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Friday, October 14, 2011
WON BASS 2011 ProAm at Lake Mead
Monday, December 05, 2011
WON BASS Western Classic Pro Championships


WON BASS Tri-States Team Championships at Nacimiento

North and South WON BASS teams slug it out in the rain at Nacimiento for a pair of Nitro/Mercury rigs at the WON BASS TOC

 Tri-States Champions 2011

THE 2011 WON BAS TOC CHAMPIONS was the Central Coast team of Bryan Grier and Scott Mullens. They amassed an impressive 19.77-pound combined weight, good for their own Nitro/Mercury rig, in addition to ample prize packages and cash awards.


Mother Lode team anglers Bryan Grier and Scott Mullens, and the Colorado River team of Shaun Bailey and Billy Skinner best field of 91 boats and emerge from TOC as WON BASS north and south champions respectively. Bryan and Scott won the tournament and Shaun and Billy were the highest finishing team from the south region, finsihing in 5th place. Both teams won a new Nitro/Mercury boat and cash for their efforts.

 

BY BRADLEY SCHWEIT

WON Staff Writer

 

PASO ROBLES - A total of 91 teams made it out to the Central Coast this past weekend for the WON BASS Tournament of Champions (TOC) at Lake Nacimiento to vie for their share of nearly $30,000 in option money, in addition to a pair of brand-new Nitro/Mercury rigs for the first-place North and South teams.


With such lofty prizes on the line, it should come as little surprise the competition was stiff. The talent pool at Naci was indeed impressive, as anglers from all over the western states ventured out to test their mettle against their fellow WON BASS team anglers.


And while Mother Nature was cooperative for the most part, on Saturday, Nov. 6 (the second day of the tournament), she unleashed a bit of her fury in the form of a driving rainstorm during the weigh-in. Fortunately, such downpours were few and far between during actual tournament hours, so it could be said the conditions, while on the chilly side, were rather tolerable.


The scale opened at 3 p.m. for the arrival of the first flight of boats on day one, and the initial few bags truly set the tone for the remainder of the afternoon. Fish were plentiful, but quality spots proved hard to come by at least for a majority of the 91 teams. Scoring a limit of fish wasn't a problem, but cracking the 8-plus-pound mark was. Naci's not known for housing a large population of big fish, so you've got to earn those keepers. And that was the general consensus amongst both the North and South teams.


Tri-States South Champs 2011

THE FIRST PLACE SOUTH TEAM was Shaun Bailey and Billy Skinner. Their 17.63 pounds was enough to best all other South competitors and earn the Havasu heavyweights a brand-new Nitro/Mercury rig.


"We caught a lot of fish, but a lot of little ones," said Colorado River Region team angler Justin Kerr. And other anglers echoed his sentiments. Statemens such as, "The fishing's really good. You can catch a ton of fish, they're just small," seemed to resonate around the weigh station in the Nacimiento Marina parking lot.


Nevertheless, regardless of the abundance of small fish, anglers brought their "A" game, and managed to weigh a number of solid bags. The best limit of the day belonged to the team of Bryan Grier and Scott Mullens, both of the Mother Lode Region. They sacked 5 fish for 11.16 pounds, including a big fish of 3.33 pounds. Next up was the team of Alex Niapas and Garrett Anderson, also of the Mother Lode Region. They had a 10.75-pound limit with a 3.02-pound kicker fish.


In third after day one were Golden Valley team anglers Darryl Masterson and Dean Miller with 10.48 pounds. Ken Mah and Mark Crutcher of the Vineyard Region landed in fourth with 10.20 pounds, and Jason Letterman and Chris Rains, Central Coast Region anglers, rounded out the top five with their 9.73-pound limit.


Tri-States Big Fish winner 2011

BIG FISH OF THE TOURNAMENT, and part of the heaviest 10.12-pound day-two bag, was a 3.70-pound largemouth landed by the team of Sam James and Tom Nieto.


