Future Pro Tour Classic Recap
We had some big shoes to fill returning to this event as last years champions but we were ready for the challenge.
Danny Cross and Team Partner Dugan Wilson
The 2015 Season TOC this weekend was a split venue held at lake Oroville for 2 days and the final (top 15) carried over to Bullards Bar for the final day.
We prefished the whole week for the event. We started day one of prefish in the south arm, found decent size fish but the bite was just very slow on that side and water clarity was very bad. Mid day, we ran to the middle fork and found a decent bite in the waterfalls. We consistantly were catching good size fish for Oroville standards and lots of them were at every waterfall. My partner, Dugan Wilson, even caught a 4lb german brown out of one of them on a spinner bait!! We were catching fish on anything finnesse but found that a senko was the most productive.
Day 2 of prefish we decided to explore this pattern we had found and perfect it a bit. With that said, we decided to head to the north end of the lake. Our theory behind this is that we might bump our head on a largemouth up there and these falls would have less pressure considering they were a further run for the 100 boat field. We spent the whole day scouring every bit of shoreline marking falls. We would fish every one for a bit and we picked out our best 5 and considered these to be our “milk run” come tournament day.
Day 3 of prefish we went back to the south arm just to check and make sure nothing had changed, and to explore a bit of the main body. We did catch some fish but not near as consistant of what we found up north. So our plan was set.
Tournament Day 1: We made the run to our first fall where we had a limit within the first hour and bounced around from each of our most productive falls as the day went on slowly culling our way up. Mid afternoon we decided to start fishing the outside points and shorelines leading to the falls with an arig. A few casts in I caught our kicker fish, a nice 5lb largemouth! This was good enough for 3rd big fish of the 2 days at Oroville. Now about this fish…. I consider this fish a gift and here’s why. I like to throw my arig from shallow to deep and bring it up the points, but with the heavy winds my rig was blown around the point and my line was now going across all the rocks on dry land. Rather than drag and fray my line across the rocks, I got on the trolling motor and got to the tip of the point. With time to sit and sink, my rig was now hung up. So I continued on the trolling motor and got right on top of my rig in 6 ft of water and was yanking on it. Finally, after a few hefty jerks it busted loose. I got about one turn of the reel after it broke loose and a saw a huge flash and my rod doubled over. We couldn’t believe what just happened and that it yielded a 5lber at Oroville!! We ended day one in 5th place with 13.02 lbs.
Tournament Day 2: We did the same thing as day one but decided to start with the arigs and fill the bag later. We knew that was a good choice when Dugan stuck a 2.5 lb largemouth as our first fish. We then worked some more falls and got our limit and added a nice 3.05 lb spot out of one of them. Day 2 finished up with 11.87 lbs and we moved up to 2nd place and made the top 15 cut for day 3 at Bullards Bar.
Tournament Day 3: Bullards bar!!! I cringe at the sound. Between Dugan and I we spent 12 days here the last 2 months in preperation for the next 8 hours we had out here. This body of water can pump out some giants, but figuring them out has been a bit of a challenge for us. We knew the tournament was going to be won here. We kept our heads held high regardless of our past experiences but unfourtunaltly we only found two small fish. We weighed in around 5lbs for 2 fish and finished 7th overall.
As mentioned, we were using neko rigged senkos. Color didnt seem to matter but our top choices were silver flash and watermelon with red flake. We also found that putting scent on them was more productive, Bass Dynasty craw flavor was our choice. The two arigs we were using were the eco tungsten and the yum flash mob jr paired with 3.3 and 3.8 kietechs in silver flash color.
We had a blast spending the week with all of our FPT friends and making some new ones. Despite the abundant amount of rain and wind we endured we enjoyed every moment on the water. We would like to give a special thanks to Sacramento Black Rifle for the support throught the season. Also to RB Bass, Monster Fishing Tackle, River2Sea, Big Bass Dreams, Bass Dynasty, Reelspeed, Dobyns Rods, and Eyesurrender. We also want to give a huge congrats to fellow RB Bass member Austin Wilson and partner Shane Pierson on the win this weekend!!