“A bass is a bass, is a bass”…Scott explained. It doesn’t matter where you are in the country, if you have a weed or grass line adjacent to deep water, and you throw a high profile, weedless bait like the Snag Proof frog into it….you are going to get bit.”
Ranger Pro, and two-time FLW champion, Jared Stone, admonished anglers to stay with throwing top water baits like the Snag Proof frog, Zara Spook and wake bait offerings, around submerged trees and go down “swinging for the fences”.
"You can’t win if you are just trying to scratch out a limit, Jared instructed. You need a fish that will put you over the top.”
That there was even hope catching a big bass, instilled a ray of hope in many anglers extremely apprehensive about their chances of even catching a limit on a lake that was unfamiliar to just about the entire field.
Adding to the anxiety was the fact that crucial points toward a berth in the Future Pro Tour Classic were at stake, reminding anglers sitting on or near the Classic “qualifying bubble,” that this lake would be a big factor in whether or not they would receive an invitation to fish the most prestigious amateur championship event in the western United States. For along with the title of Future Pro Tour Classic champion, comes the keys to a new Ranger 188vx, powered by an Evinrude E-Tech 150, a Minnkota Pro Maxx 101 trolling motor, and Humminbird electronics with NAVIONICS mapping technology, all rigged by Capitol City Marine of Citrus Heights – a package worth over $35,000.
As it turned out, of the 102 teams that participated, thirty two came up blank, and only a few were able to scratch out limits. But those that chose to follow the advice Scott and Jared had to offer, and patiently fish for heavyweights submerged deep in the thick weed lines and sprawling trees, won the day and stirred up an already heated points race for the Classic.
Mike and Eula Harmon brought an incredible limit of 15.10 pounds to the scales capturing their first Future Pro Tour title of the year, and it is for sure that Eula’s infectious giggles while on the microphone during the awards ceremony, made a point that this great husband and wife team would have had fun no matter where they placed in the standings. Mike and Eula earned $2,050 for the win and took home Ranger cup money of $400 for winning this FPT event and owning a Ranger boat.
Ed and John Zinda followed close behind with a limit that weighed over fourteen pounds, doing well enough to propel them into second place in the FPT Angler of the Year standings. They used top water offerings like Zara Spooks and Snag Proof frogs all day – around trees and weed lines to capture their 2nd place finish.
James Everhart fishing with his son Cole, and representing Thunder Valley Casino, captured the Berkley “Big Bass of a Lifetime” award with a largemouth that weighed 6.75 pounds caught on a “Bobby’s Perfect Frog” produced by Snag Proof Lures. James received a new REVO reel courtesy of ABU Garcia for his big fish. “I was popping that frog over a massive grass bed in the back of a cove, and just as it cleared the grassy area and made it to open water… the fish nailed it!” In addition to the new REVO reel, the big fish was worth $350 in big fish money, a new Lamiglas rod, and the George Gomes memorial big fish plaque.
I am truly impressed and encouraged by the attitude of all Future Pro Tour anglers who as amateurs desiring to grow their skills, met the challenge of fishing this new lake head on, being patient enough with themselves to embrace change and the process necessary to help anglers develop into true professionals.
Our final stop for the tour will be on Oct 11th, at Lake Don Pedro, which will be a combined event with the central valley region. This event will host a large field, and will present a great opportunity for those of you in the central valley to win some big cash…so get ready for some Lake Don Pedro fun! See you all there!