Jim Graddy wins Bass Nation Event on New Melones with 35 pounds

Jim Graddy with a Nice New Melones Bass

Jim Graddy won the California B.A.S.S. Nation qualifier with the help of this 8.93-pounder.

The 74-year-old also caught the biggest bass, almost a 9-pounder

ANGELS CAMP, Calif. — Jim Graddy of Shafter, Calif., won the 2017 California B.A.S.S. Nation State Team Qualifier 1 on New Melones Reservoir, March 18-19, and no one was more surprised than he was. “I am shocked that I won,” said the 74-year-old real estate broker. “The first time I had ever been to New Melones was on Thursday.”  At his ripe age, Graddy said he’s not only proud to have won: “I’m proud to still be alive.”  Graddy jokes about his age, adding that after this many years of fishing, he should really be better than he is. But based on his 24.64-pound bag on Day 2, most of his fellow competitors would argue that he’s doing just fine. Graddy finished with 35.35 pounds, eclipsing second place by almost 2 pounds. But he won another honor as well — biggest bass overall. He caught an 8.93-pounder on Sunday, the biggest bass of the tournament by a nearly 2-pound margin. It was mid-morning when the big fish took his Senko and started swimming toward him. “I didn’t even know it was big at first,” Graddy said. His nonboater partner, Louie Marques, asked if he needed help with the net and Graddy declined, saying it didn’t feel like much. “But then I got a little pressure, and it got bigger,” said Graddy, laughing about his rapid change of mind. “I said to Louie, ‘Maybe I do need a little help.’”  The fish was near the dam in 2 to 3 feet of water.

 Graddy had used Texas-rigged Zoom Brush Hogs in green pumpkin all day Saturday, when he brought in a limit of 10.71 pounds fishing laydowns. But on Sunday, he wasn’t having much success, and he took a cue from Marques to pick up a Senko instead. He settled on shad and green pumpkin colors and fished the rest of the day with Senkos, targeting shallow grass on the banks. Areas with heavier grass seemed more productive to Graddy than areas with less of it. He would start at a point, work into a cove, then work the other side as he made his way to the next one. “It’s fun to beat these young guys,” said Graddy. “It doesn’t happen often. They usually kick your butt.” Graddy is a member of the Valley Bass Club in Bakersfield. As the top boater at New Melones, he is the first angler to qualify for the 2018 California B.A.S.S. Nation State Team. 

Jared Harris of Oakdale is the only other angler to qualify for the State Team alongside Graddy. Harris won the nonboater side on New Melones. Harris, 23, spent his pre-fishing time determining what lures would work best across the lake. As the nonboater, he wouldn’t have the final say in where he could fish each day, but he could at least pick the best tackle that would work anywhere. He settled on a swimbait made by Johnny C’s California Reservoir Lures in casper color, in 3 or 5 inches for the first day, when he weighed in three fish for 7.18 pounds. On the second day, he used Senkos in brown with black and purple flake to bring in 6.97 pounds. “I found that rocky areas with nice grass growing nearby were the most productive spots,” said Harris, who works for Local 1245 Electrical IBEW. “I don’t regret one cast I made,” Harris added. “I felt like I was on my game.” Harris ended with 14.15 pounds, edging second place by ounces.

 On the boater side, Graddy was flanked by first-day leader Randy Pierson with 33.39 pounds and Michael Coleman in third place with 31.48 pounds. On the nonboater side, Jay Williams finished behind Harris with 14.01 pounds, followed by Louie Marques with 13.66 pounds.

 The next qualifier takes place June 3-4 on Lake Oroville in Oroville, Calif.

 Keep up with the California B.A.S.S. Nation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/californiabassnation and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/cal_bn.

 

 

Camp Far West fishing report by Bob Pietruszka 3-9-17

My buddy David and I launched the boat about 10 am.. Water temp was 57 at the dock.  The water clarity was about 6 in. before you’re lure disappeared. Cold and muddy, not looking good. We fished all of my favorite spots and searched for new ones. We used brown Jigs with plastic trailers, spinner baits and both square bill and medium diving crank baits. All fished as slow as possible. Still nothing. The graph showed fish spread out and not schooling at all. No bait fish balls and diving birds were spread out searching. Caught my first fish on a jig on the edge of the drop in front of the spillway. Caught my last fish on the square bill in the Rock Creek arm in about 3ft. of water. Two fish total for the day. We did not get up into the Bear River arm so I don’t know what the water temp or clarity is up there. As always, thank you for checking in with RBBass and please visit our sponsors on our home page for great deals.   

