Monday, December 03, 2007

Looking Back on the Scbbbc 2007 Tour of California

The 2007 Sonoma County Belly Boat Bass Club northern California tour is in the record books. This was a year to remember for sure as it was one of our biggest tour's on record. We had an average of 29 angler's at each event. This made for some great competition while kicking around in a kickboat.

A little some thing new for the SCBBBC members to fish for in the 2007 season was the SCBBBC Winner's Shootout. This is when all the angler's who have won an event and who won the Angler Of The Year award will have a chance to fish for $200.00 with no entry fee's. We have also invited the 2007 AOY from the Bass-N-Tubes club to fish the Winner's Shootout. The water's have been picked and the date is still needing to be picked. The location will be at Clear Lake so we can have a chance to hook some of California's biggest and baddest bass swimming today.

We hit all the club's regular location's. We started the tour off with a trip to Berryessa on Feb 24th with 29 float tubers ready and willing to rip some lip's. We met for the first time who our rookie of the year at this event would be, but no one knew this was him. He was floating around in the standard rookie style. This kid started off his season in pure rookie fashion while fishing in a U-boat. Anthony Duffany will prove to be a force to be seen throughout the tour. The weather was overcast and the wind picked up some while we all tried to nail a limit of Berryessa bass.Out of 29 angler's we weighed in 9 limit's and 92 total fish weighing in at a grand total of 170.05lb's. When all the fish were weighed in I was lucky enough to take home the win. It's alway's a great day on the water when the fishing goes your way.

With some new fee's for Berryessa permit's looming over us it's still not clear if we'll be fishing this great location in 2008. Let's all hope for a little luck with these fee's.The club's next tour stop was on March 24th at the California Delta's Beacon Harbor. This was a team tournament that brought out 16 team's and a total of 33 angler's. We blasted off at O dark in the morning and we had to dodge several big gas guzzling bass boat's as the idealed into there check-in area at Russo's. This didn't stop us from slaying Delta toad's in pure belly boat fashion. The bite was on as it seemed as if every one had fish in there live well's. The weather was great and the fishing was good too. We shared the water with the best in the world as the Bassmasters Elite series was on the Delta also. Mr Bill Sweatt fished along side the Elite winner Aron Martin's. When all was said and done it was the winning team of Brendal and Riley with five fish weighing in at 23.56 with an 8.32 kicker to help put them over the top and secure them both a slot in the SCBBBC's Winner's Shootout. We weighed in a total of 13 limit's and a total of 80 fish that weighed at total of 235.38 lb's. With the help of Mike Ayer's and crew this event went as smooth as alway's.

The tour then takes us back the Lake County to chase the fish at Blue Lake's on April 15th.Once again we had 33 of California's most hard core float tuber's arrive on the side of the highway to enter this event. The wind was howeling before the sun had a chance to peek over the mountain's. We all had the choice of fishing the upper or lower lake's, but once again it was the lower muddier lake that kicked out the winning limit. This win went to Mr. Scotty Beem. This guy called this one from the beginning and has taken a win here in the past. Scott came to the scale's with the winning weight of 17.25 with a kicker of 7.01 that put Scott over the top. I wonder if he used his Spiderweb patturn? I have been stuggling at this upper clear lake, but next year Im going to the muddy lake to change it up. We weighed in 16 limit's with a total of 114 fish for a total weight of 245.84 lb's.

