Lassagne’s Victory With The Okuma Helios Rod And Reel At The California B.A.S.S State Qualifier

lassagne _Okuma

 

 

Mark Lassagne qualifies for B.A.S.S. Federation State Team at the California Delta.

A one-two punch claims tidal water trophy.

The decision to stick with two techniques and two areas paid off for the Yamamoto pro, as the event’s anglers found the tidal water system fishing small and tough.

Lassagne’s one-two punch included two Yamamoto presentations – a Senko in depths from 10 to 30 ft and a Flappin’ Hog for shallow punch fish.

The strategy earned Lassagne 12.8 lbs on day one, rocketing him 4 lbs above his nearest competitor. The final day he came to the scales with a limit of 11 lbs, widening his gap by nearly 5 lbs and claiming victory with a tournament total of 24.9lbs.

“It’s not often when you can win a California Delta event with 25 lbs for two days, said Lassagne. “I did it in a limited area, grinding out a limit each day.”

TOOLS
Lassagne tempted the deeper bass with a wacky-rigged, 5 inch, watermelon red Senko, using a Gamakatsu wide gap finesse weedless hook and a River2Sea 1/16 oz nail weight. He fished the plastic on an Okuma Helios medium-action spinning rod, paired with a Helios HX-25 spinning reel spooled with 8 lb fluorocarbon.

The punch rig consisted of a green pumpkin/red Flappin’ Hog on a Gamakatsu Super Heavy Duty 3/0 hook with a bobber stopper and a River2Sea 1 oz Trash Bomb. His punch gear was the Okuma 7.11 Heavy Matt Daddy rod, coupled with a Helios 8.1:1 reel, spooled with 65 lb braid.

DAY ONE
Lassagne found himself in cooling temps, gin clear water and flat-calm conditions. This prompted him to head over to an out-of-the-way marina.

Although his strength is flippin’ and punchin’, Lassagne was metering fish in 20 ft on his Garmin 1040 XS and knew he had to go with a deep-water finesse presentation.

Targeting the banks was a popular choice for other contenders; but Lassagne stuck to the deeper water, fishing open slips and backs of boats.

“I was tossing the rig up, letting it sink on a slack line and then waiting for it to start swimming away,” he recalled. “Even though the bite was tough, having the right equipment played a huge role in my success. It started with my rod. The Helios is so light and sensitive, it played a big part in me being able to detect the bite.”

At 11 a.m., Lassagne had a small limit and his co-angler had two keepers, when he decided to go punching to improve his weight. With a short amount of time and a small bite window, he ran about 25 miles to a dead-end slough, fishing slow until the tide started to turn.

“The shallow fish didn’t start to bite until the tide was coming in,” he shared.

Around 12:30 p.m. he got his first shallow punch fish – a 3 ½ pounder. During the next hour, he boated another 3 lb’r. The clocked ticked down, showing only 10 minutes of fish time remaining, when he landed two more largemouth – a 2 ½ and a 3.

Day Two

Day Two

DAY TWO
The night brought in a big northern storm with heavy rain that gave way to sunshine and windy conditions.

With a good high tide, Lassagne decided to forgo the marina bass and head straight to the shallow punch fish.

“I figured it would take a few bigger fish to seal the win,” he stated.

Making a short run from the ramp, Lassagne landed a quick 2 lb’r and gained the confidence to swing for the shallow punch bite. “My next two stops failed to produce any fish; but it didn’t deter me, I know that’s the way it is when you’re fishing for better quality fish,” he said.

The next stop put Lassagne along an inside bend used for fall to winter transition. It was a productive area, landing Lassagne four bass.

As it hit the mid-day mark, Lassagne felt he had a lock on the win with 11 lbs in the well. His co had not fared as nicely and no keepers in the boat. Lassagne returned to the marina, allowing the co three hours to fish for a limit.

Within the hour, his co was culling and ended the two-day event in 2nd place on the non-boater side.

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