Bob Pietruszka

Nate Boomhower joins RB BASS Group of Anglers

Age 35
Born Sacramento
Lives Citrus Heights

Fishing runs deep in my family from generations to Generations. As far as I can remember I always had a fishing pole in my hand every chance I had. From fishing small farm ponds when I was little to fishing bigger bodies of water As I Grew Older . I always just loved to fish. Bass fishing trumped all fishing for me though. It became a part of my life more then I could ever imagine. Through out the years I became a better angler, absorbing knowledge like a sponge. Now, I’m loving the sport even more. I started competitive bass tournaments in 2006 fishing several different local circuits in northern California. I currently am a Tournament Angler fishing the BBT northern region and FPT Northern Region. I’m also a writer for Westernbass. I write reports, online featured articles and articles for the magazine. I’m blessed to have the sport I love so much be such a big part of my life and to share and enjoy it with my 2 beautiful boys is amazing.

The path to the Classic begins on New Melones

The path to the Classic begins on New Melones

 Darrell Ocamica of Idaho, Tim Klinger of Nevada and Ryan Lavigne of Louisiana all started by competing in B.A.S.S. Nation events in their respective state, and now they’re heading to the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic later this month. Anglers in California have the opportunity to climb the same ladder beginning March 18.

 California B.A.S.S. Nation competition begins this month

 SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The path to competing in the Bassmaster Classic begins in California on New Melones Reservoir, March 18-19.

 Any angler in California — boater or nonboater — has a chance at competing against the best bass anglers in the world at the 2019 Bassmaster Classic. The road to qualify begins at any of the four California B.A.S.S. Nation tournaments scheduled for 2017, moves on to the Western Regional next spring and culminates in the 2018 B.A.S.S. Nation Championship, in which three of the nation’s best anglers earn a berth in the 2019 Classic.

 

“No angler from the California B.A.S.S. Nation has ever made it all the way to the Classic before,” said Mark “Chief” Torrez, president of the California B.A.S.S. Nation. “Our state has the best anglers in the country, and there’s no reason one of our members can’t end our streak this year and get one of our guys onto the biggest stage in bass fishing.”

 

The first tournament of the season is on New Melones Reservoir in Angels Camp, March 18-19. The top boater and top nonboater at New Melones automatically advance to the 2018 State Team, becoming the first to qualify. The rest of the 20-person State Team will qualify either by winning one of the other three tournaments this year (Oroville, Delta or Nacimiento) or by finishing in the top of the points bracket (best three out of four tournaments).

 The 2017 State Team, which qualified last year, will put their skills to the test beginning in April at Lake Shasta. The 2017 Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Western Regional presented by Magellan will be held in our home state, April 19-21. The Western Regional is held at a different Western lake every year.

 The best boater and best nonboater from California’s 2017 State Team will qualify for the 2017 Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Championship presented by Magellan this fall at a location to be determined. The Top 3 anglers at the championship advance to the 2018 Classic.

 In just a few weeks, you can watch three of last year’s top Nation anglers compete in the 2017 Classic, including two from the West. From March 24 to 26, on Lake Conroe in Houston, Texas, Darrell Ocamica of Idaho, Tim Klinger of Nevada and Ryan Lavigne of Louisiana will represent their states on the world stage.

 To be on track to make the 2019 Bassmaster Classic, competitors must either win a California B.A.S.S. Nation event or finish in the top of the points by the end of the season. Points are determined on a 100-point scale at each tournament, with the winner receiving 100 points, second-place receiving 99, etc. The top points winners, based on their three best tournaments, will qualify for the 2018 State Team.

 The full schedule is as follows:

 Date                                       Lake                                                       Location

March 18-19                         New Melones Reservoir                Angels Camp, CA

June 3-4                                Lake Oroville                                     Oroville, CA

July 8-9                                 California Delta                                Oakley, CA

Oct. 14-15                              Lake Nacimiento                              Paso Robles, CA

 

To register to compete at New Melones, download the entry form here: http://calbn.com/new-melones-reservoir and submit it by March 8. You must be a member of a California B.A.S.S. Nation club to be eligible to compete.

 If you have questions about tournaments or about joining a club, contact Mark Torrez at (805) 233-0883 or mark@calbn.com.

 Keep up with the California B.A.S.S. Nation at www.facebook.com/californiabassnation.

