REDDING, Calif. — Trevor Scott went one-for-two on big bed fish, but the one he caught accounted for half of the 14-pound, 8-ounce limit that gave him the Day 1 lead at the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Western Regional on Shasta Lake.
“I only had one other bass over 2 pounds, the rest were a pound and a half,” the Windsor, Colo., angler said. “I actually struggled to get decent-size fish, but luckily I got that big one in the first 15 minutes. That made my day, so I could just relax and go fishing. I knew I would probably be in the Top 10.”
Scott said he caught his 7-4 "kicker" next to a flooded bush. Another big bass was bedding nearby, but he couldn’t entice that one. He had located both during brighter practice conditions, but the early-morning weather presented a challenge.
“I couldn't see this morning when I was fishing them,” Scott said. “Then it got windy and blew out my spot, so I couldn’t go back. But I think tomorrow that big fish will be sitting there.
“It really puzzled me why those fish were in that spot. I tried to replicate it by spending hours and hours on the trolling motor in practice, but found nothing like it. I was just in the right spot at the right time.”
A weightless worm presentation tempted Scott’s big fish. The low-light conditions impeded his precision, but persistence prevailed.
“I couldn’t see anything in that first light,” he said. “It took me five casts and four baits and then I got her.”
After bailing on that second bed fish, Scott worked on filling his limit before looking for another day-maker.
“I just ran around trying to get 2-pounders, caught a limit by about 7:30 and then went big-fish hunting for half the day, but that didn’t work,” he said.
Scott caught his limit fish on a mix of swimbaits, drop shots and topwaters. Filling his limit required a lot of mobility.
“I had to hit a lot of spots,” he said. “It was point to point, cut to cut. You’d go hit 30 spots and know that you’re going to catch a fish.”
Cody Hollen of Beaverton, Ore., is in second place with 13-0. When his initial game plan fizzled, Hollen snooped around the general area and found a secondary opportunity that yielded all of his weight.
“I started off fishing points because the wind was blowing and I was trying to get a reaction bite with a deep-diving crankbait,” he said. “I ran across a flat, so I turned and started throwing out deep and rotating through baits and started catching fish.
“The flat was pretty close; I was within 2 miles of the ramp. I caught fish on about five different baits. I think the fish were coming up out of deep water to feed. There was a bird in the area looking for bait.”
Steve Tosh of Modesto, Calif., is in third place with 12-5. Recent hip replacement surgery had sidelined him through practice, so Tosh relied on 20 years of Shasta experience.
“I’m just running around fishing memory from when I was a little kid,” Tosh said. “I caught these fish on three different worm rigs.”
Scott is in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with his 7-4.
Jonathan Bryson of Las Vegas, Nev. leads the nonboater division with 8-3. His three-fish limit included a 4-1 that leads the Phoenix Boats Big Bass competition in that division.
“That was clearly a day maker,” Bryson said. “At the end of the day, we stopped on our last spot and I saw a tree so I threw my little float-and-fly. I was thinking that little 2-inch bait isn’t going to catch any big fish but it actually caught quality fish all day long.”
The TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Regionals also feature team competitions with 20 anglers — 10 boaters and 10 non-boaters — representing each state. Idaho has a 4-ounce lead over Washington in the team standings, 149 pounds, 3 ounces to 148-15. California has 146-13 for third, while Oregon is fourth with 144-2 and Utah is fifth with 143-12. The team competition concludes Thursday, and the top individuals compete in the finals on Friday.
Thursday’s takeoff is scheduled for 5:45 a.m. PT at Bridge Bay Marina. The weigh-in will be held at the resort at 2 p.m.