UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Lake Wylie

Pretty isn't practical

Pretty isn't practical
Fishing grubs and dropshots in a methodical search pattern led pro Paul Hall to the top spot for day one.

TRI-CITIES, Wash. - Those who promote area tourism praised today's weather, while those competing in the Walmart FLW Series National Guard Western Division event lamented the day one conditions they faced on the Columbia River.

In fairness, the scene was far from unpleasant - maybe a little on the warm side, but most have faced much worse. However, from a fishing perspective, a sunny day with very little wind and current makes Light wind, combined with sunny skies created challenging conditions for many anglers.for a tough day at the office. Essentially, the heat pushes the fish deep, while the lack of water movement keeps them on their keesters with not a lot of feeding motivation.

Despite the challenges, anglers caught fish. Pros registered 89 limits with 29 on the co-angler side. Early morning hours offered decent topwater action, but as the sun gained height the surface gained heat and that game ended. Those who fared best did so mostly with persistent pursuit of deeper presentations with soft plastics.

Topping the pro field, Paul Hall of Soap Lake, Wash. weighed 14-15. Targeting ledges in the middle of the river, he fished Hula Grubs and drop shots in 17-30 feet. The day's stillness proved challenging for him, but a methodical probing search proved effective.

Slow, deep presentations with soft plastics accounted for many of the day one fish."It was flat calm and that made it a little tough," Hall said. "I would just pick different depths, work a line on a certain depth and then move out a couple of feet and go on another line to try and figure out where they were moving."

Fishing a range of 10 miles upriver from the Columbia Point launch site to 15 miles downriver, Hall caught all of his fish before the lunch hour. "I had a limit by about 9:30 but the bite went away around noon and it got a lot tougher. Actually, I quit fishing my (main) spot around noon and went looking for new areas.

For day two, Hall said he'll return to the same areas he fished in the opening round, but he'll get to the more productive areas sooner.

McFarland finishes a close second

One ounce separated Meridian, Idaho's Eric McFarland from the top spot. Fishing flukes on Carolina rigs Green pumpkin flukes fished on dropshots and Carolina rigs put Eric McFarland in second place.and dropshots, the second place pro caught a limit and turned in a weight of 14-14. His better bites came during the early morning hours.

"I got two big ones first thing in the morning and then I ran about 20 miles and got two more big ones," McFarland said. "I was going to run downriver, because that's where all of my big fish (from practice), but I got two good fish and then I got two more and I spent the rest of the day looking for that other big one and I was a little disappointed that I didn't get it."

California pro R.J. Bennett fished Berkely Gulp! leeches ove main river breaks and placed fourth with 14-7.McFarland said he caught most of his fish over the spoil banks from dredged barge channels.

Third place went to Ronald Hobbs, Jr. of Graham, Wash. who caught a limit weighing 14-12. R.J. Bennett of Roseville, Calif. took fourth with 14-7 and David Kromm of Kennewick, Wash. placed fifth at 14-1.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the FLW Series Columbia River event:

6th: Neil Russell, Nampa, Id., 13-14
7th: Cameron Smith, Dana Point, Calif., 13-3Returning to a backwater lake that he located in practice yielded the day
8th: Earl Dalton, Jackson, Calif., 13-0
9th: Brent Lyon, Reno, NV, 12-14
10th: Cody King, Island City, Or., 12-13

Smith also had the day's biggest bass on the pro side - a 5-pound, 8-ounce largemouth that ate a jointed wooden rat bait. Smith caught his fish in a small backwater lake that he had scouted during practice.

Cadell anchors co-angler lead with big bass

Soft plastics worked in very slow presentations led Escalon, Calif. co-angler James Cadell to the top of Co-angler leader James Cadell fished soft plastics over weedy rock piles in about 20 feet of water.his division. His limit catch weighed 14 pounds, 11 ounces and established a 3-pound, 4-ounce lead.

Fishing mostly rock piles with grass in about 20 feet, Cadell modeled persistence. "The key was just keeping your bait wet," he said. "I stuck with it and caught fish all day long. I probably culled five times and caught a few short fish."

In addition to topping all co-anglers, Cadell caught the day's biggest bass on the co-angler side - a 4-pound, 9-ounce smallie.

Gary Haraguchi of Brentwood, Calif. placed second with 11-7, while Mike Iloski of Escondido, Calif. took third with 10-14. Jason Bryan of Spokane, Wash. finished fourth at 10-11 and Justin Lucas of Folsom, Calif. was fifth with 10-8.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the FLW Series Columbia River event:Leading the National Guard Western Division Co-Angler of the Year race, Justin Lucas found success with the Berkely Gulp! leech.

6th: Dave Phillips, Nampa, Id., 10-4
7th: Robert Flowers, Roy, Wash., 9-13
8th: James Castillo, Grandview, Wash., 9-9
9th: Joseph Smink, Modesto, Calif., 9-8
10th: Bob Brown, Meridian, Id., 9-4

Day two of FLW Series action on the Columbia River continues at Thursday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 6:30 a.m. (PT) at Columbia Point Marina located at 660 Columbia Point Drive.

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2008-09-17-columbia-river 

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