Day two of the Costa FLW Series presented by Minn Kota on Shasta Lake confronted the competitors with horrible weather and a lot of opportunity to move up, as many of the leaders faltered. In fact, half the members of the top 10 weren’t in it after day one of the Western Division 2016 inaugural. One of the replacements is Greg Gutierrez, who took over the lead with a two-day total of 27-2 and is ahead of second-place Richard Dobyns by 2 pounds, 7 ounces.
Read about Gutierrez’s leading pattern here.
2. Richard Dobyns – Marysville, Calif. – 24-7 (10)
After pacing the field with 16-2 on day one, Dobyns caught a small limit on day two that was good enough to put him in second place and within striking distance of leader Gutierrez.
Perhaps more than anyone else, Dobyns was hampered by the strong wind and waves that dominated the morning weather.
“I had to make a big adjustment and head way up the river as far as I could go to scratch out a limit,” says Dobyns. “Finally the wind broke a little bit and I bailed out and went back out to the main lake and that was where I caught all my weight. But all in all the weather just killed everything.”
Though the California pro relied on moving baits and finesse offerings on day one, he was unable to garner any kind of reaction bite on day two.
3. Bryant Smith – Castro Valley, Calif. – 24-6 (10)
Buoyed by the big fish of the tournament so far – a giant 7-2 spotted bass he caught on day one – Bryant Smith also had a decent second round. He brought in 9-9 on day two to keep himself in the hunt.
Day one saw Smith running and gunning points, but the program changed on day two.
“It was the same plan until the wind started blowing,” recalls Smith. “I just had to find some protected water and start from scratch again.”
Starting from scratch for Smith meant junk-fishing out of the wind, and a spinnerbait, crankbait and Senko provided most of his weight.
“A little wind would help tomorrow [Saturday’s championship round], but I think I’ll have to slow down more,” speculates Smith. “It kind of got post-frontal after a while today, and I couldn’t get the reaction fish to go at all.”
4. Jeff Michels – Lakehead, Calif. – 24-2 (10)
One of the favorites heading into the event, Michels showed off his knowledge of Shasta by running all over a sizeable amount of it to improve from 20th to fourth on day two.
“Both days I ran way up the Sac (the Sacramento River arm), and both days I didn’t catch anything up there. Then I went back to the Squaw Creek arm,” reveals Michels. “Yesterday I caught about 35 fish on a crankbait up there, and today I caught about two on it. But, I found a couple key areas and slowed down with a Keitech swimbait and a Senko.”
After ditching the Squaw Arm and heading all the way back into the Sac with a solid limit in the livewell, Michels again struck out. Then he wound up catching his biggest fish of the day on a Senko within sight of takeoff.
“I dunno what the plan is tomorrow, whichever way the boat is pointed is the way I’m gonna go,” says Michels. “I’ve won here before, and it was great and I was on them big and knew I could contend for the win. This time I had a terrible practice, but it would be quite a bit more special to win because I’ve had to make a lot of adjustments and do things I usually don’t do.”
5. Miles Howe – San Juan Capistrano, Calif. – 23-5 (10)
Howe, who finished second in the Western Division AOY race in 2013, threw a swimbait for an impressive 16-1 on day one but was unable to replicate that success two days in a row.
“I was expecting the bite to be similar to yesterday, when I was throwing nothing but swimbaits and everything I caught was big,” says Howe. “Today I went in the same area and threw the same bait, but the fish I caught were about the size of the bait.
“Tomorrow I’m going to live in that general area. The fish are still there; I just might have to change up my techniques a little.”
Format: All boaters and co-anglers will compete for two days. The top 10 boaters and co-anglers based on cumulative weight after two days of competition will advance to the third and final round, with the winner in each division determined by the heaviest cumulative three-day weight.
Takeoff Time: 7:00 a.m. PT
Takeoff Location: Bridge Bay Resort, 10300 Bridge Bay Road, Redding, Calif.
Weigh-In Time: Days 1 and 2 at 3 p.m.; Day 3 at 3:30 p.m.
Weigh-In Location: Bridge Bay Resort, 10300 Bridge Bay Road, Redding, Calif.