2009 Bass Federation: Western Divisional day Three

Byron Chaves claims the title

Byron Chaves

Western Divisional Final Results


RICHLAND, Wash. --- Using a borrowed jet boat, Byron Chaves went where most others could not, and, as a result, claimed the individual title in the 11-state BASS Federation Nation Western Divisional.In a three-day tournament shortened to two because of high winds on Thursday, the 33-year-old angler from Salem, Ore., amassed 32 pounds, 15 ounces to best Don Hogue of host Washington by 3 pounds, 2 ounces.Using a jet boat loaned to him by friend Larry Cross, the champion caught all of his bass in the shallow water of the Yakima River, a tributary of the Columbia. "The water was high and muddy, with a current of 5 to 6 miles per hour," he said. "I caught most of my fish in 1 to 4 feet of water by casting into the seam and pulling the bait against the back eddy."





















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That bait was a Reaction Innovations Smallie Beaver in goby color, rigged with a 3/16-ounce bullet weight and a 2/0 Owner hook.With 16-2 on Day One, Chaves entered final round in third place, 2 pounds, 1 ounce out of the lead."I thought that if I could pull out another kicker fish, the way that I did on Wednesday, that I'd have a chance," said the telecommunications expert who is a member of the Central Valley Bass Club. "And, as it turned out, I did."Chaves brought that kicker, a 5-6 smallmouth, to the boat at 8:45 a.m. By a little after 9, he had finished off his limit for the day.As the tournament's top angler, Chaves now advances to the BASS Federation Nation Championship presented by Yamaha Outboards and Skeeter Boats Oct. 28-30 on Florida's Harris Chain of Lakes.First-place anglers for the other 10 states also advanced to the championship, with an opportunity to earn a berth in the Bassmaster Classic. They include Jeff Guerette (Arizona), Nick Wood (California), Owen Lounsbury (Idaho), Ben Grande (Nevada), Paul Reutlinger (Utah), Leroy Starling (Montana), Hogue (Washington), Sam Russell (Wyoming), Massey (Colorado), and Rizuto (New Mexico).With a cumulative weight of 304 pounds, 4 ounces, Washington won the team title, as well as a $30,000 Skeeter/Yamaha package. Anchored by Chaves, Oregon took second with 220-7, and Colorado claimed third with 201-7.On this final day of the tournament, young anglers also took to the water, as they fished for the right to advance to the Junior Bassmasters World Championship. Their weights were added to the cumulative weights of their respective states. Jake Cook of Washington boated 14-4 to win in the 15-18 age group, while Nick Jakobi of Colorado won in the 11-14 age group with 5-8.