Former Bassmaster Elite Series competitor Greg Gutierrez scaled a 13-05 sack on Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Western Division event at California's Lake Shasta with a 3-day total of 40-07.
“It feels really good to finally get that monkey off of my back and win an FLW event,” said Gutierrez. “I’ve won a few different tournaments in my life, and I’ve been close here, but the win has eluded me for a few years. I had a blast this week and could not be happier right now.”
Gutierrez said that he found bigger fish on the main lake in practice and decided to concentrate his efforts throughout the week there. He looked for transition areas, either red clay or chunk rock to gravel. He said he would cover water with a Duo Realis Spinbait 90, targeting shallow points. Once he got bit, he would slow down and thoroughly work the area with a 1/4-ounce Frenzy Baits NAIL, a shaky-head rig that he designed, rigged with a green-pumpkin Reaction Innovations Flirt.
“I weighed in a few fish off of a dart-head as well, but the majority of my keepers this week came on the Nail. The bites were very light and subtle. I used the heavy 1/4-ounce weight because I wanted to maintain bottom contact as I fished the NAIL slowly.
“I’ve really learned over the last few years to trust myself and my decision-making,” he continued “In years past I may have gotten confused and spun out, but I’ve learned to trust my gut and my decisions and I think that is what earned me the win this week.”
Full details of his winning pattern will be published soon.
Here are the final totals for the Top 10:
1. Greg Gutierrez: 40-07
2. Richard Dobyns: 35-09
3. Ken Phillips: 33-15
4. Joe Uribe Jr.: 33-13
5. Bryan Smith: 32-15
6. Jeff Michels: 32-14
7. Miles Howe: 32-09
8. Rick Grover: 32-05
9. Tommy Cardoza: 30-13
10. Roy Hawk: 29-05