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LAKEPORT — Todd Woods of San Dimas, Calif. weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Western Division event on Clear Lake presented by Mercury with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 77 pounds even. For his win, Woods took home $33,002.

“The past couple of days have been some of the best days of my life,” said Woods, who earned his first win in FLW Series competition. “I’ve been waiting a long time to win. I’m in complete shock right now.”

Woods said he spent the first day of the event fishing near Highway 20 in an area he called the “new lake break” – a unique structure formation where the lake’s old shoreline now rests under higher water.

“The shad were spawning near chunk rock on the bottom where the new water covered, and the bass were all over it,” he said. “The break was pretty far offshore, maybe 80 yards, and I ran parallel to it for about a mile. I primarily used a hitch-colored Basstrix Paddle Tail Swimbait. I also threw an umbrella rig, but only when I missed a bite or was in deeper water.”

Woods said he followed a similar pattern on day two, running the same stretch of water while rotating between the swimbait and umbrella rig.

“The only part of the pattern that was different was that the fish were isolated in different spots,” said Woods. “I’d catch one here and a few there. I was able to bring in 10 keepers.”

On the final day of competition, Woods said his day started out very slow – he had only five pounds in the livewell at noon.

“I almost blew the tournament today,” he said. “I had around five fish that were on beds marked, but I think someone had already caught most of them. I sight-fished for a while and then ran to a dock that was along my stretch from days one and two. By then I had about 11 pounds and knew I needed more. With 15 minutes to go, I noticed there were birds diving near a point that I hadn’t hit. I pulled up to it, used the Basstrix, and was able to boat a 5-pounder. I was truly blessed.”

Oregon wins college event at Clear Lake

The University of Oregon team of Ryan Habenicht of Creswell, Ore. and Daniel Marshall of Eugene won the FLW College Fishing Western Conference event on Clear Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 28 pounds, 8 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and advanced the team to the 2017 FLW College Fishing National Championship.

The huge 28-8 limit brought to the scale by the Oregon duo shattered the all-time FLW College Fishing record for heaviest one-day catch. The previous record was 26-15, shared by the University of Georgia and Tennessee Technological University.

“This is a huge accomplishment for our program,” Habenicht said. “It’s tough to raise money for club sports, so this prize will definitely help us down the road.”

Added Marshall, “To be honest, I didn’t know we had the win until our weight was called. To win this event makes a statement about the University of Oregon bass fishing team. It feels absolutely awesome.”

The senior business majors spent the majority of their day in a creek channel near the takeoff ramp. Habenicht said they each used a green-pumpkin Yamamoto Senko and fan-casted their way along the edges of cover.

“There was a lot of vegetation, and the bass were up on the edges of it because it’s been so warm,” said Habenicht. “Once the midday sun came out, it was like the bass came in waves. I bet we hit flurries every few minutes or so. Most of our biggest fish came between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.”

Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.

Habenicht said the team hit about a dozen spots in the channel and caught between 30 and 40 keepers.

“I fished a tournament here in late March and ended up doing really well,” said Habenicht. “The warm temperatures over the last few days pushed the fish out to where I was catching them in March, so that was a huge advantage for us.”

Marshall said the two finished out their day on the north end of the lake running docks and seawalls using Senkos. Around 1 p.m., they boated a 7-pounder – their biggest catch of the day.

“The big ones were up shallow on the seawalls and near the docks,” said Marshall. “With Ryan’s (Habenicht) knowledge of those key spots, we were really able to clean up. It was a great day.”

Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.

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