"It was an unbelievable day for us", stated Patrick Zapponi who stunned the large group of spectators watching the three o'clock weigh-in at Russo's Marina with his tale of two double digit fish that were caught within mere minutes of each other. "We threw Lucky Craft shallow running crankbaits, in the crawfish pattern most of the day - to tules sitting right off the bank", they revealed, stopping short of giving those - who would love to know, the exact areas they were fishing in.
"This was our first Future Pro Tour event, and we were really nervous about how we would do against a field of 174 other teams. The event most definitely had a "big time" feel to it, and was a totally different experience than when we fish in our club events at B.A.N.C (Bass Anglers of Northern California). But to our surprise, the camaraderie was just the same as all of the anglers fishing the event were very friendly, and seemed to be out for the same thing - having FUN!
For their victory, Patick and Andrew, took home $4,000 cash, the Costa Del Mar - "Champion's Choice" award (which consists of 2 pair of premium sunglasses), a Lamiglas rod for the biggest fish of the event, the George Gomes Memorial Big Fish Trophy, and a new REVO reel - for catching the "Fish of a Lifetime" - a beautiful 12.39 pounder.
In addition, they received two beautiful acrylic plaques and a bottle of wine to commemorate their victory.
Freshwater fishing Hall of Fame inductee Dee Thomas along with delta "guru" Andy "Cooch" Cuccia, made of point in Friday night's seminar at the Hook, Line and Sinker tackle store, of admonishing anglers to "take their time" as they climb up the ranks and learn what it takes to become a consistently good angler.
"You have to put your time in" admonished Dee. I've been fishing this river since the 50's and you simply can't find a substitute for putting your time in on the water. Take the good with the bad..stick with it, and you will find the success you are looking for, and this Tour is one of the best places to learn how to prepare for the next level of competition", he added.
And it seemed as though sergeant Zapponi deputized the entire field of anglers to round up delta bass, as it took just shy of twenty pounds to make the top forty in the final standings.
Dropshottin, Senkos, and jigs were the tickets to success for most anglers, as many followed the advice of "Cooch", who at Friday evening's seminar, strongly suggested that those who would use those methods of fishing would find success and big bags come game day.
Second place honors were taken by Tom and Jerry Beaty of Martinez California who dropshotted Senko's to catch a limit that weighed an astonishing 29.61 pounds. Second place paid a hefty $2,800 dollars. In the small boat division, Roy Broadley, fishing alone while his partner Dave Seymore heals up from a knee injury, brought in an impressive bag of bass weighing 25.02 pounds to capture that divisions 1st place title. Roy had to be super versatile as he was both angler and "net man" for the entire day.
Thanks to all of the anglers that participated in this event, and to our great sponsors who make the Future Pro Tour possible.
Next stop for the Future Pro Tour... Clear Lake! So don't put those big baits away just yet as you can expect more of the same BIG BASS catching we saw at the Delta. Konocti Harbor Resort and Spa will be the place, so get your entries in soon!
See you all there!