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Yak-A-Bass held its inaugural Gamblers series event on Rollins Lake. Each event is two consecutive days, but because of the predicted weather of 20 mph winds with 50 mph gusts, the tournament director cancelled day two on Sunday for the safety of the anglers on the water – safety first. The Gamblers series has a 30 day off limit which means anglers must figure out a pattern quick and then capitalize on catching the longest limit. To put a wrench into the difficulty, only fish that measure over 14” are scoreable. The air temperature in the morning ranged in the mid 30’s with the water temperature a chilly 47 to 48 degrees. The morning started off with fog and as the day progressed it warmed up to the upper 50’s. The wind was a mild 4 to 8 miles per hour, perfect conditions for a winter kayak tournament. Normally, the water visibility is 10 to 20 feet but because of the recent storms moving through the area, the water was stained with a visibility of 2-3 feet.
Once the lines were out and all the fish were submitted, Terence Sullivan captured the win with a five fish limit that measured 80.75” besting second place by just .25”. He first started his day fishing deep with a jig but quickly made an adjustment that proved to be the winning pattern. Sullivan changed up to an underspin and found a shallow bite in less than 5-feet of water. Sullivan found a main lake point held his first keeper that measured 16”.
“The main lake point had a small point that stuck out to deeper water.” Sullivan said, “This is where my first fish came from.”
Sullivan moved around the opposite side of the point and made a cast in about 2-feet of water and slowly rolled the underspin where he found his second fish, an 18.50” fish.
“I slow rolled an underspin paired with a green pumpkin 3.3 Keitech for my first three fish.” Sullivan said, “My 4th fish came on a spinner bait and then my 5th fish came on a red crankbait.”
Sullivan moved to another main lake point for this third fish and then moved down the bank catching a few non-scoreable fish. He started his way towards the dam and caught a few more non-scoreable fish. Sullivan started back towards the ramp and used a spinnerbait along two lay down logs to trick his next fish into biting. His last fish came on a red crankbait that measured 16.25” which pushed him into the lead by .25”.
“The bait would hit the wood and then the fish would bite.”
Sullivan thanked his wife and son for letting him explore a hobby his dad showed him at a young age.
“I really love the relaxation of being on the water fishing.”
Sullivan thanked the Dark Horse Crew for all the encouragement and for being a great group of guys to hang out with. Also, Jame Snyder for all his hard work running Yak-a-Bass. All these years it has been a fun adventure fishing through all these tournaments. A big shout out to Sierra Nevada for all the free brews and Simms for their awesome gear.
Greg Blanchard placed second with 80.50”. Blanchard had his rods ready from shallow to deep. The first hour he fished deep and found no success.
“The weather started to warm up, so I moved shallow with a Berkey Money Badger medium diving crank bait.” said Blanchard, “It didn’t take long to catch my first fish and then a few casts later my second fish.”
Blanchard’s adjustment proved to be the right choice.
“The bank had to be barer looking compared to a bank with lots of lay down trees.” said Blanchard.
Blanchard caught around 15 fish throughout the day with 7 scoreable fish.
“The crankbait had to ricochet off the structure to get the bites.” said Blanchard, “I would crank down the bait and let it sit while I drank water and there would be a fish on the line.”
Blanchard thanked Yak-a-Bass for putting on this new series with no pre-fishing for 30 days with a two-day format. Also, thanks to the usual crew that hang out during these events. “The crew make these event much more fun.”
Joseph Silva finished in third with 78.75”. Silva used his forward-facing Garmin unit to catch his fish.
“I didn’t get a bite until noon time.” said Silva, “Once I found clearer water, I was able to catch fish off rock walls.”
Silva used the mid-strolling technique with a tiny 3” fluke bait with a 3/32-ounce weight to catch his fish.
“I was able to catch around 20 fish with a total of 8 scoreable fish.” said Silva, “I was able to repeat this pattern in the area on different steep rock walls.”
“The key to getting the fish to bite was to hang the bait above the fish’s head and eventually the fish would bite.”
Silva thanked his girlfriend for holding down the house and taking care of the dog.
1. Terence Sullivan 80.75”
2. Greg Blanchard 80.50”
3. Joseph Silva 78.75”
4. Mike Ensign 78.75”
5. Richard George Jr. 77.75”
6. Abel Patino 77.25”
7. Angel Sanchez 74.75”
8. James Croco 74.50”
9. Tanner Gilbert 73.25”
10. Matthew Brannon 72.75”
Pia Xiong 19.00”
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