Dobyns dominates competition on Delta

Pro Gary Dobyns proudly displays his trophy after winning the EverStart Series event on the California Delta.

OAKLEY, Calif. - Heading into Saturday's finals, day-three leader Gary Dobyns of Yuba City, Calif., said he was going to continue his high-stakes gambling approach towards tournament bass fishing whether it cost him a title or not. As it turns out, he need not have worried. When all was said and done, Dobyns turned up all aces in today's finals, producing an 18-pound, 1-ounce limit good enough to win the tournament title on the California Delta by nearly 4 pounds.

"I just had a really good day," said Dobyns. "I made some really good decisions on the water. I abandoned my two primary spots today because I figured that I had already fished them out. Instead, I went to a spot that I was saving for the finals. I caught a 6-pounder at about 7:30 a.m. and had my limit fish a few minutes later. I knew that I needed to have that big bite today and I got it. It was just a great tournament."

Pro Gary Dobyns of Yuba City, Calif., turned up all aces in today's finals, producing an 18-pound, 1-ounce limit to win the tournament title on the California Delta by nearly 4 pounds. (Photo by Gary Mortenson)Dobyns, who threw a black, Snag-Proof imitation frog top-water bait and Trixie Shad to land the majority of his catch, said the key to his success was fishing fast.

"I really covered a lot of water today," he said. "Like I said yesterday, I like to run and gun. And today, the conditions couldn't have been better for me. It just really played into my hands. It was a lot of fun out there."

Not surprisingly, Dobyns said that he couldn't have asked for much more.

"I'm really starting to like these EverStarts," he said. "I had four good partners. I caught about 25 fish a day. Overall, it was just a really great week."

Moore comes up short

FLW Tour veteran Andre Moore of Scottsdale, Ariz., found today's finals a tad bittersweet to say the least. On the one hand, it was tough to get so close to a tournament title and then watch as it slipped away as the very last angler (Dobyns) weighed in. However, on the other hand, Moore knew that he was somewhat lucky to be in the finals in the first place, qualifying in the 10th and final spot by a mere 2 ounces.

"I think this is the third time I've finished second to (Dobyns) in the finals," said Moore, who landed a total catch of 14 pounds, 8 ounces. "But overall, I really can't complain. My goal was to just come down here, go top-water fishing and have a good time. I never really thought that 14 pounds would be enough to win."

"I probably caught about 40 fish today," Moore continued. "But I just wasn't able to get that big bite."

Moore, who fished a homemade Trixie Shad and a Super Spook to land the majority of his catch, won $6,800 for his efforts.

Hite turns in another top EverStart performance

Brett Hite of Phoenix, Ariz., continued his stellar run on the 2003 EverStart Series trail, turning in the third consecutive top-20 appearance. Using a catch of 14 pounds, 7 ounces, Hite grabbed third place overall at the California Delta event, good enough for a check for $6,100 in prize money.

"I'm pretty excited," said Hite, who had already recorded a first-place finish at Lake Pleasant and an 18th-place finish at Clear Lake in the only other two EverStart tournaments he has fished all year. "I kind of struggled out there this morning. And I worked on a bed fish (unsuccessfully) that probably weighed between 10 and 12 pounds for about two hours. I could have made some better decisions out there. But if I catch that fish, I win the tournament. Overall though, I had a great week."

Thompson happy with finish

Zack Thompson of Orinda, Calif., used a total catch of 12 pounds to grab fourth place and a check for $5,400.

"It got a little tougher for me too today," said Thompson. "I was averaging about 15 to 20 fish all tournament, but today I only had about nine fish. I was only fishing a couple of key areas, and I think they kind of got beat up a little bit. But I wound up catching a lot of fish this week, and overall, I had a real good tournament."

