June 6, 2023
Valerie Handzus added 21 new photos — with Joe Gugino and 5 others.

Spent this past weekend wrapping up the Saltwater Bass Series (SBS) 2020 tournament season with the 2-Day Championships out of Mission Bay, San Diego. Through tough fishing conditions earlier in the year when the season started in January and with Covid 19 delays we managed to pull it off by modifying our normal tournament format and keeping our distance from one another as much as possible. There were 17 teams from the Masters Division and 13th teams from the Rookie Division who qualified to advance to the Championships and we all were more than ready to fish by this weekend.

Day 1 required all the anglers to have a 5-fish mixed bag of calicos and sandbass (3 of one and 2 of the other) which made it a little more challenging as some teams who had a chance to pre-fish before the event was wondering where all the sandbass had disappeared! By 10:30 a.m. Tom and I only had 2 calicos in our bait tank so we kept on the move until we found a spot that produced for us filling out our limit with Tom’s nice 5.65 lb. calico and my 7.35 sandbass which brought our bag total to 18.63 lbs. and put us in 3rd Place. My sandbass also won BIG fish for the day which was caught on my Seeker SAS 70L Athena rod and my favorite Corey Sanden’s 5″ MCSwimbait slathered with Ron Buhler’s Edge Fishing Hot Sauce fish attractant.

Everyone was back out on the water on Sunday with a different strategy. We were allowed to catch a mixed bag of calicos, sandbass and spotted bay bass OR, catch spotted bay bass ONLY for double their weight! When Tom and I prefished last weekend we saw that the Mission Bay crowd was like a 4th of July holiday…boaters, kayakers, paddle boards…you name it! With that said, we decided to stay outside and managed to put together a 11.61 lb bag of calicos and sandies. Total weight for both days was 30.24 lbs. and we’re stoked that we ended up in 5th Place as we are fishing with some of the best bass anglers in SoCal. All fish were safely released after being weighed.

Tournament Director Gerry Maheiu did a great job presenting the awards to the winning teams and Anglers of the Year on the patio at Dana Landing who provided individually wrapped sandwiches for everyone. The tournament sponsors provided raffle prizes that were off the hook such as Traeger grills (3), Motor Guide Trolling Motor, Daiwa rods/reels, Costa products and to top it off, one lucky team walked away with a Mercury outboard motor!! Congratulations to the winning teams and Anglers of the Year in both Masters and Rookie Divisions. Please see previous post naming the winners and Anglers of the Year with pictures.

Thank you Gerry for always going above and beyond planning and organizing the SBS tournaments and here’s to a bigger season in 2021. Thank you to our sponsors #MCSwimbaits #SeekerRods #CostaSunglasses #RonBuhler(EdgeFishing) #Izorline for their continued support. Stay safe everyone!

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Professional saltwater bass angler fishing tournaments in Southern California. @bassgalval