Big Senkos Take Charge at the 2018 Yamamoto Big Bass Challenge

By Mark Fong

Recapping the eighth annual Yamamoto Big Bass Challenge held April 14th and 15th on the California Delta, we picked up on three key observations:

Tournament Fun

The 225 anglers who participated in the tournament were treated to a weekend of fun, great weather, big bass and lots of prizes. While plenty of big fish came across the stage, the Delta failed to yield any of its true giants. Despite the lack of double digit monsters, the competition was keen and when all was said and done the 2018 Big Bass Challenge was a rousing success.

The Big Prizes

Ron Van Arsdale took home the first annual Andy “Cooch” Cuccia Memorial Big Bass Trophy for the big bass of the event. His 8.12lb fish earned him $400 for winning the Day 1 Hour 4 big bass prize and an additional $1,500 for the overall big bass of the tournament.


Vince Fonte was the Youth Division Champion. He landed an 8.13lb bass.


Jason McLey earned his way into the Super 12 Grand Prize Drawing on the strength of his 7.13lb Delta bass. As the lucky winner of the Grand Prize Drawing, he was awarded a check for $5,500.


Over $20,000 in cash and prizes were awarded.

The Senko Rules Again

They say that, “The more things change the more they stay the same.” This idiom describes perfectly the dominant role the Senko continued to play in outcome of the 2018 Yamamoto Big Bass Open. Of the 60 possible hourly cash prizes, the Senko accounted for 37. Simple math tells us this is a 62% winning percentage.

Do big baits get big bites? In this case, the answer is a resounding YES, as the 6” and 7” Senko tallied 32 money finishes while the smaller 5” Senko accounted for the remainder.

The Super 12 Qualifiers with the weight of their catch and bait used:

Day 1 - Saturday

Hour 1 -  Mark Adams - 7.03 - Sugoi Popper

Hour 2 - Jason McLey - 7.13 - 6” Senko

Hour 3 - Will Hilton - 6.01 - 6” Senko

Hour 4 - Ron Van Arsdale - 8.12 - 7” Senko

Hour 5 - Mark Gomez - 7.09 - Flappin' Hog

Hour 6 - Andrew Kobayashi - 6.08 - 6” Senko

Day 2 - Sunday

Hour 1 - Terry Odom - 3.10 - 7” Senko

Hour 2 - Jeff Lamy - 4.07 - 5” Senko

Hour 3 - Terry Odom - 6.00 - 7” Senko

Hour 4 - Kevin Mead - 8.04 - Heart Tail

Hour 5 - Scott Hellesen - 6.10 - 7” Senko

Hour 6 - Nick Nourot - 6.09 - 6” Senko


The wrap up event video can be found at: 

We hope to see you there next year!