Don Welch Wins California BASS Nation at Pyramid Lake
Guest Blog by: Jeff Jones 12/9/2013
Like the rest of the California BASS Nation events this year, frontal conditions created issues with catching numbers of fish, but despite the lack of cooperation from lethargic bass success could be found, including a behemoth smallmouth!
Nov. 30, 2013
Only 3 anglers were able to scratch out a limit, and only 21 bass were brought to the scales overall, but the star of the event was Mark “Chief” Torrez' 4.04 lb. smallmouth bass that won him the Big Bass prize and a new Dobyn’s Rod. Mark, a Ventura County Bass Club member, used a “Huddlebug” soft-plastic crawdad imitation to fool the big bronzeback bass. The size of the smallmouth was a big surprise for the anglers at Pyramid Lake.
Don Welch of Gilroy Bassmasters fished slow and steady to bring in the first limit and weigh in a total of 9.29 lbs. He fished a spider grub jig on rocky points, “sitting in about 40 feet of water and casting to the bank,” Don reportedly worked the jig slowly away from the bank and got most bites between 20 and 35 feet deep. For the win Don qualifies to join the 2014 California BASS Nation State Team in a boater position and will be accompanied by his twin brother Ron, who won at Clear Lake in the previous event, proving that great minds DO fish alike.
Capturing 2nd Place at Pyramid Lake is Sonoma County Bass’ Steve Wilson with a limit of bass weighing 8.88 lbs. Steve reports he caught his fish using a clear Speed Trap over grass, just ticking the grass usually in about 7 ft. of water.
3rd Place is Jason Hemminger of Ventura County Bass Club with the final limit weighing in at 8.31 lbs. “Chief” Torrez’ landed in 4th with only two smallmouth but anchored by the day’s Big Bass, and Ventura County Bass Club’s Kevin Sherry finished in 5th with 3 bass.
This final 2013 event seats the qualifiers for the 2014 California BASS Nation State Team members. If any of these qualifiers should not be able to attend the BASS Nation Western Divisional the positions will rotate up and new members will be added depending on their final standings. Boaters: Rodney Brown, Dwayne Fochler, Don Welch, Ron Welch, Dan Wells, Kevin Sherry. Non-Boaters: Jason Hemminger, Dejon Lewis, Steve Wilson, Michael Coleman, Eddie Fletcher, Mark Torrez. Alternate: Jeff Jones.
An avid angler and writer, Jeff started tournament bass fishing in 1990. While his first love is bass fishing, he also enjoys fishing for other species including fly-fishing and saltwater.
Jeff is active with area bass organizations and has held most officer position at either the club or state level and has been a frequent State Team Qualifier. A guest speaker for the Bass Pro Shops Spring Fishing Classic, Jeff has presented numerous seminars and tank demonstrations and is dedicated to promoting the sport of fishing through education and youth.