“The weather changed up a bit and I tried to fish the same pattern I had fished the day before,” said Campiotti, who fished an untraditional shaky-head worm to boat most of his bass. “I had a limit of two-pounders before 9 a.m., so I changed colors and upgraded my weight a little bit that way. By 2 p.m., I had close to 13 pounds in the boat.”
Campiotti threw a swimbait in practice and caught small fish, but couldn’t find any bass of considerable size.
“Generally I throw a swimbait in cloudy conditions,” Campiotti said. “That’s when I think it works best. I caught a couple of fish near the end of the day today on the swimbait. I positioned the boat so my co-angler could flip docks and get a solid limit, and I fished the swimbait out of the front of the boat, and I ended up hooking one that weighed about five pounds.”
Campiotti plans to continue to fish the pattern that has worked for him so far — fishing the shaky-head worm in 7 to 15 feet of water.
“I’m keying on a definite pre-spawn pattern in deeper water,” Campiotti said. “I’m keeping that bait in the water maybe seven or eight minutes before I cast again. Sometimes I shake it, and sometimes I let it just sit there. And I barely feel the bite when it’s there.”
Rounding out the top five pros are Jared Stone of Lakeport, Calif. (10 bass, 49-0); Michael Tuck of Antelope, Calif. (10 bass, 48-2); and Richard Dobyns of Yuba City, Calif. (10 bass, 45-11). Jeff Billings of Clearlake, Calif., earned $285 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 10-pound bass he caught.
Pros are competing for as much as $65,000, including a 519VX Ranger powered by Evinrude or Yamaha if contingency guidelines are met, and valuable points toward qualifying for the $1 million Stren Series Championship in Mobile, Ala., Nov. 8-11 for a shot at $140,000. After four qualifying events are complete in each of the circuit’s five divisions, the top 40 pros from each division will advance to the championship. The highest-finishing pro from each division at the championship will also earn a spot in the $2 million 2008 Forrest Wood Cup, where they will compete against top pros from the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series and TBF (The Bass Federation) for bass fishing’s biggest prize – $1 million.
Kyle Clement of Anderson, Calif., leads the Co-angler Division in the chase for a top award of $35,000, including a 519VX Ranger if contingency guidelines are met. He caught five bass weighing 21-13 Wednesday and five bass weighing 19-12 Thursday for a total of 10 bass weighing 41-9.
“The day started off pretty good,” said Clement, who has won a few local tournaments on Clear Lake. “I took me about five minutes before I had one close to six pounds in the boat. I caught one close to 3 pounds right after that. “I’m on a pretty good swimbait bite, but it’s more of a morning bite,” Clement said. “I only caught one fish on it after 9 a.m. I’m going to continue to throw the swimbait, but I’ll use a drop-shot rig to fill out my limit. Then it’s back to the swimbait.”
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Zachary Holwerda of Cave Creek, Ariz. (10 bass, 39-15); Andy Scholz of Reno, Nev. (10 bass, 38-12); Paul Fontaine of Brentwood, Calif. (10 bass, 36-4); and Bobby Tilford of Fresno, Calif. (10 bass, 36-3).
Holwerda earned $144 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 13-pound, 1-ounce bass.
The top 40 co-anglers from each Stren Series division will also advance to the championship, where they will fish for as much as $70,000. The highest-finishing co-angler from each division at the championship will then advance to the 2008 Forrest Wood Cup.
Anglers will take off at 6:30 each morning from Konocti Harbor Resort located at 8727 Soda Bay Road in Kelseyville. Friday’s weigh-in will be held at the marina beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday’s weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 15960 Dam Road in Clearlake, Calif., beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
Stren Series tournaments are four-day events consisting of two rounds. The entire field competes Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. At the conclusion of Friday’s weigh-in, the field is cut to the top 10 pros and co-anglers based on the heaviest three-day accumulated weights. These anglers continue competition Saturday, with the winners determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all four days.
FLW Outdoors historically maintains a 98 percent live release rate in all of its bass tournaments.
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail presented by Abu Garcia, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses of nearly $43 million through 241 events in 2007.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world’s leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Walmart.com.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.