Saturday, October 27, 2012
The Path To The Championship
The 2012 WON BASS Western Classic tournament comes to Clear Lake
BY JODY ONLY
Day 1 Update:
Half-Time at the Western Classic
As the 2012 WON BASS Western Classic qualifiers settle into their half-time break, we find eight boats that broke the 20-lb mark and three that landed a limit over 25-lbs.
The stand-out team of Mike Stiles and Tony "Lou" Botelho are leading the field with 34.04. The double-digit kicker in the Stiles/Botelho bag weighed in at 10.01 and helped boost them to the top with nearly a six-pound lead.
Pro anglers Wayne Breazeale and Mike Tuck each showed off an 8-plus to take their teams to the top-3 as Breazeale and his AAA Chad Dibble weighed 28.10 and Tuck and his co Tom DiGiulio stuck 27.92
With one more day in the fight for fish ahead of them, no details were divulged on how it was done.
The anglers resume the competition at safelight. Conditions are forecasted to remain stable in the high 70's with no chance of rain and mild winds at 4- to 5-mph; although there is an anticipated change that there will be SE winds as opposed to N winds.
After initial predictions of a winning tournament weight in the high 40 to 50-lb range, thoughts have now changed and expectations are running in the 55-lb range.
The anglers will reconvene at safelight on the docks of Konocti Vista Casino. Come cheer on your favorite fisherman at blast-off or weigh in and watch one lucky pro drive away with the Nitro/Merc package pictured.
Day Two Schedule
6:00 a.m. Boat Check
7:15 a.m. Blast Off
3:30 p.m. First Flight due in
3:45 p.m. Second Flight due in
5:30 p.m. Awards Ceremony
All events can be attended at:
Konocti Vista Casino
2755 Mission Rancheria Rd.
Lakeport, Calif. 95453
An entire Day One list of pro and AAA standings can be found at wonbass.com
LAKEPORT - As the sun begins to set on the 2012 bass tournament season, the path to the WON BASS championship leads 45 of the top WON BASS pro and co anglers to Clear Lake, Calif. for the Western Classic on Oct. 27 - 28.
KONOCTI VISTA CASINO welcomes the WON BASS best of the best.
The invitational tournament is slated to include the best of the best from both ends of the boat, after a series of three events held in both the Northern and Southern Regions. Invites went to the top-20 pros and AAAs from each division as well as the top-5 of both overall.
The stakes are high with cash payouts and a brand new, fully-rigged Nitro Z 7/Mercury package on the line.
As the fight for fish is about to kick off, WON BASSer pro and lake local Paul Bailey conveyed the current conditions of the fishery."It will be getting colder in the days right before the tournament," stated Bailey. "But, I would expect another little warm front. The water is low and the fish are in different spots this year. The bass are pushing baits, but in different spots than you would expect. I would say to look on "beachy" banks and docks. The guy that is going to do good is the guy that can think outside of the box."
LAKE LOCAL PAUL BAILEY weighs in the current conditions of the fishery.
For bait choices, he suggested working the reaction bite and because he noted the temperatures were dropping every night, he thought the umbrella rig would be a factor in the tournament. He also recommended a Little Creeper Trash Fish.
For the AAA, he said, "If you can bomb an umbrella rig all around the pro, not in front and not next to the pro but around the pro's water, go for it! If I was up front flippin', there is no way I wouldn't want my co behind me not capitalizing on that bite."
Bailey expects the victory to go the angler that can land 25-lbs a day and the biggest bass weighed to tip the scales at eight or nine pounds.
Also checking in with an update on the lake action was Troy Bella from Clear Lake Outdoors. "It is low water conditions now and there is a lot of baitfish," shared Bella. "Reaction is good in the morning and then it dies off."
His lures of choices also included the Trash Fish and he narrowed it down to a 6-inch in Light Hitch or Blue Back Herring. He also revealed that the LV 500 in Phantom Chartreuse Shad or Ghost Minnow and a drop shot with a Roboworm in Margarita Mutilator or Aaron's Magic were hot baits.
"The jig bite is decent," added Bella. "I would fish a 3/8-ounce jig in the north or a 1/2-ounce mid-lake or south. He noted the best colors would be brown/orange or brown/purple and also warned that water was too low to for those headed into Rodman.
WON BASSERS return to Clear Lake for the 2012 Western Classic.
The season-ending Western Classic activities for WON BASSers commence on Thurs. Oct. 25 with Early Bird Check In, Registration and a welcome BBQ at Clear Lake Outdoors. The Mandatory Meeting and Partner Pairings will take place Fri, Oct. 26 at the host venue Konocti Vista Casino and the two-day, shared weight pro/am will blast off in Lakeport, Calif. at the Konocti Vista Casino Marina at safelight on Sat and Sun, Oct. 27 - 28.
Fans can follow their favorite angler at the weigh-ins starting at 3:00 p.m. each fishing day and the awards ceremony to be held at Sunday 5:30 p.m. at the Konocti Vista Casino.
PHOTOS BY JODY ONLY