UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Potomac River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

10-pounder anchors Hughes’ Clear Lake lead

10-pounder anchors Hughes’ Clear Lake lead
This whopping 10-pounder bouyed the leading bag for Howard G Hughes on day one at Clear Lake.

CLEARLAKE, Calif. - In competitive circles, the term "fish factory" isn't handed out lightly, but for EverStart Northern Division anglers plying their craft on the Golden State gold mine known as Clear Lake, the term fits.

After a practice week that produced reports of anglers stacking up big numbers on a variety of tactics, many were left to wonder if the show would live up to its previews. Well, we can wax poetic on how the pride of Northern California lived up to the hype, or we can just look at the numbers. Since the latter never lie, that'll be our course.

On the pro side, 80 anglers caught their 5-bass limit, with 25 sacks breaking the 20-pound mark. Run all the way down to 65th place and we still see 15 pounds. Big fish on the pro side - that was the 10-pounder caught by division leader Howard Hughes, whom we'll get to shortly.

Co-anglers put on quite a show as well, with 40 more limits coming from the back of the boats. Four co's broke the 20-pound mark and it took 19-1 to make the top-10.

Now, if it sounds like an all-out whack fest, it should be noted that such was certainly the case for some, while others reported a lot of looking and casting to manage only a handful of keeper bites. Often, the low productivity was a function of big-fish tactics. Some anglers spent a lot of time walking topwaters or slinging swimbaits. Both tactics hold homerun potential on Clear Lake, but there's often aHoward G Hughes used finesse tactics to tempt his leading catch. lot of time between bites.

Hughes, who hails from Redding, Calif., took a different and obviously effective course. A self-proclaimed finesse specialist, he stuck with small presentations and sacked up a limit that went 25-10. Fishing six-inch worms on an undisclosed rig, Hughes used 8-pound line and that made for an interesting moment when the big fish decided to bite.

"It was quite a lot of fun - it scared us to death," he said. "It was my first fish of the morning, on my third cast."

Mostly targeting rocky ledges in 10-15 feet, Hughes sat on one spot until about 1 p.m. and diligently worked his finesse technique. His strategy was to give the fish a more subtle look than much of what they had seen throughout an intense practice week.

"There's been a lot of pressure on the lake, so I thought I'd stay with that and see what happens," he said. "So far, it's working out."

Today saw minimal breezes with temperatures in the low 90's. The hot, still conditions were atypical for late summer on Clear Lake and Hughes said the bass seem to be push ahead with their seasonal transition. Big schools of shad, hitch and silversides are moving progressively shallower and the bass are in hot pursuit. Therefore, Hughes said that positioning himself in the transitional zone was key.

California pro Ken Mah caught the day"They want very much for it to be fall, so they're staging on the bait coming (into) the shallows," he said. "I stayed right near 25 feet all day."

Mah flips into second

Trailing the lead by just 10 ounces, Ken Mah of Elk Grove, Calif., set the bar high in the first few minutes of the weigh-in by bringing 25 even to the scales. He started his day by throwing an old-school double prop bait and occasionally switching to a swimbait. Ultimately, Mah did most of his damage by flipping an orange craw.

"It's kind of ugly, but I think it's different," he said. "I like throwing different baits. Everybody's throwing the same bait - I get away from it and throw something else."

Mah said his decision on when to switch from topwater to flipping was based less on conventional wisdom of going subsurface as the sun ascends and more on habitat. "I have a little something figured out on where they want to be. I can look at a spot and pull up on it and catch fish. It's location."

Although clearly pleased with his day's ultimate result, Mah said it began in lackluster fashion.

"I caught 11 all day, so the bite's not on fire for me," he said. "The first two hours were kind of dead for me. I was throwing a big topwater bait, looking for a couple of big bites."A mix of reaction baits and finesse tactics led Michael C. Tuck to third place.

Tuck takes third

Michael Tuck of Granite Bay, Calif. turned in a third-place bag weighing 23-13. Tuck said he began his day shallow with reaction baits but when his first two spots failed to produce, he moved out deeper and started catching fish on a mix of dropshots, wacky rigs and Carolina rigged brush hogs.

"The fish are moving up and down, so you have to pay attention to the bait and water color," he said. "You have to keep checking shallow and keep checking deep. They just show up on spots at different times of the day and if you catch one, it fires up the school and you can catch 15 in a row.

