Weyer Leads FLW Bass Fishing Tournament on the Delta
OAKLEY, Calif. (Sept. 25, 2009) - Pro Charlie Weyer of West Hills, Calif., caught a five-bass limit weighing 22-pounds, 5-ounces Friday to capture the lead in the FLW Series Division bass fishing tournament on the California Delta. With a three-day catch of 15 bass weighing 58-5, he holds a 3-pound, 5-ounce lead over his closest competitor, Rusty Salewske of Alpine, Calif., heading into the final day of competition.
"I've found a magical bank," said Weyer, who has not fallen below fourth place during the tournament. "I am fishing where the current is running all of the time which is key for me. It's about 3-8 feet deep, has a lot of grass, and bait fish; bluegill, shad, and even some crawfish."
"I've been punching for three days using Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver color 4.20," added Weyer. "I am also using a punch skirt which flares out and seems to be acting more like a crawdad."
Rusty Salewske fell to the No. 2 seed going into tomorrow's final round. He has a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 55 and has also been punching Sweet Beavers throughout the tournament.
"I had a few more bites today," said Salewske, who started the day in first place. "I just couldn't get any big ones. I had my limit by 9 a.m. and then it was a long afternoon!"
Rounding out the top five pros are Robert Lee of Angels Camp, Calif. (14 bass, 54-7); Team Dunkin' Donuts Coffee pro Brett Hite of Phoenix, Ariz. (15 bass, 53-5) and Ricky Shabazz of Rialto, Calif. (15 bass, 53-1).
Also clearing the top 10 cut weight of 50 pounds, 5 ounces in the Pro Division are Ken Mah of Elk Grove, Calif.; Chris Zaldain of San Jose, Calif.; Zack Thompson of Orinda, Calif.; Team National Guard pro Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif.; and Dee Thomas of Brentwood, Calif.
David Kromm of Kennewick, Wash., earned the day's $293 Folgers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to the biggest bass he has ever weighed in, a whopping 11-pound, 8-ounce bass he caught on a green-pumpkin Zoom Shakey Head Worm.
Overall there were 387 bass weighing 1061 pounds, 10 ounces caught by 89 pros Friday. The catch included 66 five-bass limits.
Pros are competing this week for a top award of $125,000 plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for a shot at the $2.5 million, 2010 Forrest Wood Cup.
JR Wright of Truckee, Calif., won the Co-angler Division and $14,341 Friday with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 39 pounds, 10 ounces followed by Dean Ziemer of Tracy, Calif., in second place with 13 bass weighing 31-4 worth $7,170.
Wright opened the tournament in first place Wednesday and never looked back. He opened with 5 bass weighing 13-13 while fishing with pro Rusty Salewske of Alpine, Calif. On Thursday he remained in first place with a powering 5-bass catch weighing 17-12 while fishing with pro Dee Thomas of Brentwood, Calif. He wrapped up the win Friday with a 5-bass catch weighing 8-1 while fishing with pro Dugan McIntosh of Palermo, Calif.
"I was a little disappointed and nervous about today's weight," said Wright, who was one of the first to weigh-in today. "I had a great draw all week and was able to fish with the best of the best. On Monday I started out punching which is something I just learned how to do. Tuesday, Dee Thomas and I just went fishin'. And today, I had to slow way down and make a lot of adjustments. We were fishing in cleaner water which was about 25 feet deep with a lot of tules. Not my best day, but ended up on top anyway."
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Tracy Patton (11 bass, 29-5, $5,378); Hideki Maeda of Sakai-City, Osaka, Japan (12 bass, 27-6, $3,585) and Gary Haraguchi of Brentwood, Calif. (14 bass, 27-5, $2,868).
Charlie Pearce of Tucson, Ariz., earned $195 for the Folgers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 8-pound, 15-ounce bass he caught on crankbait while fishing with pro Andy Scholz of Reno, Nev.
Overall there were 248 bass weighing 469 pounds, 11 ounces caught by 89 co-anglers Friday. The catch included 20 five-bass limits.
The 10 remaining pros will take off at 7 Saturday morning from Russo's Marina located at 3995 Willow Road in Bethel Island, Calif. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at the Walmart store located at 4893 Lone Tree Way in Antioch, Calif., beginning at 4 p.m. Children will also be treated to a Family Fun Zone prior to Saturday's weigh-in from noon to 4 p.m. at Walmart. 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.