UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Clear Lake

Zaldain on top at Shasta

Zaldain on top at Shasta
Patiently seeking quality bites enabled Chris Zaldain to take over the pro lead.

SHASTA LAKE, Calif. - You might say he played the numbers game, but Chris Zaldain wasn't looking for a lot of hash marks on his score card for day three of the FLW Series National Guard Western Division tournament in Shasta Lake, Calif.

"I'm only going for seven or eight bites a day," the San Jose, Calif. angler said. "A lot of guys are getting caught up in the 30- to 40-fish days, but if you're catching 30-40 fish a day, you're not catching the right ones."

Improving from second place, Zaldain moved into the lead with a limit catch of 11 pounds, 15 ounces - the largest of the third day - that boosted his 3-day total to 34 pounds that cemented his place in tomorrow'sThe highlight of the day was a 6 1/2-pound spot weighed by Colorado pro Brian Nixon. top-5 finale. Taking over the top spot was neither quick, nor easy, but that's what Zaldain expected from his strategy.

Zaldain mostly fished a Prism Craw Roboworm on a 1/4-ounce darter head and the ideal presentation was low and slow. "I'm literally counting rocks out there. It's rock, rock, rock - there's a fish."

Later in the morning, when the shallows started to warm and a little Shasta wind began blowing, Zaldain moved up and threw a Pointer rip bait in Ghost Minnow. He caught a couple of his keepers this way, and the darter delivered three.

Zaldain scored big on day two by throwing a swimbait at a ledge with a perpendicular wind pushing bait in tight. He tried to replicate that success today, but it wasn't happening.

"I threw the swimbait early and made maybe half a dozen casts with it, but it didn't feel right," he said. "The wind wasn't blowing the way I wanted it to so I just fished conservatively with the dart head. Once I put three (keepers) in the boat I started running around, fishing wind-blown points with the rip bait.

Ehrler edges into second

National Guard pro Brent Ehrler focused on one area today and moved into second place.Sitting a pound and 8 ounces out of the lead is National Guard pro Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif. One of the most consistent anglers in the top 5, Ehrler added 11-7 to his first two scores of 11-5 and 9-12 for a total of 32-8. He caught his fish on various Yamamoto plastics on Picasso shaky heads and wacky rigged on Tru-Tungsten Flea Flickers.

After three days of heavy pressure, Ehrler said that few corners of Shasta remain unexplored. Knowing that finding something "new" was a feeble objective, he stuck it out on a piece of trusted real estate.

"I have one little area that I've been catching most of my fish on and I keep trying to expand on it, but I can't find any more," Ehrler said. "You're constantly fishing behind other people, so I'm hoping that this one spot will hold out. It's the kind of spot where a tournament can be won."

Ehrler described his spot as a ledge with deep water in front of it. Catches were infrequent, but the area attracts enough fish to hold his interest.

Local pro Harris holds at third

K.C. Harris of Shasta Lake, Calif. turned in another strong performance and retained the third place spotLocal pro KC Harris saw his bites drop sharply after noon, but he secured enough weight to retain his third place spot. with a total weight of 31-13. Working a depth range of 10-40 feet, he targeted a variety of habitat, including points, chunk rock and muddy banks. Harris fished slowly all day with tubes and worms on darter head jigs

With most of his fishing time spent in the Squaw and Backbone arms of Shasta Lake, the majority of Harris' bites came early "When the wind died, my bite went away. I only caught one fish after noon."

Bryan McDermott of Cottonwood, Calif. slipped three spots to fourth with a limit of 7-13 that gave him a 31-2 total. McDermott took the lead on day two after placing 104th on the first day with 6-13. His day two score of 16-8 included a 7-pound, 3-ounce spot.

Jeff Michels of Lakehead, Calif. finished fifth with 30-1.

Several chunky spotted bass showed up for the day three weigh-ins. Topping the show was the 6 1/2-pounder caught by Colorado pro Brian Nixon.

Day two leader Bryan McDermott slipped back three spots to fourth place.Best of the rest

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

6th: Jim Riley of Shasta Lake, Calif., 29-14
7th: Chris Fancelli of Redding, Calif., 29-12
8th: Clifford Pirch of Payson, Ariz., 29-0
9th: Cody Meyer of Grass Valley, Calif., 28-10
10th: Sean Stafford of Fairfield, Calif., 28-7

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

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