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SoCal Kayak Anglers had their Tournament of Champions (TOC) at El Capitan on day one and Lower Otay on day two. Steve Buechner won with an impressive two-day total of 161.00”. Buechner started his day one throwing a Senko but only caught one fish measuring 17.00”. He found a pod of schooling fish and used a small rattle trap to fill his limit.
“Once I had my limit, it helped me settle down and fish slower.” said Buechner, “Even though it was a small limit.”
Buechner adjusted to a drop shot with a 6” Robo Margarita worm, throughout the day he culled several fish.
“The last hour of the day, I changed back to the Senko and culled several inches finishing the day with 83.75” said Buechner, “My last cull came at 2:30 PM just a half hour before lines out.”
Day two, Buechner was confident with his 4” lead. He started day two with a non-measurable fish.
“I was getting nervous with only one small fish at 11 AM.” said Buechner, “I moved out deeper and started to catch some nice fish.”
After losing his next keeper fish just at the boat, the stress was starting to overcome Buechner. He decided to commit in the 15-foot range where he used a drop shot to reach his limit.
“At 2:15 PM, I finally had my limit.” said Buechner, “I was still 5 inches behind first place.”
“I had a 12 and a 13-inch fish that I knew I could cull.” said Buechner, “I then caught a 15” bass at 2:30 PM culling 3 inches and then at 2:45 I culled again which put in in first place with .50” more than second place.”
Buechner was very happy with this tournament. He said, “I normally start to scramble and move around too much, but this time I stayed calm which helped me with the win.”
Buechner thanked Fastlane Sailing & Kayaking, Hobie, and Heck Electric & Solar for all their support this year.
Chris Harris finished in second place with a two-day total of 160.50”. His day one was 80.50” and his day two was 80.00”. Harris just missed first place by a half inch. Day one at El Capitan he fished history and headed to the dam area.
“During practice, I had found the fish working bait near the dam.”
Harris had found that the bait and bass were schooled up. The pop max in white was the key to his success. He would work his pop max erratically to entice his 80.50” of bass. On day two at Lower Otay Harris fished in Harvey’s arm. Using his Garmin forward facing electronics, he was able to see schools of bass working bait in an old creek channel. Harris used a Mega Bass 110 rip bait to entice his 80.00” of bass.
“Unlike EL Capitan, the bass at Lower Otay were not wanting the pop max.” said Harris, “I adjusted to a rip bait to catch the schooling bass.”
Harris was fishing in 15 feet of water, again working the rip bait as erratically as he could.
“The water was clear when you stood up you could see the bait fish just below the surface.” said Harris, “I was working the rip bait just below the school of bait.”
For Angler of the year (AOY) Harris was just behind Steve Buechner in points. It came down to the last few minutes of the tournament when Buechner just edged out Harris by .50” for AOY and the tournament win.
“It was a double whammy when Steve caught his limit the last minutes of the tournament.” said Harris, “Not only did Steve take the win, but he also won AOY.”
Harris thanked his wife for all her support. Also, for the SoCal anglers for putting on such great events.
1.Steve Buechner 161.00”
2. Chris Harris 160.50”
3. Mike Stames 142.75”
4. Justin Maupin 126.00”
5. Marc Tiess 106.25”
6. Russell Peltier 101.00”
7. Julian Jones 100.00”
8. Henry Cole 99.75”
9. Kevin Schatte 98.50”
10. Ryan Ramirez 98.25”
Day 1 Sonny Carig 18.50” Day 2 Henry Cole 19.75”
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