Feature Article: SBS Long Beach

Saltwater Bass Series: Long Beach Breakwall event won on big, deep sand bass

Rookie/Family Division team tops big field with over 17 pounds

Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Feb 12, 2020

LONG BEACH — The second event for the 2020 Saltwater Bass Series season is now in the books. This past Saturday’s event was based at the South Shores launch ramp right next to Downtown Long Beach. With all three species of bass counting in this tournament, most teams came equipped with every bit of their tackle arsenal in hopes to be ready for whatever the day had to offer. The boundaries for this day would be the entire area inside of the Federal Breakwall, including Alamitos Bay at the southern end.

fishingdeepinFISHING DEEP IN 35 to 50 feet with Hookup Baits did the trick for Masters Division first place finishers Chad Geirlich and Al Vasquez, who stacked up a 5-fish limit good for 14.20 pounds.

Options were aplenty as your choice or strengths of which species to target were offered in the diverse venue location. Target options included fishing calicos on the inside of the wall, sand bass in the deep channels that run into the backs of Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbors, with a mix of spotted bay bass that are spread most everywhere throughout the allowed boundaries.

With a very high tide early followed by a super low tide by tournament’s end, anglers had to have a solid game plan and capitalize on biting windows. Most of the teams found their fish early, then tried to upgrade throughout the rest of the day.

Which lures to be used would be the question teams pondered weeks prior to the event. What lures and techniques proved to be the winning combination is what all watching wondered throughout the tournament day. After eating excellent tri-tip sandwiches off the Traeger Grill with all the side fixings, here’s the low down on the teams that finished on top in both Masters and Rookie / Family Divisions.

In the Masters Division, the San Diego-based Hookup Baits team of Al Vazquez and Chad Geirlich took top honors in the Masters Division with a nice 14.20-pound limit. These guys caught all of their fish on Hookup Baits in 35 to 50 feet of water. Following up in second place was Brian Sanner and Kerry Peeler, as they weighed a solid 13.37 pounds and most of their fish were caught on A-Rigs and leadhead swimbaits. Brian pours his own custom “LK” lures and used them on all of his and Kerry’s rigs this day.

Rounding out the top three with 12.46 pounds was Skylar Crane and Justin Hugron. These two also weighed the biggest bass of the event… a whopping 7.14-pound sand bass! Justin thought he had hooked a large halibut, but when it came to the surface they both screamed, “Where’s the net!” and just seconds later… Got him! That big, grumpy sand bass earned them a new Daiwa Lexa HD 300 paired with a Daiwa 8’6” Inshore rod, a pair of Costa Sunglasses, Olukai Sandals and $1000 cash on top of their 3rd place money.

THIS BIG SAND BASS at 7.14 pounds took big fish honors at the second SBS event of the season at the Long Beach Breakwall for the Masters Division team of Skylar Crane and Justin Hugron, vaulting them to 3rd place.

Then we make our way to the top three in the Rookie / Family Division. This Division has brought so many new teams into the sport of inshore tournament bass fishing the last couple seasons. With its fair level of competition, most that were on the fence at one point are now fishing the Saltwater Bass Series. But let’s not get the idea that this Division doesn’t have the ability to pump out limits of fish that outweigh the more experienced Masters teams. Check this out...

In the Rookie / Family Division and after winning the San Diego Bay event last month, Komron Azizi and Andrew Gomez smoked the entire 58 team tournament field with a whopping 17.22 pounds of mixed calico, sand bass and spotted bay bass. Their limit was anchored with a 4.98-pound sand bass! By weighing in all three species, these guys earned themselves an extra 5 Year End points to give them a 205 points out of possible 200 for two events! Talk about acing your first two exams! Komron and Andrew caught all of their fish in the first hour cranking deep-diving Lucky Craft crankbaits.

Following up in second place was the consistent father / son team of Jeremy and Jose Assef, as these two weighed 11.38 pounds and fished hard baits all day long on both the inside of the wall and inside the harbor. Third place went to another father/ son team of Scott and Dan Higley. They weighed a solid 9.54 pounds of bass.

Year-end point tally indicates there are three Masters teams tied for 1st place! This is going to be a very fun season and tightly contested point race, and with Mission Bay being the base for the next calico-only event on March 14, the San Diego teams are foaming at the bit!

For those interested in jumping into the super fun and competitive tournament circuit of the SBS, please visit or follow the series on Instagram @saltwaterbassseries20 or on Facebook at Saltwater Bass Series.

A MIXED BAG of sand bass, spotties and calico netted the biggest overall limit of Saturday’s SBS tournament for the Rookie / Family Division team of Komron Azizi and Andrew Gomez, making it two straight victories after winning the opening event in San Diego Bay.


winnersof1aWINNERS OF SATURDAY’S Saltwater Bass Series event in Long Beach: Rookie / Family Division champs Komron Azizi and Andrew Gomez (left) with Al Vasquez and Chad Gierlich getting the Masters Division win.

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