UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Erie

Shifting Shasta

Shifting Shasta
Competitors in later flights make their way toward the checkout point for the final qualifying day on Shasta Lake.

SHASTA LAKE, Calif. - If the FLW Series National Guard Western Division event on Shasta Lake were a football game, you'd have to give the defense credit for showing a different "look" each day.

The first day brought rainy, windy conditions, followed by a calm, sunny day two in which the wind switched from a south to a north origin. Today, any rain chances will hold off until the late afternoon, but cloudy conditions will enshroud the lake and light winds will again blow from the south.

Leading the pro field is Bryan McDermott of Cottonwood, Calif., who rocked the house on day two with a whopping 16-pound, 8-ounce bag that included a massive spotted bass weighing 7-3 and another that wentA quartet of Canada geese fly against the cloudy sky overhanging Shasta Lake. 4-plus. Both fish fell for wacky-rigged worms with nail weights in the heads.

McDermott found his fish in about 30 feet of water over gravel bottom flanked by large rocks. He'll look for similar scenarios today.

Trailing the lead by 1 pound, 4 ounces, San Jose, Calif. pro Chris Zaldain caught his day two fish over a ledge where the Shasta food chain was in full swing. With wind blowing shad across the structure, rainbow trout were feeding on the baitfish, as bass looked for their chance to snag a careless trout.

"My first three or four casts, I'll make with a swimbait because this spot goes off first thing in the morning and each day I caught a big one on my first cast," Zaldain said. "Today, I'll start out with the swimbait and then slow it down with a worm on a darter head to make sure I get five bass. I hope to get a big bite early and then I'll just grind it out with that worm.

Second place pro Chris Zaldain will fish a darter head worm most of the day."If conditions change today and the wind starts blowing perpendicular to the point I'm fishing, and the bait's up and the trout are up, I will throw that swimbait."

Utah pro Roy Hawk will also give his swimbait a good workout today. He's caught fish that way for the past two days, but it's been more quantity than quality.

"A lot of guys have found spots where big bass are blowing up on trout; they're corralling them into the backs of little pockets," Hawk said. "If you can find that, it's a gold mine. I haven't found that yet so I'm just going to keep looking for it. I'll have to maintain a balance to make sure I get a limit, but also swing for the fence."

Shasta's multiple arms will see plenty of traffic today, but fifth place pro Gabe Bolivar will stick to main lakeUtah pro Roy Hawk hopes to find the big bites today with a swimbait. points. He'll throw wacky-rigged Senkos in about 40 feet.

"I'm not getting a lot of bites, but I'm getting enough to make me want to stay in the area," Bolivar said. "The key is being able to see a lot of fish on my graph. I know they're there and every once in a while a fresh one will come up and bite. As long as I can see them, I have confidence to stay there and fish the area."

California pro Mark Lassagne, who publishes Bass Anglers Guide, will keep it deep today. He'll work a 1/2-ounce pepper jig with a Yamamoto Spider Grub in about 50-60 feet in hopes of avoiding the crowds. "I started out throwing a heavier jig, but I had a tendency to go too fast, so I went to a lighter jig to slow myself Mark Lassagne, Series pro and publisher of Bass Anglers Guide, will fish deep today with a jig.down because you need to keep it on the bottom. I'm fishing really deep, trying to find fish that are not pressured as much."

In the co-angler division, National Guard team member Johnny Walker holds the lead he set on day one. Wacky rigged Senkos with nail weights have been his bread-and-butter for two days and he'll stick with what's been working. A slow presentation, Walker noted, has been the key.

"The fish are lethargic, so you have to work the bait slowly on the bottom - it's like jig fishing," he said.

Second place co-angler Max Bauer trailed by 1 pound, 12 ounces on day one, but he narrowed the margin by a pound on day two. Positioned for a possible move today, Bauer will spend his day working tubes.


Logistics

Anglers will take off from Bridge Bay Resort, located at 10300 Bridge Bay Road in Redding, Calif., at 7:30Tubes will be the main bait for Max Bauer who holds the second place spot in the co-angler division. each morning. Friday's weigh-ins will also be held at Bridge Bay Resort beginning at 2:30 p.m. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at the Mt. Shasta Mall located at 900 Dana Drive in Redding beginning at 3 p.m.

Fans will be treated to a Family Fun Zone at the mall prior to Saturday's weigh-in from noon to 4 p.m. There will be a drawing for a $500 mall gift card, and drawings for rod and reel combos will be held every 30 minutes during the event. Activities in the Family Fun Zone include a trout pond, a Ranger boat simulator and assorted fishing-themed games. All activities are free and open to the public.

The entire field competes for the first three days of FLW Series events. Co-angler winners are determined on day three based on the heaviest accumulated three-day weight. The top 10 professionals continue National Guard pro Brent Ehrler zips up in preparation for a chilly morning on Shasta Lake.competition on day four, and the winner is determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all four days.

Friday's conditions:

Sunrise: 7:31 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 43 degrees
Expected high temperature: 57 degrees
Water temperature: 48-50
Wind: from the southwest at 5 mph
Max. Humidity: 80 percent
Day's outlook: mostly cloudy

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2010-01-13-lake-shasta 

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