The fourth stop on the tour was with the Bass-N-Tube's club at their Clear Lake Open on May 19th and 20th. This is always a huge tournament with member's from each club coming out of the wood work to fish this award winning bass factory. The wind blew at about 100 mile's an hour the intire weekend and kept all of us in the key's. This didn't stop the bite from being wide open as every one seemed to have had limit's. If you wanted to be catching fish this was the place to be, in the key's. It was a close race between two of our sport's biggest angler's. Our own Dave Sternitzky and B-N-T's Tim Zandbergen duked it out from there kick boats, but it was Tim who came away with the win while weighing in a total of 43.50 for two day's. Dave had a SCBBBC record breaking two day total of 42.87 for a second place finish and a spot in the SCBBBC record book's and a slot into the SCBBBC WSO. This tournament was also a wake up call for a few float tuber's to be carefull while fishing in the wind. It got a little hairy for a couple of angler's who were stranded do to the wind and needed to be rescued. Maybe some day you can read their story as it's a good one. We had 18 two day limit's with a total of 207 fish caught that weighed a total of 602.73 pound's. These totals only reflect the SCBBBC member's. Thank's again Paul and crew for a great tour stop alway's.Now it's time to go back to the water were our club's record fish still swim's waiting to be photographed again and make the new's.

It's Highland Spring's on June 10th. 31 angler's once again make the drive to fish with the SCBBBC on a small body of water sitting in the hill's of beautiful Lake County. The weather wasn't all that bad, but the fishing was tough for a few. Then there's Mr. Jig Master, Travis Tarver. This guy can catch anything that swim's as long as there is a hand tied jig on the end of his line. I bet he could catch a Marlin on a jig if he tried. Travis schooled all of us at this event. While we fished shallow he stayed a little off shore and kept to his jig. His jig dragging along the bottom was what it tolk to take the win at this event. Travis weighed in a limit of Highland fish at 17.05 It was the other jig master who nailed the biggest fish of this event, Mr Todd Iwamoto came to the scales with a 5.98 lunker. My guess is it was caught on a Iwamoto jig. We weighed in 7 limit's with a total of 74 fish weighing 72.51lb's. Once again out tournament staff ran a great show.

Now is July 28th and it time once again for a night time team tournament at Lake Sonoma. This is alway's a tour stop that kicks my bass. We had 14 team's for 28 angler's show up to this Army Corp Of Engineer's lake. This was one of those night's that all you needed was a Tee shirt and a kick boat. This water hole once again kicked my bass as it always doe's, but that wasn't the case for the team of the two jig master's, Mr. Iwamoto and Mr. Taver's. I knew as most of us did that this was a jig dream team. These guy's snatched up first place with a five fish limit weighing in at a total of 18.01. We weighed in 5 limit's with 49 fish that weighed a total of 130.25 pound's. This lake is alway's a body of water that will humble an angler while other's are slaying. Im going to start prefishing now for next year's Sonoma tournament.

We're now into the dog day's of summer and it's August 19th as we have our early bird tournament on Spring Lake. Now it's time for a real challenge as we have 24 die hard angler's competeing on 75 acre's of water. You had to get to your spot fast and catch the fish that were there even faster before another angler got onto your water. This lake over the past several year's has gotten tougher and tougher, but this is what an old man once told me builds character. It also sharpen's your tournament skill's as the future of our sport hold's crowded water's as we grow and grow. We had no limit's come to the scales, but we still had one angler prevale over all the other's. Carson Riley came to the scale's with four fish that weighed a total of 14.80 with a kicker that tipped the scale at 6.84. This put Mr. Riley in first and gave him a slot in the SCBBBC WSO.We had a total of 0 limit's with a total of 34 fish that weighed in at 93.12lb's. I bet next year is going to be a challenge again.

