UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - James River

It’s Campiotti with more than 51 pounds

It’s Campiotti with more than 51 pounds
Gino Campiotti of Manteca, Calif., here with son Gino Jr., leads after two days of Stren Series comapetition at Clear Lake with an amazing 51 pounds, 2ounces.

KELSEYVILLE, Calif. - To get an idea just how unreal the fishing is at Clear Lake this week, consider this: On Thursday, day two of Stren Series Western Division competition, pro Michael Tuck caught the now-15th-heaviest limit and co-angler Zachary Holwerda caught the fourth-heaviest single bass in FLW Outdoors history, yet neither one of them leads the tournament.

That honor belongs to Gino Campiotti of Manteca, Calif., who has amassed the ninth-heaviest two-day weight in history - 51 pounds, 2 ounces - to lead the Pro Division. His weight over the first two days fell just a little more than 5 pounds short of the FLW Outdoors record, 56-5, which was set at the Lake Amistad Stren last month.

Of course, the biggest record set Thursday belonged to Clear Lake itself. Coming as a shock to no one, the anglers obliterated the one-day total weight record set by the same guys just yesterday. The entire field of pros and co-anglers weighed in a total of 5,471 pounds, 9 ounces Thursday, beating their Wednesday mark of 5,217-5 by almost 270 pounds.

Not only that, 180 out of 189 pros weighed in five-bass limits, while 158 co-anglers did the same.

Needless to say, it was another long day at the scale Thursday afternoon at Konocti Harbor Resort. But it was a fun one for all involved.

Campiotti switches baits for lead

Campiotti, who pulled in with a massive 28-pound, 9-ounce limit for second place on day one, managed to post another plus-20-pounds limit on day two, 22-9, to move up into the lead. But even though the weather conditions brightened Thursday, it wasn't all sunshine and roses for him.

"It was kind of a tough go today," he said. "It sounds kind of stupid, but I was fishing with (co-angler) Tracy Phillips and he was schooling me. Right off the bat, he stuck a 6(-pounder). Then, I only had a limit of about 10 pounds at noon, and he stuck another 6."

Campiotti said he fished exactly the same water that he fished the day before: points and between docks near an island in deeper water up to 25 feet, focusing on cruisers early in the morning. With Phillips outfishing him early, he decided to change colors on his 6-inch shaky-head worm from brown to purple, which made all the difference.

"My partner was fishing something different, and I adjusted after him," he said. "He was whipping my butt for a long time."

After the adjustment, Campiotti hooked into the couple 6- and 7-pounders that helped him move into the lead. Later in the day, he caught two of his keepers in the 5-pound range on a Mission Fish swimbait.

"I really think it was the sun," he said. "Before today, I would have told you that clouds are important for swimbait fishing. But now you can throw that right out the window."

While the sun stayed out all day, the leader said that, unlike many pros, he didn't catch any fish off the beds Thursday, preferring to stay deeper.

"The water I'm fishing is fairly clear, but I just couldn't catch them," he said. "I tried to throw weightless worms and everything at them, but I couldn't catch anything like that."

Jason Borofka of Salinas, Calif., moved up from fourth place into second in the Pro Division with 50 pounds, 5 ounces.Borofka second, overwhelmed by options

Coming in with the day's other two-day weight total over 50 pounds, Jason Borofka of Salinas, Calif., moved up from fourth place into second in the Pro Division with 50 pounds, 5 ounces.

"This is the best lake in the U.S., absolutely," he said. "You can catch a 10-pounder on any cast here."

Borofka caught a limit weighing 24 pounds, 2 ounces Thursday, saying the bass bounty of Clear Lake seemed endless.

"I actually fished all new water today," said Borofka, who caught 26 pounds, 3 ounces yesterday. "I did a little prefishing, too - not that I need any more spots. I've got so many places to go that I don't even know where to start in the morning."

He said that he basically used a temperature-based pattern Thursday, starting deep in the morning and following the fish into the shallows as the day warmed up into the mid-70s.

"As the day got warmer, I worked my way all the way up to the top," he said, adding that he left his sight fish alone. "I know I'll need that weight in the next couple days."

Pro Jared Stone of Lakeport, Calif., came in with one of the day's nuclear limits - 28 pounds, 3 ounces - and took third place with a two-day weight of 49-0.Stone third

Local pro Jared Stone of Lakeport, Calif., came in with one of the day's nuclear limits - 28 pounds, 3 ounces - and took third place with a two-day weight of 49-0.

"That was a lot bigger than I thought," said Stone, whose kicker largemouth weighed in at 7 pounds, 9 ounces.

Stone ran a dock pattern, saying only that he's power-fishing in water 8 to 12 feet deep.

"I'm getting a lot of bites, but I'm not catching a lot of fish," he said. "I'm big-fish hunting."

Tuck pops 31-11, climbs to fourth

Pro Michael Tuck of Antelope, Calif., who currently leads the Western Division point standings, continued his winning ways by catching the heaviest limit of the big-fish tournament Thursday - 31 pounds, 11 ounces - and climbing into fifth place with a two-day total of 48-2. Tuck's weight bumped Sean Stafford's 31-8 limit yesterday to take over 15th place on the list all-time heaviest single-day weights.

Tuck took advantage of today's sunny conditions, catching at least one of his big fish off a sight bed. His two biggest bass weighed in at 8 pounds, 11 ounces and 7-14, respectively.

