OROVILLE, Ca. - Much like the "wild eyed" men that traversed the mountains and valleys surrounding Lake Oroville looking for quality pockets of precious minerals during the gold rush of 1849, come Saturday, Oct 21st, in the Coors Light Future Pro Tour’s final event of the 2017 season, you can be sure to find a legion of hard-working anglers scouring the various coves, creeks, and canyons on Oroville Lake, looking for the pockets of “green gold” - aka "quality bass" that will help them enter the winners circle and perhaps earn one of only 100 qualifying berths available in the 2017 Coors Light Future Pro Tour Classic Championship.
This final event of the season for the Coors Light Future Pro Tour dubbed “Showdown In Gold Country” will see yet another huge field of anglers eager to blast off from Lake Oroville’s Bidwell Canyon ramp, and onto the areas they have been scouting and “pre-fishing” in over the past few weeks.
Lake Oroville has many pockets that hold quality bass
A while the lake's water levels are falling, the beautiful thing about this giant reservoir is that it holds tons of catchable fish – especially in the fall.
But ask anyone that knows anything about Lake Oroville and they will quickly tell you that “catching” fish is not the issue, as 40 to 60 fish days are fairly common. The challenge for anglers competing in this event, is finding the quality pockets of fish that will make a difference and help them break away from the pack. “Oroville is a thinking man’s lake”, noted Frank Ono who competing with team partner Todd Ondracek, currently sit 5th in the Coors Light Silver Bullet Angler of the Year standings. It’s pretty easy to get caught up on having fun because you can and will catch tons and tons of keepers. But to win, or score high in this competition - on this lake, you have to focus on where you think the quality pockets of fish are”.
Finding that BIG Nugget
And digging around to find pockets of quality fish that could place a team high in the standings or even garner a victory, is not the only thing at stake in this competition, as FPT competitors have a much bigger nugget to dig for, and that big nugget is qualifying for the 2017 Coors Light Future Pro Tour Classic Championship. For everyone in the field knows full well that only about 55 teams from the northern region, will qualify for the prestigious year-end championship event that will be held March 9-11th of 2018 in a split-venue to be held on New Melones and Lake Pardee, where the top prize will be the keys to a fully-rigged Nitro Z18 boat powered by a Mercury 150hp outboard, and expertly rigged by Gone Fishin Marine of Dixon.
A likely "photo finish" in Coors Light "Silver Bullet" AOY race
Lake Oroville will also be ground zero for the two teams currently in a virtual “neck-and-neck” race for the coveted FPT Coors Light “Silver Bullet” Angler of Year title, and given the level of talent both teams possess, it looks to be a race much too close to call.
Tyson Rapplye and Mike Caddick, virtual newcomers to the tour, sit only a single point behind veteran angler Tom Peirson and teammate Conner Urling - his 13-year old grandson who has been his team partner since the age of 6.
“I have a ton of confidence on Lake Oroville, and clear, deep-water fall fishing is what I live for”, Tom remarked in confident tones. All I have to say is that Tyson and Mike had better bring their “A” games to this event as Conner and I will be prepared”.
Tom sits in the enviable position of being able to accomplish a bass fishing "triple crown” of sorts, in that he won this year’s Bass Pro Shop Open event on Folsom Lake with his son Shane, took a first place FPT delta victory with his grandson Conner, and now stands just one event away from capturing with his grandson, the coveted FPT Coors Light “Silver Bullet” Angler of the Year title.
Remember...If you have never fished a FPT event... this event presents a perfect opportuntiy for you do so, as we will take late sign-ups at the Bidwell ramp beginning at 4am on Saturday, with limited membership fees of just $10 dollars available to those that may want to try us out or can only make this event.
We look forward to seeing you all there!