UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Three-peat

Three-peat
Sieg Taylor of Clearlake, Calif., found himself atop the pro leaderboard for the third day in the row.

LAKEPORT, Calif. - It was Ground Hog's Day all over again. Using a catch of 24 pounds, 10 ounces, Sieg Taylor of Clearlake, Calif., failed to relinquish the top spot on the leaderboard for the third day in a row, outfishing the rest of the Pro Division in familiar fashion to take the overall lead heading into Saturday's final day of competition.

"I'm going to do what I have to do tomorrow to win that Ranger boat," said Taylor, referring to one of the many prizes in store for the eventual winner of the Pro Division in Saturday's finals. "I feel really good right now. I'm a little tired - I woke up at 2 a.m. last night because I was having trouble sleeping. But overall, I'm feeling confident."

Taylor, who has continued to target suspending bass on deeper ledges in 4 to 8 feet of water, said that he has very few concerns heading into tomorrow's all-important finals.

"I had my limit today at around 8 or 8:30 a.m., so I feel pretty good about this tournament," he said. "The only thing I'm concerned about is that the baitfish are starting to move up in a major way. They haven't hit my area yet. But if they do, it could really turn off my bite. Other than that, I'm still sticking to the same strategy tomorrow."

Although Taylor acknowledged that his primary bite ends in the later-morning hours, he said he has a backup plan if things don't work out in his primary location.

"My bite ends about 11 a.m., but I still have a few tricks up my sleeve if I need some more fish after that," he said. "Basically, I'm going to go out there tomorrow, swing for the fences and have some fun."

Rex reels in second place

Pro Fred Rex of San Jose, Calif., made sure to stay right on Taylor's heels heading into the finals after landing an impressive 23-pound, 9-ounce catch to finish the semifinals in second place.Fred Rex of San Jose, Calif., made sure to stay right on Taylor's heels heading into the finals after landing an impressive 23-pound, 9-ounce catch of his own.

"It feels great. I'm confident I can catch some fish tomorrow," said Rex. "But I'm also behind Sieg right now. And that's a tough place to be."

Unlike Taylor, Rex is targeting his main bite by fishing shaded shoreline later in the afternoon.

"Early in the morning, I'm able to catch small fish," said Rex. "But once the shade comes out on the bank, that's when I'm catching my larger keepers. I'm flipping a 400- to 500-yard stretch of bank, turning around and fishing it all over again. I'm getting some big bites. But they've been pretty far apart from each other. I'll catch one over here, another one over there, 50 or 100 yards away. I'm running about 16 miles and obviously covering a lot of water."

Although Rex's primary fishing location has been productive all week, the main concern is whether or not it will continue to hold up for four consecutive days heading into the finals.

"I've pretty much had the water all to myself this week, and I'm confident it's a good spot," said Rex. "The only question is whether or not it'll finally run out of fish. If I can catch a four-fish limit tomorrow, I'll be pretty happy."

Best of the rest

Pro Jerry Ballesteros of Burbank, Calif., finished the semifinals in third place after landing a 16-pound, 8-ounce stringer.

Pro Jimmy Reese of Witter Springs, Calif., took over fourth place after netting a total catch of 15 pounds, 6 ounces.Jimmy Reese of Witter Springs, Calif., took over fourth place after netting a total catch of 15 pounds, 6 ounces.

"I'm fishing in some good areas, it's just a matter of getting a few big bites," said Reese. "Tomorrow, I'm going to try and do the exact same thing I did today. I'm going to try and catch a small limit early and then go for the big bite after that."

Pro Bernie Gaunt of West Sacramento, Calif., finished the day in fifth place with a catch of 15 pounds, 1 ounce.Bernie Gaunt of West Sacramento, Calif., finished the day in fifth place with a catch of 15 pounds, 1 ounce. But like many pros, Gaunt said he was hindered by the sudden onslaught of large baitfish filling his previously productive fishing areas.

"The shad are moving in really heavy right now," said Gaunt. "And when that happens, you might as well leave your spot, because you're not going to get a bite there. There's just too many baitfish out there for the bass to eat right now. So you really have to adjust."

Rounding out the top 10 pro semifinalists at the EverStart Clear Lake event:

6th: Jimmy Walker of Alpine, Calif., 14-8
7th: Tom Kilduff of Dewey, Ariz., 12-13
8th: Jon Strelic of Alpine, Calif., 12-8
9th: Brent Lyon of Reno, Nev., 12-1
10th: Rus Snyders of San Mateo, Calif., 11-3

Clement continues to roll into co-angler finals

Kyle Clement of Anderson, Calif., landed a total catch of 16 pounds, 1 ounce to grab the overall co-angler lead heading into tomorrow's EverStart finals on Clear Lake.Kyle Clement of Anderson, Calif., is having one heck of a week. After winning his first-ever fishing tournament last Sunday, Clement is suddenly poised for back-to-back tournament wins for the first time in his career - a feat that seemed improbable, at best, a few short weeks ago.

"It feels awesome," said Clement, who landed a total catch of 16 pounds, 1 ounce to grab the overall lead heading into tomorrow's finals. "I've fished a lot of tournaments in my career, but I never won one until I got first place last Sunday in the Angler's Choice tournament here on Clear Lake. I wound up winning $1,000 and a new fishing pole."

While $1,000 and a new fishing pole is great, Clement stands to win upwards of $30,000 in the EverStart Series Western Division finals, assuming he can hold on to victory tomorrow.

"I felt pretty confident coming into this tournament. I've got a great partner (Taylor) tomorrow," he said. "Hopefully, I can pull it off."

Clement said that he's been using a "ripping" technique to land the majority of his catch all week.

"I've been sticking with that (technique) this whole tournament," he said. "I'm only using one rod, but it's been working out pretty well. I had my limit today by about 7 a.m. I just need to get a few big bites tomorrow."

Davis within striking distance

Day-one co-angler leader Douglas Davis of New Castle, Colo., continued to stalk the leaderboard, finishing today with a second-place catch of 14 pounds, 14 ounces - a mere 1 pound, 3 ounces out of first place.Day-one leader Douglas Davis of New Castle, Colo., continued to stalk the leaderboard, finishing today with a second-place catch of 14 pounds, 14 ounces - a mere 1 pound, 3 ounces out of first place.

"This whole experience has just been awesome," said Davis. "I've actually been quite relaxed all week. Tomorrow, I'm just going to keep doing what I have confidence in. It's worked for me for three days and, hopefully, it'll work one more day."

Best of the rest

Ron Mace of Kennewick, Wash., used a catch of 13 pounds, 9 ounces to grab third place overall heading into Saturday's finals.

Fourth place in today's competition belonged to Kirk Beardsley of Huntington Beach, Calif., who managed a total catch of 11 pounds, 14 ounces.

Gary Key of Phoenix took fifth place with a catch of 10 pounds, 5 ounces.

Rounding out the top 10 co-angler qualifiers at the EverStart Clear Lake event:

6th: Greg Giacomazza of Spanish Fork, Utah, 9-14
7th: Mike Noga of Arcata, Calif., 9-13
8th: Darrell Hagood of Wilton, Calif., 8-15
9th: Day-two leader Gary Davison of Susanville, Calif., 4-3
10th: Leroy Bertolero of El Macero, Calif., 3-5

Day four of EverStart action on Clear Lake continues at Saturday's final takeoff, scheduled to take place at 6:30 a.m. at Red Bud Marina, located just off Old Highway 53 in Clearlake, Calif.

Tags: gary-mortenson  headline-story  2005-03-09-clear-lake 

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