The Eastern Washington University Eagles finished in sixth place this weekend at Lake Shasta. This was the first stop for the FLW College Fishing Western Division. Nine teams caught their limit of five fish while many of the remaining teams struggled to put together an efficient strategy.
The University of Oregon took home first place with 7 pounds, 6 ounces. Nick and I felt confident about our limit of spotted bass (5 pounds, 11 ounces) but quickly realized that our finish was going to be tight. As most of you know, bass fishing comes down to total weight – ounces are usually the deciding factor.
We were pushed out of the top five spots by two ounces. Dropping to sixth place meant lost rewards for our EWU team and an automatic entry into the FLW Western Series Regional Championship. While we failed to make the top five, our success and eagerness to succeed came from our strategy – to fish a lake we had never seen and come out with a five fish limit.
Our tournament day was also the third and final day of the Everstart series . Big FLW names such as Cody Meyer, Richard Dobyns, Jason Milligan, and the Lake Shasta champion, Jeff Michels battled on day three. Michel’s three day total was a whopping 36 pounds, which led second place by 8 pounds, 1 ounce.
Lake Shasta is a beautiful lake that is unlike anything I have seen or fished. I am confident that we will continue our drive to succeed; we have three more lakes to get a top five finish in order to qualify for the Regional Championship. Next up is Lake Roosevelt, located in Payson Arizona with the tournament being held on February 19, 2011.
Lake Shasta Breakdown
My partner and I received many tips from fellow anglers. Some were professional anglers and a few were friends and acquaintances. Since this was my very first tournament, I wanted to share what worked for us out on the water.
Date: January 15, 2011
Water: Lake Shasta
Clarity: Clear with 30ft visibility
Air Temp: 70 degrees
Water Temp: 49-51 degrees
Go To Bait: Roboworm Drop Shot
Line: 6-8 lb fluorocarbon
The drop shot was the key presentation at Lake Shasta for filling the limit of five fish. Many anglers then upgraded to larger Senkos for bigger bites. Soft Plastics seemed to carry the winning teams that focused on points, cuts, and other areas of the lake that often had warmer water temperatures or provided transition areas for fish.
A Big Thanks
First I need to thank my partner Nick for a great time. We put a lot of hard work into getting ready for the tournament and we both put in hours and hours of driving. Looks like a plane ticket might be in order for the next go-round.
Dave was our pro angler who volunteered his time and his Ranger boat for the tournament. We paired up with Dave and was delighted to have such a professional mentor on hand. We couldn’t have asked for a better class act.
Ron Hobbs Jr.
I have watched Ron on FLW prior to meeting him this weekend, and I must say I have been impressed with all of the pro anglers. A big thanks to Ron for his input and suggestions and his friendly manner.
I had no clue that Tami was fishing Lake Shasta but have had contact with her over the past year because I enjoy keeping an eye on her website and tournament success. I quickly introduced myself and refreshed her memory as to who I was; thanks Tami for always keeping a minute open to talk!
An EWU alumni who offered several bait suggestions for finesse fishing and someone who continues to write about his own experiences from Florida. Check him out for some outstanding content.
A great angler from Oregon who also suggested a few techniques for Lake Shasta. I did not get to use all of Colby’s advice but he has had great success and continues to impress the online community with his results.
FLW and The National Guard
From the volunteers to the official staff, these two organizations put on one heck of a tournament. They provide a window of opportunity that anyone should take advantage of if you are heading into college. These guys know how to run an unforgettable show.
From my wife to my parents, my family is my number one priority. I am only able to fish because of their support and will undoubtedly continue to show my appreciation. Love you guys!
Last But Not Least
Thanks to all my friends who tuned in to watch the FLW weigh-in. This was a memorable experience that I will continue to build upon and it’s nothing without the friendships along the way. Stay tuned for more!