UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Potomac River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Gaunt hog

Gaunt hog
Pro Bernie Gaunt of West Sacramento, Calif., caught a huge, five-bass limit Wednesday weighing 28 pounds, 13 ounces to lead opening day of the EverStart Series Western Division event on the California Delta near Oakley. His two biggest fish weighed 7 pounds (left) and 12-9 (right).

OAKLEY, Calif. - They say that if it will happen anywhere, it will happen here. Western Division anglers have been gunning for the EverStart Series single-bass record ever since Central Division co-angler Jeary Wheeler set the mark at 12 pounds, 11 ounces last year at Sam Rayburn Reservoir. "Just wait until we get to the delta," they said.

Bernie Gaunt nearly proved them right on opening day of the last Western tournament of the season when he caught a 12-pound, 9-ounce kicker largemouth at the California Delta Wednesday and fell just 2 ounces short of the record. The pro from West Sacramento, Calif., seized a commanding lead in the first half of the opening round with a five-bass limit weighing a total of 28 pounds, 13 ounces.

Gaunt's fish marks the second time in back-to-back Western tournaments that someone has caught a bass weighing 12 pounds or more. Pro Art Berry of Hemet, Calif., made a run at the record last month with a 12-0 kicker that he caught on day two at Clear Lake.

"When I put that fish in the livewell, I was thinking of Art Berry at Clear Lake," Gaunt said, referring to the hoopla that surrounded Berry when he came back to weigh in that day. "I thought I'd just keep it to myself. If you would have asked me (before today's weigh-in), I would have just said that I have two good ones and three rats."

The low-key Gaunt is understating it. In addition to his 12-pound, 9-ounce kicker - which earned him $500 for the day's big-bass award - he caught another hefty largemouth weighing more than 7 pounds. If you do the math, his three smaller bass had to average about 3 pounds apiece - and those are what they call "rats" on the California Delta.

Bernie Gaunt caught this 12-pound, 9-ounce kicker largemouth at the California Delta Wednesday and fell just 2 ounces short of the EverStart single-bass record."In the delta, there are tons of those kinds of (big) fish," Gaunt said. "I caught one here that weighed 14.57 in practice last year the day before a pro-am (tournament). But this is my biggest in a tournament."

The leader mainly fished a productive little grass pocket Wednesday where a number of big bass in all phases of the spawn were moving in and out. He caught the monster at 8:30 a.m. using a drop-shot in about 5 feet of water. He estimated that he landed about 20 fish, including a majority of short bass. He said that working the tide was key to finding the big bite, especially with the windier conditions.

"We mainly wanted to stay around (the spot) until the tide turned around," Gaunt said, indicating that the high outgoing tide peaked in the morning and bottomed out around noon. "The (tidal) turnaround today wasn't very good, but I think the wind put some big fish up on my spot, and that actually helped us. Here, you take what you can get with the tides."

Gary Howell of Stockton, Calif., placed second in the Pro Division nearly 6 pounds behind Gaunt with a five-bass weight of 23 pounds, 1 ounce.Howell second, Weyer third

Gary Howell of Stockton, Calif., placed second in the Pro Division nearly 6 pounds behind Gaunt with a five-bass weight of 23 pounds, 1 ounce.

In third place is pro Charlie Weyer of West Hills, Calif. He caught a limit weighing 20 pounds, 12 ounces using a drop-shot.

"I found close to a hundred pounds of fish in one day during practice," Weyer said. "There are a lot of big ones where I'm at; there are several 5- to 8-pounders there. They're like wolf packs. You can watch them come in all day. It's kind of scary."

Folkestad fourth, Lashot fifth

The rest of the pro top five also caught more than 20 pounds apiece Wednesday.

Dangerous Mike Folkestad of Yorba Linda, Calif. - currently third place in the yearly standings and a threat to win anywhere in the West - caught a limit weighing 20 pounds, 3 ounces and placed fourth.

Pro Dub Lashot of Walterville, Ore., placed fifth with a limit weighing 20 pounds, 2 ounces.Dub Lashot of Walterville, Ore., placed fifth 1 ounce behind Folkestad with a limit weighing 20 pounds, 2 ounces. He fished a "big flat" using a heavy drop-shot rig Wednesday.

"It just takes a lot of persistence here," Lashot said, estimating that he caught about 25 fish. "You've got to go through a lot of little ones to get to the big ones. And they'll only bite at certain stages of the tide."

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros after day one at the California Delta are Bill Swearingen of Concord, Calif., with a weight of 19 pounds, 7 ounces (6th place); Bob Cagle of Yuba City, Calif., with 18-14 (7th); Bobby Lanham of Scottsdale, Ariz., with 18-13 (8th); Mike Saso of Elk Grove, Calif., with 18-2 (9th); and Nick Grebb of Roseville, Calif., with 17-3 (10th).

