CHRIS ZALDAIN LEADS SACRAMENTO BASSMASTER ELITE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 30, 2015

CHRIS ZALDAIN LEADS CALIFORNIA CRUSH AT SACRAMENTO ELITE

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Before the start of the Sacramento Bassmaster Elite at Sacramento River, Chris Zaldain predicted that a few anglers would bring in single-day catches of 30-plus pounds during the four-day event.

On Day 1, only one angler reached that elusive mark — and it was Zaldain himself.

The 30-year-old professional angler, who grew up in San Jose, Calif., just a couple of hours away from this week’s tournament venue, brought five bass to the scales Thursday that weighed a monstrous 30 pounds, 7 ounces. His catch was anchored by a 7-6 largemouth and a gigantic 12-0 fish that now stands as the largest caught on the Elite Series this year.

Zaldain’s monster bag placed him at the top of a leaderboard that was dominated by anglers from the Western United States. California pro Skeet Reese is in second with 25-8, followed by Texan Keith Combs (24-13), California native and current Alabama resident Aaron Martens (24-11) and Arizona pro Cliff Pirch (24-0).

Like most of the field, Zaldain made the 90-minute run down the Sacramento River to the California Delta to make his magical day happen.

“Only on the California Delta,” said Zaldain, who has one victory and 11 career Top 10 finishes with B.A.S.S. “When that fish bit, I think I said it on camera: ‘That’s a teener.’ It’s definitely the biggest Delta fish I’ve caught, and it was really something special.” He said he has caught bass weighing 13 pounds or more — which Californians call “teeners,” — elsewhere in his native state.

With the spawn in full swing on the Delta, most anglers were targeting bass on shallow beds throughout the day. But the fish were only willing to bite when the tidal flows were just right.

Many anglers said the fish bit quickly and eagerly when the tidal conditions were perfect. But if conditions weren’t just right, they were skittish and sometimes impossible to approach.

Prior knowledge of the fishery helped Zaldain, who caught his biggest fish in an area he hadn’t tried in practice.

“I was just running down the river, and I knew the big ones live in that area,” Zaldain said. “So I decided to go in there, and that was the second fish I caught.”

With a group of experienced Western anglers not far behind him, Zaldain knows he won’t be able to coast on the strength of his Day 1 catch.

“I can’t expect to catch a 12 again tomorrow because the chances of that are pretty slim,” Zaldain said. “But the 12 was only one part of that 30-pound bag. I got a lot of clues off of that fish. Two big bites tomorrow, and hopefully I can maintain that top spot.”

Though he’s nearly 5 pounds out of the lead with 25-8, Reese continued his recent hot streak after recording his eighth career B.A.S.S. victory three weeks ago on Alabama’s Lake Guntersville. He had a tough time in practice on the California Delta — just as he did before the Guntersville event — but he finally figured out the fish as the tournament began.

“I was absolutely terrified about today, because I didn’t know what I could catch,” Reese said. “I didn’t catch any big fish in practice. I saw a lot of big fish in one area. But when I went back to the fish I had found on beds, they were all gone.

“I just had to put the trolling motor down and start fishing.”

Reese said he wasn’t sure if he could duplicate his opening-round success on Friday, because conditions tend to change so quickly on the Delta — especially with so many fish moving on and off beds.

Combs echoed those concerns, as he contemplated changing his strategy for Day 2 — even after bringing in 24-13 Thursday.

“I’m going to do some of the same stuff tomorrow,” Combs said. “But I don’t want to do all of it because a lot of what I did today didn’t work. The big bedding fish that I had found in practice were gone. I’ll continue to look for them in areas where the water is clear, but I’m going to do some things different.”

Combs was one of several anglers who made the long boat run to the California Delta for the first time. The run was particularly rough for the anglers as they returned to the weigh-in site in Sacramento with winds blowing 15 to 20 mph and wakes from massive boats creating treacherous conditions.

