UPCOMING EVENT: FLW Pro Circuit - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Top 10 Patterns from Shasta

Top 10 Patterns from Shasta
Greg Gutierrez loads up for a long cast.

Though Greg Gutierrez took a significant lead into the final day of the Costa FLW Series event presented by Minn Kota on Shasta Lake, the rest of the top 10 pros weren’t out of it and were on ’em all week. While the Western Division opener was plagued by bad and changing weather, every member of the top 10 managed a limit each day, and all but Roy Hawk averaged more than 10 pounds per day for the event.

Here are the details on their patterns, as revealed after the final weigh-in Saturday.

Greg Gutierrez’s winning pattern

Top 10 baits from Shasta

Complete results

 

Richard Dobyns

2. Dobyns doubles up with reaction and finesse

Hailing from Marysville, Calif., Richard Dobyns chalked up 35 pounds, 9 ounces over three days and displayed impressive versatility along the way.

Dobyns began the tournament catching fish on an even mix of reaction baits (a spinnerbait and jerkbait) and a Yamamoto Senko, but had to go solely to the wacky-rigged Senko on the stormy day two.

“Day three was an even mix again,” relays Dobyns. “The weather allowed me to do what I wanted to and run around, and I weighed about 50/50 again. I just covered a lot of water and circled about seven or eight spots all day.”

For Dobyns, the top producers were the lower section of the McCloud and Squaw arms as well as the main lake, and he primarily targeted flatter points and flats with chunk rock and gravel on them.

 

Ken Phillips

3. Phillips jumps up on final day

Moving from 10th to third in a single day is an impressive feat, and Ken Phillips of Concord, Calif., managed it with a 12-pound, 1-ounce final-day bag that boosted his total to 33-15 for the week.

“I was fishing inside channel bends and the points of the bends, and my big ones came on the points,” says Phillips. “Some of them were better yesterday [Friday], and some were better the day before. When they were biting better on a certain area I would stay there longer and go over it a few times.”

Phillips mined his bends and points with a Keitech swimbait and used anywhere from a 1/4- to 3/8-ounce jighead to track the fish as they moved deeper and shallower throughout the event.

“The [Cal] Delta is my home, but I’ve made a top 10 here before and I love this lake,” elaborates Phillips. “I was sick, and my wife and I just had a baby girl two weeks ago, so I could only practice one day and had to rely on fish I found before.”

 

Joe Uribe Jr.

4. Uribe makes fourth Western Division top 10 in a row

Joe Uribe Jr. is on a roll. Of that there is no doubt. The Surprise, Ariz., pro took a thorough approach that allowed him to move up the standings each day and total 33 pounds, 13 ounces.

“I was fishing the mouth of the Pit River arm and a few of the main points that divide Jones Valley and the Pit,” says Uribe. “They were kind of transition areas where those fish would move back in the cuts, and today I started moving back into those arms as it warmed up.”

Uribe says that he would often make multiple presentations to an area where he caught a fish in practice, and that while he was not targeting schools of bass, his fish kept replenishing.

Jones Valley is an area known for a relative abundance of largemouths, and Uribe caught some dandies in practice, but he was unable to catch any during the tournament.

 

Bryant Smith

5. Jerkbait lands big bite for Smith

Fresh off a top 10 in the 2015 Western Division finale on Clear Lake, Bryant Smith of Castro Valley, Calif., kept things rolling with another top 10 at Shasta. Smith totaled 32 pounds, 15 ounces, and a big part of that was the behemoth 7-2 spotted bass he weighed on day one.

“I targeted points that were a little bit longer, anything that was a little flatter,” explains Smith, who was running point-to-point at a frenetic pace on day one. “I was fishing in zero to 25 feet, but I didn’t really have a depth range. I just fished from the bank all the way out.”

The first day, Smith caught his big one on a jerkbait, but a Senko did a big chunk of his damage as well. Though he primarily fished in the Sacramento River arm, Smith says the strong wind forced him into secondary areas on day two.

 

Jeff Michels

6. Michels mixes it up for top 10

Jeff Michels was the second local in the top 10, and though the Lakehead, Calif., pro could never apply the big swimbait techniques he is know for, he still weighed a respectable 32 pounds, 14 ounces over the course of the event.

On days one and two, Michels made long runs up the Sacramento River arm that didn’t pay off. On day three, he eschewed that and focused his time on the Squaw and McCloud arms and the main body of the reservoir. He targeted a few small creek arms with a crankbait and got most of his kicker bites on flats and flat points with a weighted and un-weighted wacky rig.

“I wish I would have hooked the fish that bit today [Saturday],” says Michels of his disappointing final round. “I set the hook on three fish that didn’t move at all, and they just all came off.”

 

Miles Howe

7. Howe goes slow with a swimbait

Miles Howe was in second by just an ounce after day one, but the San Juan Capistrano, Calif., pro couldn’t quite follow it up and finished seventh with 32 pounds, 9 ounces.