All 10 of the top pros caught limits.

Weaver's whales lead co-anglers

Landing two bass that most pros would envy, Bob Weaver of Lawton, Okla., led the Co-angler Division by almost 7 pounds with a limit weighing 23-4. His kicker largemouth - the $200 big-bass winner on the co-angler side - weighed a hefty 9 pounds, 8 ounces by itself and was accompanied by another fish over 7 pounds.

Weaver - who fishes the Central Division as a pro - caught the 7-pounder at about 10 o'clock using a brush hog and caught the 9 1/2-pounder at 2:30 with a crankbait.

Asked how it felt to catch the oversized kicker fish, Weaver laughed: "You probably can't write this, but, well, I soiled myself. ... It was a nice day today, I guarantee you. We were rocking and rolling on the delta. I think I'm sitting pretty with 23 pounds."

Don Shimatsu of Glen Ellen, Calif., also landed a kicker that approached 9 pounds and placed second for the co-anglers with a limit weighing 16 pounds, 6 ounces.

Co-angler Gary Wilson of Tracy, Calif., placed third with a limit weighing 14 pounds, 9 ounces.

Pat Wilson of Petaluma, Calif., who led the opening round for the co-anglers at Clear Lake and ultimately finished fifth, started this week at the delta by weighing in a limit worth 14 pounds, 3 ounces. He placed fifth.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers after day one at the California Delta are Reese Randall of Payson, Ariz., with 13 pounds, 15 ounces (6th place); James Gross of Kingman, Ariz., with 13-1 (7th); James Rios of Brentwood, Calif., with 13-1 (also 7th); Gary Haraguchi of Antioch, Calif., with 13-0 (9th); and Arthur Lee of Sacramento, Calif., with 12-12 (10th).

All of the top 10 co-anglers also caught limits.

Day two of Western Division competition at the California Delta begins as the full field of 145 boats takes off from Big Break Marina in Oakley at 6:30 a.m. Pacific time Thursday for the second half of the opening round. Following tomorrow's action, both fields will be cut to the top 20 anglers apiece based on two-day total weight.

Tags: jeff-schroeder  headline-story  2004-05-05-california-delta 

LeClere, Johnson Tie at Ohio River

LeClere, Johnson Tie at Ohio River

Chris LeClere of Cannelton, Indiana, and Daniel Johnson of Lebanon, Tennessee, both brought a weigh-in bag to the scale Saturday totaling 9 pounds, 9 ounces, to tie for the win at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Hoosier Division event on the Ohio River. With his Ranger Cup contingency LeClere was the big winner, taking home $4,061, while Johnson earned $3,511 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Mastodons Win at Wabasha

Mastodons Win at Wabasha

The Purdue University Fort Wayne duo of Connor Landis of Edgerton, Ohio, and Blake Spurgeon of Fort Wayne, Indiana, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on the Mississippi River presented by Evinrude Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the Mastodon’s bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Hahne Flips, Frogs on Mighty Miss

Hahne Flips, Frogs on Mighty Miss

Darren Hahne of Ottawa, Illinois, brought in a three-bass limit weighing 11 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament on the Mississippi River Saturday. Hahne earned $6,466 for his victory. READ MORE »

Champlain Midday Update – Day 3

Champlain Midday Update – Day 3

While day two was windy and rough, day three has pretty much been calm from the get-go. It has also been hot as blazes. It’s made fishing a little tougher than expected, with a lot of anglers reporting missed or lost fish and a generally slower bite. That said, a slow bite on Champlain is a great bite most everywhere else, so we’re still going to see plenty of bass. READ MORE »

Thrift All the Way on Champlain

Thrift All the Way on Champlain

Taking the win in wire-to-wire fashion, Bryan Thrift tallied 18 pounds, 4 ounces on the final day for an even 57-pound total in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Champlain. For the win, Thrift earned $44,200 and a new Ranger boat, and it’s his 11th win with FLW. The Northern Division is presented by Gajo Baits and the tournament was presented by Polaris.  READ MORE »

Lake Champlain Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Lake Champlain Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

One of the windier tournament days in recent memory did a lot to reshape the leaderboard of the Costa FLW Series event on Lake Champlain. The run south to Ticonderoga was not impossible, but the wind up north kept a lot of pros from effectively fishing their best stuff. That made weights drop pretty much across the board on day two. READ MORE »