“I hit a big boat wake coming back that really kind of caught me off guard,” Combs said. “I’ve never made that run before, so I’m not exactly sure how to make it. I’m running kind of a back route, and I feel relieved every time I get through it.”

The four-day tournament will resume Friday with a 6:15 a.m. PT take off from Discovery Park. The weigh-in will be held at the park at 3:15 p.m. with only the Top 52 anglers advancing to Saturday’sround.

2015 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, GoPro, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha
2015 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: A.R.E. Accessories, Carhartt, Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels, Huk Performance Fishing, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Power-Pole, Rigid Industries, Shimano
About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series presented by Allstate, Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation events, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.
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Media Contact: Helen White, 205-313-0944, hwhite@bassmaster.com or Dave Precht, 205-313-0931, dprecht@bassmaster.com.

2015 Bassmaster Elite Series Sacramento River 4/30-5/3
Sacramento River, Sacramento CA.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 1

Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts Total $$$

1. Chris Zaldain San Jose, CA 5 30-07 100
Day 1: 5 30-07
2. Skeet Reese Auburn, CA 5 25-08 99
Day 1: 5 25-08
3. Keith Combs Huntington, TX 5 24-13 98
Day 1: 5 24-13
4. Aaron Martens Leeds, AL 5 24-11 97
Day 1: 5 24-11
5. Clifford Pirch Payson, AZ 5 24-00 96
Day 1: 5 24-00
6. Kevin VanDam Kalamazoo, MI 5 22-05 95
Day 1: 5 22-05
7. Ish Monroe Hughson, CA 5 22-02 94
Day 1: 5 22-02
8. Justin Lucas Guntersville, AL 5 21-13 93
Day 1: 5 21-13
8. Bernie Schultz Gainesville, FL 5 21-13 93
Day 1: 5 21-13
10. Ken Iyobe Tokoname Aichi JAPAN 5 21-12 91
Day 1: 5 21-12
11. Bobby Lane Jr. Lakeland, FL 5 21-02 90
Day 1: 5 21-02
12. Koby Kreiger Bokeelia, FL 5 21-00 89
Day 1: 5 21-00
13. Tommy Biffle Wagoner, OK 5 20-13 88
Day 1: 5 20-13
14. Chris Lane Guntersville, AL 5 20-10 87
Day 1: 5 20-10
15. Steve Kennedy Auburn, AL 5 20-07 86
Day 1: 5 20-07
15. Cliff Prince Palatka, FL 5 20-07 86
Day 1: 5 20-07
17. Jason Christie Park Hill, OK 5 20-06 84
Day 1: 5 20-06
18. Randy Allen Shreveport, LA 5 19-12 83
Day 1: 5 19-12
19. Hank Cherry Jr Maiden, NC 5 19-07 82
Day 1: 5 19-07
19. Tim Horton Muscle Shoals, AL 5 19-07 82
Day 1: 5 19-07
21. Greg Hackney Gonzales, LA 5 19-02 80
Day 1: 5 19-02
22. David Walker Sevierville, TN 5 19-01 79
