KELSEYVILLE, Ca. - When he got the word two weeks before last month’s Future Pro Tour delta event that his first born was due any day,soon-to-be father Jose Soto, had a pretty good understanding that therest of his season on the Future Pro Tour would be one that wouldrequire extreme mental focus.
And, although after two events he and partner Michael Nunez had atop ten seat in the points race for team anglers of the year, thisthree-year veteran of the Future Pro Tour and Santa Rosa resident, knewwhere his priorities lay. “Family always comes first”, said Jose, but Iimmediately went to my partner and told him he would have to carry theload and fish alone in that delta event”. And Mike Nunez delivered,fishing alone in that 'shootout' event, doing well enough help keep theteam in a top twenty spot for the AOY points race.
Energized by the birth of his new child, along with the feelingthat the well-being of his family was secure, Jose re-joined the team,and in Saturday’s FPT event at Clearlake, used all of the focus hecould muster to help his team edge a large field of anglers (143teams), with a solid 5-fish limit of bass that weighed 26.16 lbs,capturing their first Future Pro Tour title.
“This feels soooo good!”, Jose shouted, overjoyed at the fact thatthey finally captured an FPT event championship title that has eludedthem for so long. I started fishing the Tour three years ago, in thesmall boat division, and did pretty well… but the turning point camewhen I moved up to the big boat division and asked Mike Nunez topartner up with me. He is a fantastic partner and great angler”.
Jose and Mike stayed north, fishing black Snag Proof frogs - with ared dots painted on the bottom, around massive tule areas wherered-wing black birds were nesting.
They got the idea to fish these modified Snag Proof frogs from FPTpro-support staffer Jimmy Reese, who told anglers attending Fridaynight’s pre-registration seminar that he has notched several victorieson Clearlake in the late spring using black Snag Proof frogs – with ared dots painted on the bottom.
Jimmy further explained that he discovered this pattern afterseveral double-digit fish he had caught practicing for an event coughedup red-winged blackbirds!
For their victory they took home $2,650 in cash, two acrylictrophies, the Costa Del Mar – “Champions Choice” award which consistedof two pairs of premium sunglasses, and a free 1-year membership toBoatUS, a vessel assist/towing service similar to AAA.
Dave Callahagn and Quit Choy took second place honors on thestrength of a 25.78 pound limit, sighting patience as the keys to theirgreat finish. “You had to stay with the areas you were working, and letthe fish dictate how they wanted the bait”, they noted, taking home$2000 for their second place finish.
The Future Pro Tour’s first all-female team, Jennifer Anderson andTara Robinett came in strong to capture third place honors, using theBerkley powerworms and dropshot rigs they won at Friday’spre-registration seminar to show they had what it took to becompetitive in a traditionally all-male team environment. “We had somuch fun!”, they noted, clearly excited about their finish. Everybodywas friendly and were congratulating us as were coming to the scales…wemade a ton of new friends this weekend”.
In addition to earning a third place check of $1950, Jennifer andTara, captured big fish honors (an 8.86 pounder) and received thecoveted George Gomes Memorial Big Fish trophy, the Lamiglas “Big Fish”award, which consisted of a Lamiglas competitor series rod, the ABUGarcia “Fish of a Lifetime” award which consisted of a new REVO reel,and a certificate for a premium paint job courtesy of MAACO autopainting.
The small boat division’s first place title was captured by AdamOchoa and Demitrius Taylor, who targeted bedfish and threw crankbaits -all day to earn a check good for $700 dollars. Adam also received anABU Garcia “Fish of a Lifetime” award (a new REVO reel) and for theirbig bass that weighed 8.78 pounds.
What a fantastic event! Great weather, a good turnout of anglers,and lots of limits! And don’t forget…this event, as all FPT events,will be broadcast in 2 weeks on Comcast Sports TV. The broadcast startsat 10:30am.
As we are heading into our summer break, the next FPT event wont beheld until Saturday, Aug 9th at the California delta, going out ofRusso’s Marina. So everybody take the 7th inning stretch…put thefishing poles down, and go spend some time with the family!
See you all in August!
President/Director, Future Pro Tour Tournament Trails