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Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Tuna, White Seabass and yellows a perfect mix

Bluefin takes the Dana Jackpot title


Lower 500 Bank 90 miles away turns up a 34.1-pound bluefin as Yamaha-powered Angler Management team wins $2,360 and Yo-Zuri lure package at the WON/Yamaha Dana Landing Jackpot Tournament on Saturday

THE FIRST PLACE  ANGLER MANAGEMENT team, made up of , Bob Aronson, Vista; Dave Dawas, Carlsbad; Tyson Bergholz, Fallbrook; Tony Nino, Vista; They won $2,000 for first, and $360 for taking the $100 Tuna Optional for a total of $2,360, plus a $250 Yo-Zuri lure package. WON PHOTO BY PAT McDONELL


WON Staff Writer

MISSION BAY – In the end, the long haul won it. That being the $2,000 first prize in the inaugural WON/Yamaha Dana Landing Jackpot Tournament held Saturday out of Mission Bay. Three species – tuna, white seabass and yellowtail – were eligible for the money. A single-fish weigh-in. Biggest fish brought in wins that money, and biggest species in each optional category won the money. Simple, right?

It was, but with the vaunted months-long white seabass bite off Mission Bay dead on the vine the past week or two, and yellowtail not of the 30-pound class close by on the beach and the Coronados, the word on the street was “go long” for the bigger bluefin if you wanted to win the big check from Yamaha.

Thus, Vistan Bob Aronson and his three teammates on Angler Management, on Aronson’stwin Yamaha 150-powered Scout center console, checked in at4 p.m. – the earliest you could – on Friday afternoon at Dana Landing, and cruised south west to the lower 500 spot 90 miles away where there were reports of bruiser bluefin of 60 to 140 pounds.There they pounded away in good conditions for 2 “small” bluefin and a seven or 8 paddy dorado up to 17.9 pounds

When they returned to the Fuel Dock at Dana Landing, they took the lead with a 34.1-pound bluefin and threw in a 17.4-pound bluefin in the hopes of getting second or third, and for fun weighed in a 17.4-pound dorado.

“I don’t know if we’ll win any money,” said Aronson at the weigh-in with a half-hour to go before the scales were to close, “But I’ve had a great time. We had to go a long way but conditions were great and we had fantastic fishing for the bluefin and dorado. We didn’t get the big bluefin, but this one might be big enough.”

For some, it was thought when the format was announced by WON a month ago that it was a forgone conclusion that a white seabass on the coast would beat any yellow or tuna. Especially if the white seabass “sticks” were in the tourney. Well, two of them were in the event on one team --Greg Trompas and Levi Shouse of San Diego on Greg’s new 21-foot Cabo.

Turns out, as the last team to weigh in, they just couldn’t get a big seabass to bite all night, but still scored two nice fish anyway, a 23.7-pound yellowtail on squid to win the yellowtail optional and second place overall money for a cool $840.They also weighed in a beautiful 37.6-pound halibut. “It figures, said Trompas, “that the one tournament you(WON) havewhere a halibut doesn’t count I get a big one.”

The two-hour 3 to 5 p.m. weigh-in was over minutes later, and Trompas said, “So old Bob snuck in there with the tuna. “That’s cool. We got second and the yellowtail money.“Now we need to keep this tournament here and let’s grow this thing. It’ a great format.” The format is simple. Anglers paid $50 to enter, and teams could optional jackpots for three species for $100 with 90 percent paid back.

Thus, Aronson and his teammates of Dave Dawas of Carlsbad, Tyson Bergholtz of Fallbrook and Tony Nino of Vista won the $2,000 first place pot and $360 in optional money for a total of $2,360 plus a $250 plus value package of Yo-Zuri lures.

Third place went to the Dana Landing-based Impulse charter group from Phoenix, AZ who joined in the fun and won $200. They were: James Powell, Mike Elger, Santiago Lindberg, and  Justin Johnson.

As for event as a whole, every team won something. The welcome bag was worth twice the entry fee. Really. The Yamaha bags given out to returning teams contained a Dana Landing t-shirt of a specific size and color from Steve Pinard, host of the event with his staff who also served up a BBQ for teams and guests and staff at the picturesque bayside facility. Dana Landing Market, Fuel Dock,and full service tackle shop was a great venue as it sits next to the launch ramp and just 100 yards from The Dana Inn and Marina where several teams stayed with families for the weekend.

“If we just leave this event’s format alone and keep it here on this date, it could be huge,” said Pinard, adding that while it was a small event this year because it was a quick replacement for Ensenada, a year of promotion and this first event will grow its participation. “It’s simple, it’s cheap, it’s for every type of guy because of the entry fee and format.”

Phil Friedman of, also known as “The Voice,” was on hand and in fine radio form to cover the event and host a web telecast, and he agreed the event should appeal to a broad range of fishermen.

“It was exciting see all those fish, and this is a tournament that is for the everyman. With the yellowtail, tuna and white seabass all counting the same, you really did have to have a game plan. Do you stay local for a big yellow or seabass or run to the tuna? This year it was a tuna. Next year, it could be a white seabass.”

Or a halibut if that species is included next year.

The welcome bags for every angler and event staffer (Lori Sachau, Bill Jubband Dennis Yamamoto) as well as Dana Landing staff -- also included two spools of Yo-Zuri Hybrid line, a massive pack of Lazer Sharp hooks, Yo-Zuri fluorocarbon leader coils and Yo-Zuri hats, two Yamaha event hats and assorted baits from Yum. Included were1-year subscriptions to WON.

A big draw to any event are drawings. Because all awards were cash and there was a small field, the chances of winning were high. There were four super high-end inshore Cousins rods, four pairs of Costa sunglasses, six Avet reels, two Terrafin annual memberships, a dozen Plano tackle boxes and two bazooka-style rolling rodt ravel cases and Yo-Zuri lures.

Two grand prize package winners at the end of the drawing that ended the event for 2013 were won by Donna McKee of Pacific Beach who was on team No. 1 Radar. And Carlsbad resident Dave Dawa, a member of the second place team. They both won a Cousins rod, Avet reel and Plano tackle box, the package worth almost $1,000 each.

*WON/Yamaha Dana Landing Jackpot Results

First Place, team Angler Management, Bob Aronson, Vista; Dave Dawas, Carlsbad; Tyson Bergholz, Fallbrook; Tony Nino, Vista; $2,000 for first, and $360 for tuna optional; total $2,360, plus a $250 Yo-Zuri lure package.

Second Place, team Adjustment Bureau, Greg Trompas and Levin Shouse, both of San Diego; $300 for second place, $540 for yellowtail optional; total $840.

Third Place on team Shark Bait on the Impulse; James Powell, Mike Elger, Santiago Lindberg, Justin Johnson; won $200.

*no money awarded in WSB optional


THE DANA LANDING FACILITY in Mission Bay is a perfect venue for a tourney with free parking, launching, a fuel dock, market, IGFA scale, tackle store and a great staff that caters to the private boater.  Next door is The Dana Inn, where several entrants and families stayed for the weekend.

SECOND PLACE finishers Greg Trompas and Levin Shouse of San Diego. They caught a 23.7-pound yellowtail off the coast on squid, and won $840 for also winning the yellowtail optional. They are pictured getting their angler bags after the weigh-in from event staffer Dennis Yamamoto. With Greg Trompas, at left, is his girlfriend Chelsea who also works at Dana Landing and assisted WON staff with the tourney.

WEIGH-IN was from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Dana Landing Fuel Dock on Saturday. Several boats weighed in bluefin, dorado, yellowtail and halibut. Amazingly, no  white seabass were weighed in,

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