The weather had been warm leading up to the tournament, but the forecast added wind, and it was expected to blow. Gusty winds will make fishing difficult for anglers expected to fish open expanses such as Frank's Tract or Big Break. At roughly 5:45am, assistant tournament director Alton Forthe started calling out boat numbers, and the teams eagerly raced to their honey holes in search of the winning fish. The stage was set for an excited day on the water.
As the scales were coming to a close, it was apparent that at least two fierce battles were fought, and only at the closing of the weigh scales would the winners be determined.
The first battle would revolve around the teams winning 1st and 2nd place. These teams had two things in common. First, they're both local delta semi pro anglers. Second, they each had over 16lbs.
The second battle looks at the AOY points race. It was a super tight race between the teams of Justin Lucas and Michael Wright and Steve Starr and Mike Dees. At the conclusion of the delta event, one of these teams would be able to break away and take a commanding lead.
By the slimmest of margins, the team of Long Nguyen and John Billheimer Jr. edged out Chris and Roy Taylor for first place. Nguyen and Billheimer weighed a five fish limit for 16.56lbs, good for 1st place plaques and $940 cash. John told the weigh in crowd that they caught their fish throwing crankbaits in Discovery Bay, along with frog fish caught earlier in the morning. This is the first victory for John Jr, whose father John Sr. of MAS Services, is a sponsor of the Semi Pro trail. Congratulations to a job well done and we expect to see him on the podium more often.
Second place by a margin of only .06 was the team of Chris and Roy Taylor. Their 5 fish limit of 16.50 lbs netted them $490 and a pair of plaques. Chris, who normally fishes the delta semi pro trail with Jeff Reed, fished this event with his father, Roy.
Third place went to Terry Devincenzi and Scott Crawford with a weight of 15.52lbs. They took home $380 in cash and plaques. Terry and Scott were the highest placing team from the traveling semi pro trail.
Big Fish of the event went to the team of Ron Rushing and Paul Mactaggart, who weighed in a beautiful 6.42lb bass. As they accepted the big fish plaque, big fish rod and $350, they told the crowd that the big fish was fooled on a rattle trap that "short-lined" them at the boat. Great fish fighting skills allowed them to net the fish and claim big fish. Good job guys!
The AOY points race has just gotten tougher for the rest of the crowd. Justin Lucas and Michael Wright were able to distance themselves from the pack with their solid finish at 9th place.
Angler's Choice semi pro trail is sponsored by BassCat boats, Mercury Outboards, Lowrance, Eagle, Motorguide, Rejuvenade, Solar Boat, Wet-A-Line tours, MAS Service, Sunnyoaks Muffler, Extreme Angler, California Custom worms, Hot Springs Portable spas and Royal Laundry.