UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Pro Shops High School Fishing - 2018 - Lake Okeechobee


Breazeale Bests Day 1 on Clear Lake

Wayne Breazeal

There are times when local knowledge can bite an angler, and times when it can benefit him. Day one of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Evinrude at Clear Lake proved to be the latter for Wayne Breazeale, whose 23 pounds, 10 ounces leads the pro field.

Fishing in several different areas, the Kelseyville, Calif., angler says he spent most of his time around tules, but not just any tules would do. Breazeale’s experience on Clear Lake has taught him that where a tule sinks its roots plays a significant roll in its fish attraction.

“I’m looking for hard-bottom tules. If there’s silt on the bottom, they’re no good,” he says. “You can tell that by the shoreline, but also, I’ve lived here for 45 years, so I know where the hard bottom is. I want the hard bottom because that’s where the fish spawn. They don’t like to be in that silt.”

Although spawning fish were not off his radar, Breazeale says a lot of his effort revolved around prespawn fish staging for their shallow movement.

“A lot of the fish were chasing shad, so they were setting up,” he says.

Breazeale caught his fish on a wacky-rigged Yamamoto Senko, a drop-shot and a darter-head jig with a finesse worm.

“The Senko was in the shallower tules, and when the tules were deeper, I went to the drop-shot,” he says. “I used the dart head out on flats, near the tules. I just dragged it along the bottom. I caught most of my fish on the Senko.”

Breazeale’s local knowledge helped him not only on specific site selection, but also with the big-picture discernment. The day began calm and sunny, but a northwest wind built to about 15 mph and created positioning and execution challenges.

“Experience on the lake told me where to be, and I just made some good decisions,” Breazeale says. “The wind was really bad today, so I just stayed close and tried to stay out of the wind.”

Knowing how to play the cards he was given was especially important, given Clear Lake’s current state of instability. An extremely cold spring has the water cooler than normal for early May. Moreover, fluctuating water levels have further disrupted the spring spawning cycles.

“We haven’t had a stable weather pattern for a long time, so the fish come up for a bit, and when the weather gets bad they go back out. It’s hard to stay on top of them,” he says. “When the fish move out, I go with them.”

Complete results


Top 10 pros

1. Wayne Breazeale – Kelseyville, Calif. – 23-10 (5)

2. Joe Uribe Jr. – Surprise, Ariz. – 21-12 (5)

3. Vince Hurtado – Turlock, Calif. – 19-1 (5)

4. Sunny Hawk – Salt Lake City, Utah –  18-13 (5)

5. Jason Borofka – Salinas, Calif. – 18-4 (5)

6. Bryant Smith – Castro Valley, Calif. – 18-0 (5)

7. Benjamin Byrd – Moad, Utah – 17-7 (5)

8. Matt Dal Porto – Sutter, Calif. – 17-5 (5)

9. Melvin Williams – Chula Vista, Calif. – 16-12 (5)

10. Kyle Gelles – Pingree, Idaho – 16-12 (5)

Complete results


Gray grabs co-angler lead

He got that one kicker fish he needed for a good bag, but adding four more solid keepers gave co-angler Derek Gray a total weight of 17-2 and positioned him atop the day-one standings.

Hailing from Lafayette, Calif., Gray landed his 6-pound, 4-ounce day-maker by fishing a purple Texas-rigged worm. He used the worm throughout the day around dock pilings and any structure he encountered. He also caught a few fish on a spinnerbait, but milking the plastic is what delivered most of his weight.

“My boater [Philip Roesener] kept me where I needed to be, and I caught my fish in 12 to 20 feet,” Gray says. “They wanted slow, methodical presentations. With my big fish, I literally threw on a piling three times because I knew there was going to be a fish on it. The third time was the charm.

“I set the hook on the fish, and my boater looks back and says, ‘Do you need the net?’ I was like, ‘Yeah!’ He said, ‘Is it a good one?’ Then, all of a sudden, it started running down. It fought good. It was a fun fight.”


Top 10 co-anglers

1. Derek Gray – Lafayette, Calif. – 17-2 (5) 

2. Firuz Gizatullin – Discovery Bay, Calif. – 15-5 (5)                                 

3. Stanley Beebe – San Luis Obispo, Calif. – 15-4 (5)                                  

3. Rick Grover – Trabuco Canyon, Calif. – 15-4 (5)                         

5. Travis Williams – Stockton, Calif. – 14-13 (5)                              

6. Ron Ratlief – Lake Havasu City, Ariz. – 14-8 (5)                        

7. Scott Bern – San Rafael , Calif. – 14-6 (5)                         

8. Daniel Lutz – Las Vegas, Nev. – 14-4 (5)                                     

9. Michael Walsh – El Cajon, Calif. – 14-2 (5)                                  

10. Jose E .Juarez – Kelseyville, Calif. – 14-0 (5)

Complete results

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2018-05-10-clear-lake 


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