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Teams Battle In Bass Fishing Tournament
Earning double honors at the recent bass tournament, bringing in the big fish of the tournament and also taking first place honors, was the team of Rich Hale of Hughson and Kevin Ryan of Oakdale, who reeled in the 6.56 Bucket Mouth. - photo by Photo Contributed
The A/C Motherlode Semi-Pro Team trail hosted the sixth of seven events on Tulloch Lake on Saturday May 9. The weather was beautiful as was the lake and 35 teams arrived with hopes of catching the Lake Tulloch Monster. By 5:40 a.m. all teams had safely blasted off with most boats heading east for either Black Creek or Green Springs.
Many teams had practiced in the week or so prior to this event and had found the fish they wanted for the tournament. Even though most all the conditions were right for catching the good ones it seemed the fish weren’t going to cooperate. The bite was very tough with only 11 teams catching five fish limits. There didn’t seem to be any specific bait or technique that worked best, some teams reported top water (Zara Spook and Poppers) while others said Berserk jigs, senkos, drop shot, split shot and Texas rigs seemed to work well.
Big fish of the tournament, a 6.56 Bucket Mouth, caught by Kevin Ryan (Oakdale), fell to a Zara Spook and his partner Rich Hale (Hughson) caught one over 6 pounds on a senko. These two kicker bass brought their total weight to 16.90 and even though they only had four fish it was good for first place. For Hale it was his first big win, he practiced very hard for the last month and that persistence paid off for his team, winning a beautiful big fish plaque, two first place plaques, and scooping up $1715.
Brothers Shane and Michael Soriano of Merced took second with a five fish limit weighing 14.23 anchored by a 4.26 Large Mouth giving them two nice plaques and $811.
The Bait Barn sponsored team from Hickman, Jimmy and Gerald Clawson cashed in on third place with 13.94 anchored with a 5.01 kicker landing them two nice plaques and $519.
Fourth place went to Larry and Mike Freeman (both Standard) catching 11.29 anchored with a 4.60 kicker netting them $270.
The Anglers Of The Year race has tightened up and the team of Mike Beevers and Rob Kocher (both Newman) took fifth place, putting them in contention to repeat as AOY’s. They brought three fish to the scales anchored by a 5.16 kicker for a total of 11.21 and good enough to win $205.
Another Bait Barn sponsored team, Ryan and Tim Cook (both Atwater) took sixth place with 11.21 pounds giving them a check for $170 and positioning them ounces from the lead in the AOY race.
Last in the money, seventh place, went to Bruce Fetzer and Bobby Oliver with 11.02 good for $160.
The Motherlode Young Guns, Brandon Gaither and Kyle Gentry (both Oakdale), had a small misfire but are currently still the leaders in the Angler Of The Year race. With only one event left, it looks like the tourney at Don Pedro on June 13 will be the shoot out place with the possibility of the top five teams still in the race for AOY.
At the awards ceremony, all teams present received tackle prizes and to those who wore A/C, Bait Barn, Or Berserk Bait sponsor shirts or hats, they received a Huddleston swim bait compliments of the Bait Barn.
For more information about the Don Pedro tournament in June, contact Danny Peluso at 209-874-9525 or email him at