Hobbs Jr. Leads Walmart FLW Series Event on Columbia River

Category: press release

 Jun 25th, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Jun 25th, 2009 at 12:00 AM

UMATILLA, Ore. (June 25, 2009) – Ronald Hobbs Jr. of Orting, Wash., caught three bass weighing 7 pounds, 15 ounces Thursday to retain his lead in the FLW Series National Guard Western Division event on the Columbia River in Umatilla, Ore., with a two-day catch of eight bass weighing 25-10.

“I wish I hadn’t stumbled that hard,” said Hobbs, who has won more than $108,000 in FLW Outdoors events. “I wish I could have caught a limit. I got five bites today. I saw a ton of fish and a ton of big ones. There’s plenty of fish in the area.

“Things could have gone the other way and I could have had 17 pounds,” Hobbs added. “It was a matter of two bites. If I would have set the hook two more times and hooked up, you would have seen another 15 pounds at least.”

For the second day of competition, Hobbs said he duplicated his day one strategy. Hobbs said he locked through and made another 75-mile one-way run to his fish. Hobbs said he’s fishing a drop-shot rig in 3 to 5 feet of clear water with a Sniper Lures Snub, which is a 4 1/2-inch soft plastic bait that Hobbs described as a “magnum do-nothing rib worm.”

“I’m there, I just have to catch them,” Hobbs said. “I just hope for no wind so I can make the run again.”

Hobbs’ overall weight equaled that of second-place pro Joseph Caporuscio of Coto De Caza, Calif., who managed to haul in a total of 10 bass weighing 25-10 during the first two days of competition, but tournament rules state the tie is broken by the angler with the largest day’s weight. Hobbs’ day one weight was 17-11 and larger than Caporuscio’s day one or day two weights.

“Today was a fun day today,” said Caporuscio, who is fishing the Columbia River for the first time. “I caught eight keepers today. I caught my biggest fish on my last cast with not even five minutes to go and came right in. Hopefully I can go back tomorrow and catch some more.

“It’s a little spot,” Caporuscio added. “There’s not a lot of fish in there. I could catch eight pounds, five pounds or I could catch 15.”

Caporuscio said luck may be playing a part in his success. He said he set the hook on one fish, but his line snapped and he lost his drop-shot rig and plastic worm. He threw back at the fish and caught it and ended up getting back his broken-off drop-shot rig. Twenty minutes after that, he lost a 2-pounder under the boat, waited a few minutes, then cast back to the fish and caught it.

“It’s like I can’t do anything wrong,” Caporuscio said. “Between that and the fish at the end of the day today, I’m stoked. I can’t get this smile off of my face. It’s crazy. It’s insane.”

Rounding out the top five pros are Ron Mace of Kennewick, Wash. (10 bass, 25-0); Marc Lippincott of Spokane, Wash. (10 bass, 24-6) and Bobby Barrack of Oakley, Calif. (10 bass, 22-15).
Kyle Maughs of Willits, Calif., earned the day’s $283 Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 2-pound, 10-ounce bass.

Overall there were 350 bass weighing 581 pounds, 7 ounces caught by pros Thursday. The catch included 52 five-bass limits.

Gary Haraguchi of Brentwood, Calif., leads the Co-angler Division with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 20-5 followed by Chad Leblanc of Sutter, Calif., in second place with 10 bass weighing 18-6.

“I definitely had another blessed day today,” Haraguchi said. “It was pretty rough out there today. I mixed it up with a little bit of reaction and finesse and managed to catch five keepers.

“I pretty much just made a decision of what to throw when we pulled up to each spot,” Haraguchi added.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Taylor Parsons of Sutter Creek, Calif. (10 bass, 17-7); John Thompson of El Granada, Calif. (nine bass, 17-2) and Toby Farkas of Woodland, Calif. (10 bass, 16-11).
Paul Aznarez of Las Vegas, Nev., earned $189 for the Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 4-pound, 11-ounce bass he caught while fishing with pro David Kromm of Kennewick, Wash.

Overall there were 258 bass weighing 394 pounds even caught by co-anglers Thursday. The catch included 28 five-bass limits.

Anglers will take off at 6:30 each morning from Umatilla Marina and RV Park located at 1710 Quincy in Umatilla. Friday’s weigh-in will be held at Umatilla Marina and RV Park 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 is taking 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.

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