BETHEL ISLAND, Calif. (Sept. 29, 2018) – Pro Gregory Troughton of Discovery Bay, California, brought five bass weighing 12 pounds, 13 ounces, to the scale Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Western Division finale on the California Delta presented by Power-Pole. Troughton’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 60 pounds, 2 ounces, was enough to earn him the grand prize of $77,691, including a brand new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
“I’ve worked really, really hard to get to this point. This [win] has been 30 years of work [in the making],” said Troughton, who earned his first career win in FLW Series competition. “I focused on this event, put in tons of time and effort and made it happen. It’s been an incredible week.”
Troughton said he started out Thursday expecting to put together a decent limit with a Don Iovino’s bass pattern-colored Splash-It Popper, but as conditions changed, so did his approach.
“My son Carter and I pre-fished together, and I did well with the Splash-It in the morning. I thought I could get limits fairly quickly for about 12 or 13 pounds, but things changed, as they always do in these tournaments,” said Troughton. “On Thursday, I didn’t have any bites for an hour and a half. My co-angler caught a few on a drop-shot and I felt things were changing, so I decided to get to the punching water and go to work.”
Troughton said he primarily worked through grass mats near three flooded islands in the central region of the Delta, adding that he fished slowly in 6 to 8 feet of water.
“I had confidence in the secondary deal. Within five minutes Thursday, I had my first bite – a 4-pounder,” said Troughton. “I made a little move to another small grass mat and stuck a 3-pound, 8-ouncer. I rotated amongst several small mats, focusing on key parts of them. I noticed a new mat had formed with ‘cheese’ on it, which is hydrilla grass that grows from the bottom to the surface. When it gets hot, it blooms yellow, and we call it cheese. It tells you that there’s a good canopy with lots of thick grass and that’s where the big ones live. I punched in there and caught a 7-pounder – my fifth fish.”
Troughton said that both Thursday and Friday’s limits came on a 4½-inch green-pumpkin-colored Yamamoto Baits Flappin’ Hog on a 4/0-sized Gamakatsu Super Heavy Cover Flippin’ Hook with a 1½-ounce River2Sea tungsten weight.
“I focused on one island Friday and did the exact same rotation through the mats. I started out with two 5-pounders, and after about an hour I caught a 3. Then, after an hour and a half, boom – I caught the big one – a 9-pound, 4-ouncer,” said Troughton. “I followed that up with a 7, and then another 3. Then I stopped fishing and helped my co-angler catch his fish, that was enough for the day.”
On Saturday, Troughton mixed in some new baits, catching two keepers punching mats, two on the Splash-It, one on a ½-ounce, green-pumpkin Z-Man/Evergreen Jack Hammer ChatterBait with a Yamamoto Zako trailer. He also used a wacky-rigged, green-pumpkin Yamamoto Senko. He said the early bite died as the sun got up, so he finished out his day at one of his primary islands, noting that the conditions had changed.
“The wind blew out the cheese and there were clouds so you couldn’t see the grass underneath. We scrambled a bit – it was tough today,” said Troughton.
The top 10 pros on the California Delta finished:
1st: Gregory Troughton, Discovery Bay, Calif., 15 bass, 60-2, $77,691
2nd: Bobby Barrack, Maud, Texas, 15 bass, 53-7, $12,507
3rd: Ish Monroe, Hughson, Calif., 15 bass, 52-15, $9,683
4th: Ken Mah, Elk Grove, Calif., 15 bass, 52-12, $8,169
5th: Jerred Jennings, Stockton, Calif., 15 bass, 51-4, $7,369
6th: Jason Cordiale, Orinda, Calif., 15 bass, 51-2, $6,455
7th: Nick Nourot, Benicia, Calif., 15 bass, 50-9, $5,648
8th: Nicholas Cloutier, Oakley, Calif., 15 bass, 48-6, $4,842
9th: Kyle Grover, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., 15 bass, 45-10, $4,035
10th: Jeremy McKay, Creswell, Ore., 13 bass, 39-15, $3,228
A complete list of results will be posted at FLWFishing.com.
Troughton’s 9-pound, 4-ounce, largemouth was the biggest of the tournament in the Pro Division and earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $214.
Jacob Traba of Pacifica, California, won the Co-angler Division and a Ranger Z175 with a 90-horsepower outboard motor with a three-day total catch of 14 bass weighing 40 pounds, 2 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers on the California Delta finished:
1st: Jacob Traba, Pacifica, Calif., 14 bass, 40-2, $27,142
2nd: Jack Farage, Discovery Bay, Calif., 15 bass, 38-15, $4,174
3rd: Rodney Brinser, Discovery Bay, Calif., 15 bass, 35-15, $3,309
4th: Blaine Christiansen, San Jose, Calif., 15 bass, 35-2, $2,851
5th: Daniel Lutz, Las Vegas, Nev., 15 bass, 34-11, $2,444
6th: Aaron Sok-Jung Yun, Northridge, Calif., 14 bass, 34-1, $2,037
7th: Chuck Kavros, Grass Valley, Calif., 14 bass, 29-0, $1,629
8th: Scott Bern, San Rafael, Calif., 11 bass, 25-7, $1,426
9th: Brad Shepherd, Templeton, Calif., 12 bass, 24-15, $1,222
10th: Richard Rodriguez, Modesto, Calif., nine bass, 23-10, $1,089
Rodriguez caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Thursday, a fish weighing 7 pounds, 3 ounces. For his catch, Rodriguez earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $71.
The Costa FLW Series on the California Delta was presented by Power-Pole was hosted by Russo’s Marina and Sugar Barge RV Resort and Marina. It was the third and final FLW Series Western Division tournament of the 2018 regular season. The next Costa FLW Series tournament will be the Southwestern Division finale, held Oct. 4-6 on Fort Gibson Lake in Wagoner, Oklahoma, and is presented by Mercury. For a complete schedule, visit FLWFishing.com.
The Costa FLW Series consists of five U.S. divisions – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western – along with the International division. Each U.S. division consists of three regular-season tournaments with competitors vying for valuable points that could earn them the opportunity to compete in the season-ending Costa FLW Series Championship. The 2018 Costa FLW Series Championship is being held Nov. 1-3 on Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Alabama, and is hosted by the Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Costa FLW Series on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2018 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct 286 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.