UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - California Delta

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Gutierrez Slams The Door On Shasta

Gutierrez Slams The Door On Shasta
Greg Gutierrez earned the win on Shasta Lake with 40 pounds, 7 ounces.

Greg Gutierrez has fished Lake Shasta since he was a youngster, and the lake has molded him into one of the West’s premier finesse anglers. This week, the Red Bluff, Calif., pro earned the first Costa FLW Series win of his career on the lake just an hour from his house. Checking in with 40 pounds, 7 ounces, Gutierrez bested second-place pro Richard Dobyns by more than four pounds in the Minn Kota-presented event.

Gutierrez was the only pro to crack the 40-pound barrier. The California pro has been in the hunt before at various Costa FLW Series events without ever sealing the deal. On the last day of the Shasta tournament, however, he finally experienced what he called a “bucket list moment” and couldn’t wipe the smile from his face.

Greg Gutierrez

This week, while many of the top finishers worked reaction baits for their catch, Gutierrez relied solely on finesse tactics and moved from 17th to first on the second day when the reaction bite died. He then broadened his lead in the championship round.

“By the middle of last Sunday I knew I was going to be fishing slow in this tournament and I was probably going to be fishing down to 30 feet,” recalls the local pro. “By Tuesday this week I was done.  My rods were ready and my head was ready; I didn’t want to even come out on Wednesday but I knew I would feel bad if I didn’t.”

Mind made up, Gutierrez went on to catch fish off a rock pile near a bridge piling as well as near bait suspending around the pilings themselves. However, his primary pattern was fishing chunk rock to gravel or gravel to clay transitions on the lee sides of points.

 

Cleaning up on points

Gutierrez chose points appropriate for the water level, which rose about 3 feet over the course of the tournament, and he always positioned downwind of his target seam.

“At the beginning of the week I could have sworn to you that the bigger fish would be in 30 feet of water, and I was always parked in 35 to 40 feet and fished all the way out to the boat. Today, I caught my biggest out of 33 feet of water.”

Experience paid off for Gutierrez, as he had a big mental file folder of points with the right type of transition to rifle through as the water level rose throughout the week. Fighting off the urge to fish his spots too quickly also paid off in the final round.

“Today, I pulled in to my third stop, shut down and culled two pretty quickly. But I could barely see the seam at the water level we were at,” says Gutierrez. “Then I repositioned the boat and told my co-angler I was going to make one cast and if I didn’t get bit we’d move again. I made one cast and I caught my big one.”

The bait he fished on the points also gave Gutierrez reason to feel confident that all the stars were finally aligning for him. Though he threw a Duo Realis Spinbait 90 occasionally to check for activity, and tossed a Carolina rig and a jig as well, the main player on the points was a ¼-ounce Frenzy Baits NAIL shaky head, made by his company and designed by himself. Gutierrez chose the ¼-ounce model because the extra weight helped him fish it deep. He believes the extra noise from its more pronounced bottom bumping also attracted more bites. He rigged it with a 4.95-inch Reaction Innovations Flirt Worm in either green pumpkin or watermelon and fished it on 15-pound-test braid with a 6-pound-test Gamma Edge leader and a 7-foot, 1-inch medium-power iRod Genesis II spinning rod.

 

Working the bridge

Fishing points took up the majority of his fishing time and provided a lot of Gutierrez’ weight, but he caught some key fish off a rock pile around a bridge piling on day two. The piling also produced his second biggest bass on the final day. The key rock pile was positioned right on the corner of the piling, but originally it wasn’t a high-priority target for the local stick.

“I found fish on it in practice with my Lowrance Structure Scan and decided to fish it,” explains Gutierrez. “I had an early boat draw on the first day and tried it and there was nobody on it the second day so I fished it again. Then I tried there this morning [Saturday] and it didn’t work out.”

