They had a 5.61 pound bass to anchor their bag of 5 solid, 5 pound class fish. There were many fish weighed that were bigger than their kicker, but no team was able to get the amount of solid bites that this pair was. Johnson recently moved to Hemet (where Diamond Valley sits) to be able to fish the lake regularly, and its already paying off. Bailey credited his teammate with putting them on the bite, “its like fishing saltwater this time of year, Brian is dialed into the bite.” The duo didn’t make things easy on themselves, as is normally the case when you elect to fish for the bigger bites as opposed to a quantity of bites. A few miscues can jeopardize even a great tournament plan. “I did break two fish off before we had our five, so it was a little stressful out there for a while,” admitted Bailey. They caught 5 bass all-day, needing every one of them – two came on topwater and the other three on small swimbaits.
Rocky Asbury and Charlie Weinkauf grabbed second, over a pound back with 24.65 pounds and the biggest bass of the contest, a 6.71 pounder. The last podium spot went to Henry Moody and Bryan Pippins with 19.40 pounds. The aforementioned Rick and Kyle Grover took 5th with 16.72 pounds and lead the early Angler of the Year race by 3 points of Kyle Eady and John Mikkelsen. Bailey and Johnson are 8 points back, but have plenty of tournaments left to reel in the Grovers. We’ll keep an eye on this Angler of the Year race, its setting up to be one of the most interesting battles we’ve seen.
The next National Bass West tournament scheduled for Diamond Valley is set for January 30th. The race will conclude with the sixth tournament, on April 10th. Visit www.nationalbasswest.com for more information.