UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Erie

Despite mechanical woes, Curtiss continues his pro lead at Clear Lake

Despite mechanical woes, Curtiss continues his pro lead at Clear Lake
Trolling motor trouble limited his day, but Wade Curtis held on to his pro lead on day three.

KELSEYVILLE, CALIF. - Even after a third day of warm conditions, the Clear Lake bass remained in limbo and Stren Western Division anglers did their best to find productive patterns in waters with pre-spawn, spawning and post-spawn fish.

Still rattled by a cold snap earlier in the week and probably sensing the next chill forecast to arrive on Saturday, the bass still waiting to spawn have appeared confused and unwilling to make a unified march to the shallow spawning areas. Anglers are finding a lot of fish suspending in deep water over rocks and shoreline breaks.

Tournament director Chris Jones said it best: "Clear Lake is one of the best (bass) fisheries in the A big fish slipped away early, but pro Philip Garcia managed to find a limit big enough to remain in second place.world, but it's been stingy this week. It has frustrated many anglers. You just don't ever know how you're going to hit it."

Some found big fish moving into shoreline shallows and capitalized on the brief window of opportunity. Tenth place pro Corey Fenske weighed a limit of cookie cutter fish that tallied 24-12 - the heaviest pro bag of the day. His partner John Loverin also placed 10th and weighed the heaviest co-angler stringer at 27-12. Loverin's catch gave him a total of 44-11 and allowed him to rocket up the standings from 129th on day two.

Topping the pro division for the third consecutive day, Lincoln, Calif. pro Wade Curtiss overcame technical difficulties to finish with a limit weighing 13-5 and a 3-day total of 66 pounds. He leads the pro Jared Stone dropped back a spot to reach the final round in fourth place.field by 9 pounds, 9 ounces.

Fishing tules in the south end of the lake, Curtiss caught his fish on dropshots and a brown jig with a white trailer. His progress was cut short when his trolling motor started running out of juice way too early in the day.

"Around 11 o'clock, my batteries started going dead so I had no trolling motor left," he said. "I think it just wasn't getting a charge last night, so it's something I can fix tonight."

Overall, Curtiss said the fish he found were spooky. For the final round, he plans to stick with two or three main areas, but keep his eyes open for any new opportunities. (Perhaps, we'll get a little more out of him after the final curtains.)

Keeping his second place spot, Philip Garcia of Yuba City, Calif. had a rough start on day three, but managed to come back with a 15-pound, 6-ounce limit that gave him a 56-7 total.

"I lost one about 8 pounds early in the morning, and then I lost four or five other ones," he said. "I just couldn't get it together and I was pretty upset. But my co-angler calmed me down and then I just went Junk fishing kept Fairfield, Calif. pro Sean Stafford in the top-10 with a fourth place performance.fishing and caught a bunch of 3-pounders."

Garcia fished rock piles in 15-25 feet and threw jigs, Senkos and swimbaits.

Jared Stone of Lakeport, Calif. weighed a 16-pound, 15-ounce limit for a third place total of 55-14. He fished dropshots and wacky-rigged Senkos around docks and tules at the north end of the lake. Stone started his day with a good boost when he nailed a 7-pounder on a swim bait.

In fourth place, Fairfield, Calif. pro Sean Stafford fished tules and shallow breaks in the mid to upper lake and caught 16-2 for a 54-11 total. Unable to establish a solid pattern, he threw a variety of lures including Senkos, jigs, and spinnerbaits.

"I have about 12 rods out on my deck and I was just junk fishing," he said. "I was mixing it up, trying to Scott Copple sacked a limit weighing 20 pounds, 5 ounces and improved 18 places from 23rd to fifth.get five and trying to get the right five."

Fifth place went to Scott Copple of Lehi, Utah whose total of 54-4 moved him up 18 spots. Ed Shaver of Lake Havasu City, Ariz. won the Snickers Big Bass award with his 9-pound, 12-ounce beauty. Shaver caught his big fish on a drop shot around tules in the north end of the lake.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the Stren Series Clear Lake event:Ed Shaver of Lake Havasu City, Ariz. caught the biggest bass on the pro side, a 9-12.

6th: Ron Colby of Page, Ariz., 53-13
7th: Brian Nollar of Homer, Alaska, 53-0
8th: Jason Milligan of Anderson, Calif., 52-10
9th: Cody Meyer of Redding, Calif., 52-6
10th: Corey Fenske of Granite Bay, Calif., 52-1

How slow can you go?

Holding on to the co-angler lead, Kyle Baker of Lancaster, Calif. stuck to his low-and-slow strategy and weighed a 15-pound, 2-ounce limit that gave him a 3-day total of 53-7. Fishing docks, rocks and tules at both ends of the lake, he worked watermelon Zoom finesse worms on shaky heads. Believing that the Kyle Baker stuck with his slow presentation strategy and held onto his top spot in the co-angler division.fish needed a different look, Baker kept his bait close to the bottom in a meticulously slow crawl.

"I was dropping it and letting it sit for a couple of minutes at a time and the fish would hit it when it was just sitting there," Baker said. "I fished with some good pros this week and they were fishing basically the same way. They were helping me get a limit."

Baker credits his success to Rialto, Calif. pro Ricky Shabazz, who helped him during practice. "He showed me what baits to use during practice. I probably couldn't have caught these fish without him."

Scott Sweet of Chatsworth, Calif. kept the pressure on Baker by finishing just 14 ounces behind the leader at 52-9. Thomas Wang of Saratoga, Calif. held on to his third place spot with 47-5

Aaron Reitz of Soda Springs, Calif. moved up from 15th place to fourth with 47-3. Reitz buoyed his Catching the biggest bass on the co-angler side, an 8-5, enabled Aaron Reitz to move into fourth place.heaviest stringer - a 17-pound, 14-ounce limit - with the biggest bass on the co-angler side, an 8-5.

Working a finesse rig, Reitz said the big fish's sudden weight initially fooled him. "I caught (the big bass) on a drop shot. I thought I had snagged a carp."

In fifth place, Jerry Garcia, Jr. of San Diego, Calif. gained one spot with his 45-pound, 11-ounce total.

Best of the rest

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

6th: Jake Stephens of Reno, Nev., 45-10
7th: Rich Reeser of Dixon, Calif., 45-6
8th: Tommy Cardoza of Lakeport, Calif., 45-1
9th: Kurt Walters of Grand Junction, Co., 44-13
10th: John Loverin of Valley Springs, Calif., 44-11

Day four of Stren Series action on Clear Lake continues at Saturday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 6:30 a.m. (PT) at Redbud Park in Clearlake, Calif.

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2008-04-16-clear-lake 

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