Fishing: Small fish plague Central Coast pros at Shasta Lake

REDDING — On opening day of the FLW National Guard bass tournament contested in the rain on Shasta Lake on Wednesday, limits were not the problem. Small fish were.

Pros Gene Gray of Atascadero and Shawn Lee of Arroyo Grande were entrenched in a tie for 70th and 114th place, respectively. Only nine of the 140 pro entrants did not log a limit.

“This lake, which is down 115 feet, fishes a lot like Nacimiento," Gray said. "A big fish would be a 2 1/2-pounder. I caught 40 fish using soft plastics in 15 to 40 feet of water but my limit weighed only 7 pounds, 11 ounces.

His biggest fish weighed 1 1/4 pounds.

Lee, an equine veterinarian, had a 6-pound, 7-ounce limit.

Central Coast co-anglers (amateurs) Whitney Uyeda from Buellton and Ken Whalen of Lompoc ranked 40th and 78th.

All the pros will compete for three days with the field cut to the top five Saturday. The co-angler title will be decided after three days of fishing.