By John Johnson
BassFan Senior Editor


Wayne Breazeale has won a lot of tournaments at Clear Lake over the past several decades, but his triumph last week in a Western FLW Series event was the biggest victory of his career.

The 50-year-old Breazeale, a chemical technician for a Northern California power supplier, averaged just over 20 pounds for the 3-day event. He caught stringers that easily exceeded 20 pounds on days 1 and 2 and won by a comfortable margin despite a much lighter final-day haul.

His 60-07 total outdistanced runner-up Nick Nourot by just under 3 pounds. His prize package, which included a new boat and motor, was valued at more than $82,000.

Here are some of the specifics.

Practice

Breazeale was on the water for 3 of the 4 days directly leading up to the event.

"I went around looking for sight-fish and I found a lot on the first (practice) day, but then the wind came up and blew all of those out," he said. "I started fishing (conventionally) a little bit and I was catching a few around tules and rocks.

"I got a couple nice ones on a dropshot and I knew that was going to be my go-to bait."

With stiff winds predicted to continue throughout the derby, he focused his attention on places that were at least somewhat protected. He found quite a few such places on the lake's south end, but nonetheless, he wasn't brimming with confidence when the event got under way.

Competition

> Day 1: 5, 23-10
> Day 2: 5, 22-07
> Day 3: 5, 14-06
> Total = 15, 60-07

Breazeale caught his biggest stringer of the tournament on day 1, which was topped by a 5 3/4-pounder.

"I caught lots of keepers that day and covered a lot of (water)," he said. "I had a few sight-fish to go to that day and I caught them blind-casting (a Senko) I couldn't see them because of the algae and the wind."

The wind blew even harder on day 2, so he went directly to a stretch of protected banks and quickly compiled a limit that weighed about 12 pounds. He'd nearly double that number before the day was over.

"I don't think I culled all of those, but I ended up getting rid of quite a few of them. Then late in the afternoon the wind died down and it got warmer, and I was able to find some new bed-fish that had moved up. I think I caught three of those."

He started the final day with a lead of a little more than 5 pounds. He began the day working a couple of smaller bed-fish, but couldn't get them to bite. He returned and caught them in the afternoon.

He spent most of the day fishing docks and tules, but bites were fewer and further between than they'd been on the previous 2 days.

"I didn't catch very many that day at all," he said. "I think it was just the pressure from all the days we'd been out there and all the boats."

He made his final cull with a mediocre bed-fish at about 2 o'clock. With his haul so much lighter than on the preceding days, he thought he might've left a crack big enough for somebody else to snatch the victory.

"I didn't think I had enough and I was surprised that the other guys didn't catch them better. Plus, I thought I had a little less than what I actually ended up with.

"I knew it was over after the guy who finished in 3rd place weighed in. I thought he had a lot more than he did."

Winning Gear Notes

> Dropshot gear: 7' medium-action Powell 3D or Powell Endurance rod, Daiwa Tournament SS spinning reel, 6-, 8- or 10-pound Seaguar InvizX fluorocarbon line, size 1 Gamakatsu Split Shot/Drop Shot hook, 4.5" Roboworm (margarita mutilator), 1/4-ounce Water Gremlin round dropshot weight.

> Sight-fishing gear: Same rod, reel and line (10-pound), 5" Yamamoto Senko (watermelon/purple flake),

> He picked up a few weigh-in fish that he couldn't see on a Yamamoto Single Tail grub attached to a 1/4-ounce ball-head jig.

The Bottom Line

> Main factor in his success "Knowing the lake and knowing where I could catch some limit-fish if I needed them."

> Performance edge "I did a lot of running around, so I'd say my Ranger/Mercury. Also the rods a lot of the bites were real light and they made it easier to feel them."

Much of the tackle referenced above is available at the BassFan Store. To browse the selection, click here..