The North teams dominated day one, as the closest South team was Shaun Bailey and Billy Skinner (both of the Colorado River Region) in seventh place overall with 9.25 pounds. A mere 2 ounces behind them, however, was the Southern California team of Ralph Wells and Doug Engh with 9.23 pounds.


Big fish of the day was a sizeable 3.43-pound spot landed by Delta Region angler Dan Castelhano.


With the arrival of the rain on day two, it was anyone's guess as to whether or not the top teams on day one would be able to retain their lofty positions, but as the afternoon unfolded, and anglers hit the weigh station, the answer soon revealed itself.


The first few bags all hovered right around the 7-pound mark, but Tom Shimabukuo and Josh Kaneko of the Delta Region managed a 5-fish limit weighing 8.45 pounds.


Mother Lode anglers Tim Turner and Chet Elia turned in a 9.27-pound bag, which included a big fish of 3.06 pounds, and Niapas and Anderson (day-one second-place finishers) added 8.13 pounds to their day-one bag.


Of course, all eyes were on the day-one leaders Grier and Mullins as they approached the scale, and when it settled at 8.61 pounds, it left their current lead in question as another four flights of anglers had yet to weigh in.


Next up were Bailey and Skinner, who added 8.38 pounds to their 9.25 from the day before. The next closest South team of Wells and Engh only managed to weigh 6.39 pounds, which appeared to secure a victory for the Colorado River heavyweights. But alas, until the results were made official, it was purely speculation.


The Central Coast team of Sam James and Tom Nieto weighed the heaviest bag of the day, a 10.12-pound limit which included the day two and overall big fish of 3.70 pounds. Unfortunately, they only had 6.49 pounds the day before.


The awards ceremony took place at the Fairgrounds in Paso Robles, and after a barbecue dinner courtesy of Big Bubba's Bad BBQ, WON BASS Director of Operations Billy Egan and WON BASS tournament directors set about giving away raffle prizes and awarding trophies and prize packages.


In fifth place overall, and the top-finishing South team, no strangers to the winner's circle, were none other than Shaun Bailey and Billy Skinner with a total weight of 17.63 pounds. They took home an ample prize package, in addition to option money, and of course, the Nitro/Mercury rig.


In fourth place was the Golden Valley team of Darryl Masterson and Dean Miller with 18.02 pounds. Alex Niapas and Garrett Anderson took third with 18.88 pounds, and Mark Crutcher and Ken Mah landed in second with 19.10 pounds.


And the overall TOC champions, and North first-place team, winners of their own Nitro/Mercury rig were none other than Bryan Grier and Scott Mullens. This was their home lake and they certainly used it to their advantage; amassing an amazing 19.77-pound two-day limit.


For the full rundown of the event, including additional photos, see next month's issue WON BASS.


Sunday Morning Blog by Brad Schweit
AND THEY’RE OFF to find the quality spotted bass that seemed to elude a number of anglers yesterday at the WON BASS Tri-States Championship at Lake Nacimiento.

Naci Tri-States Day 2 Start
The day two start at Nacimiento under clear skies.

Will day two be any different? Weather-wise, it already is.Although it doesn’t happen often, on occasion, the weather forecast is spot-on, and this proved to be the case last night/early this morning as the 80 percent chance of rain proved to be more like 100 percent.

Naci close to start in morning


SOMETIMES CLOSE-TO-HOME locations can produce… and well. These anglers made a mere 30-second run out of the marina to fish this steep shoreline.

It didn’t rain heavily, but enough to moisten the ground and surrounding hills, and make for a damp morning launch. Whether or not it will affect the bite significantly remains to be seen, but this could throw a curve ball to yesterday’s top 10 finishers. Will they be able to knock it out of the park? That remains to be seen.

The forecast is calling for a 50 percent chance of rain today, so who knows what will happen with the weather and/or fishing. The first flight is due to arrive at the scale at 2 p.m., so we’ll find out then.


SOMETIMES CLOSE-TO-HOME locations can produce… and well. These anglers made a mere 30-second run out of the marina to fish this steep shoreline.

