Uribe By An Ounce - Major League Fishing

Uribe By An Ounce

Bridgford pro earns second Western Division win of the year
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Joe Uribe Jr. pulls out a giant. Photo by Matt Pace. Anglers: Joe Uribe Jr., Jody Jordan.
October 17, 2015 • Jody White • Archives

After Jody Jordan of Vacaville, Calif., weighed 24 pounds, 5 ounces to push his total past 66 pounds in the final round of the Rayovac FLW Series Western Division event presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake, the crowd waited with bated breath for day-two leader Joe Uribe Jr. to bring his fish to the scale. As Uribe transferred his third bass from the bag to the scale, he shook his head and whispered back “you’ve got it,” to a watchful Jordan.

The next two bass Uribe pulled were so big they surprised even Uribe. Everyone knew it would be close. Moments later, it was over.

For the second time in 2015, the Arizona veteran closed out a Rayovac FLW Series win in grand fashion. His day three weight of 22-2 gave him a total of 66 pounds, 10 ounces – just an ounce more than Jordan.

On stage, Uribe lamented the fact that he had given Jordan (who won the Rayovac FLW Series event on Clear Lake in 2013) and his family false hope prior to weigh-in, but the sorrow felt at disappointing a friend and competitor didn’t last forever, as Uribe had much to be savor. Having won the season-opener at Havasu as well as the Angler of the Year title, Uribe has truly had an incredible season.

“I’m still on cloud nine,” says Uribe. “When I lost those two fish (earlier in the day), I just thought that was my sign and I’d get them next time. I’ve lost by ounces before and that’s a tough deal. God was on my side, that’s all there is to say.”

Uribe turned in a consistent performance all week, never weighing less than 20 pounds and craftily making slight location and pattern adjustments to take and then retain the lead.

He relied heavily on a both a Lucky Craft LV 500 and RC 1.5 the first two days, but he added a Texas-rigged Big Texan-colored Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver to the mix on the final day when every ounce counted.

“Today we had some wind on my starting spot, which made it a little bit tough to fish,” details Uribe. “I caught quite a few there, but they were all small fish. Later on I ran around some and ended up slowing down and that helped. I picked up the crankbait again around noon and lost a good one and then went back to where I started in the morning and they were there.”

For Uribe, “slowing down,” meant taking a cue from co-angler winner Rick Grover, who had fished painstakingly slowly all week. Fishing many of the same shallow, rock and dock-studded banks Grover targeted with the crankbait, Uribe pitched and cast his 3/8-ounce Texas rig to nearby grass clumps and saved his day.

“I think the fish had just moved around a little and wanted it slower,” speculates Uribe. “Most of our fish were still shallow, only in like 2 to 5 feet of water.”

Earlier in the week when Uribe was throwing the crankbaits more, he was making 20 or more specific casts to particular pieces of cover. Be it a shade line, rock, dock pole or clump of grass, Uribe was able to aggravate the fish into biting by really hammering on them.

Uribe used a 6.3:1 Daiwa Tatula 100H for his crankbaits and his Texas rig. He used Daiwa J-Braid with a Sunline fluorocarbon leader and a medium heavy-power, fast-action Daiwa Tatula baitcaster for the Texas rig. For the crankbait, which he threw on a custom cranking rod from Performance Tackle, Uribe also chose Daiwa J-Braid with a 12-pound test Sunline fluorocarbon leader.

The next stop for Uribe is Paducah, Ky., and the Ohio River for the Rayovac FLW Series Championship. With the conclusion at Clear, Uribe and the rest of the top 40 anglers in the Western Division are eligible to compete against the best from the other four Rayovac FLW Series divisions for a big payout and the chance to qualify for the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup.


Top 10 pros

1. Joe Uribe Jr. – Surprise, Ariz. – 66-10 (15) – $28,851 and a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower outboard

2. Jody Jordan – Vacaville, Calif. – 66-9 (15) – $11,180

3. Mark Crutcher – Lakeport, Calif. – 62-9 (15) – $8,655

4. Jim Hawkes – Apache Junction, Ariz. – 59-15 (15) – $7,213

5. Bryant Smith – Castro Valley, Calif. – 58-15 (15) – $6,666

6. Jimmy Reese – Witter Springs, Calif. – 55-4 (15) – $5,770

7. Kerry Harris – San Jose, Calif. – 55-3 (15) – $5,049

8. Marco Valdez – Gilbert, Ariz. – 52-8 (14) – $4,328

9.  Chris Franks – Petaluma, Calif. – 52-6 (15) – $3,606

10. Carl Keller – Hidden Valley Lake, Calif. – 49-8 (14) – $2,885

Complete results