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: 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

 Keep up with the California B.A.S.S. Nation at

Michael Coleman and Mark Lassange Take Ca State Federation Titles

Federation Champion
RB BASS Angler Michael Coleman of Pioneer Ca, Wins the Academy Sports and Outdoors California Co-Angler Bassmaster Federation title at Lake Mead Nevada.
Prior to this event Michael qualified with a second place finish at the lake Pyramid Bassmaster Federation event in Southern California.  Northern California Pro Mark Lassagne qualified by winning the Bassmaster Federation event on the California Delta.  The two Nor-Cal anglers paired up to travel to the Western Divisionals at Lake Mead.  Michael and Mark arrived at Lake Mead on April 1st pumped to start practice. Together they broke down the lake and found the areas where they felt the largest fish were at. The two Anglers covered a lot of water to find fish using a  River2sea Bling Spinnerbait and once they located fish they slowed down and picked the water apart using a Yamamoto senko in green pumpkin watermelon.  The other key tool was the Yamamoto hula grub in brown and purple, The State Champs figured out that the fish were in a  pre spawn mode and were moving shallow.  The big concentrations of fish were located at Gregs basin, Temple bar, and Coullville.
Federation Boats
  On day 1 Michael Coleman drew Sean Minderman and fished the Overton arm catching a small 3 fish co-angler limit for 4.7 pounds.  On day 2 Michael  drew David Naugle and they fished just right of the narrows.  On day 2 Michael ended up weighing 8.9 pounds for a 3 fish limit jumping from 57th to 17th place making and was able to make the final day top 20 cut.  On day 3 His partner was Jesse Milicevic they also started just out of the narrows but moving their way back to some of the water Michael had caught fish in practice at Rufus cove. Weighing in 6.9 pounds for his 3 fish limit catapulting Michael into 10th place overall!  This gave Co-Angler Michael Coleman the California State Champion title and qualified him for the Bassmaster Federation National Championships where he will be competing for a shot at the Bassmaster Classic.  Michael will  have to best 11 other contestants from the west to seal the deal and make it to the Bassmaster Classic. ” Michael stated he is just PUMPED about the chance he has”! Pro Angler Mark Lassagne of San Ramon Ca, finished the event in 15th overall with a total weight of 37-9 Lbs enough to give him the California State Champion Title.  Both Anglers will travel to the National Championships for the chance to make it to the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing the Bassmaster Classic! Michael and Mark both hope to be in the hot seat again!
Federation Hot Seat