It was anyone’s guess as to how the first day of the WON BASS Lake Nacimiento Tri-State Championships (TOC) would pan out, as the pool of talent on hand for the event was indeed impressive; not to mention Mother Nature had all but sunny, gorgeous weather on her mind.

The day dawned cold and foggy, and it wasn’t until later in the morning that the fog subsided. Cloud cover hovered over the lake most of the day, but wind was non-existent; making for chilly, yet idyllic conditions for targeting Naci’s spotted bass in deeper water.

Day one 1st Place Team TOC
IN FIRST PLACE AFTER DAY ONE was the Mother Lode team of Bryan Grier and Scott Mullens. Their 5-fish limit weighed an impressive 11.16 pounds, and included a big fish of 3.33 pounds.

The scale opened at 3 p.m. for the arrival of the first flight of boats for the day, and the initial few bags truly set the tone for the remainder of the afternoon. Fish were plentiful, but quality spots proved hard to come by… at least for a majority of the 91 teams. Scoring a limit of fish wasn’t a problem, but cracking the 8-plus-pound mark was. Naci’s not known for housing a large population of big fish, so you’ve got to earn those keepers. And that was the general consensus amongst both the North and South teams.

“We caught a lot of fish, but a lot of little ones,” said Colorado River Region team angler Justin Kerr. And other anglers echoed his sentiments. Statemens such as, “The fishing’s really good. You can catch a ton of fish, they’re just small,” seemed to resonate around the weigh station in the Nacimiento Marina parking lot.

Nevertheless, regardless of the abundance of small fish, anglers brought their “A” game, and managed to weigh a number of solid bags. The best limit of the day belonged to the team of Bryan Grier and Scott Mullens, both of the Mother Lode Region. They sacked 5 fish for 11.16 pounds, including a big fish of 3.33 pounds. Next up was the team of Alex Niapas and Garrett Anderson, also of the Mother Lode Region. They had a 10.75-pound limit with a 3.02-pound kicker fish.

In third after day one were Golden Valley team anglers Darryl Masterson and Dean Miller with 10.48 pounds. Ken Mah and Mark Crutcher of the Vineyard Region landed in fourth with 10.20 pounds, and Jason Letterman and Chris Rains, Central Coast Region anglers, rounded out the top five with their 9.73-pound limit.

The North teams dominated day one, as the closest South team was Shaun Bailey and Billy Skinner (both of the Colorado River Region) in seventh place overall with 9.25 pounds. A mere 2 ounces behind them, however, was the Southern California team of Ralph Wells and Doug Smith with 9.23 pounds.

Big fish of the day was a sizeable 3.43-pound spot landed by Delta Region angler Dan Castelhano.

1st day big fish teams TOC
DAY-ONE BIG FISH was this 3.43-pound spotted bass landed by Delta Region angler Dan Castelhano.

Keep in mind both the winning North and South teams walk away with a brand-new Nitro/Mercury rig, and with such a narrow margin separating the top 10 teams, you can bet it’s going to be a photo finish. Not to mention the forecast is calling for rain, so who knows how that will change the game for our 91-boat field. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow…

The first flight of boats is set to arrive at the scale at 2 p.m. Stay tuned…

Saturday Morning Update:


Lake Nacimiento TOC officially gets underway

Nacimiento Morning Fog
THE MORNNIG FOG was thick, as you could barely see the boats hanging on the outskirts of the Nacimiento Marina.


PASO ROBLES — As of about a half hour ago (7:15 a.m.), the 2011 WON BASS Lake Nacimiento Tournament of Champions (TOC) officially got underway.
A total of 91 boats headed out in chilly, foggy weather in the hopes of bringing a solid limit of fish to the scale come 3 o’clock. Morning temps hovered in the low- to mid-40s, and the fog was think enough for Tournament Director Bill Cook to impose a 5 mph speed limit until it lifted (for safety’s sake).
It sounds as if the thick stuff has been burning off around 9 or 10, but that remains to be seen. At least the rain has passed.
Stay tuned to wonbass.com for updates and photos from this tournament as it unfolds.


