Pro Donald Davis of Discovery Bay, Calif., caught a 5-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday to win $46,036 in the FLW Series National Guard Western Division tournament on the California Delta with a four-day catch of 18 bass weighing 79-8.
The catch gave him the win by a 2-pound, 1-ounce margin over Leon Knight, of Discovery Bay, Calif., who caught a total of 17 bass weighing 76-15 and earned $22,649.
“I went out there to win today,” said Davis, who at 65 won his first ever FLW tournament. “I am an emotional wreck; I have just been obsessed with the bass that I knew were out there for weeks.”
Davis, a 30 year Delta Rat, was the brains behind the one, two punch delivered at the Delta today. For over five years the area that Davis and Knight were fishing was unobtainable due to low water levels caused by the drought. Davis knew the bass were back there, it was just a matter of waiting for the right time and knowing when to strike. The heavy rains this year and last brought water levels up just enough that they were able to navigate, with a lot of ingenuity, back into the area; and it paid off!
Being careful to follow all tournament rules the tandem of Davis and Knight used a homemade pulley system to cross beaver dams, brush, wood, and mud to maneuver themselves into an area that not many people dared enter. Fishing times were limited to 1 – 2 hours per day due to the tide, and that was after the hour ride up the river, but what an hour of fishing it was!
“We crossed a secondary and a main beaver dam,” said Knight who was the brawn behind the operation. “If you know anything about beavers you know they are nocturnal, so every night they [the beavers] would rebuild the area we cleared to get through, and every day Don and I would have to dig through it again in order to get back through. We were a little nervous after yesterday because our pulley system broke and we weren’t sure if we would be able to make it back in today; but as luck would have it the tide was a foot and a half higher than it has been all week and not only were we able to get back there today, but we were able to stay in there for six hours.
“This is just incredible, it has been the best tournament of my life and I am so happy for Don.”
Davis opened the tournament in 2nd place Wednesday, behind the 1st place Knight, with five bass weighing 20-1. On Thursday he added another five bass weighing 21-12 to move into 2nd place, he then caught three bass weighing 18-2 on Friday to make the crucial top-5 cut in 1st place.
Davis was using a Stanley Bull Ribbit all week in about 5-7 feet of water about 65 feet off shore.
Rounding out the top-5 pros are:
3rd: Stephen Tosh, Jr., Modesto, Calif., 20 bass, 66-11, $13,811
4th: Jon Strelic, El Cajon, Calif., 20 bass, 63-11, $9,207
5th: Lorenzo Rossetti, Stockton, Calif., 17 bass, 56-5, $8,286
A complete list of results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Overall there were 22 bass weighing 66 pounds, 10 ounces caught by 5 pros Saturday. The catch included 4 five-bass limits.
Gary Haraguchi of San Jose, Calif., won the Co-angler Division and a Ranger 177TR with a 90 horsepower Evinrude or Yamaha outboard motor Friday with a three-day total of 14 bass weighing 35 pounds, 5 ounces followed by Tai Au of Phoenix, Ariz., in second place with 13 bass weighing 32-10 worth $4,408.
Pro Leon Knight and Gary Haraguchi each won a $1000 gift card as part of the new Cabela’s Angler Cash program. Beginning in 2010, Cabela’s is offering pro and co-anglers the opportunity to register and win a $1000 gift card for being the highest qualified finisher in each division at all FLW Series events, making the stakes even higher in an already rich award package. Anglers can visit FLWOutdoors.com for a complete list of rules and to register.
In FLW Series competition, anglers and co-anglers are also vying for valuable points that could help them qualify for the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing.
The California Delta event was the third of four National Guard Western Division tournaments that will be held in 2010. The next FLW Series tournament will be held Sept. 22-25 on Roosevelt Lake in Payson, Ariz. The event will be hosted by the Town of Payson and boats will launch from Cholla Recreation Site in Roosevelt, Ariz.
Coverage of the California Delta tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS. “FLW Outdoors”, will air Oct. 17 from 12:30 to 1:30 ET. “FLW Outdoors,” hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide.
ABOUT FLW OUTDOORS FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 189 tournaments in 2010. FLW Outdoors has also taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing awarding the largest prizes in the history of fantasy sports. FLW Outdoors memberships are available featuring numerous benefits including Player’s Advantage. For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FantasyFishing.com. FLWOutdoors.com