“The day before the tournament I knew we were going to have some weather, and I picked up a swimbait and got one bite that I knew was a good bite,” states Howe. “I started day one right where I got that bite and ended up catching a 4-pounder within the first few casts. Then I never put it down the rest of the day.”

Though Howe resorted to some finesse and junk-fished around the same areas later in the week, he was dialed in on day one.

“Super slow was the key – no jerk, no pop, just a slow, slow wind,” Howe explains. “I was looking for narrow, skinny points and large, expansive flats, and if I could find a spot that had both it was money. Some of those places had bait around the edges, and I think the fish were just moving up on them.”

 

Rick Grover

8. Umbrella rig keeps it hot for Grover

Though Rick Grover (father of 2014 Western Division AOY Kyle Grover) of Trabuco Canyon has been in and around fishing for as long as anyone, this was his first FLW event fished as a boater. Coming off a co-angler win last fall at Clear Lake, Grover kept it rolling with 32 pounds, 5 ounces for eighth place at Shasta.

Grover relied primarily on an umbrella rig but also used a drop-shot on points to bolster his limit on the final day.

“I was throwing it [the umbrella rig] on any kind of inside channel bend, and any kind of lumber on them made it better,” says Grover, who was part of the Pit River crew. “It was fast and furious this morning [Saturday]. I probably caught 20 on it in an hour and a half.

“The quality on the lake overall is better, but I think the kicker fish are up the river. For me that was for sure my best shot at a kicker,” says Grover of his chosen grounds. “You could get in a little 50-yard stretch and catch them almost one after another. If you were around them they were biting in the river.”

 

9. Cardoza relies on a swimbait

Tommy Cardoza, who hails from Redway, Calif., boxed up 30 pounds, 13 ounces over the course of the event and did it almost solely with big swimbaits.

Besides one magic hump, Cardoza says he mostly caught his fish off points by swimming his bait about 8 feet down and nearly ticking the bottom on many casts.

“I caught a lot of my fish off one little hump that stuck up out of the water and was like 30 feet around,” says Cardoza. “I even caught a trout there, a giant brown that was like 7 pounds on day one. I was picking on that spot the whole tournament, but I went back there three times today [the final day] and never got touched.

“Today I caught only about six fish, but the first day I caught 15. This post-frontal weather today killed that bite. They weren’t chasing anything.”

 

Roy Hawk starts the day off with a keeper in the net.

10. Cranking bite fails Hawk

Roy Hawk of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., couldn’t maintain his day-one pace and ended up with 29 pounds, 5 ounces for 10th place.

Hawk mixed in some finesse stuff on the final day, but his primary pattern was paralleling the bank in about 8 feet of water with a crankbait.

“I don’t know the lake that well, but the general area about three-quarters of the way up the Pit had bigger ones,” says Hawk. “I targeted the whole thing, but in hindsight, the key was steeper banks with chunk rock.”

Though Hawk started hot with 13-11 the first day, even early on he knew his pattern was dying, and it simply couldn’t sustain him well enough through all three days of the event to chase down the leader.

 

Follow FLW

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Periscope

Tags: shasta-lake  jody-white  post-tournament  2016-02-18-shasta-lake 

Day 2 of Practice with Miller

Day 2 of Practice with Miller

At just 20 years old, Colby Miller is pretty young to be a rookie on the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit. However, the Elmer, La., native isn’t lacking in accolades, as he’s now finished 24th or better in points in the Southwestern Division of the FLW Series two years in a row. Additionally, he’s starting the season close to home – Miller guides for bass and crappie on nearby Toledo Bend, and he’s got a lot of tournament time in on Sam Rayburn. READ MORE »

Riding Rayburn with Tutt

Riding Rayburn with Tutt

One of the nicest and most experienced pros on the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, Jim Tutt has fished about everywhere, but he calls Texas home. Last year, Tutt finished fifth in the season-opener on Sam Rayburn, and it’s also where he earned one of his three FLW Series-level wins. READ MORE »

How to Prep Like a Pro

How to Prep Like a Pro

When it comes to getting ready for a season of tournaments, there are plenty of ways to do it. But, there’s no denying that for most people, being prepared will lead to better performance on the water. READ MORE »

2020 Harris Chain Preview

2020 Harris Chain Preview

One of the most fun places FLW visits, the Harris Chain is a collection of lakes in central Florida that includes Lake Harris, Lake Apopka, Lake Griffin, Lake Eustis, Lake Dora, Lake Carlton, Horseshoe Lake, Little Lake Harris, Lake Denham and Lake Beauclair. In all, the pros have the run of 10 lakes, plus the myriad residential canals, rivers and backwaters that spread out off of them. READ MORE »

2020 Lake Hartwell Preview

2020 Lake Hartwell Preview

Built on the Savannah, Tugaloo and Seneca rivers on the border of South Carolina and Georgia, Lake Hartwell is a fairly typical example of a Southeastern spotted bass and largemouth fishery. Though there are shad and bream, the primary forage is blueback herring. Hartwell has very little vegetation outside of flooded dog fennel, and the primary cover types are docks, rock, shoreline wood, brush and cane piles. READ MORE »

