UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Cumberland

Reese shuns cold, reels in first place on Clear Lake

Reese shuns cold, reels in first place on Clear Lake
Using a solid catch of 19 pounds, 9 ounces, Jimmy Reese of Witter Springs, Calif., took command of the Pro Division leaderboard heading into tomorrow’s all-important finals.

LAKEPORT, Calif. - While the snow, frosty temperatures, driving rain and significant wind chill bested many of the top 20 semifinalists in Friday's competition, for Jimmy Reese of Witter Springs, Calif., fishing today seemed like nothing more than a stroll in the park. Using a solid catch of 19 pounds, 9 ounces, Reese took command of the Pro Division leaderboard heading into tomorrow's all-important finals. But perhaps more importantly, Reese demonstrated a mental toughness that just may have gotten into the heads of some of his chief rivals.

"I hope it snows again tomorrow. It seems like some of the guys can't handle the weather," Reese joked. "But seriously, the weather doesn't really matter to me. The key is just figuring out which way the wind is going to blow tomorrow. I'm feeling really comfortable out there right now. I have some good areas where I know there are fish."

To make matters worse for the rest of the pro competition, Reese said he didn't even attempt to fish any of his money spots during today's action.

"I found three new areas yesterday, and that helped," said Reese, who used a combination of Roboworms and jigs to land the majority of his catch. "I didn't go to any of my big fish waters today because I couldn't fish it (due to the wind). But I'll be ready to go tomorrow. My fish are ready to bust wide open, so I'm confident I can do well. It's just an awesome feeling to be in the spot I'm in right now."

Reese believes that he'll need at least 20 pounds in tomorrow's finals to win the title.

"That's my goal anyway," he said.

Woods ready to challenge

Todd Woods of Murrieta, Calif., finished the day in second place in the Pro Division with an 18-pound catch.Todd Woods of Murrieta, Calif., said he came to Clear Lake with one intention only - to have fun. However, after recording an 18-pound stringer in the semifinals, Woods is poised to do much more than that.

"I just wanted to come here and have a good time," Woods said. "I said to myself that this might be one of my last tournaments, so I might as well have fun."

Woods said the key to his success today was zigging while everyone else zagged.

"I just decided to stay away from the crowd and all of the other people," he said. "I found this long bank that I've been fishing quite a bit. I just keep going back and forth and back and forth. And so far, it's worked out."

Lyon snares more than third place

Jim Lyon of Reno, Nev., used a 16-pound, 14-ounce catch to stay right there in the hunt for a tournament title. Jim Lyon of Reno, Nev., used a 16-pound, 14-ounce catch to stay right there in the hunt for a tournament title. However, despite his stellar performance on the water, he claims his rain suit almost ruined his day.

"I hooked this fish, and when I started to reel it in, my head kept hitting the reel every time I turned the reel handle," said Lyon. "Then I realized that I'd caught part of my rain suit strap in the reel and that my head was getting pulled forward every time I turned the handle. I know when my partner was watching this whole deal, he must have thought I was having a seizure or something. Needless to say, I lost the fish. But I can guarantee you that I'll have a different rain suit on tomorrow."

Tuck bemoans the big one that keeps getting away

Pro Mike Tuck of Antelope, Calif., turned in a nice 16-pound, 9-ounce stringer to grab fourth-place qualifying honors.Although Mike Tuck of Antelope, Calif., turned in a nice 16-pound, 9-ounce stringer to grab fourth-place qualifying honors, he said he hopes to have a little better luck in Saturday's finals.

"I fished pretty good today, but I keep losing one big bass every day of this tournament," he said. "I should have come in with 18 pounds today, so I'm kind of a little disappointed. But I think I'm on the right fish to win this. I just hope that tomorrow morning there won't be 2 inches of snow covering my boat again."

Dean McDaniel of Sacremento, Calif., used a 16-pound, 1-ounce catch to stay within striking distance of the pro leaderboard.In fifth place was Dean McDaniel of Sacremento, Calif., who used a 16-pound, 1-ounce catch to stay in striking distance of the top spot.

"I kind of went swinging for the fences today," said McDaniel. "And I think I finally started to figure out how to catch them."

Best of the rest

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

6th: Jerry Fischer of Lincoln, Calif., 15-6
7th: William T. McAninch of Sylmar, Calif., 15-1
8th: Ed Arledge of San Diego, 14-8
9th: Robert Lee of Angels Camp, Calif., 14-4
10th: Jason Borofka of Salinas, Calif., 14-0

Scholz gains pole position in Co-angler Division

Andy Scholz of Reno, Nev., used a catch of 17 pounds, 14 ounces to grab the overall lead in the Co-angler DivisionAndy Scholz of Reno, Nev., used the third-biggest catch of the day at 17 pounds, 14 ounces to grab the overall lead in the Co-angler Division. And given his struggles out on the water today, he said he couldn't have been happier with the result.

"It was just an awesome day," said Scholz, who used a black-and-blue Dandy jig, a Carolina rig and a trick worm to land the majority of his catch. "I was a little nervous out there because I was struggling and kept losing fish. So I'm really happy to be where I am right now. I really didn't think I'd be in first place heading back to weigh-in."

Garcia nets second place

Philip Garcia of Yuba City, Calif., turned in a 16-pound, 3-ounce stringer which was good enough to keep him within 2 pounds of the overall co-angler lead.Despite only landing four keepers, Philip Garcia of Yuba City, Calif., turned in a 16-pound, 3-ounce stringer, which was good enough to keep him within 2 pounds of the overall lead heading into tomorrow's finals.

"I didn't get that last fish, but I'll tell you it wasn't from lack of opportunity," Garcia lamented. "If I'd been able to catch that fifth fish, I'd be in first place right now."

Mike Nichelini of Napa, Calif., used a 15-pound, 2-ounce stringer to finish the day in third place.

Co-angler Charlie Crawford of Peoria, Ariz., qualified for the finals in fourth place with a total catch of 14 pounds, 3 ounces. Meanwhile, Charlie Crawford of Peoria, Ariz., qualified for the finals in fourth place with a total catch of 14 pounds, 3 ounces. But for Crawford, it wasn't the fishing he wanted to talk about.

"Back home I live in the desert, and we've gone like 140 days without rain," he said. "But I think with the amount of rain we've had here over the past few days, I've already had my fill for the year."

Douglas Davis of New Castle, Colo., finished in fifth place with a 13-pound, 13-ounce catch.

Best of the rest

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

6th: Christopher Ricci of Bend, Ore., 13-0
7th: Jeff Grant of La Mirada, Calif., 12-12
8th: Jason Billmaier of Las Vegas, 12-5
9th: Brandon Craner of Buhl, Idaho, 12-2
10th: Gary Morris of Tracy, Calif., 12-0

Day four of Stren Series action on Clear Lake continues at Saturday's final takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7 a.m. PST at Redbud Marina, located just off Old Highway 53 in Clearlake, Calif.

Tags: gary-mortenson  headline-story  2006-03-01-clear-lake 

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