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Mcabee switches tactics to retain Clear Lake lead

Mcabee switches tactics to retain Clear Lake lead
Randy Mcabee Jr is joined by Mason, left, and Mallory, right, as he regains the lead with another big sack.

KELSEYVILLE, Calif. - Randy Mcabee Jr. was 1 ounce away from a numerical mirror of his day-one lead at the Walmart FLW Series on Clear Lake, but the math belies a very different day two in this National Guard Western Division event.

The Bakersfield, Calif., pro bagged a limit weighing 23 pounds, 4 ounces on Wednesday to top his division. He returned to the top on day two with another limit of 23-3 for a leading total of 46-7. That's where the similarities end - except for the obvious detail of largemouth bass in both bags.Although he had to make adjustments, Randy Mcabee Jr. still managed to catch quality fish.

Yesterday Mcabee kept busy with approximately 30 fish. Not so today.

"I got seven bites today and caught five."

All of his day-one fish came on a swimbait, but Mcabee had to abandon that tactic when it proved ineffective at closing the deal. Switching to a deep-diving crankbait enabled him to salvage the day and put enough weight in his bag to lock up the lead with a 5-pound margin.

California pro Mike Folkestad caught the day"Today, they were really lethargic," he said. "I was getting the bites on the swimbait, but they weren't getting hooked, so I had to go to something they would react to and something with treble hooks to keep them buttoned."

Mcabee found the partly cloudy and lightly breezy conditions of day one favorable to his swimbait action. Today, the clouds were minimal, as was the breeze.

"The calm wind and bright blue sky hurt me today," he said. "I didn't have a limit until 1:30, then I got a little bit of a breeze, and I caught three fish in the last hour."

Mcabee fished about 20 different spots in the 20-foot range. He said the key to turning his day around was "switching baits and keeping on the move until I found active fish."

Slower day for Lintner yields second place

The only other pro to turn in two bags of 20-plus pounds, Jared Lintner of Arroyo Grande, Calif.,He had a tougher time than he did on day one, but Jared Lintner managed to climb from eighth place to second. bolstered his day-one score of 20-6 with 21-1 on day two for a 41-7 total. The first day saw Lintner striking quickly and securing his weight not long after the morning launch, but day two proved more perplexing.

"Yesterday, I pretty much had what I weighed in the first hour," he said. "Today, I boated 10 or 11 keepers - yesterday, I caught probably 20. The first one I caught today was a 6-pounder, but then I went two hours without another bite. I got two more real quick and then another two hours without a bite. It was just random.

"I think the water's clearing up where I was fishing, and the fish moved out. Today, I caught them on totally different baits."

On day one, Lintner caught his fish on buzzbaits and frogs. Today, his top baits were Texas-rigged worms and jigs. He spent his second day fishing over submerged grass in 5 to 10 feet.

Tuck goes deep for third

Fishing Clear LakeAfter a solid day-one catch of 19-7, Antelope, Calif., pro Michael C. Tuck added 21-5 on day two and took third with 40-12. Staying mostly in the south end of the lake, he fished swimbaits in 22 to 30 feet and caught approximately 20 fish.

"I had a great day, and I caught lots of fish," Tuck said. "It was just culling ounces all day."

Making bottom contact, he said, was essential to getting the bites: "I was fishing them slowly and crawling them through rocks. You just have to get them when they're up on top of those rocks on the breaks, when they're sitting there ready to eat. If you can get your bait there, they chew."

Tuck said that flexibility and adaptability are essential to successful fishing this time of year.

"In the fall, you have to fish in 30-minute windows with the weather patterns.

Howell, Folkestad round out top five pros

Gary Howell of Stockton, Calif., placed fourth with 40-11, and Mike Folkestad of Orange, Calif., followedGary Howell made a big jump from 18th place to fourth on day two. in fifth with 39-14. Folkestad earned Folgers Big Bass honors and $290 for his 9-pound, 10-ounce largemouth.

Best of the rest

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

6th: Brent Ehler of Redlands, Calif., 39-12
7th: Jimmy Reese of Witter Springs, Calif., 39-10
8th: Brett Hite of Phoenix, 39-0
9th: Tommy Cardoza of Lakeport, Calif., 38-5
10th: Mike Reynolds of Modesto, Calif., 38-0

Smith opens up huge lead in Co-angler Division

Another strong performance kept Mark Smith in the co-angler lead with nearly a 12-pound lead.For the second day, Mark Smith of Dana Point, Calif., leads the Co-angler Division, and also for the second day, his total weight is greater than that topping the Pro Division. Smith wowed the crowd on day one with a limit that weighed 27-10 and gave Smith a lead of 8 pounds, 11 ounces. Today, Smith added 19-14, to tally 47-8 and retain his lead with an incredible 11-pound, 10-ounce margin.

Slow dragging a Texas-rigged creature bait was Smith's day-one pattern, but he switched to an unweighted, Texas-rigged Senko for the second day. Smith credited his partner, Chevy Pro Jay Yelas, for allowing him a sufficient window of opportunity.

"The real key for a co-angler is having a pro who gives you enough room to fish and one who fishes at a speed that's adequate to fishing your bait," Smith said. "We're not going to fish reaction baits very often, so we usually end up fishing some type of plastic, and you need enough time to work the bait down."

Best of the rest

Finishing second, Rus Snyders of San Bruno, Calif., had 35-14, and Richard Taylor of Shingle Springs, Calif., followed in third with 35-2. Toshitada Suzuki of La Jolla, Calif., took fourth with 34-2 and Stacy Gee of Sacramento, Calif., placed fifth with 33-6.

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

6th: Larry C. Wilson of Poway, Calif., 32-9
7th: Marvin Hawkes of Mesa, Ariz., 32-6
8th: Taylor Parsons of Sutter Creek, Calif., 32-2
9th: Lester Albury of San Marcos, Calif., 29-6
10th: James Cadell of Escalon, Calif., 29-0

Day three of FLW Series action on Clear Lake continues at Friday'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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