It's Sept 23rd and the SCBBBC is back at the California Delta's White Slough. This time we have 29 angler's floating in the water buy 6:00 am when Mike Ayer's blast's us off. Some angler's go to the right while some went to the left and a few stragler's floated around the launch area. The weather was beautiful as we had the cloud cover that is always a welcome element to any float tuber. Some ask if prefishing is realy needed. I say yes. I prefished and found only small fish to the left. So on tournament day I put it all on the line and oared to the right. I went right past every float tuber until I had some water to my self. The bite was on fire if you went to the right and it was as cold as ice to the left. Our young gun rookie Anthony had his personal big fish of 7.43, but it wasn't big enough to beat Mr. Bill Sweatt's 8.66 toad that almost cost him his life and a few rod's. Im sure you'll here his story every time we fish White's, it's one of those stories you don't soon forget.Anthony had this tournament in the bag throughout the weighin until he helped me bag my fish. I thought I had only 14 pound's and some change, but that wasn't the case. I weighed in five fish at 16.19 just edging Anthony out by 1-100th of an ounce with 16.18. Im not sure but I think this was one of the SCBBBC closest finish's ever in the 24 year's we've been at this sport of float tubing.We caught 7 limit's and a total of 61 fish that weighed in at 143.42 pound's. This year the Delta has been very very good to me.Now it is that time of year that the leave's start falling and the traffic is building on 101 as rubberneck's slow to look at the pumpkin patch. This is when all the California float tuber's come out from their private pond's to compete at the historic SCBBBC State Classic.

This was our 21st year at this tournament and it proved to be another great event for all who fished it. We had 36 angler's come to Clear Lake Oct, 13th and 14th. We didn't have the large number of Bass-N-Tube member's at this year's event, but the one's that did show were welcomed as if they were family. With our new live-well standard's and our great performance from our tournament director we were able to get the special permit to live haul our fish again, ( RUN ) Once again I would like to thank the Department Of Fish & Game for giving us this huge privlage that will help our sport keep growing with quality event's on Clear Lake.This year's winner was our V.P. Mr. Bill Sweatt with a two day limit of 40.12. This was a great come back seeing how Bill lost some $$$$$ rod's and reel's while prefishing in the storm just before the Classic. He kept his focus and prevaled over the pack and won the historic SCBBBC State Classic. Big fish went to Matt Cahill with a 8.23 Clear Lake monster. On day #2 it was Jon Bird who came in with the big fish at 7.18.We brought back the BBQ thanks to the help of Dale Zindler, Andrew Sayles and Captain Jack from the Caifornia BASS Federation Nation. These guy's stepped up and helped make our event the best. Our sponcor's all came through as the raffle was off the hook.Bucksbag, Flowmaster, Bighammer, Outdoor Pro Shop, AC Pro Shop, Tackle it, Persuader, Minn Kota, BASS & ESPN2, and Rejuvinate bass med's. Bucksbag was the main sponcor and John Grave's walked away Sunday with another beautiful Bucksbag Southfork kick boat. We weighed in 42 five fish limit's with a total of 243 fish that weighed in at a total of 688.11 pound's. We only had 1 dead fish. Thank you every one for taking such great care of your fish as this is what help's us to get the Running permit from the DFG. Next year's Classic will be an official ( EVENT ) What does this mean? It means we can have as many angler's as we want and we can pay back as much as we want with no limit's. We also won't have to worry about sharing the lake with any other big tournament's as the lake belong's to the Sonoma County Belly Boat Bass Club. So start planning on attending this big show.

Now it's Nov 3rd and time to go back to Blue Lakes for our final event for the 2007 regular season tour with 27 angler's. We have a close race for Angler Of the Year and another chance for one angler to qualify for the SCBBBC WSO. This will also be the tournament that lock's in 15 angler's who will be joining us for the best ever TOC at Clear Lake. So after a slug fest between Mr. Sweatt and Mr. Sternitzky they ended the season with a tie for AOY 2007. I bet Bill wish's Dave would have fished the clear upper lake as the bite there was as tough as nail's for the few of us that fished it.Congradulation's Bill & Dave on showing true class on the water all season with the club. Once again, Im fishing the lower mud lake next year so watch out guy's and make room on that path for the Bass Tech boat. I think we need to get up there while prefishing and clear the path and make it a little more kick boat friendly.When the fish were weighed in it was an old club member Mr.Triton, Steve Wilson who came out on top with a five fish limit of 11.34 just squeezing out Dale Zindler with 11.06. This tournament locked in our young gun Anthony Duffany with the Rookie of the year award. Good going Anthony on a great first season tour with your new club. We caught 13 limit's with a total of 89 fish brought to the scale's that weighed in at a total of 154.3 pound's.For the 24th year the top third of the SCBBBC are heading back to Clear Lake's Skylark motel.

