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The much anticipated 2021 California B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak event was held on the legendary Clear Lake in Northern California on Sunday, May 23rd and it did not disappoint. 139 anglers showed up ready for battle to see who would take home the 10k grand prize and who would qualify for the 2022 B.A.S.S. Kayak National Championship (top 10 percent of the field).
Anglers were met with changing weather conditions. Official practice day (Saturday, 5/22) was warm and mostly calm all day. When it came time for tournament day the wind picked up and temperatures dropped. The west’s best anglers quickly adapted to conditions and brought in some impressive limits. Out of the 139 competitors, 102 secured a five fish limit. It took 89 inches to crack the top 20 and 91 inches to make the cut for the national championship.
Fish were found all over the lake and in all phases of the spawn. Topwater, bed fishing, chatterbaits, jigs, dropshot and Senkos were all productive baits. Of all the baits, the jig and the topwater produced the bigger bites needed to move to the top of the leaderboard.
Alex Cox of Seal Beach, CA ultimately captured the title with an impressive 100.25-inch limit anchored by his 21.50 inch Yamamoto Toad of the Tournament. Cox reported finding the winning fish on a steep rocky bank in the Redbud arm. He was throwing a TM Custom Jig and had secured the winning limit before 10 AM.
John Myers of Atwater, CA made a surge late in the day but came up a little short and ended up in 2nd. place with a 97.50-inch limit. Myers reported catching one early on a buzzbait and then filling out his limit later in the day on a jig fishing a rocky point separating two spawning coves near Konocti Bay.
Right on Myers' heels was Trenton Hoover of Los Gatos, CA with a 97.25-inch limit that was good enough for 3rd. place.
Here’s your top 13 – B.A.S.S. National Championship Qualifiers:
1. Alex Cox – 100.25 inches
2. John Myers – 97.50 inches
3. Trenton Hoover – 97.25 inches
4. Damian Thao – 95.25 inches
5. Jorge Ruelas – 95.00 inches
6. Richard George – 94.00 inches
7. Juan Nunez – 92.75 inches
8. Michael Trang – 92.25 inches
9. Mike Ensign – 92.25 inches
10. Sean Sanders – 91.50 inches
11. Matthew Bray – 91.00 inches
12. Greg Blanchard – 91.00 inches
13. Maximillian Krieg – 91.00 inches
Tim Arthur, Tournament Director reported that they are already in the planning phases for the 2022 season that will include multiple qualifier events throughout California culminating in a State Championship event - dates and locations TBD.
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