Castro Valley's Smith Leads Wire-to-Wire, Wins Costa FLW Series Western Division Event on Clear Lake presented by Evinrude - Major League Fishing

Castro Valley’s Smith Leads Wire-to-Wire, Wins Costa FLW Series Western Division Event on Clear Lake presented by Evinrude

California Boater Bests 100-boat Field to Earn First Career Victory, $76K
Image for Castro Valley’s Smith Leads Wire-to-Wire, Wins Costa FLW Series Western Division Event on Clear Lake presented by Evinrude
Bryant Smith Photo by Kyle Wood.
September 30, 2017 • FLW Communications • Archives

LAKEPORT, Calif. – Boater Bryant Smith of Castro Valley, California, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 12 pounds, 8 ounces to lead the event wire-to-wire and win the Costa FLW Series Western Division event on Clear Lake presented by Evinrude. Smith’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 53 pounds, 15 ounces, was enough to earn him the win by an 8-pound, 6-ounce margin and the first place prize package worth $76,271, including a new Ranger Z521C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.

“Believe it or not, I didn’t sleep much last night,” said Smith, who earned his first career Costa FLW Series win as a boater after four prior top-10 finishes. “I had a 6-pound lead to start the day, but we’re on Clear Lake and that’s one fish here. I knew the caliber of anglers that were behind me and I knew that they were going to catch them. To come out of here today with my first win is pretty special.”

Smith said that he caught all of his fish throughout the week on a green-pumpkin and watermelon-colored Yamamoto Senko, wacky-rigged with a 3/32-ounce nail weight in the tail.

“I was fishing docks all over the lake, as many as I could hit, casting to every single piling,” Smith said. “I think the key for me was my efficiency – precision casting with a Dobyns Champion 734C rod. I was fishing slow, but doing it very fast.”

Smith estimated that he caught around 80 to 90 keepers on the Senko throughout the week.

“I’m usually the guy who throws reaction baits,” Smith said. “I’ve gotten my butt kicked so many times by guys slowing down and throwing Senkos. I put that one rod in my hand this week and pitched to every dock piling that was in front of me.”

The top 10 pros on Clear Lake were:

1st:          Bryant Smith, Castro Valley, Calif., 15 bass, 53-15, $76,271

2nd:         Clayton Eslick, Gilroy, Calif., 15 bass, 45-9, $12,140

3rd:         Yamamoto Baits pro Jimmy Reese, Witter Springs, Calif., 15 bass, 44-7, $9,321

4th:         Kyle Grover, Trabuco Canyon, Calif., 15 bass, 43-11, $7,768

5th:         Ken Mah, Elk Grove, Calif., 15 bass, 43-9, $6,991

6th:         Wayne Breazeale, Kelseyville, Calif., 15 bass, 43-9, $6,214

7th:         Clayton Meyer, Henderson, Nev., 15 bass, 41-13, $5,437

8th:         Travis Huckaby, Modesto, Calif., 15 bass, 41-4, $4,661

9th:         Richard Dobyns, Marysville, Calif., 15 bass, 41-1, $3,884

10th:       Gerry Johnson, Modesto, Calif., 15 bass, 39-5, $3,107

A complete list of results can be found at

David Maes of Sparks, Nevada, caught a bass weighing 9 pounds even Friday to win the Boater Big Bass award of $200.

Jeff Hardin of Chico, California, won the Co-angler Division and a new Ranger Z175 boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude outboard motor. Hardin earned his win with a three-day total catch of 15 bass weighing 40 pounds, 6 ounces. 

The top 10 co-anglers on Clear Lake were:

1st:          Jeff Hardin, Chico, Calif., 15 bass, 40-6, $27,133

2nd:         Jack Farage, Discovery Bay, Calif., 15 bass, 38-10, $4,027

3rd:         James Tate, Calabasas, Calif., 15 bass, 36-13, $3,141

4th:         Blake Dyer, Moraga, Calif., 15 bass, 35-8, $2,932

5th:         Rachel Uribe, Long Beach, Calif., 15 bass, 35-8, $2,356

6th:         Keith Bridges, Mission Viejo, Calif., 15 bass, 35-2, $1,963

7th:         Casey Dunn, North Highlands, Calif., 15 bass, 34-3, $1,571

8th:         Justin Rogina, Irvine, Calif., 15 bass, 33-5, $1,374

9th:         Shawn Nash, San Jose, Calif., 14 bass, 31-6, $1,178

10th:       Andrew Levy, Grover Beach, Calif., 14 bass, 30-7, $982

Hardin also caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Friday, a largemouth weighing 8 pounds, 5 ounces, and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $133.

The Costa FLW Series on Clear Lake presented by Evinrude was hosted by the Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. It was the third and final regular-season Western Division tournament of 2017. The next event for Costa FLW Series Western Division anglers will be the Costa FLW Series Championship, held Nov. 2-4 on Kentucky Lake in Paris, Tennessee, hosted by the Henry County Tourism Authority. For a complete schedule, visit

The Costa FLW Series consists of five U.S. divisions – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western. Each division consists of three tournaments with competitors vying for valuable points that could earn them the opportunity to fish in the Costa FLW Series Championship.

For complete details and updated information visit For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Costa FLW Series on Facebook at and on Twitter at

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FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 258 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit and follow FLW at FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube and Snapchat.

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