Final Standings

1. Wayne Breazeale -- Kelseyville, Ca -- 23-10 (5) -- 22-7 (5) -- 46-1 (10) -- 14-6 (5) -- 60-7 (15) -- $82,338

2. Nick Nourot -- Benicia, Ca -- 15-9 (5) -- 23-5 (5) -- 38-14 (10) -- 18-10 (5) -- 57-8 (15) -- $13,810

3. Joe Uribe Jr. -- Surprise, Az -- 21-12 (5) -- 19-3 (5) -- 40-15 (10) -- 15-9 (5) -- 56-8 (15) -- $10,792

4. Richard Dobyns -- Marysville, Ca -- 15-7 (5) -- 20-0 (5) -- 35-7 (10) -- 16-7 (5) -- 51-14 (15) -- $9,158

5. Benjamin Byrd -- Moab, Ut -- 17-7 (5) -- 17-7 (5) -- 34-14 (10) -- 17-0 (5) -- 51-14 (15) -- $8,019

6. Scott Mackenzie -- Hercules, Ca -- 15-4 (5) -- 16-12 (5) -- 32-0 (10) -- 19-0 (5) -- 51-0 (15) -- $7,128

7. Vince Hurtado -- Turlock, Ca -- 19-1 (5) -- 16-11 (5) -- 35-12 (10) -- 13-7 (5) -- 49-3 (15) -- $6,237

8. Matt Dal Porto -- Sutter, Ca -- 17-5 (5) -- 15-15 (5) -- 33-4 (10) -- 12-8 (5) -- 45-12 (15) -- $5,346

9. Paul Bailey -- Kelseyville, Ca -- 14-9 (5) -- 18-6 (5) -- 32-15 (10) -- 12-3 (5) -- 45-2 (15) -- $4,455

10. Stephen Tosh Jr -- Modesto, Ca -- 14-11 (5) -- 18-9 (5) -- 33-4 (10) -- 9-14 (5) -- 43-2 (15) -- $3,564

The following anglers did not make the cut and did not fish on day 3.

