Tuesday, January 03, 2012

2011 SCBBBC Bass Fishing Tour Recap - By Rich Caro

The 28th year of the Sonoma County Belly Boat Bass Club has been completed, records have been broken, new anglers have had a taste of what the club is all about and there are a lot of fish wishing this club was never started. With the new officers in charge, DJ Von Bima as President, Dan Kinn as VP, Mr. Mercado as TD with Scott Beem as TD Asstiance, and Mike Ayers investing the money. The club was set for another smooth running tour of Northern California’s best bass factories. The club has been hammering the same locations for a long time now and it was time for a new stop on the SCBBBC tour. So after all the votes from the members were tallied it was Lake Mendocino that would go into the 2011 record book for firsts. The club somehow keeps growing every year and 2011 was no different with a record breaking 54 paid members. Once again the club with the smallest boats in the state of California had the largest membership and I do believe its events had the largest turnouts. The tournament average for 2011 was around 35 anglers striving to catch some toads.

#1 Lake Berreyessa.
After voting for the clubs blast-off and weigh in times during a standing room only meeting in February we were set to start the year off at Lake Berryessa. 37 anglers signed in with DJ in 26 degree weather. This was a very cold start to the 2011 Scbbbc tour kick off. But someone always gets into the fish and figures them out. I sure couldn’t figure them out as I came to the scale with a big zero, no keepers. I can’t even remember if I had a bite. It was Matt Nyiri who figured them out as he sat on a hump off shore and picked them apart and weighed in 9.23 for the best 5 fish limit. Coming in second with a five fish limit of 7.94 lbs. was Josh Peterson. 3rd place was Nate Albers with four fish for 7.24 lbs. This was a fun event and Andy and Scott kept it real smooth. I sure wish I had caught something at the season opener. I hoped this wasn’t a sign of how my 2011 season was going to be.

#2 Clear Lake.
The second stop for the club was Clear Lake on March 20th. I thought for sure I would do well here as my pre fishing was OK. I fished as hard as I could and was only able to manage 2 fish for 5 pounds. I used my own baits for most of the day and that’s what did me in. You can’t use reaction baits all the time. This tournament belonged to “Big Dave” Dave came in with 4 fish that weighed in at 27.05 lbs. Dave had a 10.70 pig and another pig at 8.74. If I remember right he caught them on a spinnerbait. It was Josh Peterson on his coattail for second with 4 fish that weighed 18.00 lbs. 3rd place went to another hot angler Chris Quinones with 3 fish for 16.13 pounds. Chris used swimbaits at State Park to catch his fish. We had 29 anglers sign up for this event which is kind of a small group for Clear Lake.

#3 California Delta - White Slough.
The third stop of the year was the great California Delta on April 11th. We are at White Slough and once again I can’t get a keeper, Ouch!!! This makes 2 events out of three that my CatchemCaro baits didn’t catch me anything. Talk to Mike Ayers and you’ll hear a completely different story as he took home the win with 5 fish for 19.65 and this was after winning a B-N-T event a week or two earlier at the same location Coming in second was Matt Nyiri with a limit of five fish for 13.82 lbs. 3rd place with a limit of 5 fish for 11.75 lbs. was Anthony Duffany. We had 42 anglers show up for this duel on the Delta.

#4 B-n-T Open – Clear Lake.
The 4th stop is one of my favorites, The B-N-T Open on Clear Lake. This is an event that brings both of the world’s best clubs together on one of the best bodies of water to catch giant bass. We had 50 anglers show up. This time I finally got into some fish. I prefished and got all the CatchemCaro baits out of the way and kept a flippin stick in my hand for the two days of competition. I went home with a 4th place finish and a two day limit of 32.21. It sure felt good to get some solid bites again. After two days of competitive fishing it was the 2010 open champ Carson Riley defending his title and winning again! Carson’s two day total was a whopping 42.82 pounds anchored by the tournament big fish of 6.97 pounds. Carson used his trusty jig to catch his bass. Congratulations Carson on a great win, the weather was beautiful and the food was GREAT! If you have never fished a kick boat event, this should be your first. It’s flat out fun! Rain or Shine and the B-N-T crew do it up right.

