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Saturday, February 11, 2012
WON BASS Lake Havasu ProAM 2012

Lake Shasta Kicks Off WON BASS 2012 Pro Am Season

They are on the water.
The fishermen face a change of conditions. They will see the daytime high drop nearly 10-degrees and the winds more than double. Forecast calls for sunny skies, a high of 52-degrees and northwest winds from 5 to 10-mph.There is still no chance of rain.

Thanks to all the guys at the docks that shared some info. Next stop - Blast off Bridge Bay Marina Sunday-Last day of the two day event 5 a.m. Boat inspections 3 p.m. First flight weighs in at Bridge Bay Marina 5 p.m. Awards and raffle at Tail O' the Whale Good luck.


REDDING, CA - Just before 3 p.m. the crowds began to gather at the Bridge Bay Marina for the WON Bass 2012 Northern kick-off event at Shasta.

With one day down and still another day to go, most of the anglers at the scales were keeping their successes to themselves.A few shared some slim details; but most were quite secretive.

First place pro Chris Laskowski from Redding and his co Scott Farley from Blue Lake were so secretive that they not only kept their baits under wraps, they didn't even want to show their fish. Even though they hold the lead with 12.50 there are no bass pictured and no baits discussed on day one for first place. Laskowski stated, "We will worry about that if we get 'em tomorrow."

The second place team with Top This pro Kevin Stewart in the front and Joey Letsinger in the back reeled in 12.11 for their five fish limit and were a little more talkative than the leaders. Stewart acknowledged the bite had slowed saying, "We only caught 12 to 15 keepers; but we managed to catch some quality fish." Saying they covered depths from the bank to 45-feet, Stewart credited his partner for a couple of the "nice ones that made the bag" and emphasized the speed had to be slow.

Kevin Stewart at Lake Shasta 2012 in 2nd place

Kevin Stewart is in 2nd place and proudly shows of a few of his fish.

Rounding out the top 3 was local pro Greg Gutierrez and his AAA Scott Dipman.Each weighed a big fish.Gutierrez held his at 3.30 and Dipman's was 3.93. Posing for a pic, Gutierrez gave a few details, "We wrecked fish all day long. I actually farmed two big ones, a giant-a giant being over five. We got 40 or 50 fish, just finesse fishing, just working." When asked how he felt about tomorrow he laughed saying, "they're spotted bass, they move; we will see what happens. I know the lake well enough, hopefully I can move around with them."

greg guiterrez and scott dipman

Greg and Scott wrecked havoc on the Lake Shasta bass population and are in third place.

At the docks a few more fishermen revealed some info; but not many.

Here is some more of what they were heard sayin' at weigh in;

First time tournament contender Cody Hughes came from Salinas to debut as a co angler and give competitive bass fishing a try.Partnered with Chad Hulbert they reeled in 7.87.Hughes stated, "It waslot of fun and interesting fishing with a pro."

Willie Church and his non-boater Paul Smith found one of the few 4 pounders of the day, Church found an area in the main body and Smith landed this one a tube.The day didn't turn out as Church had anticipated.He explained, "There was a cold snap this morning and it just didn't work out the way I wanted."It may not have been what he wanted but it looked like a pretty good start to the two day event, with 11.38 and 5th place.

willie chuck and paul smith at shasta 2012

Willie Church and his non-boater Paul Smith found some nice fish.

Veteran angler Dave Erwin placed in the top-10 with 10.66. He and his partner Lou Botelho fished most of the day before they brought in their biggest a 3.70.Erwin explained, "I got the big one on a dropshot, late in the afternoon."

Dave Irwin

Dave Erwin is all smiles and shows of his big bass

At 9.20, Jason Borofka and Lou Ferrante were one of the 20 teams to land a limit in the 9-lb range.Borofka said, "We ran a bunch of points and threw swimbaits all morning; but we didn't get our first fish until 10 a.m."He revealed they used small hollow-bellies with 1/2-inch lead heads and wasn't concerned about hiding his bait."When we finally got that big one, it was on a dropshot and then we just threw Senkos the rest of the day."

Jason Borofka is interviewed at the scales by Billy Egan.

First time tournament contender Cody Hughes came from Salinas to debut as a co angler and give competitive bass fishing a try.Partnered with Chad Hulbert they reeled in 7.87.Hughes stated, "It was lot of fun and interesting fishing with a pro."

Pro Ken Mah from what was called the "dream team pair-up" of Mah and Billy Hines watched the scales register as he was interviewed. Mah commented, "There is a lot of fish, you've just got to weed through 'em. I tried to throw a big bait. Bill helped me out a lot. We got a limit of fish; but they're not very big."

Ken Mah Shasta

Ken Mah and his partner Billy Hines caught a ton of fish.

