FLW Western Everstart Shasta
What a tournament by Jeff Michels. He caught some giants and had the experience to put together the fish to go with them. Any tournament at Shasta I expect to see his name up top, he's a great fisherman and really dialed in on the bite.
The bite was as tough as I'd ever seen it at Shasta. In practice I was stoked to catch my limit and even then I was only catching 7-7.5lbs a day. I really had no expectations of doing well in these event, but I kept my mind open to changing conditions and continued to try and figure the fish out. In practice I caught them most on the flick shake worm, but I also threw a Roboworm and a Rago SKT swimmer a bit. I didn't feel like I had a consistent bite on anything but the flick shake so I decided to stick with that.
Day 1 went much better than practice. I caught a limit pretty easily and then went after some bigger fish with the new jigs I designed for Phenix baits. After years of making my own jigs I was finally able to work with a company that let me really customize the bait to my liking and in fact they made them better than I ever could. The specific jig for day 1 was the Brown sugar color. I threw it for quite some time and just slowly upgraded throughout the day. Culling fish at shasta can be tough because a lot are cookie cutters, but in this tournament I knew each oz mattered so I really took my time. My weight for the day was 8lbs 4oz and it sat me at 25th.
Day 2 I felt like I understood the fish a little better and I keyed in on some really specific structure. The fish were chewing the flick shake and it was a lot of fun. I really didn't do anything special, just kept the bait in my hands fishing one very specific pattern and it resulted in 8lbs 12oz which squeaked me into the top 10. I was stoked; I caught my best bag of fish since I had been at Shasta and I was confident I could catch around the same day 3. I knew I couldn't catch the leader, but if everything went right I figured jumping up a few places would be a possibility.
Day 3 I fished the same areas as day 2. Day 3 was so much fun. When you put together the puzzle fishing becomes much more fun and much more relaxing. After getting my limit on a green pumpkin candy flick shake worm, I mixed in the jig a bit to try a get some better fish. I constantly upgraded through out the day and after it was all said and done I weighed in 9lbs 5oz and jumped into 4th place.
Looking back on the tournament I was very pleased with the way I fished and it was a great way to start the year. I had been working so hard this offseason that I barely fished at all and it was nice to dust off the cobwebs with a good tournament.
As always I have to thank my sponsors who allow me to go fish hard and provide me with great equipment to do so. Thanks to Jackall baits, Powell Rods, Eye Surrender, Berkeley, Abu-Garcia, Monster Fishing tackle, and my newest sponsor Phenix baits.