Wilson wins co-angler title, $20,000

BETHEL ISLAND, Calif. (March 17, 2007) – Pro Michael Rooke of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., caught a five-bass limit weighing 24 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to win $100,000 in the $1 million Wal-Mart FLW Series National Guard Western Division tournament on the California Delta with a four-day catch of 20 bass weighing a staggering 93-5, the heaviest total tournament weight in FLW Series history and fifth -overall heaviest total tournament weight in the history of FLW Outdoors events.

The catch gave him the win by a 4-pound, 1-ounce margin over Bobby Barrack of Oakley, Calif., who caught a total of 20 bass weighing 89-4 and earned $50,000.

“This is unbelievable,” said Rooke, whose $100,000 payday brought his career winnings to $103,704. “I never dreamed of coming here and winning the California Delta.”

Rooke opened the tournament in fourth place Wednesday with five bass weighing 27-2. On Thursday he added another five bass weighing 22-7 and remained in fourth place. He then caught five bass weighing 18-14 on Friday to make the crucial top 10 cut in third place. On Saturday, a kicker fish weighing 11 pounds, 10 ounces fell for a six-inch Oxblood light red flake Roboworm and sealed his victory.

“I fished slow in about 2 to 3 feet of water,” Rooke said. “I had one area, and that’s all I had. I stuck to it and was very fortunate to get the bites in there that I did today. I stayed in the same 400-yard stretch of shoreline for four days.

“I was really worried about the tide,” Rooke continued. “I caught the tide in my spot for about the last 45 minutes of the outgoing tide. Fortunately they bit then, because I was waiting on the high tide and the water was out for a long time in my area.”

Rooke said he had 23 pounds in the boat by 10 a.m., but still thought his chances of winning the event were slim.

“I didn’t think I had a chance, because I didn’t think there was any way I could overcome my deficit,” Rooke said.

“Not against Bobby Barrack or Ken Mah. Those guys don’t stumble very often.”

Barrack, the local hometown crowd favorite, led the event after the second and third days of competition. He said knew he had a chance to win, but he knew there were some very competent fisherman right behind him.

“I feel like it’s not very fair for a guy to drop a 12-pounder on the scales on the fourth day of a tournament I’m in,” Barrack said with a laugh. “I fished for a 20-pound bag today. I figured with the way the tides were today, there wouldn’t be outstanding weights weighed in. I fished conservatively but beefy. I weighed two fish under 2 ½ pounds. You can’t do that in an FLW tournament on the last day."

“I have nobody to blame but myself,” Barrack added. “I’m very frustrated with me right now. This one is going to take a while to get over.”

Barrack caught the majority of his baits on a prototype Dandy Baits jig, but also landed a few on a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver fished with a ¾-ounce Penetrator weight.

“We had real slow tides today,” Barrack said. “The tide dictated the use of drop-shot rigs and throwing Senkos. But I had so much confidence built up in what I had been doing. I knew it was going to be a grind, but I still thought I could get two or three 5-pounders today. That was my thought process.

“I never lost a fish today and I caught every fish that bit,” Barrack added. “And I ended up second.”

Rounding out the top five pros are Brian Carpenter of Livermore, Calif. (20 bass, 80-3, $40,000); Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif. (20 bass, 79-2, $30,000) and Leon Knight of Tehachapi, Calif. (20 bass, 78-11, $20,000).

Mike Oshea of San Ramon, Calif., caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Pro Division Friday – a 12-pound, 3-ounce largemouth – that earned him the day’s Snickers Big Bass award of $500.

By the end of the tournament, each of Saturday’s top-10 pro finalists broke the previous heaviest total tournament weight in an FLW Series event of 71-08 set by Dion Hibdon.

Other records broken in the California Delta event include the heaviest weight of total tournament catch for all days with 13,767 pounds, 10 ounces, shattering the 2006 Stren Series’ Lake Amistad weight of 10,036-11. The Day 1 and 2 combined weight of 9,146 pounds, 7 ounces broke the 2006 Stren Series’ Lake Amistad record of 9,133-08. The Day 3 and 4 combined weight of 4,621 pounds, 3 ounces shattered the 2006 FLW Series’ Lake Lanier record of 2,623-01. The heaviest Day 3 total tournament weight of 4,470 pounds, 8 ounces broke the 2006 FLW Series’ Lake Lanier record of 2,512-12.

