LAS VEGAS, Nevada (March 17, 2001) With a final-round kick that produced the biggest limit of the tournament, Jack Gadlage of Logandale, Nevada added 15 pounds, 13 ounces for a three-day total of 43-12 to take top prize at the Nevada BASSMASTER Western Invitational on Lake Mead.
Fishing a pattern of steep banks that bottomed out in 15- to 20-feet of water, Gadlage was a model of consistency using a five-inch smoke-colored Zipper worm fished on 20-pound P-Line (green). After leading the first round with a solid 15-2 limit, Gadlage had to relinquish the lead on day two to Mark Tyler of Concord, California. Sensing that his fish in the Overton Arm were failing, Gadlage made a gutsy decision to move to Bonelli Bay in the Virgin Basin, a place he had fished a year earlier and offered very similar terrain.
"Even though I knew this water, there was certainly no guarantee of what it would produce. I simply made a calculated decision and it paid off," observed Gadlage just moments after tallying his first-ever BASSMASTER victory.
Also fishing a defined pattern, Tyler also had to rely on new water to keep the pace with Gadlage. However, Tyler was fishing in water from three- to seven-feet deep around secondary points from the Virgin basin to the main lake. Working a five-inch Assalt Skirted Ringer in what Tyler called "a textbook pre-spawn staging pattern," his final-round effort of 9-8 for a 38-pound total was not a crushing disappointment. "Anytime you're running a pattern like this, you are at the mercy of the fish that a certain area will produce. Today, I just didn't get the quality bites."
With the California Delta next up on the Western Invitational circuit a place where Tyler is one of the undisputed experts his present second-place ranking in the western division standings (led by Skeet Reese) has him looking strong for a BASS Masters Classic berth.The remainder of the top five were also locked in a spirited battle with just two ounces separating third from fifth place.
Rounding out the top five at beautiful Callville Bay Marina were Mark Kile of Tonto Basin, Arizona with 32-14 for third; Dean Rojas of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, in fourth with 32-13 and veteran Rich Tauber of Woodland Hills, California in fifth with 32-12.
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