UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Smith claims co-angler crown on Lake Shasta

Bryant Smith of Castrol Valley, Calif., proudly displays his first-place trophy after winning the Co-angler Division at the EverStart Lake Shasta event.

REDDING, Calif. - Heading into the Lake Shasta event, co-angler Bryant Smith of Castrol Valley, Calif., made sure to make the most of the third major tournament of his young career. After grabbing the lead on day one with a formidable 10-pound, 4-ounce catch, Smith never looked back, parlaying a three-day catch of 24 pounds, 5 ounces into his very first tournament title.

Not surprisingly, Smith couldn't have been happier with the result.

"This tournament couldn't have ended any better," said Smith, who took home a brand new, fully rigged Ranger boat as part of his winning prize package. "It just feels amazing. I didn't expect this at all. I was just hoping for a top-10 finish."

Obviously, Smith did a lot better than that. After the second day of competition, Smith had recorded more weight than 145 pros. And he didn't spot there, winning his very first tournament title by nearly 3 1/2 pounds when all was said and done.

"I had a pretty good idea I had a good chance to win coming back to weigh-in today," said Smith. "I knew the other guys were going to need a really good sack to beat me, so I was pretty confident."

Bryant said he used a combination of Reaction Innovations Flirt finesse worms and Senkos in a brown and purple color to land the majority of his catch.

Bryant Smith of Castrol Valley, Calif., used a three-day catch of 24 pounds, 5 unces to capture first place in the Co-angler Division at the EverStart Lake Shasta event."I'd start out early fishing a little finesse worm to try to catch a limit," said Smith. "Then I'd upgrade to a Senko later in the day. I basically fished all over the place. I fished really shallow and as deep as 35 feet. I fished flats, points, rock walls ... all of it."

Smith also credited his Dobyns rods for part of his success.

"Those Dobyns rods are really sensitive and you really needed that this week because the fish weren't biting that hard at all."

In the end, Smith said he will remember this moment for the rest of his career.

"This is my very first tournament win ever so I'm really, really happy," he said. "It was just a great week. I don't know what else to say."

Nadeau nets second

Co-angler Matthew Nadeau of Grass Valley, Calif., ultimately parlayed a total catch of 21 pounds, 12 ounces into a second-place finish on Lake Shasta.Perhaps the most enthusiastic angler in the entire tournament at the conclusion of weigh-in was Matthew Nadeau of Grass Valley, Calif. Nadeau ultimately parlayed a total catch of 21 pounds, 12 ounces into a second-place finish and was seemingly ecstatic with the result.

"Oh man, what a day," said Nadeau, who was smiling from ear to ear shortly after weigh-in. "I had a great week and a great partner who put me on fish. Who can ask for more than that? Honestly, I couldn't have asked for a better finish.

"Heading into the finals I was 5 pounds out of the lead so I'm very happy I finished in second place," Nadeau continued. "Coming into the tournament I would have been happy with just a top-10 finish. Man, this feels great."

Nadeau said he caught nearly half of his fish on a green-pumpkin Senko and the other half on a drop-shot rig equipped with a Morning Dawn Robo worm.

"I didn't target anything specifically," said Nadeau. "For me, it was all about technique. Depth and structure really didn't matter. I fished anywhere from 2 feet to 45 feet and just fished random areas."

Random areas or not, Nadeau still walked away with the second-most valuable prize in the division.

"It feels great. I couldn't be more excited right now," said Nadeau, who won $4,500 in prize money. "Hopefully now I can concentrate on making the (EverStart) Championship."

Foster nails down third place

On the strength of a total catch of 20 pounds, 8 ounces, co-angler Lonnie Foster of Kneeland, Calif., took home third place at the EverStart Lake Shasta event.On the strength of a total catch of 20 pounds, 8 ounces, Lonnie Foster of Kneeland, Calif., took home third place.

"I had a great time," said Foster. "I love fishing FLW tournaments and definitely want to come back and do it again next year."

Foster said that he used a 3 1/2-inch Dry Creek tube in a brown color with a ¼-ounce weight to land the majority of his catch.

"I mostly dragged the tube over rock piles all week," said Foster. "I used the same tube all three days."

For his efforts, Foster took home $4,000 in winnings.

"I had an excellent week and a great time," he said.

Best of the rest

Fourth place at the EverStart event on Lake Shasta belonged to Toshitada Suzuki of Katusikaku, Japan, who recorded a three-day catch of 20 pounds, 6 ounces.Fourth place belonged to Toshitada Suzuki of Katusikaku, Japan, who recorded a three-day catch of 20 pounds, 6 ounces. Suzuki won $3,500 for his efforts.

Veteran Charles Keller, 74, of Redding, Calif., grabbed fifth place overall with a catch of 20 pounds, 2 ounces. His fifth-place finish earned him $3,000.

Rounding out the top-10 co-angler finalists:

6th: Roy Desmangles, Jr., of Lincoln, Calif., 19-2
7th: Willie Church of Cottonwood, Calif., 16-6
8th: Kirk Beardsley of Huntington Beach, Calif., 16-5
9th: George Wise of Park City, Utah, 16-4
10th: Daniel Leue of Colusa, Calif., 13-4

EverStart Series Western Division action resumes Feb. 17-19 on Lake Roosevelt in Payson, Ariz.

Tags: gary-mortenson  co-angler-headline  2011-01-13-lake-shasta 

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