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Local anglers reel in tournament success
Two Colusa County anglers keep appearing near the top of the standings in bass fishing tournaments on the lakes of Northern California.
Daniel Leue finished in the top 10 in all four of the FLW Outdoors Everstart Series events and was named the Western Division Co-Angler of the Year.
His success in the Everstart Series earned him a berth in the series championship in November on the Ouachita River in Louisiana.
Another angler with ties to Colusa, Dustin Tacker, 26, has picked up several tournament victories this year in Best Bass Tournament and Future Pro Tour events with teammate David Pearl.
He teamed up with his father, Hal Tacker, to win the CBAF Honorbound Tournament at Folsom Lake on April 14 when they pulled out a near-record 15.12 pound bass.
Tacker's long-term goal is to join the FLW Everstart Series as a pro and he said his success this year is helping make that a reality.
"The way this year's going I'll have the boat paid off and have a little in the bank for entry fees but that's probably still two years down the road, definitely not next year," Tacker said.
Tacker, who graduated from Colusa High and now lives in Roseville, won the BBT event at Lake Berryessa on March 3, besting a field of 69 teams with a haul of five fish weighing in at 19.58 pounds. Tacker and Pearl finished in the top 20 in the next two BBT events and sit in fifth place in the overall standings.
After the Berryessa win, Tacker and his father won the Honorbound Tournament on April 14 before Tacker joined back up with Pearl to the Future Pro Tour event at Folsom Lake on April 25. Tacker and Pearl's five-fish haul for the FPT tournament weighed in at 22.41 pounds.
"It has a lot to do with being able to prepare a little bit more this year, I've had good tournaments in the past but this year it all kind of came back-to-back. We won in March and did well in April so it was a bit surprising, you always expect to do well but the wins are always a surprise in this sport," Tacker said.
When Tacker makes the jump up in competition to the FLW Everstart Series, he wants skip over the co-angler division and enter as a pro with his own boat, but that path costs more and takes a larger commitment of time.
"As a co-angler you only catch fish, as a pro you have to go and find them. Co-angler is very challenging because you have to fish where somebody else chooses," Tacker said.
Leue fishes as a co-angler and has had a breakout year after fishing in all four of the FLW Everstart Series tournaments this season. The last time Leue, 29, was able to fish in all four series tournaments was in 2008, he said.
After fishing all four series events in 2008, Leue didn't return to the FLW Everstart Series until last year when he fished in three of the tournaments.
This year, Leue won the FLW Everstart Series by placing ninth at Lake Shasta on Jan. 26, 10th at Lake Havasu on Feb. 23, ninth on the Delta on March 29 and closed out the season with a seventh-place finish at Clear Lake on April 26.
Leue wants to make the jump to the pro tour eventually but hasn't decided when.
"Naturally, I have a lot of time to think about it, it's a thought that's crossed my mind. I don't know if I have a year left as a co-angler or if I'm going to jump to pro," he said. "It's way more of a commitment — you have to take your boat, your pickup and you have to spend your money. As a boater you have so much more to deal with, way more headaches."
When traveling to the tournaments, Leue has a group of about eight friends and fishermen he travels with because it saves money and is a good way to pick up new ideas and skills.
Co-anglers are randomly assigned to a pro before each day of the three-day tournaments and Leue likes being able to learn from the different pros.
The FLW Everstart Series season is over until the championship in November, but Leue will continue fishing in local tournaments.
"I've always loved fishing since I was a little kid, I always wanted to do it. On Saturdays and Sundays I'd watch the fishing shows so I really couldn't tell you when I wanted to fish tournaments, I just kind of did it. Even when I'm not fishing tournaments I'm fishing anyway," Leue said.
CONTACT Kirk Barron at 458-2121 or email@example.com.