11. Blake Dyer -- Moraga, Ca -- 13-8 (5) -- 18-6 (5) -- 31-14 (10) -- 31-14 (10) -- $3,341

12. Bryant Smith -- Castro Valley, Ca -- 18-0 (5) -- 13-13 (5) -- 31-13 (10) -- 31-13 (10) -- $3,118

13. Garrett Dixon -- Colusa, Ca -- 16-1 (5) -- 15-4 (5) -- 31-5 (10) -- 31-5 (10) -- $2,673

14. Clayton Meyer -- Henderson, Nv -- 13-11 (5) -- 17-3 (5) -- 30-14 (10) -- 30-14 (10) -- $2,673

15. Carl Limbrick Jr -- Bonita, Ca -- 12-12 (5) -- 18-1 (5) -- 30-13 (10) -- 30-13 (10) -- $2,673

16. Kyle Grover -- Rancho Santa Margarita, Ca -- 16-6 (5) -- 14-6 (5) -- 30-12 (10) -- 30-12 (10) -- $2,673

17. Cody Murray -- Nampa, Id -- 12-7 (5) -- 18-1 (5) -- 30-8 (10) -- 30-8 (10) -- $2,673

18. Marty Lawrence -- Mesa, Az -- 13-15 (5) -- 16-6 (5) -- 30-5 (10) -- 30-5 (10) -- $2,673

19. Sean Minderman -- Greenacres, Wa -- 16-0 (5) -- 13-13 (5) -- 29-13 (10) -- 29-13 (10) -- $2,673

20. Andrew Loberg -- Rocklin, Ca -- 16-5 (5) -- 13-6 (5) -- 29-11 (10) -- 29-11 (10) -- $2,673

21. Todd Kline -- San Clemente, Ca -- 12-15 (5) -- 16-10 (5) -- 29-9 (10) -- 29-9 (10) -- $2,450

22. Justin Kerr -- Simi Valley, Ca -- 16-10 (5) -- 12-14 (5) -- 29-8 (10) -- 29-8 (10) -- $2,450

23. Mike Stahlman -- Buckley, Wa -- 15-8 (5) -- 13-8 (5) -- 29-0 (10) -- 29-0 (10) -- $2,450

24. Jason Borofka -- Salinas, Ca -- 18-4 (5) -- 10-11 (5) -- 28-15 (10) -- 28-15 (10) -- $2,450

25. Toshitada Suzuki -- Tokyo Japan 125-0061, -- 14-9 (5) -- 14-6 (5) -- 28-15 (10) -- 28-15 (10) -- $2,450

26. Jon Strelic -- El Cajon, Ca -- 13-14 (5) -- 14-14 (5) -- 28-12 (10) -- 28-12 (10) -- $2,227

27. Jason Cordiale -- Orinda, Ca -- 16-4 (5) -- 12-6 (5) -- 28-10 (10) -- 28-10 (10) -- $2,227

28. Kyle Gelles -- Pingree, Id -- 16-12 (5) -- 11-11 (5) -- 28-7 (10) -- 28-7 (10) -- $2,475

29. Gary Collins -- Upper Lake, Ca -- 14-11 (5) -- 13-12 (5) -- 28-7 (10) -- 28-7 (10) -- $2,227

30. Russ Barger -- Boise, Id -- 15-4 (5) -- 13-1 (5) -- 28-5 (10) -- 28-5 (10) -- $2,227

31. Melvin Williams -- Chula Vista, Ca -- 16-12 (5) -- 11-8 (5) -- 28-4 (10) -- 28-4 (10) -- $1,782

32. Aenhay Noy Vilaysane -- San Diego, Ca -- 14-2 (5) -- 14-1 (5) -- 28-3 (10) -- 28-3 (10) -- $1,782

33. Vincent Bernal -- Los Banos, Ca -- 15-1 (5) -- 12-14 (5) -- 27-15 (10) -- 27-15 (10) -- $1,782

34. Matt Newman -- Thousand Oaks, Ca -- 15-0 (5) -- 12-14 (5) -- 27-14 (10) -- 27-14 (10)

35. Jerred Jennings -- Stockton, Ca -- 14-10 (5) -- 13-4 (5) -- 27-14 (10) -- 27-14 (10)

36. Jake Boomer -- Spokane Valley, Wa -- 11-14 (5) -- 15-15 (5) -- 27-13 (10) -- 27-13 (10)

