Inaugural Season

Colby Pearson Crowned First-Ever BAM Pro Tour Champion At Lake Martinez

Apr 9, 2024Martinez, News, Pro Tour0 comments

Shallow Water Bass Battle Won In A Foot Of Water

By Jody Only


YUMA, Arizona – Following a 1,000-plus mile journey from Klamath Falls, Oregon, Colby Pearson has become the first-ever BAM Pro Tour champion at Lake Martinez sacking up a five-fish limit on the final day that went 16.29 and earned $14,502 in event winnings.


It was an extraordinary win for the Southern Oregon angler, after just squeaking into the Day Three field cut. “I’ve had many top-10’s; I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fished on Championship Sunday,” said Pearson. “To play my cards right and seal the deal is amazing. I’ve waited my whole career for it, and I’ve been fishing tournaments for years. It feels amazing and I just want to keep doing’ it.”

Super-Shallow Water, Three Baits And A No Quit Attitude For The Win

Pearson’s path to the final field cut came from the upper reaches of the Ferguson area. “There were a lot of fry guarders, and I knew I had to make as many presentations as humanly possible,” Pearson stated. “I was casting and burning a spinnerbait all day and I caught a couple on glide bait as well.”


His first day’s 15 scorable bass notched a best five of 18.22 that put Pearson in 8th place, trailing by four-pounds by weight and six fish by keeper count. 

“By Day Two I had put a pretty good hurting on my area, but I was able to catch seven,” he shared. His best five were 11.79; but the addition of the seven scorables bumped his keeper count to 22, just enough to secure 10th place, and lock in a spot for Championship Sunday. 


Bass Catching Strategy Change For Final Day Of Competition

With weights zeroing out for Day Three, Pearson began at a level playing field for the final fishing day and although he wasn’t ultra-confident that his primary location had the fish for the win, it was his intention to start there and find his first limit. Plans changed when the water had dropped out. “My area was significantly lower, and I wasn’t able to get anywhere near it,” he recalled. 


Without a single keeper at 10 a.m., the pressure was on. “I was kind of scrambling around, but mentally I just tried to stay in the zone,” he said.  


With a strategy adjustment focused around less-pressured water, void of his competitors, Pearson made a critical decision that paid off. “I just wanted to get into back waters, off the beaten path, not necessarily hard to get into but maybe they had a long idle,” he stated.


Late in the day, Pearson’s back water search ended at the mother lode, producing the winning bag as he boated his two biggest in a foot of water after 2 p.m. “There were probably 40 in the three to four-pound range, and one that was probably a double-digit on a bed,” he revealed.


Bass Baits To Win Lake Martinez

Pearson tied a seven-inch KGB Chad Shad on a light swimbait rod for the glide. His spinnerbait was a trailer-less, tandem blade 3/8-ounce War Eagle with a small Colorado and willow leaf. “It was a color like mouse,” he said. “I fished it on a 7’4” heavy-action baitcaster rod with 15-pound fluorocarbon on a Shimano Metanium 7.4:1 reel.”

A five-inch Yamamoto Senko on a spinning rod with eight-pound-test was responsible for the rest of his fish. “I had a few different colors; but the best was Green Pumpkin with Green and Purple flake,” he said. “I had to hustle those bigger fish out of some heavy cover, so I was pretty fortunate to get them in.” 


Pearson and the rest of the BAM Pro Tour will make their next appearance at Lake Almanor, more info is available here.


BAM Pro Tour Top-10 Rankings And Payout

1 16.29 Colby Pearson $14,502.00

2 15.93 Karl Okerman $5,525.00

3 14.97 Nicholas Cloutier $4,604.00

4 14.52 Greg Gutierrez $4,143.00

5 14.20 Cameron Karber $3,683.00

6 11.27 Ish Monroe $3,223.00

7 10.68 Zack Thompson $2,647.00

7 10.68 Mark Pilgrim $2,647.00

9 9.63 Bill O’Shinn $2,532.00

10 8.92 Conrad Demecs $2,532.00


Pro Tour Ranking Method

BAM Pro Tour anglers are ranked in the Pro Tour events by both biggest five fish limit and numbers of scorable bass caught. First place is held by the angler with five biggest bass and second place is the highest keeper count. The standings then continue to alternate by weight/numbers. Anglers ranked by weight are denoted with an asterisk. Field is cut to top-10 on final for a final day of fishing. The final 10 represents the five anglers with the heaviest two-day totals and five anglers with he most scorable bass. Rankings are zeroed out for Day Three and all anglers blast off on Championship Sunday on a level playing field. It is anybody’s game!
BAM Trail Full Event Schedule

The Bass Angler Magazine Tournament Trail (BAM TT) offers an unparalleled media platform for anglers and sponsors alike combining vast exposure opportunities that celebrate the skills of western bass anglers. The circuit garners extensive coverage across television, print magazines, websites, video, digital magazine, and multiple social media channels.

Pro Tour Event Sponsors:

The BAM Pro Tour proudly welcomes a diverse array of sponsors including Bass Boat Technologies, Tackle WarehouseBass Cat BoatsMercury Outboards,  GarminStorquest and our dedicated conservation sponsor, Fisherman’s Warehouse.

Proud Sponsors of the BAM Tournament Trail:

BAM TT is honored to be associated with its title sponsor, Bass Boat Technologies, and presenting sponsor, Tackle Warehouse. The trail is also supported by StorquestGarminBass Cat BoatsMercury Outboards,  Ford Fairfield, Dish – Accel Marketing, Power Pole, , Bob’s Machine, Wood Bros, Sticky Graphics, Jean Deleonardi Real Estate, Valley Outdoors, Eternal Lithium, Alpha Angler Rods, and Fisherman’s Warehouse.

BAM’s Esteemed Tourism Sponsors:

The BAM TT is grateful for the support of its tourism sponsors: the City of Oakley, the Lake Almanor Chamber, the Boardman Chamber, and the Feather River Tourism Association.

Tournament Details:

The BAM Tournament Trail features the BAM Pro Tour, Pro-Am, and Kayak events, each designed to test the determination of western anglers in a competitive and environmentally conscious format.

Connect with BAM TT:

To learn more about the BAM Pro Tour, Pro-Am and Kayak events. Visit: BAM TRAIL, FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram

Media and Advertising Inquiries: Please contact Mark Lassagne for further information regarding media and advertising opportunities.

#bamtrail #bassanglermagazine #bamprotour

See more tournament news here