The 2020 season has been like no other for Best Bass Tournaments (BBT) – for the anglers, for California, for the United States, for the world!
Now, as the year comes to a close, we are pleased to bring some normalcy to our tournament circuit, hosting the year-end Tournament of Champions. We say "some" normalcy as we will have to include some changes to the event.
In the scheme of things, we hope that the BBT family will understand the challenges that the pandemic has brought on all sides of the fence and adapt easily to do what we do best... bringing the fun to tournament fishing.
That being said, we are excited to be so close to blasting off our TOC and giving away $20,000 in cash; but first, we wanted to reiterate a few of the requirements we will be following and offer a few tips for those ready to hit the water.
The BBT will be awarding the winning team of the 2020 Tournament of Champions a grand prize in total of $20,000 in cash. The remainder of the field will be awarded payback and options from 2nd to 13th place.
Our check-in will be held at the top of the levee at Russo's from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday. We will not be having a meeting. There will be no gathering. You will check in, be given a packet of info that includes the rules and make sure you understand before you leave.
As always, the off limits areas include any posted areas, any gas docks or parking, unloading, loading - type docks that would impede a customer from doing business at any retailer, restaurant, etc. It also includes the water from the Rusty Porthole to Russo's towards Sandmound, and the island and surrounding U-shaped arc around the island that is front of the Rusty Porthole.
5 MPH ZONE: You must adhere to any posted signage as well as the 5 MPH zone at the Cruiser Haven train bridge.
Social distancing must be followed at all event areas including, check-in, weigh-in etc.
With that out of the way, let's get to the fishing info. Doug Romano from Pure Fishing, will fill us in on some of his top picks for the Delta this week and when gearing up for your time on the water, check out Fisherman’s Warehouse and other tackle stores that support the BBT family.
“We are in the transition time as the weather changes,” Romano began. “A lot of things can come into play this time of year. We are getting a good mixture. We’re getting crawdads for guys to catch ‘em on a jig or our typical Delta crankbaits and the shad and the bluegill are really coming in too. So basically, you can target three different types of forages, baitfish, depending on the area. That is the beauty of the fall – you can fish your favorite presentation.”
IN THE GRASS:
With the expected drop in air temperature, Romano anticipates a punch bite to be a major factor.
Romano prefers colors in the bluegill family such as Sprayed Grass or black/blue.
Another target for Romano would be the outside grass lines or deeper tule points.
“I would target these areas with a 5- or 6-inch Berkley General,” he added. “I like this wacky-rigged on a Zappu head, if I’ve got a little bit of wind. If it is flat calm, I would use a 2/0 Berkley Fusion hook.
His color choices for these presentations would still be in the bluegill family, with Green Pumpkin or Green Pumpkin Swirl at the top of the list for the General.
The ima Little Stik is one of his first picks for a hard bait presentation this weekend, targeting hard bottom areas, adjacent to grass.
“I like to keep it simple and use Bone; but I overall, I like the shad or white colors, or specifically a white belly,” he continued.
“I like the squarebill around shallow wood and grass,” he explained. “On the outside grass lines, I am going to go with the Pinjack.”
ALSO ON THE SHORT LIST:
A 3/8-ounce vibrating jig is another presentation that Romano feels could has the potential to come into play.
“The key for this lure for me is the 4 ½-inch Berkley Deal,” he said. “This is an extremely successful trailer for me. I stick with Green Pumpkin and black and blue colors.”
The Choppo makes the short list, with the size dependent on the conditions.
“If it is flat, dead calm, absolutely no wind, the little 90 in bone (white) or bluegill has gotten some really, big bites,” he said. “As soon as there is some chop on the water, I go to the 115.”