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September 2004 US Open and October 2004 Lake Havasu Pro/am

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The following two articles were done for the purpose of giving others on this site an idea of what was used to catch fish in a tournament. Tournament fishing is the best. For those of you out east, I hear BASS is giving the combined weight format a shot, I highly recomend one as a starter.

What these two articles dont show, is the amount of time spent on the water and the amount of water covered to figure out the when, where , how and what's days before the tournament. Imagine if you can, throwing a spook for 2 days with its hooks all bent in and watching fish blow up on it cast after cast or tossing a worm on a drop shot and feeling that tap or pressure and having the self control not to set the hook (harder, if it is your hand poured worm).

I hope you enjoy,

2004 Wonbass U.S. Open

?A back seat perspective?


If you were told by anybody, even the best pro?s on the circuit fishing the US Open that you were going to catch ten pounds a day on Lake Mead but come in second, you would laugh that person out of the room. That is exactly what happened during the Open to Brent Ehrler.

Lake Mead is a different fishery every day of the year. Even those who fish it almost daily have troubles locating fish two days in a row let alone three. That just tells you how good Aaron Martens and Brent Ehrler really were to dominate the field of local and national Pro?s.

My view took place from the back of a different boat all three days. My goal was to win the Open as a triple A and the first place prize of a new boat. I had several days of pre fishing under my belt thanks to pro Eric Brewer and my team partner Brad Davis. I was in my mind tuned in to what I needed to help out, a few Lucky Craft Sammy?s, A couple of Bettencourt Baits custom made poppers, 1 Zara Super Spook, 4 Norman Crank baits (all the same color in different sizes), 2 packs of Yamamoto hula grubs, ? dozen Fat Ratz jigs in the color brown and purple with zoom trailers and after all said and done, 5 packs of four and one half inch roboworms.

With my knowledge of Lake Mead I was sure that a limit a day was obtainable. As an amateur you have no say where to fish you get in sit down and fish as hard as you can. I had figured 5 rods to handle my selected tackle and if anything 200 cast each rod each day should put 5 fish in the boat. By the time day three was over, it took 3 simple methods to put 15 fish in the boat and just about every hour of fishing time each day to do it, at least for my Pro?s and myself.

On Day one I drew Greg Warne, we had a very disappointing first stop. Three fish blow up on top water one lost at the boat, one missed the bait and a short fish. By 2 o?clock we have two keepers both caught by Greg on a Carolina rigged pumpkin reaper. By 2:30 we have 4 keepers, I managed 2 on a drop shot with a 4.5 inch oxblood red flake roboworm. With 30 minutes to go Greg has one stop to put the fifth fish in the boat, he does this with a drop shot worm and we end up with 6.66lbs.

On Day two I draw Fred Roumbanis and we run to an area in Greg?s Basin. His direction was to throw top water all day in a run and gun. As he would cast his top water, I would cast a drop shot to the points ahead of us and wait as he rounded them, four of our fish came this way on a 4.5 inch oxblood red flake roboworm and the fifth came on the top water. Together we caught 10 fish but only the five we weighed for our 6.75lbs kept and for the second day the last keeper came right before weigh in.

Day three came with incident as my pro withdrew for medical reasons and I was paired with Jaime Cypher?s. I have fished with Jaime before and I knew a day three limit was in reach. By 8:30 we had three keepers in the boat, one on a Lucky craft lipless, one on a drop shot four inch purple power worm and a small mouth on a drop shot 4.5 inch oxblood red flake roboworm. Excited that we may have a limit early, we go till noon without another fish. We ran to six places without a bite. At noon we head back to where the first three came and in one cast Jaime gets number four. As I net the fish I notice my rod bouncing, I set the hook and Jaime nets number 5 with number 4 still in the net. The rest of the day we managed to cull one of the keepers for our 8.08lbs.

Personally I had a great tournament, As for Martens, I hear he used 4.5 inch roboworms in the red crawler color and purple power worms. Brent Ehrler used a Lucky Craft Gunfish. As for the 15 fish I was fortunate enough to weigh with my Pro?s, eight came on the 4.5 inch oxblood red flake roboworm, two on a pumpkin reaper, two on a Lucky Craft lipless bait, one on a purple power worm, one on a 4 inch worm unknown and one on a top water.


Wonbass Lake Havasu Pro/am

?Qualified for the Western Classic with FatRatz Jigs?

Only the top 25 amateurs from the north and south qualify for the Wonbass Western Classic. For the second year in a row, I am fortunate to be going only this year with the help of a jig made by FatRatz lures.

After four tournaments and three dismal finishes I made it into the Western Classic. It was the fourth and final tournament and sitting in twenty second place, I had to have another top 40 to squeak into the Classic. I ended up 4th and both days only catching five weighable fish each day, skyrocketed to 9th place overall for the year.

This is where FatRatz Lures comes into play. He supplies me through the Tackleunderground.com website with spinner baits and jigs. If you have seen his Spinners you know his talent, just picture the jigs. He made me several colors and this particular tournament called for a brown and purple with a zoom super chunk trailer in the color cinnamon.

On day one Things started off great with a nice fish off a frog first thing. Within two hours we had one more frog fish and a small mouth off of a strike pro top water bait. That was it, for the next four or five hours we went without a bite. For those of you who tournament fish, this is where you start to get nervous and scramble. We decided to run to the backs of coves and look for the yuckiest water we could find (a little secret I learned a year ago) in the tulle?s and flip. Within 10 minutes we had a 3.21lb and a 2.5 lb fish ending our five fish limit for 11.06 lbs good for 7th place.

Day two was an exciding day for me as I had a great draw. For those of you who know who Aaron Martens is, well I drew his maker Carol Martens. We had a great day and again managed to boat our only five keepers. Carol started us off with a solid 2.5lb small mouth on a 4.5? roboworm. After 20 minutes without another bite we head to her second spot. I manage a squeaker small mouth of 13? for less than a pound on a 6? oxblood roboworm and lose another at the boat. Two casts two bites and one fish. My third cast on Carol?s Small mouth point was huge, a 3.51lb small mouth. We ended up catching one more keeper off that point.

Like day one, time started to go by and no fifth fish. Carol said she had another spot and off we went. The worm bite died and in the very back of a cove I had to try, I flipped my jig to a bush and felt the thump. Our fifth fish came on Ratz jig. We ended the day with five fish losing another five fish with a respectable 9.33 lbs. On a sad note, I weighed my first dead fish in four years of tournament fishing. Why do I thank Ratz, two fish, both the fifth fish each day and in my mind the hardest to boat for 5.5lbs?

I want to again thank TU and it members Nathan, Chris (Al?s Worms), FatRatz and all the others who have provided me with tournament quality baits. TU is a special site, especially when I can call with an idea and have it made, you can?t buy that in a store.

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