Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2 - Major League Fishing

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

Mixed fishing leads to a super-tight top 10
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Mark Crutcher cranks the shoreline early on day two. Photo by Matt Pace. Angler: Mark Crutcher.
October 16, 2015 • Jody White • Archives

When the scales had closed after the second day of the Rayovac FLW Series Western Division tournament presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake, no doubt more than a few anglers breathed a sigh of relief that they were still in contention. With fishing that was anything but consistent for most, there had been almost constant turnover in the standings of the top anglers. Going into the final day, the same thing is likely as a mere 4 pounds, 1 ounce (barely anything on Clear Lake) separates first from tenth. Some weather might be on the way that will complicate things even further.

Uribe’s leading pattern

Top 5 patterns from day one

Complete results


2. Mark Crutcher – Lakeport, Calif. – 44 pounds, 2 ounces

Crutcher’s day one pattern

After striking for 29-9 on the first day, Mark Crutcher of Lakeport, Calif., could only rustle up 14-9 in the second round. Nonetheless, he’s sitting just six ounces off the lead on his home waters – not a bad place to be.

“I think I caught one shallow cranking on my third cast,” says Crutcher. “It was almost a 4-pounder and I thought ‘man, it’s on today,’ but I never got another bite doing that.

“I went to punching around 11 o’clock and I caught a lot of fish and culled up to what I had, but I just never got another big bite. I tried shallow cranking and deep cranking and punching and none of it worked.”

The forecast for Saturday calls for perhaps some rain and certainly more clouds than were seen all of the first two days. Crutcher is hoping the change will play into his hands.

“With the weather coming tomorrow, I’ll need to adapt and do quite a bit of changing. My plan is to throw reaction baits and fish shallow and cover a ton of water and do or die shallow.

“I think it’s anybody’s ballgame tomorrow and that’s the way we like it at Clear Lake,” continues the local pro. “It’s all about getting one or two of the right bites. I’ll use 20 years of experience here and see what happens.”


3. Jody Jordan – Vacaville, Calif – 42 pounds, 4 ounces

Jody Jordan earned a Rayovac FLW Series win on Clear Lake at almost exactly this time just two years ago. Right now, the Vacaville, Calif., pro is in the hunt to do it again.

Though Jordan describes himself as a deep cranker, he’s put his fish in the boat with a real mixed bag of techniques thus far. Through two days, he reveals that a jig on shade lines, a deep crankbait and flipping grass has all contributed to his weight.

“If the weather changes I’m hoping the crankbait bite gets better,” says a cool and collected Jordan. “Clouds are never bad for crankbait fish and if we get wind that’s even better. My flipping fish are in a real isolated area. If we get wind or cloud cover that could hurt me. I need to really target specific parts of the grass.”


4. Jim Hawkes – Apache Junction, Ariz. – 42 pounds, 2 ounces

It’s been a game of adjustments so far for Arizona pro Jim Hawkes. After changing up midway through the first day and popping a jig on rock for his bag, Hawkes needed to scrap that approach entirely on day two.

“Believe it or not every fish I caught came on a Biffle Bug today,” says Hawkes. “I was just slow-reeling it though the same areas I fished the jig yesterday and they bit it.”

For Hawkes, the Gene Larew Biffle Bug worked so well that he had his limit by 11 a.m. and even culled after that. With a new bait in hand and confidence in his areas, Hawkes is feeling good about fishing the final day – especially because he expects to have his places to himself.


5. Bryant Smith – Castro Valley, Calif. – 41 pounds, 15 ounces

Leveraging his local knowledge has been the ticket so far for Castro Valley, Calif., pro Bryant Smith.

“Yesterday I caught most of my weight early on a crankbait,” reveals Smith. “I found a school in practice and caught a couple and then did the same thing at another spot.

“Today was a lot slower. I didn’t get bit at the two morning areas I had the bites on yesterday. I had to adjust a lot. I ended up just junk-fishing. I caught six keepers all day, but one of them was barely 12 inches. I just ground it out shallow, just sticking with it and fishing what’s in front of me.

“I don’t know about tomorrow,” Smith muses. “It sounds like everything is going to change. I’ll have to run all new stuff again. I fish here a bunch and I know the lake pretty well – I’d rather have a pattern, but I’m comfortable running around too.”