"By 12 o'clock I had most of that weight, but I culled twice this afternoon, once with a big sight fish," he said. "This morning, I just fished slow-moving baits, and this afternoon I went sight-fishing. I left probably six fish (on beds) between 5 and 6 pounds. My goal is 30 pounds again tomorrow; on this lake 30's not out of the question any day. Hopefully, I'm going to have a good bag by 10 o'clock and be able to just go pigging in the afternoon."

Richard Dobyns of Yuba City, Calif., climbed into the fifth-place spot for the pros with a two-day weight of 45 pounds, 11 ounces.Dobyns - not that one - takes fifth

Richard Dobyns of Yuba City, Calif., climbed into the fifth-place spot for the pros with a two-day weight of 45 pounds, 11 ounces. He caught a limit weighing 21-5 Thursday.

Incidentally, Richard is the son of veteran Gary Dobyns, who not only holds the distinction of making the most top-10 cuts made in the West (50 percent of the FLW tournaments he's fished), but also squeaked into cut range yet again this week in 10th place by hooking into a 9-pound, 1-ounce kicker largemouth Thursday.

"That's what I was going for," Richard Dobyns said when told that he topped his famous father Thursday. Then he took another page out of the savvy Dobyns playbook, saying that he caught his fish "on a drop-shot, Senko, and by getting lucky."

"If I have to listen to him beat me at Clear Lake, I'll never hear the end of it," Gary Dobyns laughed. "But seriously, it would be great to see him do well. That's who I want to win."

Jeff Billings of Clearlake, Calif., caught the Snickers Big Bass of the day in the Pro Division with this heavy largemouth weighing 10 pounds even.Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros after two days at Clear Lake:

6th: Brian Nollar of Homer, Ala., 45-3
7th: Sean Stafford of Fairfield, Calif., 44-11 (day-one leader)
8th: Jim Davis of San Jose, Calif., 44-6
9th: Matt Newman of Agoura Hills, Calif., 44-1
10th: Gary Dobyns of Yuba City, Calif., 43-1

Jeff Billings of Clearlake, Calif., caught the Snickers Big Bass of the day for the pros and cleared $285 with a heavy largemouth weighing 10 pounds even.

Clement tops rising cream in Co-angler Division

Two of the top three co-anglers after two days at Clear Lake have already won here, Kyle Clement and Andy Scholz.

Kyle Clement of Anderson, Calif., leads the Co-angler Division by catching five bass weighing 21-13 Wednesday and five bass weighing 19-12 Thursday for a total of 10 bass weighing 41-9.Clement, of Anderson, Calif., took over familiar ground at the helm of the Co-angler Division Thursday by posting a two-day weight of 41 pounds, 9 ounces. He caught 19-12 Thursday.

Clement, a standout back-boater in the West, claimed his first Stren victory right here at Clear Lake in 2005. He seems to have continued his success at throwing a swimbait this week.

"I think the swimbait bite's more of a morning thing. I only caught one fish after 8 o'clock, and it was a 3-pounder that I threw back," he said.

When asked if he plans to continue throwing the swimbait tomorrow, he said, "Oh yeah. I'm definitely looking forward to it."

Co-angler Zachary Holwerda and his 13-pound, 1-ounce bass, the fourth-heaviest in FLW Outdoors history.Holwerda lands 13-pounder

Continuing co-angler supremacy in the big-bass category, Zachary Holwerda of Cave Creek, Ariz., rose to second place by catching a 13-pound, 1-ounce kicker largemouth and amassing the biggest limit of the day from the back of the boat, 25-1. He totaled 39-15 after two days.

"That's definitely my biggest fish ever. That's amazing," Holwerda said about his fourth-ranked fish. "My hands were shaking for about two hours after I caught her."

Like many of these eye-popping fish that have been caught over the years, Holwerda said he caught his on light line with a worm.

"I caught it on 8-pound test with a little drop-shot rig. It took us a while (to land it). She didn't want to come in. Yeah, I was scared," he said. "I thought I was just snagged at first."

Holwerda's fish bit on a 5-inch green-pumpkin-with-red-flake Senko on a 3-aught hook in about 10 feet of water.

"It wasn't a spawner," he said. "I didn't even see it before it hit."

Co-angler Andy Scholz of Reno, Nev., climbed to third place with a two-day weight of 38 pounds, 12 ounces. He caught a nice limit weighing 23-2 Thursday. Scholz third

Scholz, of Reno, Nev., who won this event as a co-angler last year, climbed to third place today with a two-day weight of 38 pounds, 12 ounces. He caught a nice limit weighing 23-2 Thursday.

"I caught a couple of key fish on a Dandy Baits jig and the others on a Senko," he said.

Fourth place for the co-anglers went to Paul Fontaine of Brentwood, Calif., for a two-day weight of 36 pounds, 4 ounces. He caught 17-1 Thursday.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers was Bobby Tilford of Fresno, Calif., with 36 pounds, 3 ounces. He caught 21-0 Thursday.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers:

6th: Jackson Juarez of Finley, Calif., 35-14
7th: Roy Desmangles Jr. of Lincoln, Calif., 35-11
8th: Daniel Montes of Turlock, Calif., 35-7 (day-one leader)
9th: Jim Tatum of Bishop, Calif., 34-8
10th: Patrick Mateo of San Jose, Calif., 34-3

Obviously, Holwerda won the Snickers Big Bass award, collecting $144.

Day three of Western Division competition at Clear Lake begins as the field of 189 boats takes off from Konocti Harbor Resort at 6:30 a.m. Pacific time Thursday. Following tomorrow's competition, the fields will be cut to the top 10 anglers apiece based on three-day cumulative weight.

Tags: jeff-schroeder  headline-story  2007-04-25-clear-lake 

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