The weather has been unseasonably warm and the early spring bite is way ahead of schedule. Anglers reported that the bite was wide open during pre-fish.
The tournament didn’t disappoint either as thirty-two of the thirty-nine boats brought in five-fish limits. The anglers brought in 176 bass weighing 523 lbs. That equaled nearly a 3 pound average per fish.
The bite was wide open as anglers reported catching fish on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, Senko’s, brushogs and jigs just to name a few of the baits used.
The numbers of huge Delta bass brought to the scales was incredible. Several fish over 5 pounds were weighed in.
Fresnopro Ryan Voorhees and partner Mike Smylie of Ione, edged out the competition by a mere 60/100th’s of a pound. Voorhees’ monster bass that tipped the scales at 12.90 pounds capped their 26.74 pound five fish limit and took big fish for the event.
Voorhees made the long run from Stockton to Big Break and Sherman to catch their fish. They cranked and flipped all their fish.
Using 20-pound Maxima line on Diawa reels and Loomis rods, the pair keyed on rock and tulle banks in 4-6 feet of water with green pumpkin Senko’s and red rattletraps.
Voorhees, who is sponsored by Advance Diesel Systems and San Joaquin Chemical, took home $2,001 while Smylie earned $587 for a team total of $2,588.
Second place went to Oakdale pro Bruce Harris and partner Bill Clayton of Modesto. Harris and Clayton brought in a five-fish limit that weighed 26.14 pounds.
The pair fished in 4-8 feet of water on tulles and weed lines in the central Delta. They tossed spinnerbaits and flipped jigs and brushogs with 25-pound Trilene Big Game on Abu Garcia reels and St. Croix rods to bring in their awesome catch.
Harris thanked his sponsor, St Croix rods, as he accepted $1,888 in earnings; Clayton took home $881 for a team total of $2,769.
Stocktonpro Jarred Jennings didn’t let fishing by himself hinder his chances as he brought in a 22.42 pound five fish limit.
Jenningsflipped all his fish with Coast Lures jigs on 50 pound Power Pro, Shimano reels and St Croix rods.
He keyed on tulle and weed banks with chunk rock in 1-8 feet of water. The Stockton pro used black and blue jigs in the morning, then switched to brown and pumpkin in the afternoon.
Jenningsthanked Coast Lures, Smelly Jelly, Outdoor Sportsmen, Wings of Fire and St. Croix for their support as he took home his winnings of $1,288.
Rounding out the top 5 in fourth place was Manteca pro Mike Delnero and his partner Ken Long of Turlock. Long’s actual finish was 3rd by virtue of Jennings fishing by himself.
The team brought in a 5 fish limit that tipped the scales at 20.52 pounds. Delnero took home $893 while Long earned $530 for a team total of $1,423.
Fifth place went to Stockton pro Fred Lerond and partner Izz Byrd of San Jose. The team’s 20.42 pound five fish limit was capped by Byrd’s 8.40-pound lunker that took big fish in the am division.
Lerond’s fifth place finish earned the Stockton pro $441 while Byrd’s 4th place finish netted $534 for a team total of $975.
Fresnopro Sieg Taylor took 2nd big fish in the pro division with his 8.28 pound toad that helped seal up 6th place and netted the Fresno angler $481.
Vallecito’s Jeff Whited took 2nd big fish in the am division with his 8.20 pound lunker that helped him seal up 7th place and $205.
Bruce Harris jumped into a 1st place tie with Clovis pro, Jeff Mathews in the Pro Division Angler of the Year Points Race with 411 points. Oakdale pro Randy Blevins is only 5 points back with 406 points. Pro Angler of the Year champion earns $750 in 2005 entries.
Bill Clayton has what appears to be an insurmountable 17-point lead in the Am Division Angler of the Year point’s race. Clayton has 423 points followed by Fresno’s Dave McEwen with 406 points. Am Division Angler of the Year champion earns $375 in 2005 entries.
New for 2004 is Nor-Cal’s push to encourage new pro’s to join our circuit. As an incentive to fish Nor-Cal Pro-Am’s, we have added the Bob’s Marine Pro Rookie Bonus Cash and the Thompson Chevrolet Pro Rookie Point’s Race.
The Bob’s Marine Pro Bonus Cash awards $100 to the highest finishing pro at each event, who is fishing in their first season as a Nor-Cal pro. The bonus cash on the California Delta went to Jarred Jennings for his 3rd place finish.
The Thompson Chevrolet Pro Rookie Point’s Race tracks the same anglers throughout the season and awards a prize package at the end of the year worth several hundred dollars. Sieg Taylor slipped by Kerman pro Tim Turner by 4 points, 402 to 398.
Thompson Chevrolet is also offering special pricing on new vehicle purchases through their dealership in Patterson for all Nor-Cal members. If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, shop around and then come to Thompson and see what Nor-Cal pricing can save you!
Special thanks go to our tournament trail sponsors, Stratos Boats and Evinrude Outboards. Because of their support, Nor-Cal Bass will be awarding a fully rigged Stratos/Evinrude prize package at their Pro Championship tournament. Visit Bob’s Marine to take a look at this great boat and motor combination!
Thanks also to our official rod sponsor, St Croix,for supporting our anglers and awarding their quality built rods at the Nor-Cal Bass Pro Championship.
Nor-Cal Bass Tournament Trail sponsors are: Stratos Boats, Evinrude Outboards, Bob’s Marine, St Croix Rods, Thompson Chevrolet, Autolife Sporting Goods, Escalon Bait & Tackle, Tom’s Truck Repair, Tracy Oasis Marina, Del Taco Manteca/Oakdale, Thermo Oil Batteries, Super Pork, Keeper Custom Worms, Predator Worms, McClure Painting & Plastering, Hildebrand’s Auto Repair and PMZ Realty.
The fifth and final stop on our 2004 Pro-Am season takes place May 15, 2004 at New Melones. Check-in will take place at Glory Hole Sports. Mandatory Check-in is from 3:30 am to 4:30 am on the morning of the event.
Nor-Cal will be holding two open team events in May on Lake Don Pedro. The first one is our Mix Team event, which will take, place May 1, 2004. Our annual night event takes place on May 22 & 23, 2004. Check-in for both tournaments will take place at Flemming Meadows.
For more information on our tournament trail and our 2004 schedule, visit our website, www.nor-calbass.com, or call (209) 634-8754.