Delta Fishing report by Alex Sanchez

Water Temperature-54-58

Water Clarity Mud – 5 Feet

Weather Condition- Party Cloudy/Rain

Wind- 10 to 20MPH

 

I had the chance to fish the California Delta this past Sunday with long time friend and sponsor Vince Borges of Phenix Rods. Vince and I got on the water about 7:30, due to high water conditions we launched out of Paradise Point Marina. We started fishing fairly close to Paradise Point Marina jumping around through Disappointment and 14 Mile Slough. We managed to boat a couple nice fish tossing Spinnerbaits and Chatterbaits on some isolated tulle berms nothing really special to try and duplicate. So we started working our way to the West Delta looking for some cleaner / warmer water. It took quite a bit of gas to do so but we found 58 degree water with 5 foot visibility and the fish were chewing! Immediately, Vince and I double hook up with a 5 and 3 pounder both on Chatterbaits..

We continue further back into the pocket and not a bite! I change things up and toss a deep diving Crankbait and boat another solid fish. We reached the end of the pocket, Vince tosses his Chatterbait against the edge of some isolated Hyacinth and gets CRUSHED…two head shakes and comes unbuttoned. Vince was heartbroken knowing that could have been a today’s kicker fish. Being pressed for time with a bad weather system coming in we decided to fish up to little patch of tulles adjacent to hyacinth then leave. I fired cast into the patch and got hammered! A beautiful 6 pound pre-spawn bass boated on a Spinnerbait! Vince and I ended up with 17 pounds for our best five. Our key to success was clear water, you won’t catch a lot of fish but you will boat the right ones.

Todays Gear

River2Sea Goon Crankbait

River2Sea Bling Spinnerbait

Chatterbait

 

Christopher Evola joins RB BASS Group of Anglers

Hometown: Tracy, California

Birthday: February 19

Favorite Music: Country

Home Lake: California Delta

Favorite Lake: California Delta

Favorite Technique: Punching and throwing a frog

Primary Fishing Strength: Optimism

Boat: Ranger 520 DVX with 225 Mercury Optimax

Tow Vehicle: F250 – Ford King Ranch

From a young age, I was introduced to fishing and I now have the opportunity to pursue my dreams in the fishing industry with the goal of fishing the entire FLW circuit and winning an FLW event. Besides being an up and coming professional angler I’m a Police Officer with Bay Area Rapid Transit in California. As a Police Officer, I have the responsibilities that involves the protection of life and property, providing information and assistance to the public, enforcement of laws and ordinances, criminal investigation and crime prevention and suppression. When I’m not fishing, or working I enjoy spending time with my family and hunting. My wife, Melissa, my 5-year-old son, Vincent, and 2-year-old daughter, Raelynn all love the outdoors. I believe it’s important to challenge myself and follow my passion as I want to lead by example and teach my son and daughter to challenge them selves and follow their passion one day. Some of my fishing tournaments and accomplishments consist of:

  • 2016 Ultimate Frog Challenge – Pro – 3rd Place
  • 2016 Police, Fire and Corrections Badge Packer Tournament – 5th Place
  • 2015 California Delta Future Pro Tournament – 13th Place
  • 2016 River2Sea Open – 14th Place
  • 2016 FLW California Delta – 45th Place
  • Tracy Bass Turkey Shoots – Several 1st Place Wins

My passion for this sport is great and I love being challenged and adapting to multiple new situations.

California B.A.S.S. Nation revises 2017 schedule

Because of damage to the Spillway / dam at Oroville Lake, the California B.A.S.S. Nation is postponing the Oroville tournament and moving up the New Melones event.

Oroville tournament moves to June; New Melones event is now in March

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Damage to the dam at Oroville Lake has caused two major changes to the California B.A.S.S. Nation tournament schedule for 2017.

The Oroville Dam has made national headlines in recent days due to its impairment and, with rain still in the forecast, there is no guarantee of immediate improvement in the conditions at Oroville Lake. The first California B.A.S.S. Nation qualifier of the season, scheduled for March 18-19, has been rescheduled for June 3-4.”ENTRY FORM

New Melones Reservoir was scheduled to host the second qualifier of the season, May 20-21. Instead, it will be the first tournament, held on Oroville’s original dates, March 18-19. “ENTRY FORM

The other events on the schedule are not affected by the change.

“It’s about safety first,” said Mark “Chief” Torrez, president of the California B.A.S.S. Nation. “We do not take risks with the safety of our anglers. We also wanted to make a decision early so competitors could make a plan.”

The revised schedule is as follows:

Date                                       Lake                                                       Location

March 18-19                       New Melones Reservoir                Angels Camp, CA

June 3-4                                Lake Oroville                                      Oroville, CA

July 8-9                                 California Delta                                 Oakley, CA

Oct. 14-15                            Lake Nacimiento                              Paso Robles, CA

 

The top boater and top nonboater at each event will qualify for the 2018 California B.A.S.S. Nation State Team. The rest of the team will be made up of the best anglers throughout the season, based on points. The State Team will represent California in the 2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Western Regional, at a location to be announced. California’s top boater and top nonboater from the regional will advance to the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship to compete for a spot in the 2019 Bassmaster Classic and a berth in the Bassmaster Elite Series.