Day 1: 5 19-01
23. James Elam Tulsa, OK 5 18-15 78
Day 1: 5 18-15
24. J Todd Tucker Moultrie, GA 5 18-14 77
Day 1: 5 18-14
25. Gary Klein Weatherford, TX 5 18-07 76
Day 1: 5 18-07
26. Jacob Powroznik Port Haywood, VA 5 18-04 75
Day 1: 5 18-04
27. Dennis Tietje Roanoke, LA 5 18-01 74
Day 1: 5 18-01
28. Ott DeFoe Knoxville, TN 5 17-11 73
Day 1: 5 17-11
28. Britt Myers Lake Wylie, SC 5 17-11 73
Day 1: 5 17-11
30. Kelly Jordon Flint, TX 5 17-09 71
Day 1: 5 17-09
30. Terry Scroggins San Mateo, FL 5 17-09 71
Day 1: 5 17-09
32. James Niggemeyer Van, TX 5 17-04 69
Day 1: 5 17-04
33. Dean Rojas Lake Havasu City, AZ 5 16-12 68
Day 1: 5 16-12
34. Keith Poche Pike Road, AL 5 16-11 67
Day 1: 5 16-11
35. Russ Lane Prattville, AL 5 16-10 66
Day 1: 5 16-10
36. Cliff Pace Petal, MS 5 16-05 65
Day 1: 5 16-05
37. Mark Menendez Paducah, KY 5 16-00 64
Day 1: 5 16-00
38. Brandon Coulter Knoxville, TN 5 15-13 63
Day 1: 5 15-13
39. Alton Jones Lorena, TX 5 15-12 62
Day 1: 5 15-12
40. Jason Williamson Wagener, SC 5 15-11 61
Day 1: 5 15-11
41. Cliff Crochet Pierre Part, LA 5 15-10 60
Day 1: 5 15-10
42. Yusuke Miyazaki Forney, TX 5 15-08 59
Day 1: 5 15-08
43. Marty Robinson Lyman, SC 5 15-07 58
Day 1: 5 15-07
44. Rick Clunn Ava, MO 5 15-06 57
Day 1: 5 15-06
44. Billy McCaghren Mayflower, AR 5 15-06 57
Day 1: 5 15-06
46. Kotaro Kiriyama Moody, AL 5 15-05 55
Day 1: 5 15-05
47. Todd Faircloth Jasper, TX 5 15-03 54
Day 1: 5 15-03
47. Micah Frazier Newnan, GA 5 15-03 54
Day 1: 5 15-03
49. Brent Ehrler Newport Beach, CA 5 15-02 52
Day 1: 5 15-02
49. Kevin Short Mayflower, AR 5 15-02 52
Day 1: 5 15-02
51. Jeff Kriet Ardmore, OK 5 14-09 50
Day 1: 5 14-09
52. Bill Lowen Brookville, IN 5 14-08 49
Day 1: 5 14-08
53. Brent Chapman Lake Quivira, KS 5 14-05 48
Day 1: 5 14-05
53. Bradley Roy Lancaster, KY 5 14-05 48
Day 1: 5 14-05
55. Kurt Dove Del Rio, TX 5 14-03 46
Day 1: 5 14-03
55. Boyd Duckett Guntersville, AL 5 14-03 46
Day 1: 5 14-03
57. Fred Roumbanis Bixby, OK 5 14-01 44
Day 1: 5 14-01
58. Kelley Jaye Dadeville, AL 5 13-15 43
Day 1: 5 13-15
58. Brian Snowden Reeds Spring, MO 5 13-15 43
Day 1: 5 13-15
60. Nate Wellman Newaygo, MI 5 13-10 41
Day 1: 5 13-10
61. Jared Lintner Arroyo Grande, CA 5 13-09 40
Day 1: 5 13-09
61. Chad Morgenthaler Coulterville, IL 5 13-09 40
Day 1: 5 13-09
63. Josh Bertrand Gilbert, AZ 5 13-08 38
Day 1: 5 13-08
63. Shaw Grigsby Jr. Gainesville, FL 5 13-08 38
Day 1: 5 13-08
63. Michael Iaconelli Pitts Grove, NJ 5 13-08 38
Day 1: 5 13-08
66. Gerald Swindle Warrior, AL 5 13-06 35
Day 1: 5 13-06
67. Randy Howell Springville, AL 5 13-02 34
Day 1: 5 13-02
68. Brandon Lester Fayetteville, TN 5 12-15 33
Day 1: 5 12-15