"That's how it was for me. I'd go through a dry spell and then I'd catch 10. I'd go through another dry spell and then I'd catch 10 in a row and maybe one would be a good one. They were shallow certain times of the day and deep certain times of the day. I don't know what (caused) that, but figuring it out Wacky rigging Megabass worms put Kazuki Kodama in fourth place.is the key."

Kodama goes wacky for fourth

Sitting less than a pound behind Tuck, Kazuki Kodama bagged 23 pounds by wacky rigging Megabass soft plastics.

"Early, I fished grass and tules and in the afternoon, I fished rock piles - the (windward) side," he said.

Kodama noted that with many anglers fishing close to the structure, he found that his better bites came when he stayed farther away. He caught most of his rock pile fish in 13-14 feet of water.

Adams takes a close fifth

Steve Adams, of Discovery Bay, Calif. bagged 22-13 on day one and came in just 3 ounces behind Kodama. Adams said he fished a mix of topwater and subsurface bait.Fifth-place pro Steve Adams split his day between topwater and subsurface presentations.

"I was just chasing them," he said. "If I wasn't getting bit, I'd move out a little deeper and get one and then move back up.

Best of the rest

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

6th: Joe Uribe Jr., of Lake Forest, Calif., 22-11
7th: Mark Crutcher, of Lakeport, Calif., 22-5
8th: Kevin Stewart, of Elk Grove, Calif., 22-1
9th: Chris Franks, of Petaluma, Calif., 22-0
10th: Clayton Meyer, of Henderson, NV, 21-8

Reaction baits give Bartolomucci co-angler lead

Mike Bartolomucci, of Winters, Calif. caught a limit of bass that weighed 23-12 and topped the co-This 7-pounder earned Snickers Big Bass honors for Bryant Smith.angler division. Paired with California pro Charley Almassey (15th place, 20-12), the leader caught his fish in the lake's north end in less than 10 feet of water. The anglers were looking for isolated schools of fish that were occupying the channels within grass beds where baitfish were moving.

"My pro put me on good water and told me what to throw and it worked," Bartolomucci said. "It's been tough up here. I've been practicing in my own boat and I've been looking but I never found (big groups of fish) until today. That's all on Charley."

Bartolomucci caught his fish on reaction baits. He caught seven keepers, including one that went 7 pounds.

Bryant Smith, of Castro Valley, Calif., took second place with 21-14, while Josh Unruh, of Pocatello, Id. was third with 21-4. In fourth place, Pat Wilson, of Petaluma, Calif. had 20-15 and Scott Hamman, of Sacramento, Calif. was fifth, with 19-11.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the EverStart Series Clear Lake event:Mike Bartolomucci topped the co-angler division with 23 pounds, 12 ounces.

6th: Travis Bounds, or Roseville, Calif., 19-9
7th: Lester Albury, of Temecula, Calif., 19-7
8th: Chad Leblanc, of Sutter, Calif., 19-6
9th: Marvin Hawkes, of Mesa, Ariz., 19-3
10th: Merl Nunes, Vacaville, Calif., 19-1

Bryant caught a 7-pounder that earned Snickers Big Bass honors.

Day three of EverStart Series Western Division action at Clear Lake continues at Saturday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7:00 a.m. (Western) at Redbud Park located at 14655 Lakeshore Drive in Clearlake, Calif.

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2011-09-22-clear-lake 

Matlock Flips Bushes for Title

Matlock Flips Bushes for Title

Tyler Matlock of Omaha, Arkansas, caught 11 pounds, 9 ounces of bass Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Arkie Division tournament on Greers Ferry Lake. For his efforts, Matlock took home $3,205. READ MORE »

Quaintance Makes it Two on Pickwick

Quaintance Makes it Two on Pickwick

Chris Quaintance of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mississippi Division tournament on Pickwick Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 21 pounds, 5 ounces. Quaintance netted $4,119 for his victory. READ MORE »

Laufenberg Claims Mighty Miss Title

Laufenberg Claims Mighty Miss Title

Cade Laufenberg of Goodview, Minnesota, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division opener on the Mississippi River at La Crosse presented by Navionics with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 7 ounces. For his day on the water, Laufenberg pocketed $4,355. READ MORE »

Chico Wins on Clear

Chico Wins on Clear

The Chico State University duo of Carson Leber of Dixon, California, and Chad Sweitzer of Chico, California, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Clear Lake presented by Costa Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the Wildcats’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Sales Earns Top Spot on Cherokee

Sales Earns Top Spot on Cherokee

Hunter Sales of Blaine, Tennessee, caught five bass Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Volunteer Division event on Lake Cherokee. Sales earned $3,455 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Burger Smashes 23-9 on Chesapeake Bay