37. Rusty Salewske -- Alpine, Ca -- 12-8 (5) -- 15-2 (5) -- 27-10 (10) -- 27-10 (10)

38. Travis Bounds -- Chico, Ca -- 12-12 (5) -- 14-13 (5) -- 27-9 (10) -- 27-9 (10)

39. Mark Crutcher -- Lakeport, Ca -- 14-7 (5) -- 13-2 (5) -- 27-9 (10) -- 27-9 (10)

40. Sunny Hawk -- Salt Lake City, Ut -- 18-13 (5) -- 8-11 (4) -- 27-8 (9) -- 27-8 (9)

41. Lester Hawkins -- Pagosa Springs, Co -- 11-10 (5) -- 15-13 (5) -- 27-7 (10) -- 27-7 (10)

42. Daniel Andrusaitis -- Kelseyville, Ca -- 15-6 (5) -- 12-1 (5) -- 27-7 (10) -- 27-7 (10)

43. Greg Gutierrez -- Red Bluff, Ca -- 14-8 (5) -- 12-14 (5) -- 27-6 (10) -- 27-6 (10)

44. Todd Woods -- Los Angeles, Ca -- 12-7 (5) -- 14-13 (5) -- 27-4 (10) -- 27-4 (10)

45. Jason Milligan -- Cottonwood, Ca -- 15-4 (5) -- 11-15 (5) -- 27-3 (10) -- 27-3 (10)

46. Jimmy Reese -- Witter Springs, Ca -- 13-4 (5) -- 13-12 (5) -- 27-0 (10) -- 27-0 (10)

47. Jon Griffith -- Mesa, Az -- 15-14 (5) -- 11-1 (5) -- 26-15 (10) -- 26-15 (10)

48. Travis Huckaby -- Modesto, Ca -- 11-14 (5) -- 15-1 (5) -- 26-15 (10) -- 26-15 (10)

49. Christopher Dabbs -- Ukiah, Ca -- 14-5 (5) -- 12-8 (5) -- 26-13 (10) -- 26-13 (10)

50. Jacob Wall -- Jacksonville, Or -- 13-14 (5) -- 12-15 (5) -- 26-13 (10) -- 26-13 (10)

51. Jeff Michels -- Lakehead, Ca -- 13-7 (5) -- 13-2 (5) -- 26-9 (10) -- 26-9 (10)

52. Jackson Juarez -- Finley, Ca -- 13-2 (5) -- 13-6 (5) -- 26-8 (10) -- 26-8 (10)

53. Jordan Collom -- Temecula, Ca -- 14-0 (5) -- 12-5 (5) -- 26-5 (10) -- 26-5 (10)

54. Cliff King -- Ione, Ca -- 13-1 (5) -- 13-2 (5) -- 26-3 (10) -- 26-3 (10)

55. Jason Hickey -- Weiser, Id -- 15-0 (5) -- 11-2 (5) -- 26-2 (10) -- 26-2 (10)

56. Ed Arledge -- Valley Center, Ca -- 13-7 (5) -- 12-11 (5) -- 26-2 (10) -- 26-2 (10)

57. Patrick Zapponi -- Millbrae, Ca -- 14-11 (5) -- 11-6 (5) -- 26-1 (10) -- 26-1 (10)

58. Justin Patti -- Phoenix, Az -- 14-2 (5) -- 11-13 (5) -- 25-15 (10) -- 25-15 (10)

59. Daniel Shelton -- Bakersfield, Ca -- 13-13 (5) -- 12-1 (5) -- 25-14 (10) -- 25-14 (10)

60. Nathan Bromley -- Albany, Or -- 12-12 (5) -- 13-0 (5) -- 25-12 (10) -- 25-12 (10)

61. Shawn O'Connell -- Brewster, Wa -- 14-5 (5) -- 11-5 (5) -- 25-10 (10) -- 25-10 (10)

62. Garrett Howard -- Riverside, Ca -- 14-15 (5) -- 10-9 (5) -- 25-8 (10) -- 25-8 (10)

63. Wes Wezenberg -- Lacey, Wa -- 12-6 (5) -- 12-15 (5) -- 25-5 (10) -- 25-5 (10)

64. Yuan Liu -- Hayward, Ca -- 12-10 (5) -- 12-11 (5) -- 25-5 (10) -- 25-5 (10)

65. Michael Moreno -- Salida, Ca -- 13-11 (5) -- 11-9 (5) -- 25-4 (10) -- 25-4 (10)