The points winner in each division, Boater and Nonboater, will earn the California B.A.S.S. Nation Angler of the Year award.

To be eligible to compete, each angler must be a member of a B.A.S.S. Nation-affiliated club. To find a club in your area, contact Mark Torrez, California B.A.S.S. Nation president, at (805) 233-0883, or visit www.calbn.com.

Keep up with future announcements by following California B.A.S.S. Nation on Facebook (www.facebook.com/CaliforniaBassNation).

Don Pedro Fishing Report by Josh Parris

Lake Don Pedro Map

Don Pedro fishing report

Water temp – 51-58
Water clarity – muddy to 1-4 ft
Conditions- sunny post frontal 
Winds – light
Over the weekend I fished the Sonora bass anglers tournament at lake Don Pedro with my buddy. I hadn’t been out there in a while and in light of all the recent rain and rising water I was expecting tuff post front conditions. Water temp and clarity really just depended on location. We launched out of Moccasin, it was 53 degrees and muddy with 3-6 inches of water clarity and a lot of floating debris. I like fishing that area but decided to make a run in search of cleaner water. On our initial run when ran out past middle bay and found clear water. We found early success on jigs and tubes for a hand full of short fish in the 20 foot range. After that we jumped out to submerged lake island tops with little success. At 8am and an empty box we turned our attention finding running water. I immediately realized that almost every decent tributary had a few boats on them. We opted for some of the smaller feeder creeks and quickly found success with a half oz River2sea Papa Mur jig. My partner then turned to throwing reaction baits like cranks, a rigs and quickly got a 3lber on the a rig. The a rig quickly became the dominant factor for us. My Falcon Bucoo rig rod got a work out! On my a rig I was throwing River2sea rig walkers in silverside color. If your not familiar with the River2sea rig walkers check them out! They are pre rigged swim baits that can save you a ton of time on the water.
After the bite slowed down I started throwing single rig walker and managed to get 3lb spotted bass. With our fish exhausting we moved on. We had little to no success on the next 5 or 6 small tributaries we ran. Towards the end of the day I decided to go back up to the dirty water. We found a long creek arm and went to work. After about an hour we had caught a hand full of fish but nothing to help us. As we worked our way out we stoped on another small feeder creek for the last twenty minutes of the day. It did take long and I grabbed our best fish of the day on the a rig, a just under 4lbs large mouth. We ended the day with 14.85 witch was enough for the win. With changing conditions keep an open mind and adapt.

Josh Parris Don Pedro Bass

 

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Dressing up for the Cold with Pro Angler Mark Lassagne

Dress for Success

You don’t have to miserable fishing in cold weather

Heading out to uncover your boat for a day on the lake you notice the cover is frozen solid and there’s ice across the windows of your truck.

You ponder for a minute – do I really want to go fishing today? Knowing that you’ll be numb at least for the first few hours. The minute goes by, hell ya I’m going fishing who’s gonna listen when I whine about it being too cold anyway.

Truth is you don’t have to be so cold it’s uncomfortable – yes it’s cold and I’m not saying you won’t be a little cold but with the right gear it’s bearable.

Every day is different but with layers you can adjust for the conditions.

We’ll go over a generally cold day and then make adjustments for extreme cold and or rain.

Base Layer: I use Cabela’s Polartec, be sure to get tall. After going through a ton of different manufactures I found these to be the best for fishing as the bottoms are a little bit taller where they don’t fall down exposing skin. With the top, I get the Tall size, that can be tucked further down, again so you don’t expose any skin. Below the thermals I wear snug boxer briefs cuz it’s no fun if they bunch up. On top, I wear a snug tee shirt under the thermals for the simple reason I wear the thermals for several days and I want them to stay as clean as possible. You also want the tee shirt long so it will stay tucked in too.

2nd Layer Bottoms: On top of the thermal bottoms I wear insulated nylon sports pants. I have two different pairs, one that is light weight for mild days and another that has heavier insulation for colder or rainy days. You can usually find a good selection at Marshalls for a good price. Be sure to get a color that matches your jersey so you’ll look good at weigh in. Jeans or pants will work in a pinch but sports pants are more comfortable (flexible) and keep you warmer.

