Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 09/30/2017

Story and photo courtesy of FLW Communications

LAKEPORT, Calif. – Boater Bryant Smith of Castro Valley, California, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 12 pounds, 8 ounces to lead the event wire-to-wire and win the Costa FLW Series Western Division event on Clear Lake presented by Evinrude. Smith’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 53 pounds, 15 ounces, was enough to earn him the win by an 8-pound, 6-ounce margin and the first place prize package worth $76,271, including a new Ranger Z521C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.

“Believe it or not, I didn’t sleep much last night,” said Smith, who earned his first career Costa FLW Series win as a boater after four prior top-10 finishes. “I had a 6-pound lead to start the day, but we’re on Clear Lake and that’s one fish here. I knew the caliber of anglers that were behind me and I knew that they were going to catch them. To come out of here today with my first win is pretty special.”

Smith said that he caught all of his fish throughout the week on a green-pumpkin and watermelon-colored Yamamoto Senko, wacky-rigged with a 3/32-ounce nail weight in the tail.

“I was fishing docks all over the lake, as many as I could hit, casting to every single piling,” Smith said. “I think the key for me was my efficiency – precision casting with a Dobyns Champion 734C rod. I was fishing slow, but doing it very fast.”

Smith estimated that he caught around 80 to 90 keepers on the Senko throughout the week.

“I’m usually the guy who throws reaction baits,” Smith said. “I’ve gotten my butt kicked so many times by guys slowing down and throwing Senkos. I put that one rod in my hand this week and pitched to every dock piling that was in front of me.”

The top 10 pros on Clear Lake were:
1st: Bryant Smith, Castro Valley, Calif., 15 bass, 53-15, $76,271
2nd: Clayton Eslick, Gilroy, Calif., 15 bass, 45-9, $12,140
3rd: Yamamoto Baits pro Jimmy Reese, Witter Springs, Calif., 15 bass, 44-7, $9,321
4th: Kyle Grover, Trabuco Canyon, Calif., 15 bass, 43-11, $7,768
5th: Ken Mah, Elk Grove, Calif., 15 bass, 43-9, $6,991
6th: Wayne Breazeale, Kelseyville, Calif., 15 bass, 43-9, $6,214
7th: Clayton Meyer, Henderson, Nev., 15 bass, 41-13, $5,437
8th: Travis Huckaby, Modesto, Calif., 15 bass, 41-4, $4,661
9th: Richard Dobyns, Marysville, Calif., 15 bass, 41-1, $3,884
10th: Gerry Johnson, Modesto, Calif., 15 bass, 39-5, $3,107

A complete list of results can be found at

David Maes of Sparks, Nevada, caught a bass weighing 9 pounds even Friday to win the Boater Big Bass award of $200.