BassWestUSA - Summer, 2012, Page 69

a fish on it in the 54F degree water; it’s the first good sign of the day. Going into the tournament, I did not want to get stuck in the bed fishing game, but I knew that if anyone knows how to catch bedded smallmouth, it is some Pacific Northwest kids from Eastern Washington. We proceeded to catch four good fish in slow succession after spotting them cruising along the edges of the large rocky points. Mainly we chased after cruisers and found a few on beds. We ended up catching 3 on a Yamamoto drop shot shad shaped worm and one on a tube. After a short dry spell, an in- crease in temperature, and two unsuccessful attempts at catch- ing cruising fish, I decided to make the run to shallow rocky flats of the London Bridge area. With the amount of fish moving up from deeper water, I felt it would be a good bet to run shallow and fill out our limit with a shallow cruiser. Knowing we only needed one more good fish to fill our bag and that we had over two hours left in the day, I decided to drop the trolling motor, put it on 100, grab the Lamiglas Drop Shot Rod, and cruise the shal- lows only making casts to fish I could see. Within 5 minutes, I spotted a fish suspended in a bush. Not wanting to spook the clear water smallmouth, I cast to it and drifted past it with an open bail. Before I could even start to reel in line, she chomped the drop-shot. Our limit was filled and the massive pressure on my shoulders was lifted. Further along, we spotted a giant smallmouth push- ing the 5-6lb. mark. Knowing we had a bag that would probably make the top 5, we took the gamble and spent the rest of our day attempting to get this big girl to bite. About 10 different unsuc- cessful baits later, we were finally pushing our time to head in. My knuckles gripped the seat like never before, optimistic thoughts running through my head as we battled our way back to the launch ramp through the Lake Havasu “zoo”. Looking at my phone, I see we are cutting it close, making it in with less than 30 seconds on the clock. I was sitting in line to weigh in, knowing the cut was some- where near 10lbs. My nerves and the 80F degree weather made me start to sweat. Up on the stage, the numbers flashed up and to my surprise it read 10.75lbs! My partner Jesse Squires & I made it. Taking 4th place, a $1,000 scholarship and securing a spot in the FLW College Fishing Western Division Championships coming up in the fall. All the preparation and on-the-water decisions helped turn a vision into reality. On the pro side of things, the winner of the FLW Everstart Series was Troy Linder, son of the famous TV angler, Al Linder. He weighed in at 49lbs 11ozs by targeting fish on main-lake points and backwaters with Rapala’s new Trigger-X soft plastics. The win- ning co-angler was Kyle Baker of Lancaster, CA with 35lbs 4ozs. The college event was won with 13 pounds by Utah Valley State. A whole day of travel to fish for 6 hours on Lake Havasu was very worthwhile. With both of our EWU teams qualified for region- als, the ride back home felt more like a vacation than a trip back to school with a ton of homework to catch up on. Even though our other team battled a nasty flu the entire trip, we were all still in high spirits. Whether you are living the college bassin’ dream, a road war- rior to the core, the serious bass fishermen or are the life long learner, you will Look forward to the California Delta story in the next issue! For more information, visit or www. Nick is sponsored by Legend Boats, Mercury Marine, Interstate Batteries,, Lami- glas Rods, Navionics, Rapala, Terminator, Sufix, Luhr-Jensen, Quick- Drops Dropshot Weights & Keelshield. BWU

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Summer 2012