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Damian Thao of Fresno, CA accomplished a pretty incredible feat last weekend. He scored 3 top fives in a single weekend on 2 different bodies of water in major events.
Day one (Saturday, 5/22) was stop #4 of the regular season for Yak-A-Bass (YAB) on the California Delta out of Paradise Point Marina. Thao reports he was not able to prefish for this event. The last time he was on the Delta was 4/18 when he won the Wild West Bass Trail (WWBT) Kayak Series season opener in Discovery Bay. Thao was able to secure the victory with an impressive 89.75 inches on a tough bite where only 18 of the 62 anglers were able to find a 5 fish limit.
Straight off his win at the Delta he packed up and headed to Clear Lake for the CA B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak (CBNK) event and stop #2 for the WWBT Kayak Series on Sunday, 5/23. These tournaments featured a choice of 10 different launch ramps. Thao focused his efforts in the Rodman Slough area commenting that he felt it would receive less pressure than the other areas due to low water levels. He ended up finishing in 4th. place in the CBNK event and 3rd. place in the WWBT event submitting a solid 95.25-inch limit.
It's difficult enough to score a top ten in one event. You are probably asking yourself, “How is he able to secure a win with no prefish and then back it up with two top 5 finishes the very next day on a completely different body of water?”
I caught up with Damian and here’s what he had to say:
MKA: Why did you decide to fish a tournament on the Delta rather than utilizing the official practice day on Clear Lake?
DT: I went to the Delta to clear my mind and if I place high in the tournament, it’s a huge confidence booster and I can ride the momentum into the big event(s) on Clear Lake. Ultimately, I just went fishing on the Delta. Sometimes, when you just go fishing you do better. “
MKA: You just won the Delta event and now you are packed up and headed north to Clear Lake, how do you refocus and prepare for what’s ahead the following day?
DT: My primary objective was to get to the check in on time Saturday evening. Next, I needed to go through all my equipment, change out my line, check all my hooks, etc. During this time alone I spent a lot of time thinking about what my plan would be for the following day. I had mixed feelings about where I was going to launch. Ultimately, I chose Rodman due to a feeling I had that there would be less pressure due to the water levels. I don’t like to fish community holes or areas that experience heavy pressure. I wanted to avoid the crowd and just do my thing.”
MKA: After such a big accomplishment, what’s next?
DT: I’m looking forward to the next WWBT event on Lake Don Pedro. John Myers and I are very close in AOY points, if not tied. I’m also looking forward to going back to Clear Lake on 6/19 for the YAB event. But what I’m most pumped about is the 2022 WWBT Pro Kayak Tour. That’s the next big step for kayak anglers on the west coast.
His ability to consistently produce on any body of water is nothing short of amazing. Out of 59 tournaments on TourneyX, he has 11 wins, 26 top 3 finishes, and has finished in the top ten 42 times (or over 71% of the time). Despite all the success and accolades, he has maintained his humility and is eager to swap fishing stories and to help other anglers. He is a true ambassador of the sport.
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