River2Sea Pro Staff Member Mark Crutcher wins 2008 WON BASS Pro Am Season Opener at Lake Shasta

Lake Shasta, Calif. – River2Sea pro staffer Mark Crutcher has been on a roll in the last two years, and if the first week of 2008 is any indication of the year to come, his winning streak will continue.

Crutcher, a 34-year-old pro from Lakeport, Calif. bagged a 16.10 pound limit of Lake Shasta spotted bass in the last hour and a half of the second day of the first WON Bass Northern Division Pro Am to come from behind to win a fully rigged Nitro Z7 / Mercury Optimax package. He came from 38th place to win on the last day; his total winning weight was 24.71 pounds.

Crutcher reported that he had been on a swimbait bite in practice, but the recent storms that pounded Northern California muddied the water and made the subtle big bait pattern less effective. “I struggled a bit the first day and was only able to get 8.61 pounds,” Crutcher said following his win. “But, as the second day was winding down, the wind started blowing; I started throwing a ¾-ounce River2Sea Touch Down Flat Rubber Jig on a Powell 766 rod and 12-pound test Seaguar fluorocarbon line.”

The winning color combination was a brown and purple River2Sea Touch Down jig tipped with a Yamamoto twin tailed grub in cinnamon with black flake as a trailer. “I took one of my jigs and went to my local tackle store; Tackle It before leaving for the event, and found the perfect color grub to match it,” Crutcher said. “The color combination and heavy weight of the jig seemed to trigger aggressive strikes.”

Crutcher said that the breezes came up in the afternoon of the final day of the tournament blew across the points. The conditions reminded him of fishing at one of his favorite lakes, so he tied on the Touch Down Jig and covered as many points as possible. His big limit came from 1:00 PM until 2:30 PM. “I’ve never experienced that kind of fishing on Shasta; it was amazing.”

“The heaviness of the Touch Down jig, coupled with the hand tied flat rubber skirt seemed to make a difference in the amount, and quality of the strikes I got,” he said. “My co-anglers were throwing lighter jigs with different skirts, but were not getting near the amount of bites.”

The victory was Crutcher’s third major victory in the past three years, and the prize boat is his fourth won in pro competition. The Touch Down Flat Rubber Jig is a hand tied football head jig available in five sizes and 10 colors.

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