Joseph Silva wins Yak-a-Bass Opener at Lake Oroville

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basstrophy
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Joseph Silva wins Yak-a-Bass Opener at Lake Oroville

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Yak-A-Bass opener was held at Lake Oroville with a total of 121 anglers that competed. Lake Oroville was good fishing with 42 limits weighing in with 382 fish submitted. The weather prediction was rain and windy conditions; however, the rain held out until the last hour of the event with the wind following suit. Most of the day, the lake was calm and slick with a few drops of rain only lasting a few minutes at most. The water temperature ranged from 47 to 49 degrees with the air temperature stretching from mid 40’s to the upper 50’s. Lake Oroville has the tallest earth-filled dam that was completed in 1967, the dam reaches 700’ above the Feather River and is 900’ above sea level.

Lines in was at 0730 (7:30am) with lines out at 1500 (3PM). The fish had to be submitted before 1530. Once all the fish were submitted and the judging was completed, Joseph Silva won with 83.00” besting second place by 2.25”. Silva used the Strolling technique to catch his winning limit. He rotated through four different fluke style baits to entice the bass to bite. After doing his homework with map study, Silva found an area that had a few shallow humps with deep creek channels nearby. His morning run took around 60 minutes to arrive at his calculated location. Silva used his Garmin Live Scope unit to target suspended bass in the 15 to 20-foot range of water near the hump structures he located.

“I had my 83” by noon and never culled the last three hours of the day.” said Silva, “I focused on the larger returns skipping the smaller returns to catch the larger fish.”

“I would cast past the fish and let the fluke style baits hover over the fish.” said Silva, “Using 4-pound test helped me present the lure with a shimmy to entice the fish to bite.”

“I would position my boat in 30-feet of water and cast to 15 to 20-feet of water.” said Silva, “I used a slow retrieve with a soft shake of the rod tip to give the lure the shimmy.”

Silva found that the fish were set up on secondary points compared to all the way back into a cove or on main lake.

“I used a 3/32-ounce bait paired with 3” fluke style baits to catch the fish.” said Silva, “The shad color seemed to work better but I would use other colors to entice more bites when the fish became picky.”

Silva thanked his family for calling and congratulating him and for supporting him with his fishing.



Greg Blanchard finished in second with 79.75”. Blanchard found fishing tough during practice on Friday. He found a point that held several fish during the last part of the day on Friday. On tournament day, Blanchard arrived at the magical point after a 40-minute run.

“I fished that point all day.” said Blanchard, “I knew there was a huge group of fish there and fishing was tough, so I fished it all day long.”

Blanchard first used a drop shot paired with a Berkey Flat worm in Gobyashi color.

“I used the Flat worm in Gobyashi color to catch my first limit.” said Blanchard, “I had to dead stick the bait to get my bites.”

“I was casting around the point in 10 to 20-feet of water to get my bites.” said Blanchard, “I could see them on my Humminbird graph.”

“The key to the bigger bites was changing to a shaky head paired with a 5” Berkey General in the cinnamon purple color.” said Blanchard, “I wasn’t getting many bites, but they were bigger fish, I kept the shaky head in my hand the rest of the day.”

Blanchard’s adjustment proved to be the correct change which improved his limit to finish in second place. Blanchard thanked Terrence Sullivan and a big shout out to Serria Nevada Brewing Company for hosting, feeding everyone, and accommodating the crew with brews.



Shaun Leytem placed in third with 79.50” just .25” behind second place. Leytem found little coves with water that had washouts that held fish. He would follow the washouts out to deeper water from 20 to 30-feet deep to get his bites.

“One of the washouts still had water running into the lake with a tree in the middle of it.” said Leytem, “There was a ton of bait there, I dragged a ¼ ounce ball head paired with a 3.3 Keitech.”

“I would just barely drag the bait on the bottom really slow to get my bites.” said Leytem, “I would cast out behind me and let the kayak move super slow.”

Each time Leytem would move by the tree’s edge, he was able to catch a few more fish.

Leytem thanked RB Bass Outdoors, Dobyns Rods, The Rod Glove, Pro Point fishing lures, and his wife and family for all their support.

“Before each tournament, I always say a prayer to thank God for the day and thank him giving me the opportunity to be on the water, and to keep all the anglers safe while on the water.”


Top Ten:
1. Joseph Silva 83.00”
2. Greg Blanchard 79.75”
3. Shaun Leytem 79.50”
4. Troy Haynie 77.50”
5.Daniel Balaba 77.25”
6. Dana Remy 76.75”
7. Marvin Llave 76.50”
8. Mick Albright 76.25”
9.Dang Xiong 76.25”
10. Bob Zhang 76.00”

Big Fish:
Mick Albright 19.00”
oroville big fish.png
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