BassWestUSA - Spring, 2012, Page 42

Beginning Bassin’

College Bassin’

Kicking Off 2012

By NicK Barr

My name is Nick Barr, I am 20 years old and a Sophomore at Eastern Washington University. I am the President/Founder of the EWU Sportsman’s Club along with being a tournament bass an- gler and guide. Through these special features on the FLW College Fishing Series Western Division, I will provide you with an inside look on the crazy life of a college bass angler, covering all four tournaments. EWU is located in Cheney, WA with the closest & first tournament being a short 700 miles away. The opening 2012 tournament on Lake Shasta, CA took place on Saturday, January 28 th as college series tournaments are fished on the last day of the FLW Everstart Series events.

2 teams from EWU heading to Lake Shasta we squeeze in all our gear and Lamiglas Ex- cel rods into the little SUV and on the road we go. This time the rest of the guys actually drove through Port- land. The crew picked me up at the PDX airport because I was gone that week to western Washington for a sportsman’s show. We have to take the longer route anyways due to Eastern Oregon’s high-desert country being wicked, with freezing temps and snow. Going through Oregon, Bob sitting in the front seat says he is cold. I wake up to fogged windows as we are rolling down the highway. Something crazy always seems to happen when you have a bunch of college guys traveling together. To our astonishment our Jeep’s A/C unit started leaking which completely ice-froze the bottom part of the dash. After a quick stop to warm up, we are back in the traveling Popsicle to Lake Shasta. We arrive Friday morning at Lake Shasta looking like fro- zen vagabonds, and nothing is better than a cheap, cold, fast food breakfast to start off your day. After visiting the local tackle shops, stopping in at RC’s Steakhouse for dinner to talk to locals to gain some current fishing information, we decide what our game plan is going to be. As of now, almost all of our research has been done with Navionics Mobile on our phones, scouring fishing reports, and scrolling through the baits on BassTackleDepot.com. Since this is only our second year fishing the college series and being from Washington, prior knowledge of the lakes is usually slim to none. The team of Jake and I is a hybrid because my previous year’s part- ner found out that he could not fish this year due to graduating, so my steelhead fishing friend Jake Ponce helped out and stepped in. This Lake Shasta trip was going to be a tourna- ment bass fish- ing “baptism by fire” for Jake. Bob & Jarred are avid bass an- glers when they are not pumping

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the iron, let alone hitting the books. This tournament is going to shake the rust off as most water in Eastern Washington is frozen solid; I personally have not cast a rod in the past 4 months. We both plan on going to the upper McCloud arm. Jake and I run up the McCloud and fish a large rocky point and into a creek working the shallower breaks to deeper water. The tournament anglers who seemed to do well were fishing shallow as the weather greeted us with mid 60’s temperatures; although the water was a cool 48F degrees. After half a day working shal- low and missing two bites, we decided to switch up game plans and fish out in the 25-40 ft. depths. Looking back we should have made the switch earlier. With only a few hours left Jake and I were able to scrounge up 6lbs. 13 oz. of Spotted Bass fishing a Yamamoto Double Tail Hula Grub on Crunchtime Jigs, which net- ted us 11 th place. The fishing this year was much better than last year’s tournament where we we had 5 ½ lbs. putting us in 6 th in the 2011 event. Jarred and Bob switched to the deeper bite earlier after swinging for the fences shallow (AKA Donkey Huntin’) with the new-found “Cali-Bama Rig”. They caught their 8 lbs. 5 oz. of Shas- ta Spotted Bass in 25-40 feet of water fishing slow and working bank cuts with Double Tail Hula Grubs, which found themselves in 4 th place! The college tournament was won with 9lbs. 4 oz. by Or- egon State University Team of Zach MacDonald & William Sparks, fishing drop-shots near the boat launch area, targeting visual bank cuts. They were limited to smaller area due to their motor break- ing down. The opening 2012 tournament winning’s came to the tune of $5,000 donation to their club, with Bob Trukositz & Jarred Walker bringing home $1,000 to EWU for 4 th Place. The winner of the Everstart Series event was local tournament stalwart, K.C. Harris, throwing the “Umbrella Rig” setup and Yamamoto Senko in 5-30 feet of water; running and gunning on distinct points. In retrospect, the entire Lake Shasta trip was a success. Good finishes by our teams, great weather, solid learning experiences, and mighty fine times. I look forward to bringing you all into the world of college angling and reports from the Western College Fishing & Everstart Series events through the future issues of BassWestUSA! For more information visit www.NickBarrFishing.com or www.Facebook.com/NickTBarr. Nick is sponsored by Legend Boats, Mercury Marine, Interstate Bat- teries, BassTack- leDepot.com, Lamiglas Rods, Navionics, Rapa- la, Terminator, Su- fix, Luhr-Jensen, QuickDrops Drop- shot Weights & Keelshield. BWU

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Spring 2012