2nd Layer Top: Your upper body needs more insulation, so over my thermal I wear a long sleeve tee shirt and then a hooded sweatshirt over that. I have a few different hoodies so I’ll use thicker ones, like an Okuma sweatshirt when it’s colder.  If it’s down in the 20’s Columbia makes a thin Omni-Heat jacket that works instead of a sweatshirt but only when it’s really cold because it will keep you so warm you’ll overheat once it warms up a little.

Outer Bottoms: For the outer layer, I wear Gil FG2 Tournament Trousers. You’ll want to have insulated bibs. Rain pants just don’t work when it’s cold and especially if it’s raining, they will ride down and you’ll get a cold and wet ass – just no fun. There are lots of great rain gear out there but I’ve been using these for a couple years and I’m staying dry even in heavy rain. Let me tell you when it’s 42 degrees pouring rain and you feel the cold water soaking through your thermals working up your back you’ll wish you had these.

Outer Top: On top, I have a couple options. If it’s dry I wear a light weight Stormr Nano jacket but if it’s raining I use the Gil F2 Tournament Jacket. When it’s dry, you need wind protection because your base layers will keep you warm but they are not wind resistant. When it’s raining, it very important to stay dry. You want a good hood that will cover your head with without too much downward pressure (which will give you a headache) and still be able to see out of, you want the front to be able to close up tight so no water comes in when you’re running – The Gil F2 does a good job.

No matter if the rest of your body is warm: cold hands, feet or head can make for a miserable day.

Socks: First I wear a good pair of compression socks the ones from CEP Compression USA work well and that’s it for socks. With the new compression socks you don’t need to double up or do anything special.

Boots: Columbia Newton Ridge waterproof boot, these are the best boots ever – lightweight comfortable, warm, waterproof with good traction, pretty much perfect for fishing.

Extra Feet Warmth: Even with good compression socks and waterproof boots your feet might get cold so on those super cold days I use ThermCell ProFLEX HD heated insoles. These are pretty cool and adjust with an app on your phone. The only thing I don’t like is they are a little thick and can cramp your feet if you don’t have extra room in your boots.

Hands: Probably the most difficult to keep warm. I use Buff Sport Series full fingered gloves when it’s really cold and then fingerless when it’s not as bad – both can be worn while fishing. Sometimes when it’s raining I’ll wear thin rubber mechanics gloves underneath. When driving, I wear the Polar Tec gloves, purchased from Phil’s Propellers. These Polar Tec gloves (I think are made in Sweden) are thick rubber with a nice lining where it’s easy to put on even if your hands are wet.

Head: Heat rises so keeping your head warm goes a long way. I start with a Savage Gear Balaclava (like a buff) this one covers the top of your head, your face and down your neck perfect for cold weather. Then if it’s not too cold I’ll wear a beanie but on those super cold days I use a Columbia Nobel Falls Trapper lined hat.

When it’s raining (while fishing) I usually wear a hat with a sturdy bill over the Savage Balaclava and then the hoodie hood over that and then the rain gear hood on top. Make sure it’s not too tight or it will give you a headache.

Driving: When driving in the rain I wear a motorcycle helmet and tuck the collar of my rain gear up in side.  The Save Phace helmet works great for the passenger but I’ve found they fog up making it difficult to see and the reason I opt for a helmet. With a helmet, I can flip the visor up if it gets foggy. One downside to a helmet is when it’s rough your head will bounce around but it sure is nice in the pouring rain. I believe there is a lightweight helmet option out there but I haven’t researched since mine works fine.

On clear days, I rarely wear a helmet and opt for goggles that overlap my face gear without mush skin exposed. Using the Balaclava, the Columbia Trapper with Goggles will keep your face and head warm on a long run.

In addition to the clothing I bring along some Hot Hands heat packs and put one in each pocket for a little warm up. These are great for the cold but they don’t work when wet.  Thermacell has an electric hand warmer but I have not tried them yet.

I’m hoping my years of trial and error combatting the cold will help you be a little more comfortable on the water this winter.

Gear List and Links

Cabela’s Polar Tec http://bit.ly/CabelsPolalTec

 

Stormr Nano Jacket http://bit.ly/StormrNanoJacket

 

Gil F2 Tournament Jacket and Bibs http://bit.ly/GilF2RainGear

 

CEP Compression USA Socks http://bit.ly/CEPCompressionSocks

 

Columbia Waterproof Boots http://bit.ly/ColumbiaBoots

 

ThermaCell Heated Insoles http://bit.ly/ThermalCellInsoles

 

Buff Gloves http://bit.ly/BuffGloves

 

Polar Tech Gloves at Phil’s Propellers in Redding, CA call 530-275-4939

 

Savage Gear Balaclava http://bit.ly/SavageBalaclava

 

Columbia Trapper Hat http://bit.ly/ColumbiaTrapper