LONG BEACH – With another “non-gathering” format, the second tournament for the 2021 Saltwater Bass Series is a wrap! After tough fishing in the January San Diego Spotted Bay Bass event, all teams were looking forward to tying into some brute sand bass. With this tournament format being a sand bass-only event, teams were allowed to weigh one possible calico bass as a “gift” if they happened to catch a good one while targeting the sandies.
Although many teams backed out because of windy forecasted conditions, this event dodged the forecast and provided a slot of doable weather to get the job done. The field of 52 teams had boundaries from Point Fermin to Newport Pier with no depth restrictions. Teams fished the inside of Long Beach and L.A. Harbors, the Federal Breakwall to the rockpiles and stones on the “Shoe,” straight out front on Izor’s and down below to the Huntington Beach and Newport AR’s from 30 to over 100 feet deep. To say the teams were very spread out would have been an understatement. Some got them really good while most had fair-to-good results with only a few teams struggling to catch a decent bag.
With a 2:30 weigh in for the Rookie / Family teams followed by the Masters Division weighing in at 3:00, teams started to trickle in around 2:00 as the wind started to pick up. Some teams that opti- mized their time by fishing until the last minute were rewarded and you will see why you “never say die” in tournament fishing.
Starting with the Rookie / Family Division and winning their Division with the events second largest limit was the father-son team of Adam and Justin Larson. These two fished A-Rigs in 90 feet of water to weigh in 22.29 pounds with a 6.60-pound kicker fish! Following up in second was the Hookup Baits team of Frank Santiago and Dale Shaw, as they brought 18.54 pounds to the scales. All their fish were caught on… you guessed it, Hookup Baits! Rounding out the top 3 was the team of Nick Trujillo and teammate Anthony Zegara. These two weighed in early with a nice 14.36-pound limit.
Masters Division winners Bryan Davis and Whitney Uyeda fished until the last minute and were rewarded with what Bryan called an, “Insane wide-open bite on toads” in the final moments of the event. They ended up bringing in 25.55 pounds of cookie cutter 5 pounders topped by a 5.76-pound big fish. All their fish were caught on 5- and 6-inch Big Hammer swimbaits. Coming out of the woodwork and taking second place were local sand bass legends Eric Johnson and Ricky Trujillo, who weighed in 22.23 pounds of angry sandies. Fishing solo, as his team mate Garrett Ching was at home waiting for a baby to be born, was Bobby Martinez. Bobby also weighed in early and posted up a solid 22.19 pounds for a great solo-fished 3rd place finish.
Big Bass of the tournament was brought in by Matt Moyer and Jake Boaz with a 8.50-pound giant grumpy sand bass! With two events now in the rear view miror, the Yearly Points Race is being lead by Tom and Cash Troop in the Rookie / Family Division, while Josh Marquard and Shannon Perkins hold it down in the Masters Division. Added this 2021 SBS season is if you win an event, you are automatically entered into the Year End Championship but must still fish the required minimum 4 events out of the 5 on the schedule, a very cool bonus to reward those that happen to win an event.
The SBS has been safe by abiding to non-gathering rules and hopefully soon, it will be back to running the events with pre-event coffee and sweets and post-event BBQ’s with gathering the way it was prior to COVID mandates. Everyone is really looking forward to this as this is what brings anglers together as a family that shares the passion of fishing.
For more information or to join, visit SaltwaterBassSeries.com.