Saturday, January 07, 2006


I would like to start this letter by wish all of you Round tubers, kick boaters and U-boaters a very happy new year. I hope Santa was good to all and was able to work a deal with Lucky Craft and G-Loomis so you all had some new tackle under the tree.

This year was a very exciting year in the float tube world. A lot of great things happened to our sport in 05’. Im sure that 2006 will be even more fun and exciting as we break new ground and smash some old records and enjoy new members. Last year we all enjoyed Bass N Tubes Clear Lake Open with the first tourney ever to offer two different locations to fish. One area producing lots of green backs with little wind and another place was as tough as leather and our tubes like feathers being blown around. That didn’t stop Chris Zeldain from capitalizing on both days and taking the Open for himself. Chris went on this year and stepped up and hopped aboard a real boat and went against 100 plus anglers and once again came out on top, 1st place and the proud winner of a fully rigged Triton bass boat worth $27.000.00 dollars. Was there a float tube club behind him? I think so.How about that Pat Wilson guy. One of the SCBBBC’s members loads up his gear and gets on a plane and flies 3000 mile and wins $40.000.00 at a FLW tournament on the Patomic River. Pat had never fish this water before, but because he joined a float tube club he was able to fish and learn from the likes of Mr. Jimmy Reese. I remember when Pat joined our club and only fished with one rod and a Berkley Power worm. Now Pat is our back deck Pro with a boat or two under his belt. Then there is an angler we all know as Mr. 4 eye’s Castro. Joe came from another great float tube club, ( B-N-T ) and showed a bunch of local northern tubers that he was a contender. The lunkers this guy caught with his hand-crafted baits won’t soon be forgot by the Sonoma County Belly Boat Boys. His game plan for Berryessa was able to keep him a step ahead of a lot of tubers for a 1st place finish. I have been lucky enough to catch a few of those hogs on Joes custom 4 eyed baits. Now if I could only do it during a tourney.

Don’t forget all the toys he surprised us with at the 19th Clear Lake Invitational.I thought that Santa had made some kind of a mistake.I can’t forget how the 06’ tour started with Mr. Kozenko slaying a huge limit at Lake Sonoma. This guy was on fire this year. It must have been that good luck charm that followed him to most of the locations we fished. Darren is on his way to a A.O.Y. award soon Im sure. Have I mentioned our youngest ever member? Big Nick, this guy was 12 years old when he put his $ up against our best and most talented anglers. He struggled some this year, but I think we all did when we first joined these clubs. Keep an eye on this young Rick Clunn in the making. I think we’ll see more of Nick at the scales in 2006.Then we had this young gun by the name of Mr. Carson Riley. He stayed on every ones coat tails all through the season. Carson was always there, head to head with the SCBBBC’s hottest sticks. At our 19th annual Invitational tournament he finally stepped up and showed every one he could win. Then he takes the grand daddy of all awards, the A.O.Y. for 05. Need I saw more about this young gun. IM looking forward to seeing this kid kick some bass in 06. Now we have to get him into a Pro-Am tournament. IM sure he’ll do just fine at that level.

We had our first war veteran fishing with us at a few of our tourneys this year. I remember listening to Mr. Mike Williams after he landed a real nice fish at Highland Springs and I couldn’t help but think to my self that that angler was recently in some crazy war and here he was catching some big fish on a beautiful lake. He caught his toad in a tree that I had just flipped the heck out of. I realized once again how good we all have it do to guys like Mike and many others who put it all on the line so we can enjoy the life styles we live. Mike is going back to that war for one more year. Lets all pray for him to get back to Sonoma County safe so he can catch another toad at Highland Springs. Thanks Mike.

It was a nice break for most of us this season as Mr. Todd Iwamoto gave us a break and didn’t catch all the fish this year. I guess that’s what having a new baby / little angler will do to a guy. He fished most tournaments on only a few hours sleep. I will try to take advantage of it in 06 if he gives us another chance to win. Some how I think he’ll be a little more rested and focused this coming year.Most of the SCBBBC tournaments averaged 25 to 30 float tubers. We had 42 paid members all year. All of the tournaments would not have went as smooth as they did if it wasn’t for Phil Ragueneau and Scotty Beem keeping things under control. I watched them at every weigh-in as these once newbies only a couple of years ago kept thing moving along while every one had a good time. The public watched as these guys where very professional at not only catching fish, but at weighing them in too. Don’t forget Russ and William taking care of bussiness in the we hours of each tournament too. They helped get us on the water as quickly as possible. Thanks guys.In 06 our club will have a new tournament director. Mr. Mike Ayers will take control of the scale and weigh each and every bass brought to the scale. Mike is also the SCBBBC’s web master and if he does half the job as Tournament Director as he has done with our web page, 06 should be another smooth year for our club. Thanks Mike for stepping up.