2020 Detroit River Preview

2020 Detroit River Preview

Though the Pro Circuit finale takes off from the Detroit River, that’s hardly the only place the pros will be fishing. Takeoff is near the southern mouth of the river, giving pros easy access to the west end of Lake Erie. At the other end of the river is Lake St. Clair, which has been home to some of the most epic smallmouth beatdowns on record in recent years. READ MORE »

Bulldog Division Kicks off at Lake Lanier

Bulldog Division Kicks off at Lake Lanier

Perhaps the hottest spotted bass lake in the East, Lanier should be rocking for the Bulldog Division opener. With lots of plump wintertime spotted bass coming to the scale, along with some largemouths, it would be no surprise to see a winning weight in excess of 20 pounds.   READ MORE »

Choo Choo Division Kicks off at Lake Guntersville

Choo Choo Division Kicks off at Lake Guntersville

According to pro Casey Martin, who once won a BFL on Guntersville with a whopping 40 pounds, 11 ounces, it’s not unreasonable to expect a mid- or upper 20s bag to win this time. READ MORE »

Check-In Time: Matt Becker

Check-In Time: Matt Becker

From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they’ve been up to, what they’re listening to, who they’re following and where they’re heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with Matt Becker.  READ MORE »

The Top 19 Stories of 2019

The Top 19 Stories of 2019

From the beginning, 2019 was a good year of fishing. The FLW Tour got off to a rollicking start on Sam Rayburn, and it really stayed pretty great from there, with a lot of good fishing and a killer Angler of the Year race. Beyond the Tour, all the other circuits had plenty of highlights, too. We saw impressive feats accomplished at all levels and some very exciting individual events. READ MORE »

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade - Part 2

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade - Part 2

From start to finish, the last decade was a wild ride for fishing. The top stories are amazingly diverse, with huge business changes, some incredible tournament feats, and entirely new techniques and lures taking center stage. READ MORE »

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade

From start to finish, the last decade was a wild ride for fishing. The top stories are amazingly diverse, with huge business changes, some incredible tournament feats, and entirely new techniques and lures taking center stage. READ MORE »

Reese’s Lake Baccarac Adventure

Reese’s Lake Baccarac Adventure

With a home base of Clear Lake in California, FLW Pro Circuit pro Jimmy Reese is pretty used to phenomenal fishing. But, until Thanksgiving, he’d never sampled the bass fishing in Mexico. Now he has, thanks to a Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits trip to Lake Baccarac Lodge that turned into the trip of a lifetime and produced some truly outstanding fishing. READ MORE »

Woolcott Ready for Year-Two Rebound

Woolcott Ready for Year-Two Rebound

When Tyler Woolcott headed out on Sam Rayburn in January 2019 for his first day of competition as an FLW Tour pro, he took off sandwiched between Brad Knight and Bryan Thrift, two pros starting their 11th and 13th seasons at the front of the boat. In stark contrast, Woolcott was beginning his pro career without having fished as a boater at any level of FLW competition. READ MORE »

How to Fish Offshore Grass in Florida

How to Fish Offshore Grass in Florida

In recent years, fishing a lipless bait, a spinnerbait or a vibrating jig in offshore grass in Florida has lit up the leaderboard in many tournaments. Tyler Woolcott, a second-year pro from Port Orange, Fla., has plenty of experience tracking the bass in offshore grass throughout the seasons, and you might be able to learn a thing or two from him. READ MORE »

How to Catch Winter Bass on Hair Jigs

How to Catch Winter Bass on Hair Jigs

“It’s hard to pass up smallmouths in the winter,” Slegona says. “When they get bunched up out there you can have a lights-out day. So, when that water temp drops below 50, I break out the hair jig box, and I put it away again in the spring when the water gets warm.” READ MORE »

Less Stress and More Fun

Less Stress and More Fun

After qualifying for the FLW Tour out of the FLW Series Northern Division for the second time in 2018, Slegona finally had the money lined up and hit the big leagues. So, he pointed his Tundra and Skeeter toward Texas in December to start an adventure that was a lifetime in the making. READ MORE »

Make a Tiny Swimbait Your Winter Go-To

Make a Tiny Swimbait Your Winter Go-To

Wintertime and late fall fishing can be super fun, especially up north, when smallmouths are often fat and fairly grouped up. However, it’s not the time of year when you want a ton of rods on deck, and having a confidence bait or two is a must. For Casey Smith, the go-to winter weapon is super simple: a little bitty swimbait on a jighead. READ MORE »

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Weighing limits of 15 pounds, 13 ounces on day one and 15-3 on day two, Michael Miller of Greenville, S.C., overcame a tough-fishing Kentucky Lake to win the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Wild Card and qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

How to Rock Fall Largemouths

How to Rock Fall Largemouths

Smith says that the best time for fall largemouth fishing happens after the first big cold snap, when the water finally drops below 60 degrees.   READ MORE »