Burger Smashes 23-9 on Chesapeake Bay

Jason Burger of Bridgeton, New Jersey, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division opener on the Chesapeake Bay presented by Navionics Saturday with five bass weighing 23 pounds, 9 ounces. For his efforts, Burger pocketed $4,000. READ MORE »

Boehle Runs Shad Spawn, Points for W

Boehle Runs Shad Spawn, Points for W

Adam Boehle of Warrenton, Missouri, caught five bass Saturday weighing 20 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake of the Ozarks. Boehle pocketed $4,938 for his win in the event presented by Navionics and 250 points in the Ozark Division presented by Bassing Bob standings. The winner of the division’s Angler of the Year title after five tournaments will win $3,000. READ MORE »

Allman Wins on Wylie

Allman Wins on Wylie

Mike Allman of York, South Carolina, caught five bass Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division event on Lake Wylie. Allman earned $2,500 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Clear Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Clear Lake

An unwavering commitment to one fish-laden area enabled Kyle Grover to earn his first Costa FLW Series win with a three-day total of 66 pounds, 13 ounces at the Western Division event at Clear Lake. The tournament was presented by Ranger Boaters and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. READ MORE »

Lake County Drops 23-9 on Clear Lake

Lake County Drops 23-9 on Clear Lake

The Lake County High School Fishing Club duo of Cooper Goff and Nathan Phillips, both of Kelseyville, California, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 9 ounces to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Clear Lake Open. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Clear Lake

Top 10 Baits from Clear Lake

Even though cold, windy and rainy conditions challenged the field throughout the event, Clear Lake still showed the caliber of fish that swim in it during the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Western Division season, which was presented by Ranger Boats.   READ MORE »

Huntze Closes Door for Co-angler W

Huntze Closes Door for Co-angler W

Logan Huntze, the youngest competitor in the co-angler field, showed that age is just a number, as the 19-year-old earned a convincing Clear Lake victory at the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats by amassing a three-day total of 57 pounds, 15 ounces. READ MORE »

Grover Grabs Clear Lake Title

Grover Grabs Clear Lake Title

Clear Lake is always a fun place to fish, but wind, rain and cooler temperatures made things tough for the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats, and the famed fishery wasn't as kind as it can be with many pros struggling as the week went on. Kyle Grover, on the other hand, only got better as the tournament progressed. READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 3

After taking a brutal pounding from the strong winds of day two, the top-10 pros and co-anglers in the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats are taking advantage of Clear Lake’s calmer final round conditions. A steady light rain began around 10 a.m., but without yesterday’s white caps, the lake’s allowing easy runs to wherever anglers want to fish. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

Drop-shotting tules was the main pattern for Uribe and knowing how to reach the fish made all the difference. Adjusting to the conditions was definitely key on day two, and no doubt the rest of the top pros had to go with the flow to stay in sight of the title. READ MORE »

Uribe in Charge on Clear Lake

Uribe in Charge on Clear Lake

When weather woes nixed Joe Uribe Jr.’s initial objective, the resilient angler from Surprise, Ariz., refocused his effort and sacked up a limit of 19 pounds, 5 ounces to take over the lead on day two of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina with a total weight of 41-13. READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake was in a foul, foul mood this morning for the second day’s launch of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. Absent was the drizzly rain of yesterday, but the tradeoff was a 15- to 20-mph northwest wind that turned the lake into a washing machine. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 1

Lane Olson of Forest Grove, Ore., benefitted from a double dose of Clear Lake kickers when he found the right set of docks in a major spawning bay. Finesse baits did the trick up shallow for the day one leader at the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats. Other slow presentations served his brief offshore work. Handling the day’s weather challenges was a big part of Olson’s success.  Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

Big Bags Coming on Rainy Clear Lake

Big Bags Coming on Rainy Clear Lake

One of the gems of California bass fishing might have its luster muted by the week’s weather, but Clear Lake will likely still provide plenty of opportunity for anglers competing in this week’s Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina.  READ MORE »

Olson Out in Front at Clear Lake

Olson Out in Front at Clear Lake

Lane Olson of Forest Grove, Ore., was able to separate himself from the pack on day one of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats with a five-bass limit weighing 25 pounds. One of four anglers to crack 20 pounds, Olson leads second-place pro Joe Uribe Jr. by 2 1/2 pounds. The rest of the top 20 are packed together with just a few pounds separating them.  READ MORE »