This year our club has had a chance to enjoy the benefits of one of our newest members who has recently been bitten by the bass bug. This would be Mr. John Stangle / Mr Yo Yo. This guy has been a breath of fresh air to our club with all kinds of great ideas and positive energy to help our club grow and look more professional. Johnny has entertained us all at our events with his world class Yo Yo tricks and personality. He has helped with improving our sponsorship abilities and he has cleaned up our By-laws. For all of you who have joined the Sonoma County Belly Boat Bass Club this year, you can thank Johnny for the surprise package you will be getting in the mail. That was all his doing. He also has the nicest Pro Shirt on our circuit. Thanks John for all you’ve done for our club.This is the first year our club has seen so many anglers at the weigh-in’s that look like real Pro’s. I started wearing my Pro shirt just for the fun of it and I never thought it would catch on, but to my surprise it did. Now there is usually a half dozen Pro’s at our events. I hope to see more in 06. We finally got rid of that old Vice President and now we have a new V.P. by the name of Mr. Bill Sweatt. You all should know Bill as he is the second oldest SCBBBC member still on tour with the club. Check out his angler profile and you’ll see Bill has been there and done that a few times. Bill has seen it all, the good, the bad and the ugly. I think he’ll be a great V.P. and his new blood will be needed in 06 as this will be a year to remember for sure.So now it’s my turn as the President of a once very small club that I started 22 years ago. That’s write, we’re going on our 22nd year. Stepping into this job will be very easy as I am following in the foot-steps of many great SCBBBC Presidents.

The first was Martin Campbell. He was a good organizer and a great angler. Then there was Mr. Jimmy Reese. Jimmy was there as far back as the second tournament ever. He and Benno were the real back bones that helped organize the club as we all know it today. If it wasn’t for Mr. Reese I would probably still be putting on Turkey shoots. Or just catching blue gills.Then as Jimmy started fishing more as a Pro the club started to dwindle down in the early 90’s. It was Jay Bryant that stepped up and kept the machine going. If you thought the Bass Tech kick boat was cool, you haven’t see nothing yet! Jay is got the worlds baddest and raddest kickboat you have ever set eyes on. The Bass Tech boys would have been lost if it wasn’t for Jays ideas. Some of you might have met Jay at the B-N-T Clear Lake Open in 04. He was the guy with the real tricked out totally custom kick boat. His rod holder was the roll model for the Bass Tech lazy Susan rod holder. Mr. Swindal thinks he thought of it, but I’ll let you all in on a little secret. It was all Jay and if it wasn’t for Jay keeping it all fun, this club could have very well folded up in the early 90’s.Then as Jay started burning out after a long run at it, along came Mr. Andy Parsons. Andy really grew the club to the huge tour that we all enjoy today. He always made you feel welcome as a new or old member. He also knew how to catch fish on Rocky point too. After getting this club totally dialed in with B.A.S.S. and knowing it was time to pass of the President position.

Mr. Todd Iwamoto stepped up to the plate. Todd was able to manage the club and with his marketing skills he round up great sponcers and all the good stuff that comes with them while still capturing A.O.Y for something like four years straight. Todd also had a lot to do with the ESPN connections that most of you are aware of as you watched float tubing on T.V. He was the guy behind getting those camera guys out to Spring Lake for that shoot on the water. Once Todd got a few years under his belt he felt like it was time to pass the torch. So Jeff Andress jumped at the chance and went with it. Jeff kept the club on course. After knowing Jeff for a few year we realized that I had bought my two oldest guitars from his Dad. At the time I bought them I was 16 years old and Jeff was some thing like 3 or 4. That was way cool that the man who sold me my guitars that to this day I still love to play as much as I love fishing. He has the father of a little guy who would grow up to be the Presidents of a club I started, that is still going strong.

Jeff passed the torch again to a stand up guy, Mr. William Perez. He rolled up his sleeves, got into the job and totally cleaned up all the paper work and nailed down a permit procedure that any old angler can follow easily. William faced some of life’s hardest challenges while cleaning up this clubs official business. Thanks William for a great job during these past two years. Now in 2006 it looks as if it’s now my turn to lead the members for a few years. I promise to make some big mistakes along the way. That is how this club has gotten stronger and stronger, by learning from our mistakes. I feel I have a lot to offer the club / clubs as I support the growth of the B-N-T, our Italian friends and the SCBBBC. I have some of the best support behind me and I will do the best I can to help take our sport to the next level of competitive float tubing. I will try to make the SCBBBC 06’ Tour a very fun and challenging one. Already with the new challenging schedule this year is looking to be a very good one.

We worked out this years schedule around the B-N-T’s tour and some of the other tours such as the 100% and the Anglers Choice. I hope that this will help all of you float tubers plan a great season for catching Mr. Bucket Mouth. Between the SCBBBC, B-N-T’s Central R. , Shasta R and Delta R. a guy can fish a tournament almost every weekend from now through December. Who needs a big gas guzzeling boat to fish tournaments? All you need is a round float tube a rod or two and a live-well and BANG! You are ready to join a float tube club, meet some great people, learn how to catch more Bass and enjoy the great outdoors in a way that only a float tuber can. Happy New Year.

Rich Caro
SCBBBC Founder and President


Scbbbc said...

Great post from the founder and president!

Anonymous said...

Great statement Rich, and thank you for the kind words ... 30 more days and I'll be on a plane home from the sandbox. Let Scott Beem that if anyone wants my 2 yr old pontoon boat (fishCat), that they can use it.(he has it) Also, maybe we could keep it with the club for those new members, or members who would dont have one, and would like to use it. I bought a brand new one from Trout Unlimited that I am going to use for next year, and when I go up to Spanish Creek for some brown trout...Silver lake for brookies ... and a float trip down the russian for smallies. Anyway Rich, thank you and everyone in the club for your support. I appreciate it more than you'll ever know. Thanks again, see you all soon.

Michael Williams
LPO C MP Medical
Al Waeed, Iraq