A LARGE king salmon may be worth several hundred bucks to a commercial troller, and sport anglers might deem such a fish “priceless.” But for Petaluma pro bass angler Chris Franks, a handful of 4- and 5-pound largemouth bass two weekends ago came with a $10,000 price tag.
On May 16 at Clearlake, the Forest Knolls native and Sausalito crab boat deckhand took first place in the U.S. Angler’s Choice Western Division bass tournament, a two-day event in which Franks competed against 90 others, all casting fervently for the prize. Franks, who teamed up each day with an amateur angler in a sort of mentor system, weighed in 23.78 pounds of live largemouth bass on Day 1 with a five-fish limit, released afterward, as tournament rules require. An 8-pound largemouth, the biggest bass of the contest, was among those weighed in by Franks.
“I was done by 11 a.m. and we spent the rest of the day scouting for fish for Sunday,” said Franks, 24.
Their reconnaissance mission revealed several secluded spawning beds, where big bass were paired up and actively courting each other among weeds and fallen logs by the bank. The two quietly took note of these locations – one of which was occupied by an estimated 6-pounder – and returned to the dock to weigh in their catch. A Northern California pro named Michael Tuck beat out Franks with more than 25 pounds of fish. Read the rest of this artcile over on marinij.com