Lake Shasta in years past has always meant two things: Spotted bass and finesse plastics.
Then the FLW EverStart occurred last week, yet again proving no body of water seems immune to the productivity of the Alabama rig.
Only time will tell if what occurred at Shasta will happen elsewhere this season (though word is it already has in jackpot tournaments). However, Shasta has long been one of the best spotted bass fisheries in the country; a fishery with unique patterns that hone the top finesse anglers.
Don’t believe us? Take a look at the best anglers as Shasta since 2000 by clicking the Lakes tab.
Using a 5-tournament minimum, local Jim Riley has the best average at 93.6 percent. You may not have heard of Riley, as he has only fished Minor-level events at Shasta, but we know you have heard of the guy right behind him: Cody Meyer. Three straight top 10s in the Forrest Wood Cup turned Meyer into a household name, and he learned a lot of those championship techniques fishing Shasta, and fishing it well. He is a mere 0.1 percent behind Riley for the title of “Best at Shasta.”
Other pros who have excelled at the fishery include Brent Ehrler (No. 1 Majors angler; won the 2010 FLW Series), Jeff Michels (No. 23 Minors-only angler; won 2011 EverStart and second at 2006 EverStart) and KC Harris (won 2012 EverStart, finished third at 2010 FLW Series).
As for the best over time, meaning we include every Major and Minor tournament (eight events) held at Shasta since the turn of the century, that honor goes to Robert Lee, the No. 100 Minors-only angler, with his score of 810.032.
Speaking of over time, as we mentioned before, the Alabama rig is quickly shaping the sport of tournament bass fishing. If it continues to do so, we expect to see a host of new anglers rise to the top of typical finesse fisheries like Shasta. Then again, the same thing happened when finesse fishing was introduced.