69. Kevin Hawk Guntersville, AL 5 12-12 32
Day 1: 5 12-12
70. Kenyon Hill Norman, OK 5 12-06 31
Day 1: 5 12-06
70. Chad Pipkens Holt, MI 5 12-06 31
Day 1: 5 12-06
72. Mark Davis Mount Ida, AR 5 12-02 29
Day 1: 5 12-02
72. Seth Feider Bloomington, MN 5 12-02 29
Day 1: 5 12-02
74. Jordan Lee Vinemont, AL 5 12-01 27
Day 1: 5 12-01
75. Andy Montgomery Blacksburg, SC 5 12-00 26
Day 1: 5 12-00
76. Greg Vinson Wetumpka, AL 5 11-15 25
Day 1: 5 11-15
77. Stephen Longobardi Northford, CT 5 11-14 24
Day 1: 5 11-14
77. David Mullins Mt Carmel, TN 5 11-14 24
Day 1: 5 11-14
79. John Crews Jr Salem, VA 5 11-13 22
Day 1: 5 11-13
80. Brandon Palaniuk Rathdrum, ID 4 11-13 21
Day 1: 4 11-13
81. Scott Rook Little Rock, AR 5 11-12 20
Day 1: 5 11-12
82. Davy Hite Ninety Six, SC 5 11-10 19
Day 1: 5 11-10
83. Edwin Evers Talala, OK 5 11-08 18
Day 1: 5 11-08
83. Mike Kernan Wylie, TX 5 11-08 18
Day 1: 5 11-08
83. Morizo Shimizu Suita, Osaka JAPAN 5 11-08 18
Day 1: 5 11-08
86. Casey Ashley Donalds, SC 5 11-03 15
Day 1: 5 11-03
87. Carl Jocumsen Queensland TX AUSTRALIA 5 10-13 14
Day 1: 5 10-13
88. Charlie Hartley Grove City, OH 5 10-12 13
Day 1: 5 10-12
89. Randall Tharp Port St. Joe, FL 5 10-11 12
Day 1: 5 10-11
90. Brett Hite Phoenix, AZ 5 10-09 11
Day 1: 5 10-09
91. Paul Elias Laurel, MS 4 10-09 10
Day 1: 4 10-09
92. Jared Miller Norman, OK 5 10-06 9
Day 1: 5 10-06
93. Joseph Sancho New Windsor, NY 5 10-00 8
Day 1: 5 10-00
94. Matt Lee Auburn , AL 5 09-14 7
Day 1: 5 09-14
95. Fletcher Shryock New Philadelphia, OH 5 09-13 6
Day 1: 5 09-13
96. David Williams Maiden, NC 5 09-11 5
Day 1: 5 09-11
97. Stephen Browning Hot Springs, AR 5 09-06 4
Day 1: 5 09-06
98. Byron Velvick Boenre, TX 3 09-05 3
Day 1: 3 09-05
99. Zell Rowland Montgomery, TX 5 09-01 2
Day 1: 5 09-01
100. John Murray Phoenix, AZ 3 08-13 1
Day 1: 3 08-13
101. Mike McClelland Bella Vista, AR 5 08-08 0
Day 1: 5 08-08
102. Matt Reed Madisonville, TX 2 07-04 0
Day 1: 2 07-04
103. Casey Scanlon Lanexa, KS 4 07-03 0
Day 1: 4 07-03
104. Derek Remitz Grant, AL 5 07-00 0
Day 1: 5 07-00
105. Scott Ashmore Broken Arrow, OK 3 06-14 0
Day 1: 3 06-14
106. Jonathon VanDam Kalamazoo, MI 2 06-03 0
Day 1: 2 06-03
107. Brandon Card Caryville, TN 4 05-07 0
Day 1: 4 05-07
108. Takahiro Omori Emory, TX 3 04-15 0
Day 1: 3 04-15
109. Paul Mueller Naugatuck, CT 5 03-10 0
Day 1: 5 03-10
110. David Smith Del City, OK 5 02-05 0
Day 1: 5 02-05
111. Kevin Ledoux Choctaw, OK 1 01-04 0
Day 1: 1 01-04
112. Matt Herren Ashville, AL 0 00-00 0
Day 1: 0 00-00
———————————————————————–
Totals
Day #Limits #Fish Weight
1 100 533 1607-03
———————————-
100 533 1607-03

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