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They’re Biting up at Clear Lake!

Got back from the WON Bass Pro-AM at Clear Lake last night. Fished with boater Shawn Lee on Saturday, keying in on chunk rock with jigs and drop shot, to put 21.7 in the boat and good for 9th place after day 1. We had a good limit by 8:45 and kept culling little by little, but never got the huge bite we needed to separate ourselves from the pack.

On day 2 I fished with local pro Brian Bailey. We grinded all day, putting some smaller fish in the boat early on drop shots and flick shakes. Most of our better fish came on frogs later in the day fishing the backwaters. Ended up  hooking myself in the leg with a Lunker Punker past the barb as I kneeled to net one of Brian’s fish over a dock. Used the braid wrapping trick to yank it out very successfully and quickly and got back to fishing. We ended the day with 18.3, unable to get the big bite.

I ended up finishing the tournament in 20th place with just over 40lbs.. The standings were very tight with just over 42lbs for 10th place and 44 for 5th.

If you don’t know how to remove a hook from your skin, I suggest you look up “removing a fishing hook from skin” on youtube and watch a few videos. Having done it before made it a quick and harmless process for me, even with a fairly larger hook.

Some of the baits that were working for us were:

6″ Roboworm Margarita Mutilator/Morning Dawn w/ a Roboworm Rebarb hook.

Snag Proof Ish’s Phat Frog in Cali and Buck Nasty. (darker bodies)

 

Wishing I was Fishing

I can’t stop thinking about going fishing. I started working full time at a winery in Napa, CA just over three weeks ago. Needless to say, I haven’t been able to swing by the lake as much as I would like to… The winery I work at is situated just above Lake Hennessey, so I’ve been keeping 3-4 rods in the truck (more then I need) in true bass angler fashion. Short trips after work have been satisfying some of my hunger to get out on the water, but I’m going crazy for a tournament.

This past Saturday, my former roommate and OBT teammate, Nick Doring and I headed to the Delta. We hit the road at 5:30 in the morning, rushing to beat the light. I was relieved to find the boat fired
up nicely after sitting around for weeks.

We fished some areas around Frank’s tract and little franks, focusing on current around breaks in the tules. We ran into our good friend Carter Troughton and his father Greg, who had their day cut short by a trolling motor issue, but not before we watched each other pull in dink after dink. It was a dinky day. Tournament fish, keepers, toads, pigs, whatever you want to call them, were far and few between. We ran down to Little Mandeville, fishing inside on the incoming tide and around the flowing current breaks on the south end. Nick was able to bring a largie just short of five pounds into the boat and another one around two pounds. It was a small moment of victory to finally get some “Real fish” into the boat on what was a rather relaxing day on the water. It was just what I needed… but I still have the itch.

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I have a lot of video footage from Berryessa and the Delta I’m trying to piece together. Until I get it up and going into the new year, I will be trying to post more frequently. As of now, I am planning on fishing the FLW Everstart series as a co-angler next year, as well as enter some WON pro-am events. Come the new year, I really won’t be thinking about anything other then fishing.

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From Oregon back down to California

In June, I graduated from the University of Oregon, where I spent four years of my life learning, meeting new people, and of course, having a blast fishing tournaments and hanging out with the guys on the Oregon Bass Team. Just recently I moved down to Napa, California, forty-five minutes north of where I grew up in Marin county. In the last week I’ve been on a fishing frenzy, after a short hiatus consisting of figuring out my life and moving from another state.

On Tuesday I went on a solo afternoon run of Lake Berryessa, fishing it for my third time, and first time over more then a couple hours. After helping a family jump start their boat at the ramp only to figure out the alternator clearly wasn’t working, I figured out some new water and was able to put 11-12 fish in the boat, including a smallmouth, spotted bass and largemouth bass, with the biggest fish being a largemouth just over three lbs caught on a Lucky Craft gunfish. I was pretty surprised to get into a mid afternoon topwater bite on the gunfish, landing several decent spots and largemouths on point breaks in the Narrows. The species diversity of Berryessa makes a fun lake to fish, and fairly unique in my mind compared to Oregon, where spotted bass are pretty limited, and the ability to catch all three species in a day isn’t common. At only a 40 minute drive away from my house, I see myself spending a lot of time on this body of water.

First smallie on berry.

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Caught a bunch of these toads.

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Large on the gunfish.

