Hunter Schlander of Modesto enjoyed a big day on the delta last weekend.
Schlander weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 13 ounces, on Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Western Division Tournament off Bethel Island. His three-day total of 15 bass weighing 57 pounds, one ounce, was enough to earn him $81,668, including a new Ranger Z5 18C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.
“I feel like I’m on top of the world right now – this is incredible,” said Schlander, who earned his first career win in FLW Series competition. “Most of my fish this week were post-spawn. They wanted to be in some grass and some current.”
Schlander said he had two primary patterns each day of the event. In the mornings, he worked a Delta Craw-colored Lucky Craft Silent Fat BDS Crankbait along riprap-filled backs. In the afternoons, he flipped a Yamamoto Senko worm near tule points.
“I had three backs where riprap would run down to the bottom and meet the hydrilla five to six feet offshore,” Schlander said. “I positioned my boat between the two and ran a crankbait as close as I could to the grass, in anywhere from four to six feet of water. Right where the two intersected on the bottom was where I wanted the crankbait – it’s what seemed to produce the most bites.”
I feel like I’m on top of the world right now – this is incredible.
Schlander said his first stretch of bank was mid-lake, while his other two were farther south as he followed the outgoing tide.
“Once the tide fell out, I couldn’t put my boat in the shallow water, so I headed back north to some tule island points,” he said. “The points were near Franks Tract (Recreation Area), and I was just able to slow down with a Watermelon Red-colored Senko to catch my fish.”
Schlander said the Lucky Craft crankbait and the Yamamoto Senko were the only two lures that produced for him during the tournament.
“I probably caught 60 keepers this week, and only had two rods on my deck,” he said.
Placing second was Robert Lee of Angels Camp ($14,409) and Stephen Tosh Jr. of Turlock was fourth ($9,267).
The FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing fishermen of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money across five tournament circuits.