February 11-12th, 2012 – Lake Oroville
March 17-18th, 2012 – Lake Shasta
April 21-22nd, 2012 – Clear Lake
June 9-10th, 2012 – Delta (combined TOC event)
U.S. Angler’s Choice, the leader in West Coast shared weight Pro-Am events is pleased to present our Pro-Am program and schedule for the 2012 season. “We had a banner year in 2011 with some of the top named Pro’s on the West Coast competing at some of the West’s best fisheries”, noted USAC Director of Operations and Pro-Am’s Tournament Director Bill Hutcheson. “What we have for 2012 is shaping up to provide our participants with the chance to once again test their angling skills at top lakes during the prime times of the year.
What makes USAC the top trail in the west? Experience and organization. The USAC events are run by a professional and dedicated staff of seasoned tournament directors under the guidance of Bill Hutcheson. Hutch as he is known has 25 years of tournament experience and has conducted a myriad of tournaments with up to 1,000 participants per event. During the past decade, he has awarded over 50 boats, 7 trucks, and 6.5 million dollars in cash and prizes.
The 2012 season kicks off at LakeOrovilleon February 11-12th, 2012. Although the weather sometimes provides a challenge, Oroville’s famed spotted bass fishery will be going full blast at this time. Participants can expect 20 to 50 fish days on a variety of baits. With higher than normal water levels, Oroville’s Spillway launch ramp and parking lot will be the location of the drive by weigh in and awards ceremonies. In 2011 Dee Thomas bested a field of 105 Pro’s and Co’s with an outstanding two day weight of 23.32 pounds worth $12,350 in cash! Last year, nearly $70,000 in cash was awarded at theLakeOroville season opener.
The USAC trail moves over to LakeShasta’s BridgeBaymarina on March 17-18th to sample the plentiful Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Spotted bass that this fishery has to offer. March is a key time on Shasta as the fish are in a pre-spawn/spawn mode and anything goes as far as presentations and baits. In 2010, Tommy Cardoza bagged a couple of 5-1/2 pound fish on the final day of competition to garner the victory and nearly $8,500 in cash for his two-day total weight of 24.01 pounds.
What could be grander than ClearLakein April? USAC will make a stop at this fishery right in the midst of the spawn on April 21st & 22nd. USAC hitClearLake twice in 2011 for Pro-Am events and huge weights ensued. Swimbaits, Reaction Baits, and Senkos should all be productive in putting the fish on the chew. Ron Tobey went from wreck to check last March, boating just shy of 60 pounds en route to the Pro-Am victory and $9,000 in winnings.
The season finishes up with the combined Open and TOC event on June 9-10th, 2012 at the California Delta out of Russo’sMarina. Whether you are punching, flipping, pitching, or drop shotting, one thing is for sure – you never know whether that next bite will be a tournament winning toad or not. In April of 2011, USAC hit a chilly CA Delta and the bite felt the effects. With only 39.27 pounds for two days of fishing, local angler Phillip Dutra scored his first big tournament win and earned nearly $8,000 in the process. Look for more stable weather and bigger weights to dominate the final tournament of USAC’s 2012 Pro-Am season.
TOC Fish off Program – Anglers need not worry if they have a bad tournament as USAC’s approach to our TOC fish off is aimed towards supporting those who support the circuit. Simply fish all four of the USAC Pro-Am events in 2012 and you will automatically qualify to fish for the TOC holdout cash at the June 9-10th event at the California Delta. 15% of each entry from the season is placed into a TOC reserve fund. Based upon full fields at the four USAC Pro events, a total of $30,000 will be set aside for the Pro division and $10,000 for the Am division competitors.
The TOC event is effectively two tournaments in one. All anglers get to fish for the regular payback, however, only anglers who have fished all four events will get to compete for this additional cash pot at the June 9-10th CA Delta tournament.
Entry Fees – Entry fees for the 2012 USAC Pro-Am season is $500 per event for Pro anglers and $250 per event for Am anglers. Pro and Am fishermen who sign up together are guaranteed entry status. All other entries will be taken in and paired up on a first come, first serve basis and paired up accordingly. As such, we recommend that you get your entries in early as all USAC events tend to fill their Am positions early. All competitors must be current USAC members in good standing to compete and qualify for prizes.
Paybacks – No hyperbole or smoke and mirror here. USAC immediately posts tournament results along with complete paybacks for everyone to see so that the anglers will know that they are getting paid out what they paid in. USAC pays back 1 in 5 places and pays back 100% on all options taken in. USAC bases its paybacks on a realistic 100 boat full field and the paybacks increase proportionally when the fields exceed 100 boats.
Options – All USAC Pro-Am options are paid back 100%. USAC Pro-Am events offer two $50 options – A $50 Big Bass option, which pays out the top two largest bass caught each day at a 65-35% ratio. The second option is a Top 5 Option, which pays back the Top 5 positions in that Option pool based on the final results of the tournament. The Top 5 option pays back at a 40-25-15-10-10% ratio. Both the Pro and Am anglers have their own option pools which pay out independent of one another.
Shared Weight Program – Anglers Choice Pro-Am events utilize the popular shared weight concept. Developed here on the West Coast, the shared weigh concept allows each day’s Pro and Amateur angler to effectively fish as a team to catch their best five fish limit. The Pro and Am angler then “share” their total weight, which carries over to the next day of fishing. Pro and Am anglers are then paired up with different partners for the second day of competition and any subsequent days of fishing. The total weight each pro and co angler accrues for each day of fishing is then totaled to determine their overall weight and position in the standings.
“The advantage of the shared weight format is that it fosters a learning environment within the boat” stated USAC’s Hutcheson. “Pro anglers are all for their Am partners catching fish as it goes towards the common good of the boat. Am’s will often find their Pro partners offering tips on bait selection, techniques, and even loaning tackle in an effort to boat fish. Your $250 entry fee would not even pay for a day’s guided trip much less two days on the water with some of the top pro anglers in the west”, Hutcheson closed.
Sign-Ups – Competitors may sign up for the 2012 USAC Pro-Am events by logging on to www.usanglerschoice.net and clicking the Pro-Am events link on the home page. You may then click on the entry form link and print out a copy and mail it in with a check or credit card. Want to go paperless? Call Sherry Harwood at the USAC office (800) 360-7112 or Bill Hutcheson (208) 442-6877 and you may sign up over the phone with your credit card. Specific event related questions should be phoned in or e-mailed to Tournament Director Bill Hutcheson at hutch@basswest or (208) 442-6877. Deadline to enter each tournament is the Wednesday prior to competition. All competitors must be current USAC members in good standing to compete and qualify for prizes. You may also renew your membership over the phone at the numbers below.
U.S. Anglers Choice Tournament Coordinator – Sherry Harwood (800) 360-7112
U.S. Anglers Choice Tournament Director – Bill Hutcheson (208) 442-6877