Overall there were 50 bass weighing 150 pounds, 11 ounces caught by 10 pros Saturday. The catch included 10 five-bass limits.

Pat Wilson of Penngrove, Calif., won the Co-angler Division and $20,000 Friday with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 54 pounds, 1 ounce followed by Mark Daniels of Suisun City, Calif., in second place with 15 bass weighing 52-10 worth $10,000.

Wilson opened the tournament in 10th place Wednesday with five bass weighing 23-7 while fishing with pro Scott Mackenzie of Daly City, Calif. On Thursday he jumped to first place on the strength of a five-bass catch weighing 22-8 while fishing with pro Folkestad. He wrapped up the win Friday with a five-bass catch weighing 14-15 while fishing with pro Dave Pereira of Modesto, Calif.

“Dave didn’t have a whole lot of weight in the tournament, and he was gracious enough to tell me that whatever I wanted to fish, I could fish,” said Wilson, who now has five career FLW Outdoors wins as a co-angler, including one FLW Tour win and three BFL victories. “I wanted to stay in Franks Track because I knew there was a ton of fish in there.

“I knew coming into the tournament if I could average 15 pounds a day, I could probably end up in the top five,” Wilson added. “A top-10 finish is always my goal. I’d love to win, but to win, you have to get lucky.”

Wilson targeted pre-spawn fish in Franks Track along tule berms and breaks in 5 to 8 feet of water.

Wilson caught 13 of the 15 keepers he weighed in by drop-shotting a Roboworm. Wilson utilized a technique he dubbed “Bubba-shotting.” He fished the drop-shot rig, traditionally fished on light line and spinning gear, on 15-pound test line paired up with a baitcasting reel. He also caught a 3-pound fish on a swimbait Thursday and a 4-pound fish on a Senko on the first day of competition.

“I am truly blessed,” Wilson said. “I get to go home and sleep in my own bed tonight and my wife drove over with the kids. The weather was perfect and the fishing was amazing. It has been tremendous.” Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Wade Headrick of Middleton, Idaho (15 bass, 48-4, $9,000); Gary Jones of Roseville, Calif. (15 bass, 47-0, $8,000) and Mike Andrews of Oakley, Calif. (15 bass, 46-5, $7,000).

Gary Jones of Roseville, Calif., caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Friday – an 11-pound, 6-ounce largemouth – that earned him the day’s Snickers Big Bass award of $300.

FLW Outdoors historically maintains a 98 percent live release rate in all of its bass tournaments.

Coverage of the California Delta FLW Series tournament, which featured 400 anglers representing 14 states, as well as Mexico, Japan and Australia, will be broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States as part of the “FLW Outdoors” television program airing April 15. “FLW Outdoors” airs Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time. “FLW Outdoors” is also broadcast internationally to approximately 350 million households in Europe, Africa and Asia, making it the most widely distributed weekly fishing program in the world. Additionally, FLW Outdoors is proud to provide tournament coverage to more than 800,000 servicemembers stationed around the world in 177 countries and aboard Navy ships through broadcasts on the American Forces Network.

The next FLW Series National Guard Western Division tournament, hosted by the Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau, will be held Sept. 19-22 on the Columbia River in Tri Cities, Wash. Boats will launch from Columbia Point Marina in Richland, Wash., and the final weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart located at 2801 Duportail St. in Richland.

After four qualifying events are complete in the National Guard Western Division, the top 30 pros and 30 co-anglers will advance to the BP East-National Guard West Fishoff Jan. 17-19, 2008, where they will face the top 30 pros and 30 co-anglers from the BP Eastern Division for a shot at advancing to the $2 million, 2008 Forrest Wood Cup. The winning pro at the Forrest Wood Cup will earn as much as $1 million – the sport’s biggest award.

Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail presented by Abu Garcia, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses of nearly $43 million through 238 events in 2007.

Wal-Mart and many of America’s largest and most-respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world’s leading supporter of tournament fishing.

For more information about Wal-Mart, visit

For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit or call (270) 252-1000.