Pro Jeff Michels of Lakehead, Calif., caught a five-bass limit weighing 6 pounds, Saturday to win the FLW EverStart Series Western Division tournament on Lake Shasta with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 36 pounds. For his victory, Michels earned $35,000 and a 198VX Ranger boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor.
“It was a tough week of fishing,” Michels said. “I only caught 17 keepers all week which is extremely unusual for Shasta; normally you will catch 20 to 30 fish a day out here. I was very fortunate, three of my fish weighed over 18 pounds and that is what really made the difference, I was able to get those quality bites.”
“I fish this lake three to four times a week; I use an Offspring swimbait to locate quality fish so when tournament time comes around I know where to find the big ones. I was catching my fish on senkos, Mother’s Finest, and Dry Creek Tubes. The early bite was really good for me, that is when I got all my big ones. That really helped take the pressure off too; after I caught the big ones I was able to relax and keep fishing to fill my limit.”
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: Richard Dobyns, Yuba City, Calif., 14 bass, 27-15, $12,000
3rd: Jason Milligan, Shasta Lake, Calif., 15 bass, 27-1, $10,000
4th: Cody Meyer, Grass Valley, Calif., 15 bass, 26-5, $9,000
5th: Charley Almassey, Oakley, Calif., 15 bass, 25-8, $8,000
6th: Young Yang, Los Angeles, Calif., 15 bass, 24-10, $7,000
7th: Howard Hughes, Redding, Calif., 14 bass, 23-15, $6,000
8th: Rob Bass, Redding, Calif., 11 bass, 23-1, $5,000
9th: Ken Phillips, Antioch, Calif., 13 bass, 22-6, $4,000
10th: Jim Hawkes, Apache Junction, Ariz., 11 bass, 18-3, $3,000
Jeff Michels caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Pro Division Thursday – a 7-pound, 3-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s Big Bass award of $300.
Bryant Smith of Castro Valley, Calif., won the Co-angler Division and a Ranger boat with Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor, with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 24 pounds, 5 ounces.
“This week couldn’t have ended any better,” said Smith. “I was mostly using a finesse worm to catch my limit early and then I would switch to senkos, brown and purple, to try and get some bigger fish. The bite was not aggressive so I really had to work hard for what I got.”
Smith caught five bass weighing 10-4 Thursday while fishing with pro David Malone of Elko, Nev., to open the tournament in first place. On Friday he added five more bass weighing 7-15 to maintain first place while fishing with pro Gabe Bolivar of Ramona, Calif. Finally, on Saturday, he sealed the win with a five bass limit weighing 6-2 while fishing with Jeff Michels.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: Matthew Nadeau, Grass Valley, Calif., 15 bass, 21-12, $4,500
3rd: Lonnie Foster, Kneeland, Calif., 13 bass, 20-8, $4,000
4th: Toshitada Suzuki, Katusidadu, Japan, 15 bass, 20-6, $3,500
5th: Charles Keller, Redding, Calif., 15 bass, 20-2, $3,000
6th: Roy De Smangles Jr., Lincoln, Calif., 15 bass, 19-2, $2,500
7th: Willie Church, Cottonwood, Calif., 13 bass, 16-6, $2,000
8th: Kirk Beardsley, Huntington Beach, Calif., 13 bass, 16-5, $1,500
9th: George Wise, Park City, Utah, 13 bass, 16-4, $1,000
10th: Daniel Leue, Colusa, Calif., 11 bass, 14-3, $800
Jason Chang of Riverside, Calif., caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Friday – a 6-pound, 1-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s Big Bass award of $200.
The EverStart Series consists of five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of four tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Angler of the Year title along with $5,000 for the pro and $2,000 for the co-angler. The top 40 pros and co-anglers from each respective division will qualify for the EverStart Series Championship that will be held on Kentucky Lake in Buchanan, Tenn., Oct. 27-30.
The next EverStart Series Western Division tournament will be Feb. 17-19 at Lake Roosevelt in Payson, Ariz.
ABOUT FLW OUTDOORS
FLW Outdoors is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 191 tournaments in 2011. FLW Outdoors has taken fishing mainstream with the world’s richest fantasy sports game, FLW Fantasy Fishing, presented by Straight Talk, where competitors can play for free as well as sign up for Player’s Advantage to gain an edge. For more information about FLW Outdoors and FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FLWOutdoors.com or FantasyFishing.com.