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On Wednesday 8/10, I went out with former Oregon Bass Team president Carter Troughton on his home water, the CA Delta. I’ve had good success in the past in the FLW college circuits, finishing in the top 5 three out of four times, but I’ve never had a chance to fun fish it, or mess around trying new tactics. Carter put us on fish right away, putting on a clinic with a black a red jig in the early morning, flipping to docks and the inside weedline along rip rap. We switched over to cranks and spinnerbaits and pulled in some decent fish throwing to tule points with flowing water. We caught fish on jigs, drop shots, spinnerbaits, cranks and t-rigs, but were not able to find any sort of topwater bite. I had a blast catching some jig fish on a flipping stick using braid, after using a more of a finesse approach for the most part in Oregon. I’m hoping to get back on the Delta tomorrow and practice punching weed mats, with the summer sun cooking away. I had several odd catches during the day. The first with my worm being dragged behind the boat as I had my entire spool out of the reel, as my line managed to get between the spool and the frame somehow. As I was untangling my line I felt a tug, popped my spool back in and set the hook with my sideplate off and reeled in a 10 inch fish. Later on as I was untangling a line wrap at the tip of my rod, I felt another tug and set the hook by pulling on the line, hand lining a decent 2lb fish to the boat. Carter caught our big fish for the day, around 3 1/2 lbs, blind casting a T-rig out in front of the boat while we were using the trolling motor to move from one bank to the other. We ended up with easily over 35 fish, with the best 5 somewhere around 13 1/2-14 lbs. The Delta’s diversity and uniqueness give an addicting quality that I’m going to have trouble staying away from.

Carter’s boat on Frank’s

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Carter joking around in the SwaggerBass tee

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Thursday, I got up at 530 to head to the Berryessa one more time for a solo run, hoping to find that early morning topwater bite that everyone seems to reference with the lake. I slept through my alarm several times as some friends back at the U of O, decided to keep calling me from the bars. As I debated sleeping in a little bit longer, I thought of braid screaming with my topwater disappearing below the surface, and quickly packed into the truck. I checked out the same spot I had good success on during the afternoon on Tuesday, only to find out the fish weren’t having it. I wasted a few hours stubbornly in the Narrows (off the main lake), before deciding to make a run and fish some deeper main lake rock points. I consulted my topo map and consulted my electronics, running from point to point, allowing me to put 4 decent largemouth in the boat. Once again the big fish was only 3.07 (after he spit up about a 6 ounce shad?). It was a tough grind out on the water, and I was beat after a couple hot days in the sun, so I called it quits around 2.

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It was a great first week of fishing (with more to come) during my first week back in California. With most tournament circuits wrapping up, I’m excited for next years season, and upgrading to a bigger boat before the end of the year. I’m going to start working harder to document some more of my fishing with my GoPro video camera and keep you updated. Until then check out some of my footage on my youtube page @reedfrazierfishing. Tight lines.

Cottage Grove Grind

The OBT held its fourth annual late winter/early spring tournament on Cottage Grove Lake (20 minutes south of Eugene) this past weekend. With the cold weather refusing to give way to spring sun, the fish are a little behind with water temperatures just barely reaching the low 50′s. Ten members of the OBT headed out for a 7:30 launch, with members of the Emerald Bass Club volunteering their boats and time to help take out a new wave of OBT members. Fishing was tough for just about everyone not named Chris “The Entitled One” Parks, and Freshman FLW Qualifier Kyle Schneider. The two racked up five fish for just over 16 pounds, with four of their fish coming right off the bat, using crankbaits and drop shots. After the first two hours, as per usual at Cottage Grove, the bite shut off and the mental grind tested the patience of everyone out on the water leading into the 3pm weigh in.

Anglers reported catching fish on the flats, breaks in depth and deeper water up to 25-30 feet. All of the fish caught were of good size, averaging almost three and a half pounds. The top boater and student were awarded with their choice of a rod from IROD, paid for by the OBT. Third place received a package of plastics from WAVE fishing.

The Results (for those who weighed in a fish):

1. Schneider 9.12 (3 fish)

2. Parks 6.14 (2)

3. Johnson 4.08 (1)

Crowl 4.05 (1)

Myers 4.03 (1)

Rocky 4.01 (1)

Parks Sr. 3.15 (1)

Frazier 3.13 (1)

Things are heating up.. but not really

With spring supposedly around the corner, although we seem to constantly be waiting here in Oregon, bass fishing is just starting to heat up on the local lakes. While we don’t have to deal with ice outs here on the west coast, I certainly have not spent as much time on the water as I’m used to this winter. Last tuesday was the first time I took out my boat and headed down to Cottage Grove Lake, twenty minutes south of Eugene, OR. After a smooth launch, with the ramp just barely in the water, my roommates Nick “Hookset” Doring and Jonathan “Yonny” Weiland, and I headed out amongst the floating debris caused by the raising water. We launched late, just past four o’clock, after rushing to the lake with my roommate getting out of work around three. After running the boat up and down the lake we settled down on the trusty rock wall, and put a couple fish in the boat with the drop shot; a yearly ritual. As my friend jokes, “Wall. Dropshot. Repeat” The OBT will have its first tournament of the year at Cottage Grove Lake on April 9th.

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