COLUMBIA, S.C. – Abu Garcia pro angler Byron Velvick of Del Rio, Texas, was on big fish from the get go and never let up. In the end, Velvick won the Golden State Shootout at California’s Clear Lake, the second BASS Elite Tour events of the season. It was Velvick’s first BASS Elite win.
Velvick, returning to his favorite fishing waters, relied on his Abu Garcia Toro 50 baitcast reel spooled with 20-pound test Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon to boat his nearly 100 pounds of Clear Lake bass during the four day tournament.
“This tournament simply wore me out,” said Velvick. “Throwing a swimbait all four days really wears on the muscles and can be mentally draining. Sometimes it is easy to take your equipment for granted, but having the right gear is key. This Abu Garcia Toro is one of the lightest, most durable reels on the market. And the slower gear ratio of 5.4:1 gave the baits the ideal retrieve speed to trigger the big bites. This tournament has definitely proven Abu Garcia as the leading baitcast reel.”
Velvick cashed in big on the first day by brining a 10-pound, 11-ounce giant to the scales, which set the pace for the entire tournament. With the victory, Velvick, who totaled 98 pounds, 6 ounces over four days, finished with nearly six pounds more than the runner-up and earned a nice $100,000 check.
Velvick was not the only Abu Garcia pro that made a run for the title, seven other Abu Garcia pros made the top ten. Abu Garcia Pros Bill Lowen finished 2nd place, Guy Eaker finished 3rd place, Boyd Duckett finished 9th, Jared Lintner finished 10th and Matt Herren finished in 12th place. Bradley Roy, the youngest angler on tour, seized the lead in the Rookie of the Year race with his 8th place finish.
The next stop for Bassmaster Elite Series anglers is the Blue Ridge Brawl, set for April 15-18 on Virginia’s Smith Mountain Lake.