By Jody Only
LAKESIDE, Calif. – Stephen Lamb and Kevin Norling topped the Wild West Bass Trail (WWBT) Southern California Teams field at San Vicente with a five-fish limit that weighed in at 22.50, more than three-pounds over their nearest competitor. They also sacked up a 6.56 big bass, that earned the Yamamoto Toad of the Tournament title. The team fished their way to a $4,250 payday which includes contingency dollars from P-Line.
Lamb and Norling, both of San Diego, Calif., partnered eight-years-ago. This was their first WWBT team event. Norling attributed their success to a quick adjustment to the high fishing pressure on the lake.
“It seemed like there were lot of boats concentrating on the trees and I noticed that the fish weren’t really relating to the trees; probably because, there were so many boats over the top of them,” he explained. “So, we started targeting suspended fish outside of the tree lines.”
They ran five to six areas throughout the day.
“We were fishing main lake stuff with the boat in 50-feet, catching suspended fish that were between 20- to 30-feet down, over 50,” Norling revealed. “There was 12- to 14-feet vis. I was trying to hit some stuff that was completely off the beaten path, to stay away from all the other boaters and pressure.”
Norling noted all of their fish were post-spawn
“There was a couple weeks ago when there was some hot weather and I think the fish just charged the bank,” he stated. “I think the pre-spawn fish are hanging in the trees and the post-spawn fish have moved out to suspend and not burn anything.”
A trio of lures landed their suspending weigh fish – a Rapala Ice Jig, a five-inch Yamamoto Senko in green pumpkin laminate and a Keitech swimbait, all tied on P-Line. Their biggest fell to the swimbait.
The team boated at least 30 fish for the day. They had a small limit of 13-pounds by 7:30 a.m. and culled up to 18- to 20-pounds between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. One of the last fish they put in the box was their kicker.
“It was pretty cloudy this morning and then the wind picked up,” said Norling. “It seemed like the fish were scattered around and out roaming, until the sun broke. That was at about 10:30 and that was when the bite turned on for the better fish, at least for us.”
Norling was appreciative of his sponsors – PB Rat, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha, Last Chance Performance Marine, Angler’s Choice Tackle.
“And my wife, for letting me go fishing all the time,“ he added.
The team thanked WWBT for running a great event and are looking forward to the next one.
Rest of the Best
1st 22.50 Lamb/Norling
2nd 19.33 Fenney/Fenney
3rd 18.56 Strelic/Caudle
4th 18.15 Paluczak/Paluczak
5th 18.13 Hanold/Parch
The 2021 WWBT SoCal Teams will continue next month, blasting off at El Cap on April 24. The deadline for registration is March 4.
The Wild West Bass Trail operates the premier suite of tournament circuits, including APEX Pro Cup Series, Pro/Am events, team tournaments, a college series, an open, and kayak tournaments. WWBT is dedicated to showcasing the best anglers on the country’s finest fisheries. For more information, please visit: www.wildwestbasstrail.com