We’re underway for the 2006 season and held our first tournament at Lake Camanche on January 28, 2006.  After a long hiatus from club fishing, our BassBusters were eager with anticipation.  We had 11 boats for 22 anglers show for the draw team format.  At least 1 other bass club was there fishing out of the North Shore ramp when we launched.  Water levels had been dropping at Camanche for several weeks as earlier winter storms had filled the reservoir to near full pool.  Our teams were met with 51-53 degree water and overcast skies with air temps ranging from 43-53 throughout the day.  Winds were light at blastoff and kicked up considerably midday.  

In first place, the team of Ryan Caldwell and Henson Wong really stuck to the rest of the club weighing in a nice 7 fish limit for their efforts.  They weighed in a respectable 21.03 lbs all caught cranking shad colored Bill Dance Fat Free Shad and pitching tubes in the main lake on points, submerged islands and brush with fish coming from all levels of the water column.  Ryan notes that he had checked out the lake a couple of weeks prior to see the water clarity and type of bite the fish were on.  Undoubtedly, the recon mission paid its dividends and led the team on the right track for their success on tournament day.  They started out right away catching fish and establishing their pattern which held all day.  They were on them in the morning and had a healthy limit by 10am.  After their morning bite, fish came less frequently, but when they did, they were quality bass.  As one would expect, the perennial favorite at Camanche, Ryan took home Big Fish and 2nd Big Fish honor.  “And hey, I finally learned my lesson!  Don’t follow Spiro!!!”  This ongoing theme may never die.

While Ryan and Henson flourished, the rest of the club found the fishing a lot more difficult.  Second place honors went to the team of Michael Clark and Michael Chen.  The “MC”s weighed in 7.97 lbs for 4 fish.  They found an early reaction bite in the main lake to catch their first 2 in the first 15 minutes on a trout colored Lucky Craft Pointer 100 and Chartreuse Shad LC Live Pointer.  Their 3rd fish came on a 3” Zoom watermelon/red flake tube in 12 feet off a submerged island in the main lake.  After that, the bite was hard to come by as the pair went 4 hours without a bite.  The last fish came on a brown and purple ½ oz football jig dragged in 20 feet of water near the Narrows.  Mike Clark did miss a quality rip fish during the last hour, but, would have needed to weigh 13+ to make a difference this day.

Third place went to the team of Calvin Walls and Spiro Stamos who weighed in 2 healthy fish for 5.24 lbs.  They tried their luck in the river arm of the lake, dartheading a blue with chartreuse tailed worm and a Sweet Beaver.

The tandem of Ron Shikashio and Tyler Linscott brought in 2 fish for 5.08 lbs good for fourth place.  The were able to catch their fish on throwing a blade and dropshotting.

Rene Duzac and Lloyd Bebilone weighed in 5.05 lbs for 2 fish securing themselves fifth place honors.  One came early on a buzzbait and later dropshotted their second.  The team noted they had tried their luck using the new Castaic Platinum swimbaits in the 6” and 8” and had followers, but, no hookups.  Something to keep in mind for next year?

In sixth place, Kyle Mulhair and Adam Kern used blue/black jigs and dropshotted.  They weighed in 2 fish for 3.44 lbs.

Rashaun Woods and Sal Placencia took seventh place with 2 fish for 2.25 lbs.  The dropshotted the east end of the lake.

The team of Robert Nelson and Arnold Esparza took eighth place with 1.97 lbs finding their fish on a texas-rigged green with black flake 6” worm.

Steve Irving and Rick Marquardt dropshotted a baby bluegill colored Roboworm for their 1 fish weighing 1.87 lbs landing them in ninth place.

In tenth place John Fernandez and Glen Hayashimoto brought 1 fish for 1.53 lbs to the scale.  They dropshotted Roboworms MMIII.

Also present were Francisco “Sego” Segoviano and Joe Heylen who had a difficult time finding fish, but, had a great time nonetheless.  The rounded out the group with eleventh place.  The team supposedly tried dropshotting a spook in 4 feet of water without success.  I think their fish were “line shy”.

Despite the tough bite the majority of the teams had, it was undeniably a fun tournament for all our members.  I for one couldn’t wait for the season opener came around as 2 months passed without fishing with the club.  Once again, congratulations to Ryan and Hensen on their decisive victory and sharing (read “schooling”) their patterns with all of us. 

Our next meeting will be February 2nd at the IHOP starting at 7:30pm.  As a reminder, if you can’t make it and you plan to fish our next tournament, let someone know ahead of time before the pairings are made at our next club meeting.  Our 2nd 2006 tournament is at New Melones on Feb. 11th and will be our first draw individual out of the Tuttle Town facilities.   Until next time…

Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land.  It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn.  ~Chuck Clark