Gushea and Fraser take FPT Central Valley delta title

OAKLEY, Ca. - The first Future Pro Tour/Central Valley region event held on the California delta last Saturday, proved once again that some simply can't get enough of the exciting summertime action it has to offer. “Delta rats” as well as those anglers fishing the FPT's northern region (81 teams in all) made the event an exciting one and gave it their best shot in what proved to be an elusive bite for many.

“Not sure where my bite went”, said San Pablo resident Jonathan Green, who fished with Willie Lewis of Fresno. I was on em' pretty good last week but I think the cooler weather we've been having lately shut them down a bit”, he surmised. And judging by the fish most teams brought to the scales at weigh-in, John's assessment didn't seem to be too far off the mark, as only about half the field managed to get a good limit.

Ben Gushea and Larry Fraser, however, found their way around the adversity of weather changes, and keying on areas with “moving water” – as recommended by western legend Dee Thomas during Friday night's pre-registration seminar, out distanced a strong field of anglers bringing a 21.74 pound limit to the scales to capture the first FPT/Central Valley title and a check for $1,675 dollars.

Second place was taken by Bill "the great" Santini and Stan Prickett, who moved up to 8th place in the rankings on an even 18-pound bag of bass. Flippin' the new TnT jigs was the key to success for this talented team and they pocketed $1,450 dollars for their efforts. Rounding out third place, were newcomers Charlie Dillard and Butch Sieffert, who posted an impressive limit of bass (17.17 pounds) again using the new TnT jigs they bought the night before at seminar. “We want to thank Andy Cuccia for his tips on how to use this jig”, they said excitedly. His detail at the seminar about how to work these phenominal jigs really made the difference”.

Race for the title

No one drew blood in the race for the Future Pro Tour/Central Valley Angler of the Year title, as Adam Belmont and Stephan Magill continue to hold onto their 1st place lead and their hopes of receiving the prestigious award. “Our pre-fishing last week's FPT northern event for this event, was a great help in getting us to relax and do well”, said Adam and Stephan both happy with their 17th place overall finish in the event. But we still have two more events to go and we have some pretty good anglers “tail-grabbin us”, they added.

Bobby Tilford and Dana McGriff of Fresno, both outstanding lake fishermen, who moved up to 2nd place in the AOY standings after yesterday's event, are both looking toward the challenge that lies ahead of them. “The next lake coming up (New Melones) bodes well for our style of fishing and we really look forward to giving it our best in this race for the title”, they both said in excited tones. Win, lose, or draw, were having a great time competing on the tour with a great group of guys”.

Next up for the FPT's Central Valley region

..New Melones! And a reservoir that offers deep water lake fishing once again. Having never been to New Melones I can't conjecture on what anglers may need to do to be successful, so I'll admonish anglers with the simple phrase coined by a late great angler which is also inscribed on our George Gomes Memorial Big Fish Award ”Just Keep Fishin”!

See you all there!