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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

June 24, 2009 at 5:47 PM

FLW bass competition comes to the Columbia River this week

Some of the big stars of the bass fishing world have converged to the FLW Series National Guard Western Division Tournament being held today through Saturday on the Columbia River in Umatilla, Oregon.

Orting pro angler Ron Hobbs Jr. holds the top spot on the day one leader board with five bass totaling 17 pounds, 11 ounces.

Hobbs holds a slight edge over Joseph Caporuscio of Coto De Caza, Calif., who weighed in five bass weighing 13 pounds, 12 ounces.

“I just kind of went all out today,” Hobbs said in an FLW news release, who is fishing in his third year of FLW Series competition. “I heard it’s going to blow tomorrow, and if the wind blows it’s going to be a son of a gun fishing where I’m fishing tomorrow.”

Hobbs said he locked through and made a 75-mile one-way run to his spot. Hobbs had just a mere two hours to catch his fish.

“I caught all of those fish in an hour,” Hobbs said. “It was bam-bam-bam. Then I left. I also stopped at a couple of spots and tried to prefish a couple of spots. If the wind comes up, I don’t know if I can do it again. It will add another half hour to my run.”

Hobbs said he found his fish on the last day of practice. He said he’s fishing 3 to 5 feet of clear water and can see every fish he casts to.

“A couple are on beds, but most aren’t,” Hobbs said. “I’d see them and they’d eat (the bait). It’s as easy as that.”

Hobbs said he caught most of his fish on a Sniper Lures Snub, which is a 4 1/2-inch soft plastic bait. He also caught two fish on a weightless soft-plastic stickbait he drifted through current.

Other finishers are: Marc Lippincott of Spokane (five bass, 13-11); Cody King of Island City, Ore. (five bass, 13-8) and Cody Meyer of Redding, Calif., and Ken Wick of Star, Idaho (both with five bass, 13-6).

Wade Headrick of Draper, Utah, earned the day’s $283 Big Bass award in the Pro Division with a 5 pound bass.

Overall there were 386 bass weighing 699 pounds, 15 ounces caught by pros Wednesday. The catch included 63 five-bass limits.

Gary Haraguchi of Brentwood, Calif., leads the co-angler division with five bass weighing 11-15, and John Thompson of El Granada, Calif., in second place with five bass weighing 10-13.

Other co-anglers on the leader board are Scott Burke of Oakdale, Calif. (five bass, 9-11); Chad Leblanc of Sutter, Calif. (five bass, 9-3) and Robert Flowers of Roy (five bass, 8-4).

Thompson earned $189 for the Big Bass award in the co-angler division with a 3-pound, 11-ounce bass.

Overall there were 275 bass weighing 409 pounds, 13 ounces caught by co-anglers Wednesday. The catch included 31 five-bass limits.

The event is held at the Umatilla Marina and RV Park, 1710 Quincy in Umatilla. Anglers leave the start at 6:30 a.m. each day. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-in will be at 2:30 p.m. Saturday’s weigh-in will be held at the Walmart Store, 1350 North 1st St. in Hermiston, Ore., beginning at 4 p.m.

Children can enjoy the Family Fun Zone prior to Saturday’s weigh-in from noon to 4 p.m. at Walmart. All activities are free and open to the public.

In FLW Series competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers.

For more information go to the FLW Outdoors Web site.

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