66. Michael Caruso -- Peoria, Az -- 13-1 (5) -- 12-3 (5) -- 25-4 (10) -- 25-4 (10)

67. Jim Lyon -- Reno, Nv -- 14-3 (5) -- 10-14 (5) -- 25-1 (10) -- 25-1 (10)

68. Philip Roesener -- Logandale, Nv -- 10-14 (5) -- 14-1 (5) -- 24-15 (10) -- 24-15 (10)

69. Gregory Halliman -- Littlerock, Ca -- 12-2 (5) -- 12-13 (5) -- 24-15 (10) -- 24-15 (10)

70. David Maes -- Sparks, Nv -- 14-13 (5) -- 10-1 (5) -- 24-14 (10) -- 24-14 (10)

71. Ryan Scott -- El Dorado Hills, Ca -- 15-1 (5) -- 9-12 (5) -- 24-13 (10) -- 24-13 (10)

72. Chris Costello -- Gilroy, Ca -- 10-5 (5) -- 14-7 (5) -- 24-12 (10) -- 24-12 (10)

73. Kevin Hugo -- Canyon Lake, Ca -- 12-9 (5) -- 12-2 (5) -- 24-11 (10) -- 24-11 (10)

74. Mark Lassagne -- San Ramon, Ca -- 11-15 (5) -- 12-11 (5) -- 24-10 (10) -- 24-10 (10)

75. Howard Hughes -- Redding, Ca -- 12-0 (5) -- 12-9 (5) -- 24-9 (10) -- 24-9 (10)

76. Corey Fenske -- Granite Bay, Ca -- 15-7 (5) -- 8-15 (5) -- 24-6 (10) -- 24-6 (10)

77. Brett Leber -- Dixon, Ca -- 12-8 (5) -- 11-12 (5) -- 24-4 (10) -- 24-4 (10)

78. Ryan German -- Fairfield, Ca -- 14-14 (5) -- 9-5 (5) -- 24-3 (10) -- 24-3 (10)

79. Roy Jones -- Henderson, Nv -- 9-5 (5) -- 14-14 (5) -- 24-3 (10) -- 24-3 (10)

80. Tom Leedom -- Escondido, Ca -- 14-4 (5) -- 9-15 (5) -- 24-3 (10) -- 24-3 (10)

81. Mark Casey -- Fairfield, Ca -- 14-2 (5) -- 10-1 (5) -- 24-3 (10) -- 24-3 (10)

82. Tyler Ellis -- Battlefield, Mo -- 11-5 (5) -- 12-14 (5) -- 24-3 (10) -- 24-3 (10)

83. David Kromm -- Kennewick, Wa -- 13-15 (5) -- 10-2 (5) -- 24-1 (10) -- 24-1 (10)

84. Charley Almassey -- Oakley, Ca -- 11-2 (5) -- 12-15 (5) -- 24-1 (10) -- 24-1 (10)

85. Bobby Lanham -- Cave Creek, Az -- 15-0 (5) -- 9-0 (5) -- 24-0 (10) -- 24-0 (10)

86. Jim Vretzos -- El Dorado Hills, Ca -- 12-12 (5) -- 11-1 (5) -- 23-13 (10) -- 23-13 (10)

87. Hunter Schlander -- Modesto, Ca -- 12-2 (5) -- 11-11 (5) -- 23-13 (10) -- 23-13 (10)

88. Greg Huey -- Mcminnville, Or -- 11-10 (5) -- 12-0 (5) -- 23-10 (10) -- 23-10 (10)

89. Shane Spinning -- Canyon Lake, Ca -- 9-6 (5) -- 14-3 (5) -- 23-9 (10) -- 23-9 (10)

90. Andy Scholz -- Reno, Nv -- 11-14 (5) -- 11-11 (5) -- 23-9 (10) -- 23-9 (10)

91. Paul Ramsey -- Ojai, Ca -- 11-14 (5) -- 11-6 (5) -- 23-4 (10) -- 23-4 (10)

92. Gregg Leonard -- Elk Grove, Ca -- 11-10 (5) -- 11-10 (5) -- 23-4 (10) -- 23-4 (10)

93. Kevin Finley -- Phoenix, Az -- 11-8 (5) -- 11-11 (5) -- 23-3 (10) -- 23-3 (10)

94. Clayton Eslick -- Gilroy, Ca -- 11-0 (5) -- 12-2 (5) -- 23-2 (10) -- 23-2 (10)

95. Chad Hulbert -- Gilroy, Ca -- 12-1 (5) -- 11-0 (5) -- 23-1 (10) -- 23-1 (10)