#5 Lake Sonoma.
Now it’s June 11th and we are at Lake Sonoma for the 5th stop of the 2011 SCBBBC tour. This is my least favorite place to fish a tournament. I love fishing here, but I just don’t do well. This is my most challenging water to fish, but one of these days I will figure them out. We checked in 35 anglers for a night of fishing. I was able to scrape up 2 keepers for 4.38. I think this is my average for Sonoma. 2011 our club will change it up and use the public ramp on the warm spring’s side of the lake. I hope this helps me shake the monkey off my Southfork kick boat. After a quick weigh-in, it was Jered Brendal with the best limit and the victory! Jered weighed in 5 fish for a dominating 19.31 pound limit! Jered used his trusty jig to catch his fish. Coming in 2nd place was Chris Lapoint with 5 for 18.35 pounds. Chris made the long row to cherry creek were it paid off for him. 3rd place goes to Dave Brown with a 5 fish limit of 14.72. Dave turned to his crankbait after dark to slay his limit. Marc Harrison had the tournament big fish also, a nice big 8.61 pounder! This guy is growing his skills with the club. This is one of the things I really enjoy about the SCBBBC. I love to watch as these guys join the club and struggle some and slowly start to figure it out and climb the standings throughout the year.

#6 Lake Mendocino.
It’s July 23rd and the club has left its comfort zone to try new waters. Lake Mendocino is the 6th stop for the tour and this will be the first time in the clubs 28 year history to fish it. I prefished this one with big Dave and to my pleasant surprise, this lake was beautiful. She was filled to the brim and I was able to launch straight out of the back of my truck in the parking lot. No ramp needed. The water was clear and the smallmouths were eating. This was a team event and my partner was Donney Breedloves son. I can’t remember his first name, but it was his first event ever. We strategized for a little while and then all 16 teams were off and fishing new waters. I was able to put two fish in the well and my partner got us one to give us 3 fish to weigh in and put our team in 9th place. One of my fish was the skinniest fish I had ever seen. I really liked this stop for the SCBBBC and wished it would be on the tour for 2012, but it didn’t get enough votes. Maybe 2013 will be the year we go back. The team that did figure Mendocino out was the team of Daniel Kinn and Scott Beem with a 5 fish limit of 8.94lbs. Congratulations guys. Coming in a close 2nd was the team of Matt Nyiri and B.Guerini with 5 for 8.69lbs. 3rd place went to the team of Carson Riley and Mike Casey with 4 for 7.39lbs.

#7 Blue Lakes.
The 7th stop for the SCBBBC tour would be Blue Lake on Aug 28th and I wasn’t able to make this event. I landed a new job in June and I went on my first field job to Fortuna to do a line bore job on a 330 excavator. It’s a little weird for me to miss a tournament with the club. It feels like Christmas day and I’m not at home with the family, strange feeling. With temps reaching the century mark and the 6 hour rule in affect it was Chris Quinones with a dominating win! He had a 5 fish limit of 16.82 and big fish of 7.40 and 2nd place went to Noah Stevens with 13.26 and 3rd was Mr. Dave Brown for 11.23 I had plans of fishing the mud lake this year, but that wasn’t going to happen and the call of duty came first. So that’s my throw out and with two other events with no fish weighed in, the 2011 season is proving to be a tough one for me to qualify for the TOC.

#8 State Classic – Clear Lake.
It’s the 8th stop and we’re back at Clear Lake for the SCBBBC State Classic Sept 17th -18th. This event has been held in October for 27 year and it seems to rain every other year. So our officers changed it up and moved the date up and what a great idea it was. The weather was beautiful and we had a great turnout of 48 anglers. I prefished for this event and found some fish. And low and behold I was able to catch a two day winning limit of 31.95. Most of my fish all eat Benos Little Creeper trash fish with one of my keepers coming on my new Mr. Winters lipless bait. When it’s your day it’s your day. I won by ounces with Taylor on my coattails. Taylor Capilla took second with 31.58 and Jered Brendal had 3rd with 30.63 lbs. The food prepared by Mark and Laura was the icing on the cake for sure. Mark always makes us some good food to chow on at these two day events. The club officers once again ran a perfect tournament and our club sponsors donated a lot of great prizes for our huge raffle and thanks again to Bucksbags for donating a beautiful kick boat to our event. I’ve won one of these way back when but this one felt a little better seeing how my year had been going up to now.

