By Mark Fong
The 7th Annual Yamamoto Big Bass Challenge returns to Russo's Marina on the California Delta June 24th and 25th for two exciting days of big bass and big prizes. Competitors may use only Yamamoto or Kinami baits.
The tournament format of the Yamamoto Big Bass Challenge is bass fishing's version of “Texas Hold Em” Poker. Anglers must balance their fish catching skills with a carefully planned weigh in strategy. Each competition day is comprised of six official one hour periods during which anglers can weigh in their single largest bass. Competitors with a big bass must decide when to bring their potential prize winner to the scales. Anglers can only weigh in one fish per official hour, however may continue to fish in their quest to win hourly awards.
Over the course of the six official one hour daily weigh in periods, anglers will compete for 5 big fish prizes each hour and the honor of occupying one of 5 “money chairs.” The competitor with the largest bass weighed in during each of the hourly periods will win up to $500*. And for this year, the cash prizes assigned to the chairs will be guaranteed. That simply means that the size of the prize for each chair will not be adjusted based on the size of the field - but will be posted and guaranteed, thanks to Elk Grove Ram one of the event's title sponsors.
The twelve lucky anglers weighing in the biggest bass during each period of the event will be eligible to participate in the “Super 12”grand prize drawing.* In addition, a prize will be awarded for the overall big fish of the event*.
Anglers have the option to fish both days or just one. The entry fee is $150 per angler for both days or $100 for the single day option. No membership fee is required and anglers of all ages and skill levels are eligible to compete. In addition, a special Kid's division is open to all anglers 15 years of age and younger.
While the format of the contest remains unchanged from previous years, there are certainly a lot of factors at work that will the shape the outcome of this year's event. First and perhaps foremost is that the event is taking place later in the season. June is traditionally a time of transition on the California Delta. In most years the majority of the Delta's largemouth are in post spawn and summer mode. This year's record rainfall and runoff has impacted water levels, clarity and water temperature. Add late season weather instability to the mix and you have conditions that have not been present on the Delta in many years. Could there be some big pre spawn fish still around? Remember it only takes one fish and only time will tell.
And what of the baits and tactics that have dominated past year's events. How will the Senko fare? It's a good bet that punchin' heavy cover with a Flappin' Hog will produce quality fish. And what about the new bait styles; the Zako and the Sanshouo? How many checks will each cash?
If you are looking for that extra edge, plan on attending one of the two pre-tournament seminars. Delta guide Andy “Cooch” Cuccia will be on hand at Guns, Fishing & Other Stuff in Vacaville on Wednesday June 21st. In Sacramento, Top Western Pro, Ken Mah will be at Fisherman's Warehouse the following evening June 22nd. Both seminars start promptly at 6pm.
Finally, Guns, Fishing & Other Stuff has filled their Vacaville location with all the hottest Yamamoto bait styles and colors. If you can't make it to the store, call up, prepay your order and it will be ready for you at Russo's on tournament morning. Representatives from Guns, Fishing & Other Stuff will be on hand starting Friday morning until Sunday for your last minute Yamamoto needs.
For more information on the 7th Annual Yamamoto Big Bass Challenge and complete contest rules please visit www.anglerspress.com
* Please visit www.anglerspress.com website for full event rules and details regarding payout.