Wright Changes Tactics To Win FLW Event On Clear Lake
Jay WrightGary Mortenson/FLW
Jay Wright of Seal Beach, Calif., weighed in a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 74 pounds, 5 ounces to win an EverStart Series Western Division tournament
on Clear Lake this past weekend. Wright brought five bass
weighing 26 pounds, 11 ounces to the stage on the final day to seal the $26,155 victory.?We got here on Sunday and it was 90 degrees and there were bed fish everywhere,? said Wright, who made his first top-10 cut and won his first major tournament. ?You could catch 30 pounds in your sleep. But then things started to change and a major cold front was predicted so I knew I had to find another pattern, I knew those bed fish wouldn?t last.?On Tuesday I was able to find some staging fish on dock poles and rock piles,? Wright went on. ?I tried using a big swimbait; the bass would follow it but they wouldn?t eat it.A major cold front rolled through on Wednesday evening bringing gale force winds and rain. Wright indicated that water temperatures cooled off six to eight degrees depending on where you were on the lake. He was right, bed fishing was over.?On Thursday you couldn?t see the bed fish any longer due to the wind and rain,? Wright continued. ?I caught all my fish with a 6-inch Robo Worm around dock poles, rock piles and tules. The second day the big swimbait finally worked. I caught six bass with it. However, my big 7-pounder came drop-shotting a worm.?Today conditions were perfect for me. It was sunny with just enough wind to make the bass eat my big swimbait. It was amazing. I think the biggest thing for me was being able to stay in the tournament mentally. I stayed calm and stayed with my plan and it paid off.?This is an amazing feeling,? Wright went on. ?We work so hard for this and put in so many hours I can?t even describe how I am feeling. I wouldn?t be able to do this without the support of my family, friends and co-workers, I am truly blessed. And I especially want to thank my old hockey coach Reg Dunlap who taught me to never stop swinging for the haymakers.Rounding out the top 10 pros were:2nd: Wayne Breazeale, Kelseyville, Calif., 15 bass, 73-3, $8,9673rd: Mark Crutcher, Lakeport, Calif., 15 bass, 72-10, $7,4374th: Paul Bailey, Kelseyville, Calif., 15 bass, 70-13, $6,7265th: Jimmy Reese, Witter Springs, Calif., 15 bass, 70-11, $5,9786th: Troy Lindner, Los Angeles, Calif., 15 bass, 68-13, $5,2317th: Tony Franceschi, Livermore, Calif., 15 bass, 68-4, $4,4848th: Mark Casey, Fairfield, Calif., 15 bass, 66-12, $3,7369th: Greg Gutierrez, Red Bluff, Calif., 15 bass, 66-8, $2,98910th: Charlie Weyer, West Hills, Calif., 15 bass, 63-1, $2,242Troy Lindner caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Pro Division Friday ? a 7-pound, 12-ounce bass ? that earned him the day?s EverStart Series Big Bass award of $194.Seventeen-year-old Travis Bounds of Roseville, Calif., won the Co-angler Division and a Ranger 177TR with an Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor and a with a three-day total of 14 bass weighing 61 pounds, 7 ounces.Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:2nd Jack Farage, Discovery Bay, Calif., 57-14, $3,5913rd Mike Rychard, Anderson, Calif., 57-4, $3,1924th: Gary Morris, Tracy, Calif., 56-11, $2,7935th: Carl Limbrick Jr., Bonita, Calif., 53-4, $2,3946th: Jared Frantzich, Sacramento, Calif., 53-0, $1,9957th: Daniel Leue, Colusa, Calif., 49-0, $1,5968th: Gary Haraguchi, San Jose, Calif., 46-13, $1,1979th: Phil Risnes, Hartford, S.D., 45-9, $79810th: Kevin Gray, Hermiston, Ore., 41-2, $767Kevin Gray caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Thursday ? an 8-pound, 15-ounce bass ? that earned him the day?s EverStart Series Big Bass award of $129.The EverStart Series consists of five divisions ? Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of four tournaments and competitors are vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Strike King Angler of the Year title. The top 40 pros and co-anglers from each respective division will qualify for the EverStart Series Championship that will be held on the Ouachita River in Monroe, La., Nov. 1-4.The Clear Lake tournament marked the fourth and final event in the Western Division. Pro Jeff Michels of Lakehead, Calif., earned the Strike King Angler of the Year title and Daniel Leue earned the Co-angler title. Michels will receive $5,000 for the award and Leue, who made all four top-10 cuts in the Western Division, will receive $2,000.