Though his stop on the final day produced some keepers, the rock pile really only produced on day two, when the wind was blowing toward it just right and the current had set the fish and the bait up perfectly. There, he simply fished his shaky head. On the rest of the bridge pilings, Gutierrez relied on a unique technique to make the most of deep and finicky spotted bass.

“I was looking for the suspended fish,” explains Gutierrez. “I would go in and look at the Lowrance and see where the bait was and if there were [fish] arches in it and basically float the bait through.”

After looping through the area along the edge of the pilings with his trolling motor, Gutierrez used a technique know as the “Nate Shake” to catch bass.  Using a 1/8-ounce darter head with the same Flirt Worm he used on the shaky head, he cast toward the bait or piling just far enough so that it would sink into the suspended bait, be it 20 feet or 30 feet down. Then, he simply retrieved it back through the bait, very slowly and shaking his rod constantly.

All in all, it was an impressive performance by a veteran angler. From the reaction of his fellow anglers when he was officially named the tournament’s winner, Gutierrez seems to be universally liked out West, and he wasn’t the only one happy about his win.

 

Top 10 pros

1. Greg Gutierrez – Red Bluff, Calif. – 40-7 (15) – $36,376

2. Richard Dobyns – Marysville, Calif. – 35-9 (15) – $13,921

3. Ken Phillips – Concord, Calif. – 33-15 (15) – $10,778

4. Joe Uribe Jr. – Surprise, Ariz. – 33-13 (15) – $9,082

5. Bryant Smith – Castro Valley, Calif. – 32-15 (15) – $8,333

6. Jeff Michels – Lakehead, Calif. – 32-14 (15) – $7,185

7. Miles Howe – San Juan Capistrano, Calif. – 32-9 (15) – $6,287

8. Rick Grover – Trabuco Canyon, Calif. – 32-5 (15) – $5,389

9. Tommy Cardoza- Redway, Calif. – 30-13 (15) – $4,491

10. Roy Hawk – Lake Havasu City, Ariz. – 29-5 (15) – $5,593

Complete results

Tags: shasta-lake  spotted-bass  greg-gutierrez  jody-white  headline-story  2016-02-18-shasta-lake 

Co-Angler Winslow Goes Light to Win

Co-Angler Winslow Goes Light to Win

Fishing with eventual winner Wayne Vaughan on the final day, Winslow utilized a light-weight technique to catch 15 pounds, 2 ounces (and 50-11 total) to win the Costa FLW Series Northern Division finale presented by Gajo Baits. READ MORE »

Vaughan Gets Dream Win on St. Lawrence

Vaughan Gets Dream Win on St. Lawrence

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Top 5 Patterns from the St. Lawrence River – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Lawrence River – Day 2

Four of the top seven anglers in the Angler of the Year points race for the Costa FLW Series Northern Division finale presented by Gajo Baits made the top-10 cut, and three of them – Scott Dobson, Casey Smith and Wayne Vaughan – are in the top five with real chances at winning both the tournament and AOY. READ MORE »

Kelley Grabs Lead with 43 Pounds

Kelley Grabs Lead with 43 Pounds

Down near Ogdensburg, N.Y. – roughly 45 miles from takeoff – was the area on day one of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division finale presented by Gajo Baits, as the majority of the top bags came from there. A day later, it was the anglers who ran 75 miles or more down to Clayton, N.Y., and beyond who scored big, while the Ogdensburg bunch either capitalized in small windows or not at all. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Lawrence River – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Lawrence River – Day 1

Moving and transitioning fish, changing winds, long runs that didn’t always pan out and a 1-ounce lead at the top. Day one of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division finale on the St. Lawrence River, presented by Gajo Baits, certainly hasn’t lacked storylines. READ MORE »

Hatch Leads by 1 Ounce

Hatch Leads by 1 Ounce

There were no 25-pound mega-bags coming across the stage at weigh-in of the final leg of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division. The event on the St. Lawrence River, presented by Gajo Baits, hasn’t been the slugfest many expected after one day of fishing. There were still plenty of 20-pound bags, though, and the St. Lawrence on a bad day is still a tremendous fishery. READ MORE »