Bruce Harris, who caught the largest fish in the tournament (an 11-pound, 7-ounce largemouth) in yesterday's competition, finished the finals in fifth place with a catch of 11 pounds, 10 ounces. Harris, a resident of Oakdale, Calif., won $4,900 for his efforts.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top 10 pro finalists were Gary Howell (sixth) of Stockton, Calif., with a catch of 11 pounds, 8 ounces; Kent Brown (seventh) of Roseville, Calif., with a catch of 10 pounds, 4 ounces; Scott Mascadri (eighth) of Sacramento, Calif., with a catch of 10 pounds, 2 ounces; Fred Roumbanis (ninth) of Huntington Beach, Calif., with a catch of 9 pounds, 5 ounces; and Phil Strader (10th) of Glide, Ore., with a catch of 8 pounds, 5 ounces.

As a result of his 41st-place finish on the California Delta, Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., won the 2003 EverStart Angler of the Year title in the Western Division.

This Calfornia Delta event concludes the regular-season tournament schedule for the EverStart Western Division. Anglers who finished the year in the top 30 in the year-end standings will be invited to the 2003 EverStart Championship - slated for Oct. 29-Nov. 1 on Old Hickory Lake near Gallatin, Tenn.

Related links:

Photos
Results
Results of day-four pairings
Press release

Tags: headline-story  gary-mortenson 

/news/2015-04-25-beaver-lake-day-3-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-make-way-for-morgan

Make Way for Morgan

“Hidden largemouths” is quickly becoming the buzz term at the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac, as those atop the leaderboard are using the term to refer to spawning largemouths that are so well hidden that other competitors never found them. These hidden fish are covered by thick brush, hidden so deep that they were only found during the very rare windows of sunshine during practice or located off the beaten path. The latter are not in obvious pockets or places where one would expect to find beds, but rather out on the main bluff channels where few ever look. On day one, Jacob Wheeler caught hidden largemouths to take the lead. On day two, former Beaver Lake champion Andy Morgan caught hidden largemouths to take over the pole position going into the weekend. His catch of 15 pounds, 7 ounces today gives Morgan a two-day total of 28-09 to take the lead by just 11 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 2

At halftime of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac, the top five reads like a who’s who of Beaver Lake. Leader Andy Morgan is a former Beaver Lake champion. Behind him, Darrel Robertson has been very close to winning here with a runner-up finish in 2005. In third is 2014 Beaver Lake champion Matt Arey. Bryan Thrift, in fourth, has never won on Beaver Lake, but has led here before. And finally, fifth-place pro Stetson Blaylock knows his way around this lake pretty well, too, with a couple of top 10s. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-heckman-heads-up-tbf-championship-field

Heckman Heads up TBF Championship Field

Some bass are still spawning in Grand Lake, and others are yet to make their way up to the shallows, but none of that interests Sam Heckman. Diligent commitment to his postspawn plan here Friday landed Heckman atop the boater field with 34 pounds, 3 ounces and locked up his Southwest Division win at the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship. Saturday, the top boater from each of seven TBF divisions will vie for the TBF National Championship and the “Living the Dream” package that goes with it. The package includes paid entry in the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour as a pro, a Forrest Wood Cup berth and use of a custom-wrapped truck and Ranger boat on Tour for the year, as well as a travel stipend for each event. Seven non-boaters – one from each TBF division – also will fish in tomorrow’s final round for a chance at paid entry into a Rayovac FLW Series division of choice. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-beaver-lake-day-2-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 2 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-wheeler-with-a-slim-lead

Wheeler with a Slim Lead

Jacob Wheeler has a plan to win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake this week. That plan involves primarily the largemouth species, a target weight of 14 pounds per day and a lot of fish management. Today, Wheeler surpassed his target by nearly 2 pounds with a 15-pound, 14-ounce catch that puts him in the driver’s seat at Beaver Lake, in the lead by just a scant 5 ounces over second-place pro Bryan Thrift. “Largemouths are the way to win here at Beaver Lake,” Wheeler says. “They are the fish to go the distance here, and that’s what I’m focusing on.” READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 1

Though there were plenty of fish caught off beds at Beaver Lake on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac, the top five is rounded out by a group of anglers who relied on sight-fishing very little. Opinions on where exactly bass are in the spawning cycle at Beaver Lake vary greatly from angler to angler, but a few common denominators did come to light on day one. For starters, most agree that one major spawning cycle has already occurred. Plenty of empty beds and a lot of gaunt, postspawn fish at the scale were evidence of that. Second, there are still some bass (of all species) trying to spawn, but the ones left on beds are extremely wary. Finally, the order of difficulty to catch each species ranks as follows: smallmouth bass – extremely easy; spotted bass – not as easy; largemouth bass – extremely difficult. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-griffith-grabs-tbf-lead-

