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Fishermen Reel In Prize Catch
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Anglers Choice hosted the third Motherlode Semi-Pro Team tournament on Sunday, Dec. 14 at Lake McClure. Check-in started at 5 a.m. and by 6:30 a.m. 34 teams arrived to brave the heavy frost and possibility of rain.

The fish were biting, however, the quality wasn't as good as the quantity. Many of the teams had been catching good size fish on Toad Thumper Jig (Brown/Purple) MS Slammers, Lunker Plunkers and rip baits from very shallow to 25 feet deep. The cold front moving in changed everything, the fish changed patterns and not many quality fish were biting. Most teams reported catching many keepers as deep as 50 feet and the balance beam was taking up a lot of their time. The trout were really biting and most all the teams caught and released many trout. Some teams had as many as 15 to 20 and this too took up some of their time. No rain all day but the last two hours the wind picked up and made the chill even colder.

Top team was Eric Souza (Winton) and Steve Cardoza (Atwater) catching big fish of the event, a 2.68 kicker, which anchored their 8.65 pounds. Drop shot and jigs seemed to work best for them and they received two first place plaques, a beautiful big fish plaque, and a nice paycheck of $1715.

The Modesto team of Bill Bond and Jaime Catatachea took second place with 7.83 pounds giving them two nice plaques and a payday of $832. Bond's sponsor, Motor Motion of Modesto, donated $10 coupons good toward oil changes.

A popular and fun father-son team took third place with 7.49 pounds. Ray and Ty Keenom received two nice plaques and $538. Ty is one of the top Motocross riders in California and is quickly becoming a top notch fisherman as well.

The team called the New Young Guns of the Motherlode took fourth place. Both from Oakdale, Brandon Gaither and Kyle Gentry caught 7.19 pounds and netted $280.

The brothers team from Hickman, Jimmy and Gerald Clawson, caught 6.95 pounds, enough to take fifth place and scoop up $210.

Next up, NASCAR driver Kenny Shepherd and partner James Burkhart (both Atwater) caught 6.83 pounds for sixth place, good enough to land them $160. Shepherd is a new sponsor with his Inside Lines apparel and graphics.

Last in the money was the consistent team of Mike Beevers and Rob Kocher (both Newman) with 6.80 pounds, winning them $150. Beevers and Kocher were anglers of the year for the 2008 season.

The next event will be at Tulloch on Feb. 28, 2009.

For more information call or email Danny Peluso, 209-874-9525 or