Clear Lake wasn’t her normal self for the final stop of the Costa FLW Series Western Division presented by Evinrude, but there were still plenty of fish to be caught – just not the size anglers are accustomed to. Less grass and dirty water have the bass in a funk, but these top-10 pros adjusted well and earned their final positions this week. Below is a look at how the top pros enticed bites from tough Clear Lake conditions.
1. Tournament winner Bryant Smith committed his entire event to pitching a wacky-rigged Yamamoto Senko around docks on a 3/0 Decoy Cover Finesse HD Worm 220 hook with a 3/32 ounce nail weight.
2. Finishing second, Clayton Eslick did most of his damage with a Lucky Craft LV 500 and a Lucky Craft LC RTO 2.5 in crack black (with Trapper Tackle Standard Round Bend treble hooks) . He also caught fish on a drop-shot.
3. Third-place pro Jimmy Reese threw a 3/4-ounce football head jig with a prototype Yamamoto creature bait, a 1/2-ounce War Eagle spinnerbait and a Frenzy Baits Nail Shakey Head with a Roboworm Fat Straight Tail (Margarita Mutilator).
4. Punching was the ticket for Kyle Grover using a Strike King Rage Bug on a 4/0 Gamakatsu Super Heavy Cover Flippin’ Hook with a 1-ounce weight.
5. Ken Mah used a Bill Lewis Echo 1.75 with Trapper Tackle Standard Round Bend treble hooks and flipped a Big Bite Baits Yomama to take fifth place.
6. Sixth-place Wayne Breazeale caught his fish on a drop-shot with a Roboworm Straight Tail worm and a 3/4-ounce white/blue spinnerbait. He used Powell Max 3D rods, which Keith Bryan (owner of Powell) brought to the event to replace all of the rods Breazeale had broken after shipping them back from a recent trip out east.
7. A Lucky Craft LV 500 lipless crankbait helped Clayton Meyer earn seventh place.
8. A mixed bag of flipping jigs, squarebill crankbaits and drop-shots landed Travis Huckaby in his first top 10.
9. Finishing ninth, Richard Dobyns caught his fish on a 1/2-ounce chartreuse/white Pepper Custom Baits spinnerbait and a wacky-rigged green pumpkin/watermelon Yamamoto Senko.
10. Gerry Johnson claimed the 10th-place spot by pitching a Texas-rigged Zoom Brush Hog and a 1/2-ounce Sculpin jig with a cinnamon/black flake Yamamoto Double Tail Grub.