Fishing News

Yamaha Pro Justin Lucas Wins Bassmaster® Elite on Sacramento River

Posted 5/4/2015


SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 4, 2015 – Yamaha Pro Justin Lucas grew up fishing the famed California Delta, and that experience proved invaluable Sunday, May 3.  Re-visiting several favorite spots he had not fished in more than a decade, Lucas brought 16 pounds to the scales the final afternoon to win the Bassmaster® Elite tournament on the Sacramento River.  He finished with a four-day total of 82 pounds, 14 ounces.  Fishing his second season in the Elites after three years on the FLW pro circuit, it is his first tour-level victory.

“It was not as easy as it might sound,” noted Lucas, who now lives in Alabama.  “The bass were up shallow spawning, but a lot of fishermen were trying to catch them, so they became more and more difficult to catch as the tournament progressed and the tide schedule changed.  My 16-pound catch on Sunday was my lowest total of the tournament, but I’ll gladly take it.”

Yamaha Pros dominated the event, taking seven of the top 12 positions.  Dean Rojas finished 3rd with 78 pounds, two ounces.  The Arizona angler took over the B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year lead, and hopes to add to that lead this week as the Elite Series visits his home water, Lake Havasu, for the fourth Elite tournament of the 2015 season. 

Fellow Yamaha Pro Chris Zaldain claimed 5th with 71-11.  Zaldain, who, like the majority of anglers in the tournament made the 70-mile run down the Sacramento into the California Delta, took the lead the first day with a stunning catch of 30 pounds, seven ounces.  His haul was anchored by a 12-pound largemouth, the heaviest bass of the tournament and the largest in Elite competition this season.

He was followed by Bobby Lane, 6th, 69-10; Clifford Pirch, 7th, 69-8; Keith Combs, 10th, 69-1; and Ken Lyhobe, 11th, 67-15.

The California Delta, located between Stockton and San Francisco, is considered one of the premier bass fisheries in the United States. It is a maze of nearly a thousand miles of shallow, man-made canals fed by five major rivers.  Getting lost is only one of the problems the pros faced during the tournament.  The other challenge was daily tidal fluctuations of four-to-five feet, which impacted both the movements and feeding patterns of the fish.

“It did take a little getting used to the tides,” admitted 10th place finisher Keith Combs.  “When the tide is right, and as far as the bass are concerned that could be either a high or low tide, you can catch 20 pounds of fish in five casts.  It’s that spectacular.”


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