Griffith Grabs TBF Lead

By midday, the prospects were unclear for Jon “Scooter” Griffith here in The Bass Federation National Championship on Grand Lake, but in a roundabout way it provided just the clarity he needed to dial in a pattern that helped him take the day-one lead with an 18-pound, 13-ounce limit. Griffith began his day by sight-fishing the clear water down by the Pensacola Dam. This opening move, he says, gave him some early comfort, as it matched the transparent water he’s used to fishing near his home in Mesa, Ariz. Targeting windblown points, Griffith got his early bites with reaction baits in about 4 to 8 feet of water. Unfortunately, the plan turned out to be less productive than he had expected. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-beaver-lake-day-1-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 1 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-tbf-championship-tips-off

TBF Championship Tips Off

The spawn is on at Grand Lake, but that’s not the only game in town. As the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship plays out for the next three days, anglers will find this northern Oklahoma impoundment abounding with lots of fishing options. Brian Maloney, the 2012 Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American champion, says he was impressed with what he found in practice. “The quality of fish on Grand is just amazing,” notes the Missouri angler. “This lake continues to put out 3- and 4-pounders, and right now there’s a variety of things we can do. “There are guys sight-fishing for spawning fish, and we’re probably looking at another wave or two of fish coming in soon. I’m sure the full moon coming up in another week or so will move them in.” Adding that the lake currently has fish in all prespawn, spawning and postspawn stages, Maloney thinks that TBF contenders will be greeted by a mix of water conditions typical for Grand this time of year. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-top-10-baits-from-lake-murray

Top 10 Baits from Lake Murray

Competitors in the FLW College Fishing National Championship mostly targeted bass feeding on spawning blueback herring on shallow points and main-lake pockets. Across the board, herring-imitating baits such as soft jerkbaits, swimbaits, topwaters, wake baits and umbrella rigs dominated the event. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-jig-bite-carries-holmes-on-wateree

Jig Bite Carries Holmes on Wateree

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-bryan-slows-down-for-chickamauga-win

Bryan Slows Down for Chickamauga Win

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-morfis-dominates-with-34-pound-limit

Morfis Dominates With 34-Pound Limit

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. – Joshua Morfis of Cape Coral, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 34 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Okeechobee. For his victory, Morfis earned $6,336. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-salzman-cracks-31-pounds-on-guntersville

Salzman Cracks 31 Pounds on Guntersville

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-lanter-wins-on-rend-lake

Lanter Wins on Rend Lake

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-19-top-10-patterns-from-lake-murray

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Murray

As contestants in the FLW College Fishing National Championship on Lake Murray discovered last week, fishing the blueback herring spawn can be backbreaking work. All that stooping over to grab a different rig to cast at bass busting their favorite forage, and then quickly straightening, is hard on the old spinal column. Flexing up and down is what it took to contend in the championship, however, as bass couldn’t make up their minds whether they wanted their grub served on the surface or closer to the bottom. Typically, the collegians were fan-casting Carolina rigs, umbrella rigs, hard jerkbaits and even crankbaits to likely looking points and broad flats. Sometimes they caught fish with such random prospecting, but perhaps more bass were taken when anglers found themselves within casting distance of blowups and were quick enough to grab a soft jerkbait rig or topwater lure and virtually spoon-feed it to the fish. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-18-gamecocks-win-college-title

Gamecocks Win College Title

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-18-gamecocks-win-national-title

Gamecocks Win National Title

As any good Palmetto State bass fisherman will tell you, home lake advantage only works if you’re consistent in your catches from day to day. Anthony Gagliardi proved it here on Lake Murray last summer in the Forrest Wood Cup, and the University of South Carolina proved it again in the FLW College Fishing National Championship that concluded Saturday. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-18-hallman-prevails-on-grand

Hallman Prevails On Grand

READ MORE »