Santa Clara Bass Busters held its 5th tournament of the year, a one-day event of the 2005 season, at Lake Oroville.  The lake level had been rising steadily between 1 – 1.5 feet per day and the rising water meant new areas for fish to be caught.  The club launched out of Bidwell where our anglers were met with the characteristic breeze associated with the lake and this ramp.  The weather for the day started off with a bit of cloud cover in the mid 60s but quickly burned off as temps got into the high 80’s by weigh-in. The water temperature was between 62-67 degrees all day.  Our turnout, 12 boats, 24 anglers, our largest, so far.  The fishing you wonder?  Well, under normal circumstances we’d say the fishing was fantastic with the numbers being caught, but, with the slot limit restricting fish brought in to 15+ inches, it made for a tougher tournament day.
At weigh-in the club brought in 38 fish to the scales.  Most fish ranged in the 15-16 inch class and were of the Kentucky Spotted bass variety.  Here’s how it went down.

In first place was the team of Francisco Segoviano ‘Sego’ and Tyler Linscott with the only limit of the tournament.  They used a one-two combination of stickbaits and dropshotting to bring in seven fish for 11.96 lbs.  Sego reports using both brown and green Senkos (pumpkin, watermelon?) and various finesse worms on the dropshot in the main lake to fool their fish.  Sego also brought in one of two 2nd big fish of the tournament.  The tie for 2nd big fish was won by a coin toss by Sego.  Goes to show how well the day was going for the team.

John Fernandez and fishing buddy, Matt bagged 6 fish for 9.86 lbs using darterheads, Senkos, and Hula Grubs.  As mentioned above, John tied Sego for 2nd big fish, but was snatched away by a fateful coin toss.  Apparently John’s double-headed coin backfired on him since he figured Sego for a tail-type of guy.  The coin? Well, John kept the coin for future tiebreakers reportedly worth $76 according to Sego.  Their efforts got landed them second place and a couple of plaques to take home.

John Neibel and Joe Haylen brought to the scales 4 fish for 6.72 lbs.  They employed ripping’ and the reliable dropshot to take handsome third place trophies home.  Prism Shad and Margarita Mutilator Roboworms proved to be the colors on the dropshot while the Lucky Craft Ghost Minnow were the ticket on the ripbait.

Rene Duzac and Joe Costa spent their time on the water with salt and pepper Senkos and dropshotting Roboworm’s Prism Shad to take fourth place honors.  They report fishing in 20-30 feet of water to bag their 4 fish of 6.52 lbs.

In fifth place was Steve Irving and Spiro Stamos. Dartheading and Senkos accounted for their 4 fish for 6.32 lbs. 

Rashaun Woods and Miguel Villavicencia aka ‘Mikey V’, a perspective member, were using darterheads and Senkos.  They mustered 4 fish for 6.12 lbs for a sixth place showing.

In seventh place came the team of Henry Silva and Joe Alvarez.  They reported using Robo’s Prism Shad on the dropshot to bag 3 fish for 5.2 lbs.

In eighth place came Calvin Walls and Rick Marquardt.  In Calvin’s brand spankin’ new Ranger they were able to bring 3 fish for 4.54 lbs. to the scales.  They used 3/8ths jigs tipped with Yamamoto’s Hula Grubs in purple and cinnamon to stick some Spots.

In ninth place was the team of Ed Hawkins and Michael Chen.  Venturing to the South Fork and Middle Fork for their fish they targeted rocky banks, submerged trees, and backs of coves with running water to find theirs.  These 2 anglers used Chartreuse Shad and Ghost Minnow Staycees, pumpkin Senkos, and Baby Bluegill, Hologram Shad colored Robo's straight tail and reapers on the dropshot to catch their bass.  The ripbait and Senko accounted for the 2 fish @ 3.84 weighed in.

Tenth place honors went to Rob Nelson and Lloyd Bebilone (another perspective member).  They brought to the scales one fish for 2.32 lbs.  But, it only takes one to win Big Fish distinction.  Lloyd took home a bit of cash for his day on Oroville.

Surprisingly, last months 1st and 2nd place finishers at Lake Shasta, the team of Ryan Caldwell and Dennis Pachucki couldn’t find the big ones to put in the livewell.  An undisclosed source reports that the team didn’t have the luxury of another boat’s wake to follow on tournament day.  Confirmation of said rumor is pending as our source is ‘fishy’, at best.  Team of Mike and Mike, ‘Gator’ Mike Benjamin (perspective member) and Mike Clark, took Gator’s newly acquired Nitro out.  He broke in the outboard, but, I wonder if the livewells got wet, yet?  (is this mic on?)

But, all joking aside, all anglers had a great time on Lake Oroville and managed to take in wonderful weather, fantastic fishing (if it weren’t for the slot limit), soak in some sun, and enjoy the beautiful scenery that Mother nature gave us May 14th. 

Our next tournament is June 11 and 12 at Clear Lake.  This tournament also serves as our club’s TOC for last season’s top 12 finishers.  BBQ and good times are to be had at the ‘Bass Capitol of the West’.  And if Joe Costa’s and Rashaun Wood’s trip to Clear Lake before the Oroville tournament is any indication, the weights at the scales will be bigger and better.

Please remember, if you’re not going to be at the club meeting, let someone know your intentions on whether you plan to fish Clear Lake to avoid any unnecessary confusion.

Tight Lines!

Big Fish Payouts   w/ 19 entries

1st     Lloyd            2.32 lbs        $114.00
2nd    Sego / John F.       2.16 lbs        $38.00 each

Lake Oroville 2005