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Victory a-Bounds for Roseville teen fisherman

Woodcreek graduate beats the pros in Clear Lake bass tournament
By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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It was just eight months ago that teenage fisherman Travis Bounds of Roseville opened eyes on the FLW EverStart Series circuit by finishing second in the co-angler division at the Clear Lake event.

Bounds, who was just starting his senior year at Woodcreek High School, bagged a bunch of bass and a bunch of money, too.

In late April, just a month from graduating, Bounds won the tournament in its return to Clear Lake. Starting the final day in fifth place, he caught 23 pounds, 8 ounces of fish for a winning total of 61-7. Still 17 years old, Bounds won a Ranger 177TR boat with a 90-horsepower motor.

Total value: $24,000.

“It’s pretty cool that I did good at the same tournament,” said Bounds, who graduated with Woodcreek’s Class of 2012 on Friday. “I just love fishing, and it’s kinda cool I can win money doing it, too.”

“Shocked” was the word used by Bounds’ mom, Christy, when he won the tournament.

“With the type of anglers (at the tournament), we didn’t think there was any way he could win,” she said. “They’re all-stars, absolute all-stars. They call them ‘sticks.’ We were all in shock, actually for quite a few days. I still can’t believe he actually won.”

As a co-angler, Bounds was paired with a pro, and the pros get to pick where they fish.

“You just have to try to get bit,” he said, adding that his bait, “just a drop-shot,” was more of a key than the location.

Bounds weighed in 17 pounds, 15 ounces on the first day and 20 pounds on the second day.

“The first day wasn’t as good as the other days, but I still had 17½,” he said. “I knew it would give me a chance to make it to the third day. But didn’t think I was going to come in first.”

Then came the big final day. Bounds’ 23-8 total weight was 4 pounds, 7 ounces more than the second-heaviest total.

“When I was out on the water, I had a feeling because I had a pretty big bag … and I knew someone was going to have to have a really big bag to beat me,” he said.

Said his mom, “Going into the last day, I thought maybe he had a shot. It’s so hard to get five fish three days in a row fishing behind professional fishermen, let alone get big fish and come in with a big bag. I’m so proud of him for keeping his head on his shoulders.”

Bounds will attend San Jose State University in the fall. Having graduated from Woodcreek with a 3.2 grade-point average, he’ll major in civil engineering.

Bounds plans to spend this summer hanging out, going to a couple of Anaheim Angels games and, of course, fishing.

He also plans to sell the certificate entitling him to the boat and put the money toward college.

And why would Bounds do that?

“I already got a boat,” said Bounds, who will fish with San Jose State on the FLW National Guard College Series.

Any money college fishermen earn on the circuit goes into their education, according to Bounds’ mom.

In an interesting twist, Travis Bounds beat a field of seasoned veterans after being beaten by his little brother at the high school state championship tournament in the Delta.

Tyler Bounds, who just finished his freshman year at Woodcreek, teamed with Andrew Loberg to win the title with a five-fish limit weighing 20-5. Travis Bounds and partner Kasey Levine finished eighth at 9-5.