Thrift Still Ahead on Champlain

Thrift Still Ahead on Champlain

Day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on Champlain featured a bunch of wind and a lot of turnover on the leaderboard. Though he struggled to replicate his massive day-one success, Bryan Thrift still managed 16 pounds, 6 ounces for a 38-12 total to retain the lead. Behind him, Scott Dobson rose from ninth to second with a robust bag of smallmouths worth 18-10 for a 37-14 total. READ MORE »

Champlain Midday Update – Day 2

Champlain Midday Update – Day 2

Day two of the Costa FLW Series event presented by Polaris on Lake Champlain is going to be quite a swing from day one. Typically turnover in the standings is common on Champlain because the weights stay so tight, but today’s turnover is going to have a lot to do with the weather. READ MORE »

Champlain Midday Update – Day 1

Champlain Midday Update – Day 1

Takeoff was a little blustery, but overall, it’s been a perfect start to the Costa FLW Series event on Lake Champlain. The event is the kickoff of the Northern Division, which is presented by Gajo Baits, and the tournament itself is presented by Polaris. READ MORE »

Lake Champlain Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Lake Champlain Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Last year, every event in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division, which is presented by Gajo Baits, was won entirely with smallmouth bass. This season, the kickoff event on Champlain, which is presented by Polaris, looks destined to involve some largemouths. Everyone in the top five weighed green ones on day one, though somewhat surprisingly, the south end down by Ticonderoga didn’t play an overwhelming role, as only three of the top 10 anglers made the long run southward. READ MORE »

Thrift Takes Command on Champlain

Thrift Takes Command on Champlain

Less than three weeks removed from a third-place finish on Lake Champlain in the FLW Tour’s 2019 season finale, Bryan Thrift hauled 22 pounds, 6 ounces of green fish to the weigh-in stage to take the day one lead in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division opener, which is presented by Polaris. In second, Brandt Tumberg weighed 21-10, and Joe Wood is just an ounce behind him with 21-9 for third.  READ MORE »

Elrod Runs Tide, Wood on James River

Elrod Runs Tide, Wood on James River

Bryan Elrod of Mechanicsville, Virginia, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Piedmont Division tournament on the James River after catching five bass weighing 16 pounds, 10 ounces. For his efforts, Elrod took home $3,637. READ MORE »

Mittlestat Tops at St. Clair

Mittlestat Tops at St. Clair

Dan Mittlestat of Woodhaven, Michigan, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Michigan Division tournament on Lake St. Clair presented by Navionics Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds, 7 ounces. Mittlestat netted $6,552 for his win. READ MORE »

Schmitt Takes Champlain Title

Schmitt Takes Champlain Title

FLW Tour pro Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Maryland, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake Champlain presented by Navionics after catching five bass weighing 19 pounds, 10 ounces. For his win, Schmitt earned $7,209 and 250 points in the Northeast Division presented by Gajo Baits standings. The winner of the division’s Angler of the Year title after five tournaments will win $3,000. READ MORE »

Peter T and Crew Win ICAST Cup

Peter T and Crew Win ICAST Cup

Representing Lew’s, the team of John Carman, Peter Thliveros and Matthew Mattingly won the 2019 ICAST Cup at Lake Toho this morning with a five-bass limit that weighed 20 pounds, 4 ounces. It’s the first time in the ICAST kickoff event’s five-year history that a team has won two titles, and they come back-to-back – though this time it was an outright win.  READ MORE »

Kilgore on Top at Neely Henry

Kilgore on Top at Neely Henry

Andy Kilgore of Kingston, Georgia, caught five bass Saturday weighing 19 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake Neely Henry. Kilgore pocketed $4,426 for his win in the event and earned 250 points in the Bama Division Angler of the Year (AOY) standings. The winner of the division’s AOY title after five tournaments will win $3,000. READ MORE »

Experience Carries Siggers

Experience Carries Siggers

Dennis Siggers of Danville, Virginia, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Shenandoah Division tournament on Smith Mountain Lake Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 1 ounce. For his victory, Siggers earned $2,585 for his victory. READ MORE »

Melton Wins on Rough River

Melton Wins on Rough River

John Melton of Corydon, Indiana, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Hoosier Division tournament on Rough River Lake Saturday after catching five bass weighing 13 pounds, 12 ounces. Melton netted $4,838 for his win. READ MORE »

Jenkel Flips Bushes on Rend

Jenkel Flips Bushes on Rend

Derek Jenkel of Pinckneyville, Illinois, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament on Rend Lake Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 8 ounces. Jenkel earned $4,384 for his victory. READ MORE »

Campbell Gets a Hat Trick

Campbell Gets a Hat Trick

Brody Campbell of Oxford, Ohio, won the rescheduled T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Hoosier Division tournament on Rough River Lake presented by Navionics Sunday after catching four bass weighing 7 pounds, 13 ounces. Campbell earned $5,703 for his win. READ MORE »