Hobbs Jr. Leads FLW Series Event on Columbia River
Category: press release
Jun 24th, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Jun 24th, 2009 at 12:00 AM
UMATILLA, Ore. (June 24, 2009) – Pro Ronald Hobbs Jr. of Orting, Wash., weighed in five bass weighing 17 pounds, 11 ounces to lead the first day of competition in the FLW Series National Guard Western Division event on the Columbia River in Umatilla, Ore. He now holds a 3-pound, 15-ounce lead over the closest competitor, Joseph Caporuscio of Coto De Caza, Calif., who weighed five bass weighing 13 pounds, 12 ounces.
“I just kind of went all out today,” said Hobbs, 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. The run left Hobbs with only two hours to catch fish, which turned out to be more than enough time for him.
“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,” Hobbs added. “It will add another half hour to my run.”
Hobbs said big Columbia River bass this time of year are scattered and anglers struggle to find concentrations of them. 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 that Hobbs described as a “magnum do-nothing rib worm”. Hobbs said he also caught two fish on a weightless soft-plastic stickbait he drifted through current.
“I’d fish something good and then I’d have to go fish something else good,” Hobbs said. “You can’t sit still when you only have two hours to fish. It’s so important to get as many casts as possible in that two-hour span. If they’re going to bite, they’ll bite. If they’re not, they’re not.”
Rounding out the top five places are Marc Lippincott of Spokane, Wash. (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 thanks to a 5-pound even 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 followed by John Thompson of El Granada, Calif., in second place with five bass weighing 10-13.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Scott Burke of Oakdale, Calif. (five bass, 9-11); Chad Leblanc of Sutter, Calif. (five bass, 9-3) and Robert Flowers of Roy, Wash. (five bass, 8-4).
Thompson earned $189 for the Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 3-pound, 11-ounce bass he caught.
Overall there were 275 bass weighing 409 pounds, 13 ounces caught by co-anglers Wednesday. The catch included 31 five-bass limits.
Anglers will take off at 6:30 each morning from Umatilla Marina and RV Park located at 1710 Quincy in Umatilla. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-in will be held at the marina beginning at 2:30 p.m. Saturday’s weigh-in will be held at the Walmart store located at 1350 N. 1st St. in Hermiston, Ore., beginning at 4 p.m. Children will also be treated to a 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.
Coverage of the Columbia River tournament, hosted by the City of Umatilla, will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS, the network which brings anglers the best fishing programming on television featuring the most-trusted authorities on the water. The Emmy-nominated “FLW Outdoors,” will air Aug. 2 from 11 a.m. to noon ET. “FLW Outdoors,” hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide, including internationally through agreements with WFN (World Fishing Network) and Matchroom Sport to such countries as Canada, Germany, China, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Hungary and the United Kingdom, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoor-sports television show in the world.
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. FLW Outdoors also took fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports, $10 million in cash and prizes. Sign up for Player’s Advantage for only $10 to get your edge and win.