Photo: Graves and Aston's winning stringer at 18.60 lbs.
A rough morning ended in a victorious day for the team of Shawn Graves and Greg Aston this past Sunday, May 20 in the 2018 West Coast Bass Cat Owners Invitational hosted by Boatmasters on the California Delta.
Even before blast-off the action was on as Aston kicked off the event with not one; but two hooks stuck in his thumb.
Following a painful plier removal in the office of Russo’s Marina, the team took to the tidal waters with squarebill crankbaits and jigs to pull out a winning limit from the Frank’s Tract area.
They earned the win with five-fish that went 18.60, bolstered by a 6.98 kicker – the 2nd biggest bass of the event.
“When they pulled out the hooks, you could tell Greg was starting the day in quite a bit of pain,” recalled Bass Cat Owners event organizer and Boatmasters pro staffer Tony Franceschi. “He was gruntin’ and groanin’ while they pulled the hooks out and I jokingly told him, after that he deserved to win and then they did,”
Photo: The winning team of Shawn Graves and Greg Aston pose with their Trophies and Regional Sales Manager for Bass Cat Boats Ivan Williams.
For their efforts, Graves and Aston qualified for the Annual Bass Cat National Team Championship this November in Mountain Home, Ark.
The National event features a bass battle unlike any other – four lakes, two days, one winning team. They will compete against 10 other Regional Qualifiers from the United States for a chance at an all-expenses paid Mexico fishing trip with former owner and present Bass Cat president Rick Pierce.
Photo: The 2017 Bass Cat National Team Championship Schedule is Shown
The Bass Cat National Team Championship is competitive bass fishing, like none other seen.
“It is quite an event,” said Franceschi. “The teams fish one body of water for about 5 ½ hours, then travel to another body of water, fish another 5 ½ hours, turn in for the night, get up in the morning and repeat that format on two different bodies of water. The winners have the highest accumulated weight over all four bodies of water and the bodies of water change each year.”
Along with the tournament, qualifiers also have a dinner with Pierce and tour the Bass Cat factory.
Photo: Boatmasters provided boats for demo rides and had the brand new Bass Cat Lynx on display at the event.
Each year the West Coast Bass Cast Owners Invitational is presented by Boatmasters – the premiere Bass Cat dealership on the West Coast and the #4 rated dealer in the United States.
“This event was truly born to show owners/customers appreciation for their business and it falls in line with the family feeling that Bass Cat boats provides as a company to their customers.,” added Franceschi. “Sponsor participation helps to make the West Coast Owners event what it is and since 2016 support has more than doubled. The event is not only a tournament; but, there are demo rides given in the current and new models for those that want to see what these boats are all about."
Photo: The full field of 2018 teams competing for a chance to go Mountain Home, Ar
This year's Bass Cat West Coast Owners Invitational drew 28 teams to the Delta.
Any Bass Cat Owner is welcome to compete in any Regional event to qualify for the National Championship.
Bringing the Bass Cat brand to their existing and potential customers, Boatmasters will again be supporting the 2019 WON Bass California Open on Clear Lake and 2019 West Coast Owner’s Invitational on the California Delta.
See you there!
Photo: A 2018 contender loading their Bass Cat box with a Delta bass
2017 National Bass Cat Winners Earned a Trophy Bass Trip to Lake Picachos. The 2018 National Champhionship winner's destination has yet to be revealed.
(Picachos bassin' shown in video below)