Charley Almassey of Oakley, California, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 15 pounds, 1 ounce Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Western Division event on the California Delta presented by Power-Pole with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 60 pounds, 1 ounce. For his win, Almassey earned $32,880.
“I was totally taken by surprise when I had enough to win today,” said Almassey, who pushed his FLW career earnings to more than $130,000. “I consider the Delta my home waters and know what a great fishery it is. To come away with the win this week is really unbelievable.”
Almassey said he caught his fish throughout the week by targeting spawning flats where bass and bluegill were spawning. Each day he would run the tide, following the low tide south to Discovery Bay, a run which he estimated between 20 to 25 miles. He targeted weed clumps that looked ‘good’ – sparse patches with tules that had limited amounts of angel hair grass.
“I was throwing at patches that had the wind blowing into it,” Almassey said. “I’m a reaction bait fisherman; the nastier conditions the better.”
Almassey credited three baits for his success this week – a bluegill-colored Bobby D’s Custom Baits Grinder paired with a watermelon-candy-colored Assault Lures Ringer paddle-tail swimbait, an ABT Lures Glide Bait and a 3/8-ounce Blade-Runner Weedless Paddle Head Swim Jig with a 4.8-inch green-pumpkin Keitech Swing Impact FAT.
“I was only catching 8 or 9 keepers a day,” Almassey said. “I was not messing with little fish this week and was on a big-fish-only pattern. I think that was the key for me this week. My local knowledge definitely helped as well – I knew where the big fish were.”
The top 10 pros on the California Delta were:
1st: Charley Almassey, Oakley, Calif., 15 bass, 60-1, $32,880
2nd: Mike Birch, Oakley, Calif., 15 bass, 58-8, $12,959
3rd: Roy Hawk, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 15 bass, 56-13, $9,864
4th: Robert Lee, Angels Camp, Calif., 15 bass, 55-0, $8,220
5th: Michael Caruso, Peoria, Ariz., 15 bass, 53-5, $7,398
6th: Bobby Barrack, Oakley, Calif., 15 bass, 52-8, $6,576
7th: Harvey Pulliam, Brentwood, Calif., 15 bass, 50-1, $5,754
8th: Bryant Smith, Castro Valley, Calif., 15 bass, 49-1, $4,932
9th: Benjamin Byrd, Moab, Utah, 15 bass, 48-6, $4,110
10th: Dane Mitchell, Lake Charles, La., 15 bass, 48-5, $3,288
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Birch caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division Thursday – a largemouth weighing 10 pounds, 11 ounces to earn him the day’s Big Bass award of $300.
Aaron Agner of Redding, California, won the co-angler division and a Ranger Z117 with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor, with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 43 pounds, 8 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers on the California Delta were:
1st: Aaron Agner, Redding, Calif., 15 bass, 43-8, Ranger Z117 w/90-horsepower outboard
2nd: Justin Bolen, Paradise, Calif., 15 bass, 38-5, $4,150
3rd: Blake Leonard, Elk Grove, Calif., 14 bass, 36-4, $3,320
4th: Jack Farage, Discovery Bay, Calif., 15 bass, 36-2, $2,905
5th: Kevin Gross, Claremont, Calif., 15 bass, 34-14, $2,490
6th: George Edes, Boise, Idaho, 14 bass, 33-7, $2,075
7th: Rob Larrabee, Livermore, Calif., 14 bass, 32-10, $1,660
8th: Troy Diatte, Salinas, Calif., 13 bass, 32-4, $1,452
9th: Jake Stephens, Carmel, Calif., 15 bass, 32-0, $1,390
10th: James Tate, Calabasas, Calif., 14 bass, 31-2, $1,037
David Marroquin of San Leandro, California, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division Friday weighing 8 pounds, 14 ounces to earn him the day’s Big Bass award of $145.