The fall of 2018 will stand out as a milestone season for Pacifica, Calif., co-angler Jacob Traba. In a span of just a few weeks, he won the Costa FLW Series Western Division finale on the California Delta, earned the Western Division Strike King Co-angler of the Year title and won the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Guntersville.
All that success has Traba considering pursuing professional fishing from the front of the boat, but for now he’s sticking to his day job as a helicopter mechanic in the U.S. Coast Guard.
“It doesn’t seem real,” says Traba of his championship victory this week.
He started the tournament fishing in the back of the boat with South Korean angler Junghan Kim. Traba caught a 4-pounder on an umbrella rig early on, but then he lost a good keeper on the rig and broke off the only rig he had in the boat. A keeper caught on a Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap and a third on a drop-shot gave him 7 pounds, 6 ounces.
Fishing with eventual eighth-place pro Terry Tucker, Traba soared up the ranks on Saturday with a five-bass limit worth 16-6, which was the second best by a co-angler this week.
“Today went a lot better,” he says. “I think I had a limit by 9 or 10 o’clock. I kept upgrading from there.”
The umbrella rig was Traba’s tool of choice again (he brought a backup this time) and produced all of his fish.
For his win, Traba earned a prize package worth $30,000.