In January the Lake Oroville/GoldCity Trail had a stellar field of 40 teams on an other than desirable day. We had fog so thick you could not see the launch ramp from the blast-off boat. After talking to all of the anglers, there was a unanimous decision to obey a strict 5 mile per hour blast-off and speed limit until visibility was 30 yards+, and all boaters adhered to the rule without exception.
In February the weather gods were once again back on our side. With recent storms and the water level on the rise (thankfully), the fishing reports were sketchy at best. From reports going back two weeks, the bite was stingy for most, with occasional reports of a good day. The two tourneys from the previous weeks were won with 11lbs a day. Even with tougher than usual fishing being the norm, 34 Teams came out to ply their skills against some of the best spotted bass anglers in the Western States. After receiving their snack packs (Muffins and Candy bars) and rule briefing, the teams stood proudly for the traditional singing of our National Anthem by 10 year old Lesley Bubier and then blasted off to a beautiful yet slightly chilly morning , in hopes of catching that big bite before the sun comes up. Well some things do change as we would see in the afternoon.
When 3:00 came and the first teams started checking in, the theme seemed to be the same, tough bite for some, but after the weigh-in was complete the story would change. While the teams were enjoying a complimentary Tri-Tip BBQ prepared by Brad and Barbara Taggart from Lot’s A Java Coffee and catering in Oroville, Allison was busy figuring out the results.
Congratulations to the team of Dan Wells and Jack Goodby for taking the win with 12.43lbs. They took home $2436 and the first place Chuck Patterson Toyota/Scion/Dodge Trophys. In 2nd place was the team of John McClellan and Ryan Friend weighing in 12.07lbs and getting $1329 for their days catch. Fidel and Joe Campos finished out our top 3 with 12lbs even and garnering a check for $1015 and 3rd place plaques. The 4th place team of Dan Crone and Clay Kettell had the big fish of the day, a 4.83lb beauty giving them a total of 11.78lbs. They earned the Dobyn’s Rods BigFish trophy as well as the 4th place plaques and a check for $824. 5th place was the team of James and John Avalos with 11.72lbs and $399, 6th place was the always formidable team of Cody Meyer and Jr. Wright with 11.65lbs and $315.
1st Place Dan Wells and Jack Goodby
2nd place John and Ryan
3rd place Fidel and Joe Campos
At the beginning of the year Chuck Patterson Toyota/Scion/Dodge of Chico, California joined the USAC GoldCity Trail by offering to purchase the trophies for the season, because of their commitment Allison and I decided to find a way to give back to the anglers as well. For the entire 2010/2011 season we have paid the first team out of the money $175, calling it the Chuck Patterson Bonus. This month the team of Kelly Eagleton and Tony Holt was first out with 11.15lbs, giving them the $175. This is our way of saying thank you to all of the Anglers that come out and support our trail.
The GoldCity Trail has a Middleman option, that pays the middle of the field. This option is a way to pay farther down the field, just in case you don’t catch that kicker fish, as there is at times less than a 1/2lb difference between middle of the pack and the last place payout. This option has only grown since it’s inception and often times pays as much as the last place monies (last month it was $240 for each place). This month the 18th/19th place teams of Philip Garcia/Brad Marr and Shane Robertson/Randy Hill took home $180 each.
We would like to thank all of the other wonderful sponsors that support our trail, General Tire/Continental Tires have donated a set of tires valued at $500 that we will give away at the end of the year. Dobyn’s Rods, C&C Marine in Citrus Heights & Modesto, Bob’s Boat Wipe (aka purple stuff), Reds’ Swimmer Baits, Oroville Outdoors/BassTackleDepot.com and last but not least The Lake Oroville Area Chamber of Commerce for their loyal support. Without all of you, we would not be able to provide what we do for our anglers.