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COLUMBIA, S.C. – Berkley pro angler Byron Velvick of Del Rio, Tex., was on big fish from the get go and never let up. In the end, Velvick won the Golden State Shootout at California’s Clear Lake, the second BASS Elite Tour events of the season. It was the first BASS Elite win for Velvick.
Velvick relied on his knowledge and experience of Clear Lake by throwing a swimbait on an Abu Garcia Revo Toro 50 baitcast reel spooled with 20-pound test Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon.
“This victory really has been a long time coming,” said Velvick, who was fishing on his favorite lake. “The big bites never let up and I really stuck with what works for me, which has been throwing a swimbait over those long, shallow grass flats. The bite was non-stop action from start to finish and the Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon was critical to me landing so many big fish.”
Velvick cashed in big on the first day by brining a 10-pound, 11-ounce giant to the scales, which set the pace for the entire tournament. With the victory, Velvick, who totaled 98 pounds, 6 ounces over four days, finished nearly six pounds ahead of the runner-up and earned a nice payday with a $100,000 check.
Velvick was not the only Berkley pro that made a run for the title, five other Berkley pros made the top ten. Berkley Pros Guy Eaker finished 3rd place, Boyd Duckett finished 9th and Jared Lintner finished in 10th place. Bradley Roy, youngest angler on tour, seized the lead for the Rookie of the Year race with his 8th place finish and Skeet Reese claimed the top spot in Angler of the Year race by capturing a 5th place finish at the Clear Lake event.
The next stop for Bassmaster Elite Series anglers is the Blue Ridge Brawl, set for April 15-18 on Virginia’s Smith Mountain Lake.