(Feb 22, 2016 - Redding, CA)
Greg Gutierrez of Red Bluff, California, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Western Division opener on Lake Shasta presented by Minn Kota with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 40 pounds, 7 ounces. For his win, Gutierrez earned $36,376.
“It feels really good to finally get that monkey off of my back and win an FLW event,” said Gutierrez, who earned his first career FLW Series win. “I’ve won a few different tournaments in my life, and I’ve been close here, but the win has eluded me for a few years. I had a blast this week and could not be happier right now.”
Gutierrez said that he found bigger fish on the main lake in practice and decided to concentrate his efforts throughout the week there. He looked for transition areas, either red clay or chunk rock to gravel. He said he would cover water with a Duo Realis Spinbait 90, targeting shallow points. Once he got bit, he would slow down and thoroughly work the area with a ¼-ounce Frenzy Baits NAIL, a shaky-head rig that Gutierrez designed himself, rigged with a green-pumpkin Reaction Innovations Flirt.
“I weighed in a few fish off of a dart head as well, but the majority of my keepers this week came on the Nail. The bites were very light and subtle. I used the heavy ¼-ounce weight because I wanted to maintain bottom contact as I fished the Nail slowly.
“I’ve really learned over the last few years to trust myself and my decision making,” Gutierrez went on to say. “In years past I may have gotten confused and spun out, but I’ve learned to trust my gut and my decisions and I think that is what earned me the win this week.”
The top 10 pros on Lake Shasta were:
1st: Greg Gutierrez, Red Bluff, Calif., 15 bass, 40-7, $36,376
2nd: Richard Dobyns, Marysville, Calif., 15 bass, 35-9, $13,921
3rd: Ken Phillips, Concord, California, 15 bass, 33-15, $10,778
4th: Joe Uribe Jr., Surprise, Ariz., 15 bass, 33-13, $9,082
5th: Bryan Smith, Castro Valley, Calif., 15 bass, 32-15, $8,333
6th: Jeff Michels, Lakehead, Calif., 15 bass, 32-14, $7,185
7th: Miles Howe, San Juan Capistrano, Calif., 15 bass, 32-9, $6,287
8th: Rick Grover, Trabuco Canyon, Calif., 15 bass, 32-5, $5,389
9th: Tommy Cardoza, Redway, Calif., 15 bass, 30-13, $4,491
10th: Roy Hawk, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 15 bass, 29-5, $3,593
Smith caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division Thursday, weighing 7 pounds, 2 ounces to earn him the day’s Big Bass award of $250.
Jack Farage of Discovery Bay, California, won the co-angler division and a Ranger Z117 with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor, with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 30 pounds, 3 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers on Lake Shasta were:
1st: Jack Farage, Discovery Bay, Calif., 15 bass, 30-3, Ranger Z117 w/ 90-horsepower outboard motor
2nd: Jake Stephens, Carmel, Calif., 15 bass, 29-5, $4,618
3rd: Casey Dunn, North Highlands, Calif., 15 bass, 27-1, $3,781
4th: Roy Desmangles, Lincoln, Calif., 15 bass, 26-13, $3,163
5th: Keith Adams, Redding, Calif., 15 bass, 26-7, $2,711
6th: Joe Bolen, Paradise, Calif., 15 bass, 26-3, $2,342
7th: Andrew Levy, Grover Beach, Calif., 15 bass, 24-5, $1,807
8th: Blake Dyer, Tempe, Ariz., 15 bass, 24-2, $1,631
9th: Fidel Campos, Elk Grove, Calif., 15 bass, 23-13, $1,355
10th: Tracy Patton, Oakdale, Calif., 15 bass, 22-13, $1,130
Dunn caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division Thursday, weighing 5 pounds, 13 ounces to earn him the day’s Big Bass award of $166.50.
The Costa FLW Series consists of five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western. Each division consists of three tournaments with competitors vying for valuable points that could earn them the opportunity to fish in the Costa FLW Series Championship. The 2016 Costa FLW Series Championship is being held Nov. 3-5 on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri.
The Costa FLW Series on Lake Shasta was hosted by the Redding Convention and Visitors Bureau. It was the first Western Division tournament of 2016. The next Costa FLW Series tournament will be a Southwestern Division event, held Feb. 25-27, on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Jasper, Texas. For a complete schedule, visit FLWFishing.com.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2016 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 235 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.