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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Leaps and Bounds

Travis Bounds, 17, of Roseville, Calif., took home first place in the Co-angler Division at the EverStart Series event on Clear Lake.

LAKEPORT, Calif. - Of all of the improbable stories that surfaced this week, perhaps none was more amazing than the tale of 17-year-old high school student Travis Bounds of Roseville, Calif. Fishing in only his fifth EverStart tournament of his young career, Bounds managed to make up a 51/2-pound deficit on the final day of co-angler competition to claim his very first title in dramatic fashion.

Propelled by a blistering 23-pound, 8-ounce catch in the finals, Bounds ultimately ran away from the competition despite entering the day as the fifth-place qualifier. In the end, Bounds took home a brand new, fully-rigged Ranger 177TR boat as well as a lifetime of memories.

Co-angler Travis Bounds of Roseville, Calif., shows off part of his first-place catch on Clear Lake."I've had plenty of dreams of winning a tournament like this, especially since last night," said Bounds, who recorded a total catch of 61 pounds, 7 ounces to win the title by more than 31/2 pounds. "It really hasn't sunk in yet. Just last month I was fishing an (FLW) High School Fishing qualifier and was beaten by my brother. So this feels pretty good."

Bounds said that he landed his catches all week long fishing a drop-shot equipped with a Robo Worm in a Margarita Mutilator color.

"I was really fortunate to have had some many good pros this week," he said. "They really helped to put me on fish."

In the end, heading back to weigh-in, Bounds said he had an idea that his improbable dream might just turn into a reality.

"When I culled my final finish I had a feeling that I really had a good chance to win," he said.

And win he did. Not bad for a high school kid.

"Yeah, it's pretty cool."

Farage nets runner-up spot

Bolstered by a total catch of 57 pounds, 14 ounces, Jack Farage of Discovery Bay, Calif., netted second place overall as well as a nearly $3,600 in winnings.Bolstered by a total catch of 57 pounds, 14 ounces, Jack Farage of Discovery Bay, Calif., netted second place overall as well as a nearly $3,600 in winnings.

"It was just a fabulous week," said Farage. "I love Clear Lake and I love FLW - it was just an awesome event."

Farage said that the conditions, as well as his pro's fishing style, placed him a little outside of his comfort zone. As a result, he said he was even more proud of how he performed.

"I'm usually a power fisherman, but this tournament I knew that I had to stick to finesse fishing as that was going to be my best bet," he said. "I wound up catching everything on this little worm all week. Basically, I just used a drop-shot and the occasional swimbait to land all of my fish. Finesse fishing isn't exactly what I'm most comfortable with, so it feels pretty special to have a good tournament like this."

Rychard grabs third place

Co-angler Mike Rychard of Anderson, Calif., parlayed a total catch of 57 pounds, 4 ounces into a third-place finish at Clear Lake.Mike Rychard of Anderson, Calif., parlayed a total catch of 57 pounds, 4 ounces into a third-place finish at Clear Lake.

"I'm excited," said Rychard. "After having a week like this, it really makes you want to come back here in your own boat and practice everything that you've learned."

Rychard said that the changing forecast each day really forced him to adapt on the fly.

"The conditions changed every day," he said. "So you really had to adjust. Normally I come into a tournament with three or four rods, but for Clear Lake, I took seven. It was a tough tournament. And the wind was pretty difficult to deal with at times. But overall, it was a really good tournament for me. I really learned a lot."

Morris settles for fourth

Co-angler Gary Morris of Tracy, Calif., finished the Clear Lake event in fourth place.Although Gary Morris of Tracy, Calif., entered the final day of competition in first place, in the end, Morris' total catch of 56 pounds, 11 ounces was only good enough for a fourth-place finish. But Morris didn't seem to mind.

"I had a great time," he said. "Clear Lake is so beautiful this time of year. It's definitely one of my favorite lakes that I've ever fished. Overall, it was a great experience. I had a really rough first day because of that wind. And I didn't really want to go out fishing on that second day. But I gutted it out and everything turned out great."

Morris said that he caught five keepers total on the final day, two on beds and three on a drop-shop equipped with a Robo worm in a Pumpkin Punisher color.

For his efforts, Morris netted nearly $2,800 in prize money.

Best of the rest

A great crowd was on hand to witness the final day of EverStart competition at Clear Lake.Carl Limbrick Jr., of Bonita, Calif., finished the Clear Lake event in fifth place overall with a total catch of 53 pounds, 4 ounces. Limbrick also walked away with nearly $2,400 in winnings.

Rounding out the top-10 co-angler finalists:

6th: Jared Frantzich of Sacramento, Calif., 53-0
7th: Daniel Leue of Colusa, Calif., 49-0
8th: Gary Haraguchi of San Jose, Calif., 46-13
9th: Phil Risnes of Hartford, S.D., 345-97-4
10th: Kevin Gray of Hermiston, Ore., 41-2

Leue also took home one of the most prestigious awards of the season, netting the 2012 EverStart Western Division Co-angler of the Year award, after recording his fourth straight top-10 finish.

"It's kind of hard for me to believe," said Leue. "I wasn't even sure I was going to fish all four tournaments this year. But after I had that top-10 finish at Lake Shasta, I said, `I have to fish Havasu now.' And when I got a top-10 finish there, I knew I had to fish all of the events. But man, it feels good to win the (AOY) award. I've had so much fun this year. I can't wait for next season."

For a complete list of co-angler results, click here.

Tags: gary-mortenson  co-angler-headline  2012-04-26-clear-lake 

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