2011 Daiwa cup champ Mike Folkestad also put 40 or more in the boat today.Folkestad this is the lake that he doesn't do that well at, yet he ended hisday one with a respectable 10.46. "Well, if I am going to do good, then it is going to be on a worm," remarked Folkestad. Asking him, how he has always remained so consistent, Folkestad smiled and said, "I just get lucky."And, that was all the info, that was coming from him today. There is always tomorrow.

Folkstad at Shasta day 1 2012

Speaking of tomorrow, the anglers will face day two launching into a change of conditions. They will see the daytime high drop nearly 10-degrees and the winds more than double.Forecast calls for sunny skies, a high of 52-degrees and northwest winds from 5 to 10-mph.There is still no chance of rain.

Blast off at safelight and the weigh-ins will resume at 3 p.m.The awards ceremony and raffle will take place at the Tail O' The Whale at 5 p.m.


UPDATE - Patner Pairings

REDDING, CA -As the WON BASS Official Practice Period at Lake Shasta came to end, anglers began to file in to the Tail O' The Whale at Bridge Bay Resort for the final registration, mandatory meeting and partner pairings. Others were caught out in the parking lot making final adjustments to their tackle. "You can take my picture, I've got all my good stuff cut off anyway" remarked local expert Greg Gutierrez as he readied his tackle for the morning blast-off.

At pairings, the first day's teaming of Ken Mah and Billy Hines also flashed a good to go thumbs up and big smiles as they strategized about the day ahead

There were mixed feelings about the final day of practice. A handful of anglers were still singing the same tune-it's tough out there. Others had thought their game had improved. "I had a good day out there," commented boater Jason Borofka from Salinas. "The fish are so fat and healthy right now, even the smaller ones are weighing a good two pounds. I caught one today, maybe the size of a keeper and I know he had just swallowed a trout. I held him up and you could see the outline of the trout sitting on the side of his gut. The trout are busting all over. I don't ever remember seeing this many trout out here like this."

WON BASS Shasta Day One -Blast-Off last boat, last flight... let the fishing begin.

The trout seem to be a key in locating fish as local pro Greg Gutierrez explained at yesterday's Early Bird registration. Today, when asked how the fishing went he and Top This pro Kevin Stewart from Elk Grove both gave a thumbs up.

Also offering a quick nod of approval on their day on the water were Lobina Lures pro Andy Manahl, who received the first boat of the first flight honors in tonight's draw and 2011 Daiwa Cup champ Mike Folkestad from Southern California. A third in their traveling group, Canyon Plastics pro Jeff Klicka wasn't as ready to shoot a whole-hearted thumbs up about his pre fish time and offered the so-so hand gesture.

Only time will tell and as the clock rapidly ticks down to the morning's safe-light, it is only a few short hours until the anglers takeoff into the sunrise for the showdown on Shasta Lake. At this point it is anybody's game.

The final pairings ended with 78 boats. Boat checks begin at 5:00 a.m. and blast-off is at approx. 7:00 a.m. The first of the five flights are due back at 3:00 p.m.

After a low tonight of 30-degrees, the fisherman again will face a beautiful sunny day on the lake. The daytime high is forecasted at 62-degrees with no chance of rain. The light and variable winds which were coming from the north today are anticipated to change direction and are expected to come from the west at 4-mph.


See more video updates on the WON BASS Facebook page.


Weather at Lake Shasta today is unusually pleasant with temperatures in the low 50's. Wind is blowing slightly from the North at 10 mph. Still expecting more sign ups to come.

Here are some images from today, and a couple from last years tournament too. Lake Shasta a great place to be this time of year when the weather is pleasant like today, but you have to come prepared with the foul weather gear too.

All signs are this is going to be a great tournament, with a good turnout, so le the games begin!

Reader Comments

I can see why they call it Shasta Wonderland. That is God's country. I need to get my lazy butt up there sometime soon for a fishing trip.


Wishing everyone a safe and exciting weekend full of fat limits! Wishing I was out fishing with you-all even more though. Maybe at Clear Lake.
Chris Hughes

fished for fun jan 12 thru 14 with butch gillam found 12 lbs very doable. senkos-senkos-senkos
paul zuest

We, (my partner) & I, were there for the weigh-in on day one and will be there today as well. (Chris Hughes is a bass fisherman who has competed in the Won Bass tournament 5 years back, and has just relocated back to shasta county from oregon to pursue his dream of competing again.
Tammy Rhinehart
Why is the Tournament director the only one wearing sunglasses when the camera is on? It's a known fact that sponsors and others will tell you "dont hide behind sunglasses".
K Reed
This artlice is a home run, pure and simple!
Hecvkua good job. I sure appreciate it.
You have more usfeul info than the British had colonies pre-WWII.
I'll try to put this to good use immdeaitely.
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