Wrapping up their three-day stop on Lake Shasta the premier event of the 2011 FLW EverStart closed the scales with the Northern California pro that led day one still on top of the leaderboard.
With average haul of 12 lbs a day for the Nor Cal angler, Jeff Michels of Lakehead made finding the big ones in Shasta look easy.
Leading the top-10 cut after the first two days on the water Michels held on to his lead and finished this EverStart stop more than 8 lbs above the competition. Even after the other nine pros weighed in on day three, Michel’s day two weight was enough to get him the crown. To make it official the weigh master put his day 3 limit on the scale and added his final 6.00 on bag to his tournament total.
With most of the pros finding it a challenge to find fish over two lbs, Michels reflected, “Out of the 30 lbs of fish I caught the first two days, 18 of those lbs came on three fish.” The big lead that his first two days offered was reassuring for the fisherman but not a guarantee that his smallest bag of the tournament would hold him top spot at the scales today.
His three day total of 36.00 earned Michels his second EverStart win, a fully rigged 198VX Ranger boat prize package, $35,000 cash and the Big Bass award for day one and day two. He attributed his success in finding his fish to a Swimbait he used in pre fish when locating his spots. The actual catching he credited to Senkos, Mother’s Finest worms and Dry Creek tubes. Michel’s stated, “This will be the third Ranger, I have now.”
Sitting in second and trailing Michels by 8.01, another Nor Cal pro from Yuba City, Richard Dobyns came to the scales with 7.00 for the day bringing his tournament total to 27.15. Targeting a variety of depths over the course of the three days Richard, the younger of the famed Dobyns fishermen found day two and three more difficult than day one; when he was able to reel in a 13.06 bag of bass. Claiming Senko’s and Roboworms as his bait of choice, Dobyns has had an inspiring showing on Shasta, cashing a $12,000 check today in this circuit; preceded by a fourth place cash and Big Fish check last Sunday in another trail.
Also ending the tournament on the plus side of 27 lbs, Shasta local, Jason Milligan brought in an 8.13 bag, bringing his three-day total to 27.01 and landing him in third place. With a list of fave baits that included the ever popular Yamamoto Senko and a Damiki worm, Milligan took home $10,000 for his finish. When asked about the competition over the week, the Shasta Lake resident stated, “Anytime you can catch three giants on Shasta, you set the bar pretty high and Jeff did.” Thrilled to have the FLW on the West Coast, Milligan shared that as an 8-year-old boy he fished his very first bass tournament on this lake with his granddad, Ed who was present in the audience for this weigh-in.
Remarking that his deficit of 13 lbs was a big hill to climb on this lake, Cody Meyer of Grass Valley came to the stage with the biggest bag on the day at 9.05. His largest limit for the week brought him to 26.05 and was enough to bounce him up the leaderboard to a fourth place showing. Catching 20-25 fish each day on Brown Sugar Phenix Football Jigs and Jackall Flick Shake worms, Meyer targeted fish in the Pit and trees in 20-feet of water.
As tough as some found the fishing on Shasta, Oakley pro Charlie Almassey claimed it was ten times better than the bite has been on the Delta and he was happy to be fishing the lake. Declaring his best bait as the Senko, Almassey relived the story of getting a 2 plus to bite while trying to shake his snagged drop shot rig from the rocks. After several minutes of shaking his rod, he felt a grab and his tungsten weight break free. Reeling it in he found he had caught the fish but lost the weight; a good trade for the 2 1/2 lbr that helped bolster his bag to a fifth place finish.
The rest of the top-10 cut left Shasta looking like this:
- 24.10 Young Yang – Los Angeles, CA
- 23.15 Howard Hughes – Redding, CA
- 23.10 Rob Bass – Redding, CA
- 22.60 Ken Phillips – Antioch, CA
- 18.30 Jim Hawkes – Apache Junction, AZ
For a list of all 150 finishers, visit the FLW website.
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