Friday Update

As of yesterday afternoon and last night (Thursday, Nov. 3), it looked as if it was going to be a wet wrap-up to the 2010/11 WON BASS season, as Mother Nature unleashed quite the storm upon the Central Coast. Today (Friday), however, the day dawned with partly cloudy skies and although it was a tad on the chilly side, the sun even managed to make its presence known throughout most of the day.


Thursday’s early check-in registered the first 50 boats for the event, and by the time today’s registration and partner pairings finished, another 41 teams were added to the tally. That said, a total of 91 boats will be hitting Lake Nacimiento bright and early tomorrow morning to kickoff the second-to-last event of the 2010/11 WON BASS season — the TOC. The final event of the year will be our Western Classic at lakes Nacimiento and San Antonio, Dec. 3 and 4.


For now, however, the focus lies upon this weekend’s event, as not only has the fishing been excellent, but the option money and prize pool for this tournament are nothing short of spectacular.


First and foremost, the top-finishing North and South team will each win a Nitro Z-6 equipped with a Mercury 150 FourStroke. That means not one, but two boat and motor combos will be awarded by the end of the weekend. And as if that wasn’t enough, based upon initial tabulations, it looks as if the option money pool for this event will hover right around the $30,000 mark! Nearly every single one of the 91 teams signed up for the TOC opted to enter the options. In short, there are going to be a number of major payouts.


A pair of MotorGuide trolling motors will also be up for grabs; one going to the second-place team (the first team not winning a boat), and the other being awarded in the general raffle.


And those are just the major prizes, as there’s ample sponsor swag to dole out, in addition to trophies and plaques.


In terms of current action on Naci, WON BASS spoke with a number of anglers at the partner pairings and the general consensus was the bite has been good to very good. The spotted bass are holding in deeper water (25 to 40 feet), and although small fish have been plentiful, there are quality spots in the mix. Ten- to 11-pound limits have not been uncommon, so if the recent patterns hold up for our WON BASSers, expect some solid weights to be arriving at the scales.


The first flight out tomorrow morning should be blasting across the water around 6:30, and the weigh-in commences at 3 o’clock. Keep your browser pointed here throughout the day for updates and photos of the morning’s launch and day-one weigh-in.

TriStates 2011 Scenic Rain
ALTHOUGH RAIN slammed the area on Thursday afternoon/evening, 24 hours later, anglers were treated to this sunset on Lake Nacimiento for the 2011 TOC.

TriStates Partenr Pairings
THE PARTNER PAIRINGS took place in the Nacimiento Marina parking lot after registration finished up around 6 p.m.

Tri-States 2011 Very Busy
IT’S GOING TO BE A BUSY WEEKEND on Lake Nacimiento, as 91 teams take to the water to vie for one of two Nitro/Mercury rigs, in addition to their share of nearly 30 grand in options money.



WON BASS Teams TOC at Lake Nacimiento has started off on a high note.

We had 50 teams take advantage of the early registration at Jim's Pro Tackle in Paso Robles. Jim Slusher owner of the local tackle store, hosted our early registration with a fine BBQ provided by Big Bubbas BBQ of Paso.

Anglers are reporting a decent bite, with a daily limit of around 8 to 9 pounds a day. It's expected to take at least 11 pounds a day to cut a check. Almost every team signed up for our $200 - 100% payback options offered at our early registration today. Those options include a $50 Big Fish, $100 Top 10, and a $50 1 in 5 option. If our expectations for a 100+ boat TOC holds true, these lucky qualifiers are looking to fish for over $20K in options, plus $10K in reserve, and 2 Nitro/Mercury boat packages.

The weather has been steady prior to today. This morning started off nice, but crisp, with afternoon winds picking up around noon. Tonight's forecast is for slight rain, and wind in the 20mpr range. Friday is supposed to clear, with more chance of rains on Sunday. Spirits are high and the expectations of hundreds of anglers are felt, as anglers focus on the prize at hand.
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