Ultimate Bass

McDermott jumps from 104th to take the lead

Pro Bryan McDermott of Cottonwood, Calif., caught a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 8 ounces Thursday to soar in to first place at the FLW Series National Guard Western Division tournament on Lake Shasta with a two-day catch of 10 bass weighing 23-5.

“It’s awesome,” said McDermott, after catching one of the biggest spotted bass coming out of Lake Shasta, 7 pounds 3 ounces. “I caught it on my second cast this morning and my 4-pounder came about two casts later, they were both within 25 yards of each other.

“The fish are getting ready to start spawning, so I found a sunny spot in about 30 feet of water along a gravel bank hoping that it would push the fish up and I got lucky. I caught about 20 fish today all on worms.”

McDermott now holds a 1-pound, 4-ounce lead over second place pro Chris Zaldain of San Jose, Calif., who managed to haul in a total of 10 bass weighing 22-1 during the first two days of competition.

Fishing slow and deep seemed to be the key for many anglers today. The fish are still in their winter pattern so aren’t very active and they don’t want to eat. Having the patience to wait it out made all the difference for many anglers today.

“I am not getting a lot of bites, but I’m seeing a lot of fish,” said Gabe Bolivar who will enter tomorrow’s competition in fifth place. “I have two key spots where I am getting just enough bites to keep me confident that eventually they’ll bite, it’s just a matter of being patient.

Rounding out the top-10 pros after day two at Lake Shasta are:

3rd: KC Harris, Shasta Lake, Calif., 10 bass, 21-15
4th: National Guard pro Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., 10 bass, 21-1
5th: Gabe Bolivar, Ramona, Calif., 10 bass, 20-14
6th: Jeff Michels, Lakehead, Calif., 10 bass, 20-12
7th: Bret Gouvea, Redding, Calif., 10 bass, 20-9
8th: Jim Riley, Shasta Lake, Calif., 10 bass, 20-8
9th: Chris Fancelli, Redding, Calif., 10 bass, 20-2
10th: Kazuki Kodama, Torrence, Calif., 10 bass, 19-13

Overall there were 685 bass weighing 1062 pounds, 15 ounces caught by 140 pros Thursday. The catch included 130 five-bass limits.

Pros are competing this week for a top award of over $48,500 plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for a shot at the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup.

National Guard team member Johnathan Walker of Tacoma, Wash., leads the co-angler division with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 20-5 followed by Max Bauer of San Diego, Calif., in second place with 10 bass weighing 19-9.

“The fish are still in a winter pattern and very lethargic,” said National Guard team member Walker. You really have to hit them before they will even bite. I fished the same way today as yesterday, using sinkos and the key was keeping the bait on the bottom; we were in some pretty deep water, about 42 feet.”

Walker caught 5 bass weighing 11-13 while fishing with pro Ronald Hobbs, Jr. of Orting, Wash., Wednesday and 5 bass weighing 8-8 while fishing with pro Craig Kraft of Redding, Calif., Thursday.

Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers are:

3rd: JR Wright, Truckee, Calif., 10 bass, 18-9
4th: Billy Dehart, Burlingame, Calif., 10 bass, 17-13
5th: Guy Williams, Menifee, Calif., 10 bass, 17-12
6th: Lori Wallace, Boise, Idaho, 10 bass, 17
7th: Mark Smith, Dana Point, Calif., 10 bass, 16-15
8th: Willie Church, Cottonwood, Calif., 10 bass, 16-12
9th: Joe Crawford, Laguna Niguel, Calif., 10 bass, 16-11
10th: Jimmy Zanotelli, Redding, Calif., 10 bass, 16-10

Overall there were 613 bass weighing 867 pounds, 4 ounces caught by 140 co-anglers Thursday. The catch included 102 five-bass limits.

Co-anglers are competing this week for a Ranger 177TR with a 90 horsepower engine as well as valuable points that could help them qualify for a shot at the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup.

Anglers will take off at 7:30 each morning from Bridge Bay Resort located at 10300 Bridge Bay Road in Redding, Calif. Friday’s weigh-in will be held at the marina beginning at 2:30 p.m. Saturday’s weigh-in will be held at the Mt. Shasta Mall located at 900 Dana Drive in Redding, Calif., beginning at 3 p.m.

Fans will also be treated to a Family Fun Zone prior to Saturday’s weigh-in from noon to 3 p.m. at the Mt. Shasta Mall. There will be a drawing for a $500 mall gift card and drawings for rod and reel combos will be held every 30 minutes during the event. Activities in the Family Fun Zone include a Ranger boat simulator and assorted fishing-themed games. All activities are free and open to the public.

Coverage of the Lake Shasta tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS. “FLW Outdoors”, will air April 11 from 12:30 to 1:30 ET. “FLW Outdoors,” hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide.

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.

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