOY titles, and has won so many fully-rigged Ranger boats, he could start his own T.V show and boat dealership! A plastics aficionado, Russ, knows Shasta Lake like the back of his hand and will help you gain the advantage when competing in tournament competition.
The pre-registration and seminars for the event will be from 4:00-6:00pm at the West Marine Product Store, 2607 Bechelli Ln, in Redding. Immediately following, from 6:15 to 8pm, there will be a big FREE BBQ dinner with Chicken, Hot links, potato salad and all the fixin’s, hosted by Phil’s Props, (3037 Twin View Blvd, Shasta Lake City). There will be a free product raffle for all that attend, and Phil will keep the store open so you can pick up those last minute baits. Phil's carries a complete line of tackle, and all the specialty jigs/plastic baits that are used specifically on Shasta Lake!
Late registration will be available the morning of the event from 4:00-6:00 am at Phil's Prop/Tackle, and blast-off will be at safelight from Bridge bay Marina.
Some come on up!…Get your dropshot, darterhead, and Zara Spook baits ready for this one…cause I gotta feeling there's gonna be a “whole lotta shakin going on” at Shasta!!
See you there!!!
Vince Harris – Director, Future Pro Tour