“We were way overdue!” said a jubilant Justin. John and I have had an up and down year and have come so close several times to winning. So when it finally happens it's that much more exciting!” he added. And close it was. Justin and John's 11.27 lbs was just .07 lbs more than 2nd place team Ed Robinson and John Hancock. Dropshottin' from 50 to 60 feet, and locating active groups of fish was the ticket to victory as they stayed in one area most of the day.
Their victory earned them $2,750 dollars which included an extra $1000 in Ranger Cup money. Congratulations Justin and John on a victory well deserved.
Second place finishers Ed Robinson and Mike Hancock just missed the winner's circle posting 11.20 lbs, but were in no way disappointed with their “bridesmaid” finish. “Justin and John are great anglers that work hard and deserved to win”, Ed and Mike noted cheerfully. We are proud of our performance and a 2nd place finish under such tough conditions - along with $1,350 - isn't bad for a day's fishin!”.
And it was tough for most anglers. A front that blew through earlier in the week, wrecked havoc with most anglers' patterns and many had to make quick adjustments to their strategies. “C&C Marine pro staffer John Maes, and the 12 other bass pros that provided “on the water” pre-fish support on Friday afternoon, really helped me out”, commented Dick Moore member of the Folsom Bass Team club and 4th place finisher. I really appreciate what they did for us and want to thank each one if them personally”, he added.
In the small boat division, Matt Monaghan and Lee Woodson, split $420 dollars and rode to victory on the strength of a solid bag of bass that weighed 8.58 pounds. Joe Federico and Carl Janes, nipping at their heels in both the tournament and the Angler of the Year race, came close and grabbed 2nd place with a 7.00 lb limit.
AOY Races – Points leaders in both divisions are battling it out as angler's trade blows in what is shaping up to be a real dog fight for the 2005 FPT Angler of the Year crown. In addition to the prestigious Angler of the Year title, five limited sponsorships will be given to the winners, along with paid entries into the 2006 FPT season and many other honors commemorating the achievement. Devin Heno and John Zinda who have been in the lead all year, are surely hearing footsteps as perennial favorites Lucas and Norm Boden look for them to stumble in the season's last event on the California Delta. “Nothing's over until the points are calculated” commented Lucas, a young but tough competitor that fishes the Tour with his father Norm. “We're letting it all go for the Delta event and hopefully it will be enough to claim the title,” he added confidently. Jim Wilson and Michael Bartomolucci, plan to keep Joe Federico and Carl Janes at bay in the small boat division, with good solid patterns and execution. “Focus will be key,” Jim noted. We have got to focus, and execute when we get the bites…it's as simple as that”.
Stay tuned…we will know who will come out on top in this race as soon as the last boat weighs in on Oct 8th !
I would like to extend a special thanks to all of the bass pros and their sponsors who helped provide support for the “On the water” pre-fish promotion. John Maes, Corey Fenske, Chris Raza, Dean McDaniel (C&C Marine) , Chad Dwyer (Cope McPhetres), Ryan White, Chad Martin, Bernie Gaunt, Marcel Colin, Ralph Harkins (Galaxie Marine), Terry White, Rob Reihl, and Scott McKenzie – all of you made this promotion possible and it certainly reflects your commitment to the growth of the novice angler, and the bass fishing industry at large – thank you.
Next up…..The California Delta and our final event for the 2006 season. Launch will be out of Russo's marina, with a pre-registration seminar to be held at West Marine Products in Pittsburg on Oct 7th . Sign up now to ensure you get a good blast-off number!
See you all at the Delta!
Director, Future Pro Tour Tournament Trails