UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Erie

Sweet deal

Sweet deal
After two days in the second place position, Scott Sweet made his move in the final round to win the co-angler division.

KELSEYVILLE, Calif. - Like a NASCAR driver drafting the leader, Scott Sweet hung close to the top of the pack for three days and then made his move when it counted the most to win the Co-angler Division of the Stren Series Western Division event on Clear Lake.

Sweet finished third on day one, moved up to second on day two and held on to the No. 2 spot on day three to make the top-10 cut. In the final round, the Chatsworth, Calif., native caught a limit weighing 9 pounds, 14 ounces for a winning total of 62-7.

Wacky rigging a green-pumpkin Senko with an O-ring was Sweet's preferred tactic through the first three qualifying days. He imparted very little action on the bait - just a cast and then the waiting game.

Drop shotting over offshore rocks in the south end of Clear Lake produced the winning weight for Scott Sweet."It was total dead-sticking. Every so often, I'd bump the bait up and it would float back down. I'd feel the tick, set the hook - another 3-pounder."

On the fourth day, he fished only a drop-shot because the 10- to 15-foot depths he and pro winner Philip Garcia fished were not conducive to the slow-sinking rig. However, with lethargic fish biting very lightly, the same minimal-motion presentation again proved effective.

"There were two times that I had a fish on after picking a bird's nest out of my spool," Sweet said. "I was pulling the line out, reeled it back in and there was a fish there."

For his efforts, Sweet won $5,000 and a Ranger boat.

Garcia grateful for second

Big Senkos and a green Spro frog delivered the heaviest co-angler stringer for Jerry Garcia Jr.  Entering the final round in fifth place, Jerry Garcia Jr. of San Diego caught the largest co-angler stringer of the day - 16 pounds, 3 ounces - and took second place with 61-14. Garcia fished conservatively to secure a limit and then swung for the fence.

"I started out by wacky-rigging a Salt River Craw worm on a drop-shot until I got my limit; then I knew if I wanted to stay in contention, I had to catch those big fish," he said.

With five in the boat early, Garcia switched to a big Senko and a Spro frog. The latter, he said, produces electrifying strikes: "I don't care what anyone says about a swimbait or anything else, it's all about the frog. I knew if I could get some bites on (that bait), it would help me out and it definitely helped me out."

Speed kills Baker's slow game

Kyle Baker found that SaturdayKyle Baker of Lancaster, Calif., led the co-angler field on days two and three, but slipped in the final round with a three-fish bag weighing just 6 pounds, 9 ounces. His tournament total was 60 pounds.

Baker was dead-sticking watermelon Zoom finesse worms on shaky heads - a tactic he had employed well for three previous days. Baker had hoped his technique would become even more productive when Saturday's chilly weather made bass lethargic. Unfortunately, high winds accompanying the cold stymied his plan.

"I only had four bites because it was too windy to fish slowly," he said. "I couldn't fish the way I wanted to."

Strong start equals strong finish for Cardoza

Tommy Cardoza of Lakeport, Calif., entered the final round in eighth place and climbed four notches to finish fourth with 58-13. Interestingly, Cardoza placed fourth on day one with a 20-pound, 9-ounce limit and retained that spot on day two before sliding back in the top-10 standings.

Cardoza credits his success to a strong day-one performance, coupled with a solid effort in the final round: "I had a really good day one - that helped out a lot. I stayed in the top 10 all three days, and today I got `em - out in that nasty weather.

Cardoza fished a swimbait, drop-shot and a Senko in the south end of the lake. He was thankful that his pro, Jason Milligan, chose not to run far in the day's very rough conditions.

"There were waves 5 feet high out there," he recalls. "They were doubling up, and it was nasty."

Wang goes wacky for fifth

Thomas Wang fished a specialized finesse worm wacky style and locked up a fifth place finish.Thomas Wang of Saratoga, Calif., caught a limit weighing 10 pounds, 11 ounces to finish fifth with 58 pounds. He wacky-rigged a special finesse worm with rounded ends, two small tentacles and a dual color pattern - smoke-green on the top and cinnamon-blue flake on the bottom. Made in Japan, the worm's action proved enticing to bass.

"This worm is very detailed a little bit thicker, so it creates a lot of vibration," Wang said.

Rest of the best

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

6th: Kurt Walters of Grand Junction, Co., 57-15
7th: Aaron Reitz of Soda Springs, Calif., 57-2
8th: Jake Stephens of Reno, Nev., 56-6
9th: Rich Reeser of Dixon, Calif., 52-10
10th: John Loverin of Valley Springs, Calif., 48-11

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

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