Inaugural Season

Damian Thao Targets Beds To Win BAM Kayak Series At Rollins Lake

Apr 21, 2024Kayak, News, Rollins Lake Kayak0 comments

 

Donald Bailey and Ivan Lee Round Out Top-3

 

By Jody Only

 

COLFAX, Calif. – With no practice days for the 2nd stop of the BAM Tournament Trail Kayak Series, Damian Thao of Fresno, Calif. planned to start his Rollins Lake bass hunt in the backs of the cuts. After launching at Orchard Springs Campground with Lines In at 5:50 am, Thao ended up adjusting his strategy and moving out to the points. By Lines Out at 2:30 pm, Thao had found the winning fish with a five-bass limit that measured 86.50” bolstered by the event’s Big Bass that went 20-inches and another that was almost as big at 19.75”. His verified score by TourneyX provided a first-place prize of $1,339, which included a $350 Big Bass add-on.

“They weren’t where I thought they would be; they had started pulling out,” said Thao. “I found them on the hard pan bottom. I cold physically see them, in three to six-feet. There were a lot of beds, and I found a few good ones right at the end.”

Thoa’s bed bass fell to two predominant presentations – a 5-inch Pearl Deps Sakamata Shad and a Teckle USA Kicknocker Topwater Walking Bait

“My main bait was the Sakamata Shad rigged on a Mepps jighead,” said Thao. “It was weedless so I could get it around the wood. I threw it on a Dobyns Champion 702 spinning rod paired to a Shimano Stradic Ci4 spooled with 8-pound Tactical Fluorocarbon.”

Donald Bailey of Grass Valley, Calif. claimed 2nd place with five-fish for 78”. His approach was targeting tree lines. “I was way up in Poor Man’s Creek on the Greenhorn side,” said Bailey. “I would throw an A-rig at the tree lines. I got a couple on that early, but if they didn’t strike it, it would make the bass come out and I could see them, so then, I would put it down and throw a Flick Shake.”

Bailey’s finesse umbrella-rig was an 1/8-ounce version from Bass Union, and it held 2.8 Keitechs in Tennessee Shad. His Jackal Green Pumpkin Flick Shake was rigged on a ¼-ounce ball head and thrown on a Daiwa Ballistic backed with Sufix 832 in Hi-Vis yellow and married to 6-pound Sunline Shooter for a 20-foot leader.

“I could physically see the fish,” he shared. “With the water clarity, I could see down 15-feet.”

While Bailey’s location was a heavily wooded area with trees, and brush, his weigh fish came off one-piece specific laydown. 

Wrapping up the weights for the top-three was Sacramento angler, Ivan Lee with 77.75” for a payday of $367.41. Lee posted up near the dam for his bed fish. “There is a full flat about 60 yards apart in about 8- to 10-feet.” he said. “The fish were in 4- to 5-feet of water.”

Using a River2Sea S-Waver, Lee would get his fish to show themselves. “I would throw the S-Waver, having them pull out of the bed to mark where they were at.”

Tied to a Powell Diesel rod with a Shimano Curado 71 XG reel, the best bait that Lee had to get ‘em to bite was a Yum Jr. A-rig loaded with 2.8 Keitechs in Ghost Shad. “The heads were 1/8-ounce with a bottom of a 1/4.” Lee explained.

The BAM Kayak Series paid the top-7 of the 35 kayak competitors for their placement on the standings. Full results here.

Additionally, Raymond Gamez from Roseville, Calif. collected $250 in contingency dollars from Tackle Warehouse.

About BAM Tournament Trail

The Bass Angler Magazine Tournament Trail (BAM Trail) offers an unparalleled media platform for anglers and sponsors alike combining vast exposure opportunities that celebrate the skills of western bass anglers. The BAM Kayak Trail features a no entry fee championship garnering a new Kayak from Headwater Adventures, Power Pole, and a Lithium battery from Eternal.

BAM Kayak Sponsors

Headwaters AdventuresTackle WarehousePower PoleStorquest and Eternal Lithium

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’s also supported by StorquestGarminBass Cat BoatsMercury Outboards,  Ford FairfieldDish – Accel MarketingPower Pole, , Bob’s MachineWood BrosSticky GraphicsJean Deleonardi Real EstateValley OutdoorsEternal LithiumAlpha Angler Rods, and Fisherman’s Warehouse.

Tournament Circuits

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: BAMTRAIL, FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram

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

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