Yamamoto Big Bass Challenge
By Mike Cole
The first morning of the Yamamoto Big Bass Challenge dawned a little cool and extra windy. But that didn’t stop over 300 people from lining up for a chance at catching a giant Delta Hawg and winning some serious cash!! Mike Coleman and myself showed up with high expectations and were anxious to get on the water. After checking in and putting on our rain gear, we launched the boat and prepared for the wind. And, as we expected, we got a free shower on our first slow run across Frank’s Tract.
We headed towards the central delta on the hunt for a couple big bites. The first couple hours we caught quite a few fish but only managed a couple 3lbers when it came to better bites. Most of our bites were coming on a Yamamoto Pencil Tate and a creature bait.
As the sun got high and the tide got low, the bite started to slow down. We decided it was time to bounce around for a little while. We hit 3 or 4 different spots but were only managing 1 or 2 fish per spot and they weren’t the bites we were looking for.
We decided to run to a little cove that was protected from the wind and looked to be a great habitat for the bigger bass we were looking for. We started getting bit right away and things just kept looking better the closer we got to the back of the cove. I was carefully watching to see if there were any visible beds as we neared the back of the cove, but a mat had formed making it impossible to see. Mike picked up his punch rig and punched it thru near the tulles. He hopped it once, twice and then set it down. He hopped it up one more time and she engulfed the Flapping hog!
Now the fight was on as she ran out from under the mat and started to run towards deeper water and then under the boat! I quickly set my rod down and picked up the net. And soon after, Mike Coleman eased her out from under the boat and I swooped her up with the net!
We weighed her in at the last hour of the day and won the 2 o’clock weigh in. Winning that hour qualified us for the super 12 and a chance at getting an envelope with 8500$ after weigh in on Sunday.
Sunday we caught fish all day but never got a bite we thought would get us a check so we loaded the boat at 2 o’clock and headed to the awards ceremony.
As the time drew near to pick an envelope, Mike Coleman was calm but anxious. Vince called out the names of the super 12 one at a time, and then each of them stood in a line in front of the crowd. As soon as Vince gave the order, the anglers tore into their envelopes and I heard Mike Coleman yell “I got it”!!! I looked up and couldn’t believe my eyes. There he stood with the check in hand, smiling from ear to ear!! It took a while for it to sink in and he just kept getting more excited.
Congratulations to everybody who got a check. We had a great time and are looking forward to next year!
Also thanks to RB Bass Fishing for the support! It’s an honor to be a part of the best bass team in California. You guys ROCK! Also thank you to River2Sea, Trigger Happy Comfort Grips, Monsterfishingtackle.com, Up North Innovations, and Anglers Press for putting on a great tournament! See you next year! Tight lines!!