St. Lawrence Midday Update – Day 1

St. Lawrence Midday Update – Day 1

The final leg of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits on the St. Lawrence River opened to perfect conditions for anyone looking to burn some gas. Yes, it was a crisp 40 degrees at takeoff, but it was clear and calm. In fact, the current is ripping so hard it’s keeping the river as flat as most anglers have ever seen. Most pros should’ve been able to run all 95 miles to Lake Ontario (and into the lake if they wanted to) with little trouble. READ MORE »

Seal Sticks to River

Seal Sticks to River

Zackery Seal of Findley Lake, New York, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 44 pounds, 4 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division super-tournament at the 1000 Islands Sunday. Seal earned $6,066 for his efforts. The Northeast Division is presented by Gajo Baits. READ MORE »

Elrod Nets a Hat Trick

Elrod Nets a Hat Trick

Bryan Elrod of Mechanicsville, Virginia, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 29 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Shenandoah Division super-tournament on the James River Sunday. Elrod earned $3,542 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Fitzpatrick Notches No. 7

Fitzpatrick Notches No. 7

Roger Fitzpatrick of Eldon, Missouri, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 36 pounds, 3 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Ozark Division presented by Bassing Bob super-tournament on Lake of the Ozarks Sunday. For his victory, Fitzpatrick earned $6,891 for his efforts. READ MORE »

No. 6 for Schroeder

No. 6 for Schroeder

Billy Schroeder of Paducah, Kentucky, brought a two-day total of seven bass to the scale Sunday weighing 22 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) LBL Division super-tournament on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. Schroeder earned $6,122 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Murray Wins on Watts Bar

Murray Wins on Watts Bar

John Murray of Spring City, Tennessee, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 28 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Volunteer Division super-tournament on Watts Bar Lake Sunday. Murray earned $7,334 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Rampey Takes Another on Hartwell

Rampey Takes Another on Hartwell

Jayme Rampey of Liberty, South Carolina, added another BFL victory to his impressive resume Sunday, bringing a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 31 pounds, 6 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River Division super-tournament on Lake Hartwell. Rampey earned $5,665 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Leary Frogs and Flips on G-Ville

Leary Frogs and Flips on G-Ville

Jim Leary of Guntersville, Alabama, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 37 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division super-tournament on Lake Guntersville presented by Cortland Line Sunday. Leary earned $5,869 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Bryan Schmitt’s ChatterBait Box

Bryan Schmitt’s ChatterBait Box

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Humbard Claims Another Cherokee W

Humbard Claims Another Cherokee W

Bill Humbard of New Market, Tennessee, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mountain Division tournament on Cherokee Lake Sunday after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 26 pounds, 9 ounces. For his efforts on the water, Humbard took home $6,337. READ MORE »

Youngstown Wins on Erie

Youngstown Wins on Erie

The Youngstown State University duo of Jeffrey Jardine of Niles, Ohio, and Mike Soots of McDonald, Ohio, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Erie with a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds even. The victory earned the Penguins’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championshi READ MORE »

Williams Winds and Flips on Dardanelle

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Charles Williams of Clarksville, Arkansas, won this weekend’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Arkie Division tournament on Lake Dardanelle presented by Navionics after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 35 pounds, 9 ounces. For his efforts, Williams took home $4,868. READ MORE »

Shadowens Drags Docks on Grand

Shadowens Drags Docks on Grand

Mark Shadowens of Kiefer, Oklahoma, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Okie Division tournament on Grand Lake Sunday after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 29 pounds, 3 ounces. For his finish, Shadowens pocketed $5,704. READ MORE »

Smith Needed One Rod on Shelbyville

Smith Needed One Rod on Shelbyville

Bradley Smith of Saint Jacob, Illinois, took home the win at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament on Lake Shelbyville Sunday after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 23 pounds, 7 ounces. For his win, Smith pocketed $7,310. READ MORE »