The crowd's are all gone and the weather is mild. It's Nov 17th , 18th and the weather is going to be nice all weekend. 15 of California's best line up for the blast-off as we once again have the Runner's permit thank's to the DFG. After we wake Carson up and share a few word's with everyone Mike blast's us off. We all caught fish, but the fishing seemed to prove tough for some and on fire for other's. After weighing in on day # 1 I had 22.64 with a kicker of 9.01. Prefishing paid off again for me as I knew where not to fish.After checking every one into their room's at the Skylark we all showed up at the T-N-T Mexican food resturant. They had a room set up for us and gave us top notch service. This was a sign of the change's in our sport as we have moved beyond the Pizza parlor and into a nice place with good food and cocktail's. Im glad I walked to the resturant as those shot's and Margarita's where gggrrreeeaattt!Day # 2 the lake fished the same for me and it kicked out 21.81 with another kicker of 6.01.Once again my prefishing paid off along with some choices that worked out for me.I was able to set a new two day record with 44.45. We had 6 two day 10 fish limits with a total of 123 fish for two day's that weighed a total of 347.16 pound's. We also set a new record for payout;s in a float tube tournament with a $1000.00 1st place take home check. 24 year's ago no one would have ever emagined that float tubing would have became what it is now. We're still in for some surprises as this sport is going to keep on growing. I have decided to run for President again as I still have some unfinished project's for our club.I would personally like to thank all of our member's and the Bass-N-Tube's family for helping to make this year a totally great year in float tubing and kick boating. I would also like to thank Bill Sweatt for backing me up as Vice President when the ice got real thin during this whole live well thing. And thanks to Mike Ayer's for all his work on our award winning web site that all of us use every day for information and another place to talk float tubing. And thank you Mike and Dan chester for weighing in all 1166 fish through the long season. You two guy's handled a total of 2882.87 pound's of fish. Maybe next year the TD will need a back brace. And thank's to all of our member's for taking care of your fish. We had maybe 8 fish die throughout the year. The DFG has taken notice to our professional handling of our fish and they thank us for setting the standard for care of fish.If it wasn't for Mr. Russ Stansbury we wouldn't have had our check book balanced and our finance's organized. How would you like to balance my personal check book, LOL. Thanks guys for all your help. Next season Im going to have a new crew backing me up and helping our club move forward. If Im lucky enough to be voted Prezzz in 08 I will be looking forward to working with all of you. Last but not least here are a few statistic's.During the 2007 SCBBBC tour we fished a total of 11 tournaments including the TOC.We caught a total of 136 limit's. { Open & Classic are 10 fish limit's.}We handled 1166 fish.We only killed 8 fish.We had a total weight of 2882.87 pound's brought to the scale.Thanks again every one for making the Sonoma County Belly Boat Bass Club a huge success in 2007 and the past 24 year's.

Im looking forward to the 2008 tour already. So get out to the garage or the spare room and organize all that tackle and get those special touch's finished on your boat. Keep in mind if you need help on your live well system or your in need of a real deal on any Bucksbag product's contact me and we'll take care of you. If you need some hand tied custom jig's contact Todd Iwamoto and if your in need of a great guide on Clear Lake contact Benno Heune. Be sure to stop by the Outdoor Proshop,Tackle-it, Limit Out and buy some swim baits while your getting some Persuader Spinner bait's. If you can't make it to these tackle store's don't forget to go online and shop at the site. Be sure you have a full jar of Rejuvinate for your live well in 2008. Don't forget to renew your Subscription to Bassmaster Magazine and Basswest. Have a great holiday and I will see you on the water.Rich Caro