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Gutierrez wins inaugural BAM event at Shasta

Gutierrez wins inaugural BAM event at Shasta

REDDING, Calif. – In a come-from-behind victory, former Bassmaster Elite Series pro Greg Gutierrez of Red Bluff, Calif. brought in the big bag of championship day, eclipsing the nearest five-fish limit by more than two pounds in the inaugural BAM Tournament Trail event at Lake Shasta.

Over the course of the three-day event, Gutierrez consistently climbed the leaderboard. He trailed by six pounds from his starting point of 11th on Day 1 with 12.74. On Day Two, he increased the weight of his bag by little more than a half-pound with 13.35, and it was enough to secure a spot in the Top-10 cut.

Blasting off in 8th place on the final day of competition, Gutierrez pushed past the remaining field when he added 14.88, sacking up a tournament total of 40.97 and claiming the crown.

“This is an accomplishment,” Gutierrez exclaimed. “There will never be another first BAM Tournament and that means a lot. That and the fact that I’m fishing against some real hammers out here and I came back from 11th place to win it, so it feels awesome.”

Gutierrez started the day believing he needed to catch 15 pounds, but wanting to get 16 just to be safe.

“The whole (Top-10) field was separated by three pounds, so to make a move like I did is a big deal on Shasta,” he said.

The condition change from rain and cloud cover to bluebird skies challenged many of the anglers; however, Gutierrez banked on it.

“I knew I could catch ‘em in this weather and I figured it would shut everyone else down,” he said. “And there is another issue right now, the water is dropping. They’re pulling the plug on the lake and it’s dropping a foot or a a foot and a half per day.”

Although the flux in the water hit some anglers hard, Gutierrez had prepared for it. The first day, he worked spots up the McCloud arm and back down into the main lake.

On Day 2, he returned on his path up the McCloud after boating a few key fish on bridge pilings and hopping around to cull out his early limit. For Day 3, it was a whole other strategy.

“I knew there was a club tournament going out of the other ramp and I knew one of the other anglers would be on the bridge pilings, but I went ahead and fished it,” he said.

It was a good stop for Gutierrez as he stuck a 4-pounder first thing in the morning. A few casts later and he had another 2 1/s in the box. It started the day off on a good note.

“Then I made a run up to the Sacramento (River),” he said. “I caught a couple fish that helped, but I came back down.”

His primary offering was a Reaction Innovations Flirt Worm in green pumpkin attached to a Frenzy Baits Nail Shakey Head (also green pumpkin) or a custom darthead that makes himself.

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