(Apr 24, 2016 - Lakeport. CA)
Todd Woods of San Dimas, California, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Western Division event on Clear Lake presented by Mercury with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 77 pounds even. For his win, Woods took home $33,002.
“The past couple of days have been some of the best days of my life,” said Woods, who earned his first win in FLW Series competition. “I’ve been waiting a long time to win. I’m in complete shock right now.”
Woods said he spent the first day of the event fishing near Highway 20 in an area he called the ‘new lake break’ – a unique structure formation where the lake’s old shoreline now rests under higher water.
“The shad were spawning near chunk rock on the bottom where the new water covered, and the bass were all over it,” said Woods. “The break was pretty far offshore, maybe 80 yards, and I ran parallel to it for about a mile.
“I primarily used a hitch-colored Basstrix Paddle Tail Swimbait,” Woods continued. “I also threw an umbrella rig, but only when I missed a bite or was in deeper water.”
Woods said he followed a similar pattern on day two, running the same stretch of water while rotating between the swimbait and umbrella rig.
“The only part of the pattern that was different was that the fish were isolated in different spots,” said Woods. “I’d catch one here and a few there. I was able to bring in 10 keepers.”
On the final day of competition, Woods said his day started out very slow – he had only five pounds in the livewell at noon.
“I almost blew the tournament today,” said Woods. “I had around five fish that were on beds marked, but I think someone had already caught most of them. I sight-fished for a while and then ran to a dock that was along my stretch from days one and two. By then I had about 11 pounds and knew I needed more. With 15 minutes to go, I noticed there were birds diving near a point that I hadn’t hit. I pulled up to it, used the Basstrix, and was able to boat a 5-pounder. I was truly blessed.”
The top 10 pros on Clear Lake were:
1st: Todd Woods, San Dimas, Calif., 15 bass, 77-0, $33,002
2nd: Roy Hawk, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 15 bass, 70-0, $13,010
3rd: Wade Curtiss, Meadow Vista, Calif., 15 bass, 69-11, $9,901
4th: Wayne Breazeale, Kelseyville, Calif., 15 bass, 66-14, $8,251
5th: Hunter Schlander, Modesto, Calif., 15 bass, 66-7, $7,426
6th: Jim Moulton, Merced, Calif., 15 bass, 66-4, $6,600
7th: Michael Caruso, Peoria, Ariz., 15 bass, 65-13, $5,775
8th: Garrett Dixon, Durham, Calif., 15 bass, 61-3, $4,950
9th: David Valdivia, Norwalk, Calif., 15 bass, 59-10, $4,125
10th: Rusty Salewske, Alpine, Calif., 14 bass, 52-0, $3,300
Hawk caught a giant largemouth weighing 11 pounds, 2 ounces Thursday – the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division – that earned him the day’s Big Bass award of $222.
Sergio Arguello of North Hollywood, California, won the co-angler division and a Ranger Z117 with a 90-horsepower Mercury outboard motor. Arguello earned his win with a three-day total catch of 15 bass weighing 53 pounds, 4 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers on Clear Lake were:
1st: Sergio Arguello, North Hollywood, Calif., 15 bass, 53-4, $27,000
2nd: Justin Bolen, Paradise, Calif., 15 bass, 49-0, $4,163
3rd: Ken Helms, Newman, Calif., 15 bass, 48-14, $3,330
4th: Jack Farage, Discovery Bay, Calif., 15 bass, 45-6, $2,914
5th: Stanley Beebe, San Luis Obispo, Calif., 13 bass, 45-4, $2,497
6th: Todd Kline, San Clemente, Calif., 15 bass, 44-12, $2,081
7th: Blake Dyer, Tempe, Ariz., 14 bass, 41-1, $1,665
8th: Michael Tauscher, Blackfoot, Idaho, 14 bass, 35-0, $1,457
9th: Chris Rhoden, Newhall, Calif., 15 bass, 34-4, $1,249
10th: Rachel Uribe, Long Beach, Calif., 13 bass, 33-15, $1,041
Raymond Tak of Los Angeles, California, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division Thursday, a bass weighing 9 pounds, 5 ounces that earned him the day’s Big Bass award of $148.
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 Clear Lake was hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. It was the second Western Division tournament of 2016. The next Costa FLW Series tournament will be a Central Division event, held April 28-30, on Kentucky Lake in Buchanan, Tennessee.
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.