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Swimbait commitment rewards Mcabee with pro lead

Swimbait commitment rewards Mcabee with pro lead
Joined by his 5-year-old daughter Malorie, pro leader Randy Mcabee Jr stuck with a swimbait all day.

KELSEYVILLE, Calif. - We'll get to the part about Randy Mcabee Jr. leading the Pro Division of the Walmart FLW Series National Guard Western Division event on Clear Lake in a minute, but the lead story today was a really cool father-son angle at the day-one weigh-in.

Fourth-place pro Cameron Smith of Dana Point, Calif., came through the line about 10 minutes after his father, Mark, topped the Co-angler Division with a huge limit weighing 27 pounds, 10 ounces. The elder Smith's bag would weigh over 4 pounds more than Macabee's 23-4.It took a good heave for Randy Mcabee Jr to lift his tournament leading fish.

As if having a father and son both reach the upper end of their divisions wasn't enough, both Smiths also earned the Folgers Big Bass awards. Mark Smith caught an 8-12 for $193, and Cameron bagged a 6-14 worth $290.

Now on to Mr. Mcabee. For the Bakersfield, Calif., pro, it was a day of swinging for the fence, but working through lots of base hits to get a couple of homers. Working in 20 to 30 feet of water, he threw a Kicker Fish swimbait all day and caught 25 to 30 fish. Most were 3 pounds or less, but he nailed a couple in the 6-pound range and added a few more quality fish to secure the lead.

A 6-pound, 14-ounce largemouth earned Big Bass honors and fourth place in the pro division for Cameron Smith."The fish are aggressive, and that's the only way I can get my bigger fish - on the bigger bait," he said.

Running and gunning, Macabee said he worked 30 spots today and burned two full tanks of gas.

"I'm stopping, making five to 10 casts and then moving on to the next spot."

He was looking for rock points, ledges and ridges - natural feeding stations for fish rising out of deep water for a meal. Timing was important, he said.

"They move up and feed, and if you're there at that time, there's nothing lethargic about it - they whack the bait."

The key to his presentation: "It has to be on the bottom - it has to be hitting rocks. It's just a matter of having the patience to fish it that deep."

Topwater bite leads Alimpic to second

He was definitely in the minority today, but slinging a topwater bait helped propel Angwin, Calif., proJohn Alimpic fished frogs and swimbaits to catch the second place pro bag. John Alimpic to second place with a limit weighing 21-8.

"I think everyone's thinking it's almost November, and no one's throwing (topwaters)," Alimpic said.

Also fishing a swimbait, he had to cover some water and hit 20 different spots to put together his limit.

"The fish were really spread out. I'd catch one fish here, one fish there. I couldn't catch two fish on the same spot."

Working from midlake to the south end, Alimpic threw his frog into areas of sparse grass. Most of his strikes came in open water amid the vegetation. Once the bite started, it didn't take him long to find the five he wanted.

"I had my limit by noon," Alimpic said. "I culled one fish after 12:30 and that was it. I just tried to conserve my water today because tomorrow I need to go back to it. I have about 10 different spots."

Hite keeps on the go for third

In third place, Dunkin Donuts pro Brett Hite found a 21-pound limit.Pro Brett Hite of Phoenix bagged a limit that weighed 21-3 and placed third. He said his day was one of diversity.

"I'm mixing it up," he said. "I have about 10 rods on the deck. That's the problem with this place - I think you could actually have about 20 rods on the deck."

With swimbaits, jigs, ChatterBaits and Rat-L-traps factoring into his day, Hite started shallow in the morning (2 to 6 feet), worked deeper in the afternoon (10 to 18 feet) and caught fish in both extremes. Most of his action was in the south end.

"I'm just covering water and trying to find the really active fish," Hite said. "I'm fishing something heavyPlacing 29th with 17-10, Zack Thompson hopes to maintain his top spot in the Land O that I can keep moving. I'm putting the trolling motor down and going."

Smith, Cardoza round out top five

Cameron Smith's fourth-place catch weighed 20 pounds, 15 ounces. Tommy Cardoza of Lakeport, Calif., was fifth with 20-11.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top 10 pro leaders at the FLW Series Clear Lake event:

6th: Rob Riehl of Tracy, Calif., 20-9
7th: Kazuki Kodama of Torrance, Calif., 20-8
8th: Jared Lintner of Arroyo Grande, Calif., 20-6
9th: Brent Ehler of Redlands, Calif., 19-10
10th: Roy Hawk of Salt Lake City, 19-9

Smith drags into first

Co-angler Mark Smith topped his division with an eye-popping bag of 27 pounds, 10 ounces that included the Big Bass of 8-12.Dragging a Texas-rigged, watermelon-colored, soft-plastic creature bait delivered the co-angler lead for Mark Smith. Most of his bites came over rocks in 8 to 15 feet of water, and his twin 8-pounders came around noon off of a 100-yard stretch of shoreline.

Considering how often co-anglers are left with limited opportunities, Smith was quick to credit his pro partner for a day of great consideration.

"I was very lucky that the gentleman I fished with, Rick Correa (28th place, 17-15), gave me a lot of room to fish," Smith said. "We fished very slowly and that was the key. My boater gave me a nice, slow speed that I could fish. Without that, I couldn't have caught these fish."

High five co-anglers

Finishing second, John Wick of San Diego had 18-15, and Richard Taylor of Shingle Springs, Calif., followed in third with 18-5. Joseph Smink of Modesto, Calif., was fourth with 18-2, while Rus Snyders of San Bruno, Calif., took fifth with 17-14.

Best of the rest

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

6th: Toshitada Suzuki of La Jolla, Calif., 17-14
7th: Larry C. Wilson of Poway, Calif., 17-4
8th: Jackson Juarez of Finley, Calif., 17-3
9th: Taylor Parsons of Sutter Creek, Calif., 16-15
10th: Stacy Gee of Sacramento, Calif., 16-12

Day two of FLW Series action on Clear Lake continues at Thursday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7:30 a.m. PT at Konocti Harbor Resort located at 8727 Soda Bay Road in Kelseyville, Calif.

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2009-10-21-clear-lake 

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