Meza tips scales, tops co-anglers

David Meza of San Jose, Calif., brought a 14-pound, 14-ounce limit to the scales on Day Two and leads all co-anglers. 

The sunny skies and calm weather helped the co-anglers, too.

On Day One, the co-angler participants averaged a catch of just over 6 pounds while Allan Chandler of Cat Spring, Texas, brought in the heaviest stringer of 14 pounds, 2 ounces. Today, four bags eclipsed that weight including the leader's 14 pounds, 4 ounces, which belongs to David Meza of San Jose, Calif.

Meza was partnered with Japanese professional angler Yusuke Miyazaki. When coming off the stage the two exchanged a hug of excitement as both anglers made their respective cut, enabling them to fish tomorrow (Miyazaki finished in 42nd place).

The two fields of professionals and amateurs were cut down to the top 50 anglers in each division of the CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series on Lake Amistad.

Meza and Miyazaki attested that without the help of the other, they might have not had such a productive day. Meza also felt a little pressure early in the afternoon because he was not catching any fish, and Miyazaki had his limit.

"I started to get a little nervous at about 11:30 when I didn't have a single fish in the boat," stated Meza. "Yusuke gave me some encouragement and within the next hour or so, I had all of my keepers."

Meza and Miyazaki targeted breaks in the water with concentrated fish anywhere from 8 to 17 feet of water. Meza was working jigs, worms, and Senkos and suggested that fishing on Lake Amistad is not that much different than fishing on his home water.

"In California I usually fish on Clear Lake in the delta, and obviously the water is clear there like it is here so I can throw a lot of big baits."

The top five co-anglers hail from only two states — neither being Texas. Meza, the San Jose, Calif., native, leads the pack with a two-day total of 26 pounds 5 ounces. Less than a pound behind him with a two-day bag of 25 pounds 6 ounces is Tommy Swindle of Cleveland, Ala. Steven Oliver from Westminister, Calif., is in third place with 25 pounds even. The second Alabamian in the pack of leaders, residing in Birmingham, is David Hernandez with 24 pounds 11 ounces. And molding the final spot in the top five is Frank Mealer from Irondale, Ala.

The Purolator Big Bass of the day went to William Adams, who will pocket a cool $500 for wrangling his 7-pound, 2-ounce lunker. While catching the fish on the Mexico side of Lake Amistad on a 10-inch worm, Adams confessed to having a little help from his partner.

"I was fishing on the opposite side of my pro angler, but when he saw that I was struggling, pulling the monster through the grass he came off of his spot and helped me get the fish in the boat."

Good thing, too, because if Adams had taken any longer to land the bass, the 12-pound test line he was using might have snapped.

The top-50, non-boater entrants will be randomly matched with the top-50 professional anglers, and will compete on Saturday for over $115,000 in merchandise and cash, with $45,000 going to the winner in a Triton Boat and Mercury Motor package. The weigh-in excitement begins at 3:00 PM at the Diablo East Marina.