96. Sergio Arguello -- North Hollywood, Ca -- 12-7 (5) -- 10-5 (5) -- 22-12 (10) -- 22-12 (10)

97. Kazuki Kodama -- Torrance, Ca -- 12-15 (5) -- 9-12 (5) -- 22-11 (10) -- 22-11 (10)

98. Justin Raleigh -- Pasadena, Ca -- 11-5 (5) -- 11-5 (5) -- 22-10 (10) -- 22-10 (10)

99. Vu Au -- Tucson, Az -- 10-10 (5) -- 11-15 (5) -- 22-9 (10) -- 22-9 (10)

100. Hobby Nelson -- Peoria, Az -- 11-8 (5) -- 10-13 (5) -- 22-5 (10) -- 22-5 (10)

101. Kim Pfaff -- Deer Lodge, Mt -- 9-5 (5) -- 12-10 (5) -- 21-15 (10) -- 21-15 (10)

102. Jim Giancola -- San Juan Bautista, Ca -- 12-7 (5) -- 9-5 (5) -- 21-12 (10) -- 21-12 (10)

103. Doug MCka -- Clearlake, Ca -- 10-11 (5) -- 10-13 (5) -- 21-8 (10) -- 21-8 (10)

104. Ken Cassettari -- Grass Valley, Ca -- 12-4 (5) -- 9-3 (5) -- 21-7 (10) -- 21-7 (10)

105. Dave Phillips -- Nampa, Id -- 10-11 (5) -- 10-10 (5) -- 21-5 (10) -- 21-5 (10)

106. Kevin Marcheschi -- Petaluma, Ca -- 9-2 (5) -- 12-0 (5) -- 21-2 (10) -- 21-2 (10)

107. Lane Olson -- Forest Grove, Or -- 12-5 (5) -- 8-9 (5) -- 20-14 (10) -- 20-14 (10)

108. Alex Klein -- Oroville, Ca -- 10-6 (5) -- 10-5 (5) -- 20-11 (10) -- 20-11 (10)

109. Robert Nakatomi -- Sacramento, Ca -- 11-10 (5) -- 8-8 (5) -- 20-2 (10) -- 20-2 (10)

110. Scott Townsend -- Rohnert Park, Ca -- 11-12 (5) -- 8-2 (5) -- 19-14 (10) -- 19-14 (10)

111. Keith Diffey -- Elk Grove, Ca -- 9-9 (5) -- 9-7 (5) -- 19-0 (10) -- 19-0 (10)

112. Raymond Tak -- Los Angeles, Ca -- 8-3 (4) -- 10-10 (5) -- 18-13 (9) -- 18-13 (9)

113. Jacob Melrose -- Oceanside, Ca -- 4-9 (3) -- 12-14 (5) -- 17-7 (8) -- 17-7 (8)

114. Shane Meisel -- Canyon Lake, Ca -- 7-15 (5) -- 9-3 (5) -- 17-2 (10) -- 17-2 (10)

115. Tim Rath -- Lake Havasu City, Az -- 8-14 (5) -- 8-3 (5) -- 17-1 (10) -- 17-1 (10)

116. Nathan Harbison -- Clovis, Ca -- 9-2 (5) -- 7-12 (5) -- 16-14 (10) -- 16-14 (10)

117. Ronald Hammett -- La Mesa, Ca -- 9-6 (5) -- 6-4 (3) -- 15-10 (8) -- 15-10 (8)

118. Jay Wright -- Seal Beach, Ca -- 3-12 (2) -- 10-0 (5) -- 13-12 (7) -- 13-12 (7)

119. Jason Christy -- Scottsdale, Az -- 10-1 (5) -- 3-9 (2) -- 13-10 (7) -- 13-10 (7)

120. Michael Crowther -- Page, Az -- 12-13 (5) -- 0-0 (0) -- 12-13 (5) -- 12-13 (5)

121. Christian Burns -- Sebastopol, Ca -- 11-7 (5) -- 0-0 (0) -- 11-7 (5) -- 11-7 (5)

122. Tuan Nguyen -- Woodland, Ca -- 10-13 (5) -- 0-0 (0) -- 10-13 (5) -- 10-13 (5)

123. John Karayan -- Ventura, Ca -- 4-9 (2) -- 0-0 (0) -- 4-9 (2) -- 4-9 (2)

124. Maynard Hebert -- Edmonton, Ab -- 2-1 (1) -- 0-0 (0) -- 2-1 (1) -- 2-1 (1)