Ahh...Beautiful Clear Lake...a fishery that has proven itself time and time again as being perhaps the best bass fishery in the country will be the site of the Future Pro Tour's second stop for the 2004 season Saturday, April 24th at Redbud Park in the city of Clearlake. After March's season opener on Lake Berryessa, where 286 anglers (143 teams) made their mark on the much smaller Napa Valley impoundment, Clearlake should be just the ticket to provide a challenging venue for this group of dedicated amateur anglers.

Late April at Clearlake can be a good time for catching big bass in that some of the big females will be on spawning beds. If fact, it was just a few years ago that Byron Velvick, fishing a B.A.S.S open event on Clearlake set the B.A.S.S record for the largest 3-day limit ever caught in a B.A.S.S tournament. While Future Pro Tour anglers can't count on busting an 83lb bag as Byron did, you can best believe there will be lots of big bass weighed in at this event.

As Future Pro anglers plan their strategies for this event many will keep in mind that doing well will help them accumulate the points needed to secure a berth in November's Future Pro Tour Classic to be held November 6-7 on Folsom Lake and the California Delta, in which the winners will receive a new vehicle courtesy of Peoples Folsom Lake/Stockton - Chrysler-Jeep-Nissan-Isuzu-Hyundai dealerships. "We did well at the Berryessa event (5th place) and really need to show well at this event", said Mark Daniels one half of the team that won last year?s Future Pro Tour Clearlake event. "Shasta is the next event after this one which might cause us some problems, so my new partner and I (Harvey Pullman) really need to work hard to stack up points from this event". Mark fished the 2003 season with partner Wayne Antione capturing a down-to-the-wire victory over an aggressive field of 101 teams. This year, Wayne is fishing the Tour with his son Wayne Jr.

Mike Hitomi (aka the Hitman) and Dennis Smith back together again as a team following Mike's year long layoff to tend to the newest addition to his family, are glad to be back together for this upcoming event. "We love Clearlake at this time of year!" said Mike. "That s because there?s always the possibility of taggin a big fish?and changing a ten pound sack into a 20 pound sack in one cast!" he added with excitement.

The Future Pro Tour is an amateur level team circuit that offers a great opportunity to learn the basics of competitive bass fishing, meet lots of great people, and just have fun. Our goal simply put, is to provide a venue in which entry/amateur level anglers can improve on their bass fishing skills in a friendly yet competitive environment. Requiring only a nominal entry fee, we encourage all participants 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. At the end of the year, teams with the most points from each division will qualify for the end of year ' Future Pro Only ' tournament of champions dubbed the Future Pro Tour Classic!

Optional pre-registration for this event will be held on Friday (4/23) at the Limit Out Tackle shop in Clearlake Oaks (707-998-1006) from 4-6pm. During the pre-registration period, hamburgers and drinks will be served and there will be FREE seminars on 'How to Fish Clear Lake in mid-spring' featuring some of Clearlake's top pro anglers. Scheduled to speak at the seminar will be:

- Jerry Tilton

A Clearlake resident, (Lakeport) Jerry is perhaps the most versatile pro angler on the West Coast, and has won major events on just about every body of water in the west. A West Coast Bass Classic Champion, he has the added distinction of being the only person to qualify for the West Coast Bass Classic fourteen times consecutively.

- Andy 'Cooch' Cuccia

Although thought of by many as a certified 'Delta Rat', Andy's angling prowess extends far beyond the maze of sloughs and levies that comprise the massive California Delta. A much sought after guide on many of California's lakes as well as the Delta, 'Cooch' knows how to catch BIG bass on Clearlake. The fact that Clearlake is very shallow with lots of grass and tulles - fishing similar to the Delta, Cooch will have no trouble helping you to figure out a pattern on California's largest natural lake.

- Jim Munk

A successful guide on Clearlake and other lakes throughout the Sonoma coast, Jim has scored several victories in tournament competition and continues to be a favorite in teaching others practical methods on catching bass in the spring.

Don't forget, check out the Future Pro Tour website (www.futureprotour.net) in the Pro's Pointers section for tips from top pro's as to what techniques they would use for foolin' Clearlake bass in the mid-spring!

The launch site for this event will be at Redbud Park in Clearlake. Check-in, the morning of the event, will be at the launch ramp (top of the parking lot) and will be from 3:30-6:00am. Be sure check in early, as this is sure to be another 100+ team event!

The host hotels for this event will be the Travelodge hotel in Clearlake (707-994-1499) and the Lakepoint Lodge in Clearlake Oaks (707-998-4350). Both hotels will be offering special discounts for Future Pro Tour anglers so when making your reservations be sure to tell the hotel staff that you will be fishing the Future Pro Tour event.

So what are you waiting on!? Come on up to Clearlake....bring your BIG BASS BAITS, and join us for what is sure to be a really fun event!

See you all at Clearlake !!!

Vince Harris

Director Future Pro Tour Tournament Trails