Let me start off by saying that West Coast Bass did a remarkable job on this tournament! Everything ran smoothly. Larry seemed to have everything under control.
Day One – I drew Pro Ed Ackerman – a Pro I’ve known for quite some time and is a very accomplished Professional Angler. Blast off started at 6:00 am sharp. We started the morning off with a run all the way up the McCloud to Ed’s first spot, where he proceeded to throw a Spook. I followed behind with a swimbait. We fished that combination for 2 hours and the results were 1 – 3 pounder that came off at the boat from Ed and I produced 1 short fish. Then I put my swimbait down and threw out a drop shot.
I mentioned to Ed I had water close by. Mike Folkestad had let me spend a day by myself pre-fishing, so I could find some water in case I needed it. Ed said it sounded good to him. When we arrived, we both put away our reaction rods. Ed picked up his C-rig with Baby Brushhog and I elected my dart head and we concentrated in the 15-20 ft. depth. I’d like to comment on Ed’s superb boat control and speed at which we were able to drag our baits. The results were very effective. By the end of the day, we must have boated 20-25 spotted bass each, which enabled us to bring 8.31 pounds to the scales.
The banks we targeted were primarily flats that were adjacent to deep water. Besides the 2 banks that I found, Ed located a couple of similar banks in the general area and we spent the day rotating between the 4 banks. Our baits of choice that day were 3/16 oz. dart head with 5” Pro Worm and Texas Rig 3/16” pegged Canyon Plastics tube in the Old Ugly color.
Day Two – I knew it was going to be an exciting day because I drew Ben Williams – an outstanding Professional Angler who has been in the game since the late 1980’s. By coincidence, during my prefishing with Mike Folkestad, we stumbled across this 1 bank that was holding some quality bass. That was going to be Mike’s starting spot on Day 1. When we arrived at that bank on Day 2, shortly after that, Mike Folkestad pulled up. It was a lot of fun fishing next to my good friend and mentor, Mike Folkestad. I would like to add that the two Professionals, Mike and Ben, had the utmost respect and professionalism for each other. Mike left after a couple of hours. We stayed all day – only leaving that bank 3-4 times to give it a 20-30 minute break. Every time we returned to the honey hole, it would render a quality bass or two. It was a smart decision for Ben not to leave fish to find fish, because the end result was a whopping 9.89 pounds weighing in at the end of the day.
Again my dart head proved effective – boating at least a dozen bass. I believe we only weighed in 1 or 2 of the bass I was able to put in the livewell. Ben’s bait of choice, which he kept a secret, produced a kicker fish, which weighed in at 3.02 pounds, which added to an already exciting day!
The end result was a 7th place finish for me and a 4th place finish for Ben Williams on the Pro side.
I’d like to add that both of my Pros had super boat control which I believe enabled us to do as well as we all did. To me, boat control, is the most important factor in tournament fishing.
I want to congratulate our 2 champions – Pat Clements on the Boaters side and Jim Scarlett on the Co-Angler side!!