By Jody Only
LAKEPORT, Calif. – A full field of 300 anglers blasted off at the 11th annual WON Bass California Open on Clear Lake this past Wednesday. As the west coast bass battle ensured, Nathan Phillips of Cobb, Calif. found himself atop the leaderboard each and every day of the event, (28.48 – Day One, 25.56-Day Two, 22.30-Day Three), landing him at 76.34 for his tournament total. For his wire-to wire win, Phillips will take home a grand prize package valued at $67,500 that includes a Bass Cat Sabre FTD fully-rigged with a Mercury 150 ProXS.
A trio of baits were responsible for Phillips’ catches, and they included a plastic, a jointed glide bait and an exclusive bait from Clear Lake Outdoors.
The runner-up position went to lake local Jackson Juarez from Kelseyville. Juarez had a stellar start and finish, bookending his three days of fishing with limits of 24.69 and 26.62. Although he made a good run at it, his middle day weight of 16.87 kept him out of the win by more than eight-pounds.
Juarez also named three baits for their prowess this week – a lipless crank, a glide bait and a ripbait. His payout was $15,000.
Fellow California pro Daylon Smith from Frazier Park rounded out the top-three with a three-day weight of 64.70. Smith showed only one bait that mattered – a seven-inch Yamamoto Senko.
The AAA crown went to Troy Mays of Ione, Calif. for sacking up 14.69, 16.41 and 26,62. The AAA win paid $6,000 for the 57.72 that won.
The only eight-pounder of the tournament was brought in by AAA Ethan Hammer of Peoria, Ariz. His 8.24 fell to a handmade, 3/8-ounce jig with a brown skirt. He will receive Big Bass money.
Full results of the event by day, including draw partners and big bass of each competition day can be found here.
For more on the Clear Lake fish-off and other WON Bass fishing events, stay tuned to Western Outdoor News.
The final event of the WON Bass season is the U.S. open at Lake Mohave October 16 – 18. Register here.