#9 California Delta – Beacon Harbor.
It’s now Oct 15th and we’re at Beacon Harbor for another duel on the Delta with 30 anglers and the 9th stop of the SCBBBC tour. I didn’t have a chance to prefish for this one so I went in blind. 30 guys signed up for this show and I was once again able to flip my way into the money with a second place finish just behind my buddy Jon Graves. I punched into some real thick cover and was able to get 5 for 9.74, but Jon was able to beat me with 5 for 9.85. “Thata boy Mr. Graves”. 3rd place went to Binh Phi with 5 that went 9.40 I’m starting to think that maybe I can get into the TOC if I can keep catching keepers. It was looking as if Matt Nyiri is locking in the AOY, but we’ll see what happens.

#10 Clear Lake.
It is now the 10th event and the final event of the 2011 SCBBBC tour. It’s Nov 6th and we’re back to Clear Lake. This sport kills me sometimes. Just when you think you got it all figured out, you’ll fall flat on your face. That’s what I did. Once again I fished my memory and not in the moment. I got nothing, skunked, zippo, nada and I’m on Clear Lake. What a humbling event for me. That makes three events with no keepers and one event missed, but somehow I still qualified for the 2011 TOC, Yea baby!!!! The fishing was a little different for Chris Lapoint. With snow dusted mountains tops surrounding the lake and greeting the anglers at blast off it was Chris Lapoint who came away with the big win! Chris used crankbaits to catch his limit and came to the scales with 4 for a whopping 23.66 pounds and the tournament big fish of 7.18 pounds. Congratulations Chris on a great tournament win! Coming in 2nd with another good limit was Carson Riley with 4 for 20.02 pounds falling to his trusty jig. 3rd place goes to big Dave Sternitzke with a 4 fish limit of 19.88 pounds and second big fish of 6.63 pounds.

#11 Tournament Of Champions – Clear Lake.
Next is the SCBBBC TOC 2011 at Clear Lake. This is a long running tradition and a very special event for all who qualify for it. There’s nothing like being at the Skylark in November with the top sticks from the club for that year. Good friends, good food and hopefully good fishing are what make this so special for me. I hope to be at many more in the future and I will always fish hard to qualify as it’s not an easy task for anyone. Once again Clear Lake kicked my butt as I came in second to last with one fish for 3.45. I probably worked the hardest at this event to catch that one fish that came on a white speed trap. This year’s TOC pitted the top 15 anglers in the club to a two day bass fishing extravaganza! Fresh off a tournament win in the last club event it was red hot Chris Lapoint again with an impressive victory of epic proportion. Chris’s record breaking 2 day weight of 44.89 pounds with an 8 fish limit was a sight to behold. Breaking the old 2 day 10 fish limit record of 44.45 held by Rich Caro. Chris used his DD22 and LV500 to catch his fish. Congratulations Mr.Lapoint. Coming in 2nd was last year’s TOC winner Carson Riley with an 8 fish limit of 35.91 pounds working his trusty jig and LV500. 3rd place was this year’s Angler of the Year, Matt Nyiri with an 8 fish limit of35.80, another impressive weight. Day 1 and day 2 big fish award goes to not two anglers but one. Jered Brendal took both days’ big fish award with a 7.80 lb bass and a 7.06 lb bass. Now that’s sweet! All anglers were rewarded for fishing the championship with a medal and check just for making it. A special “thank you” goes out to Andy Mercado and Scott Beem for coming up and running everything for a super smooth event.

I can’t thank everyone enough who makes this club possible. I still catch myself thinking about how it all started so long ago and find myself amazed at the fact that the SCBBBC has become what it is. I look forward to seeing where it will go and meeting new anglers who join us fort here first time. I also look forward to watching you guys as you win your first events and catch some of your biggest fish and bring them to the scale in front of all us SCBBBC members. The 2012 tour schedule is set and I’m looking forward to fishing every event once again and seeing all of you at the monthly meetings and on the water. I sure would like to fun fish more in 2012 with more of you and teach and learn from all of you. Once again, thank you DJ, Deacon, Scotty, Andy, Mike, and all the members that make up the Sonoma County Belly Boat Bass Club and all the B-N-T members and officers for making the 2011 season a successful year for our sport of kick boating and float tubing. And thank you for letting CatchemCaro Bait Co. be one of the many sponsors all year long. And also, thanks to my wife Anne for letting me fish whenever and where ever I want.

Happy New Year Guys and Gals.

Rich Caro

No comments: