Congratulations to Adam Hinkle for winning this week’s trivia contest!!! For the answrs read below.
Fifteen years ago this month, Byron Velvick won the 2000 Bassmaster California Western Invitational on Clear Lake by a margin of more than 11 pounds. It wasn’t like he was beating up on the Little Sisters of the Poor, either, as the three anglers directly behind him were Skeet Reese, Aaron Martens and Brett Hite. Other western/national powers like Dean Rojas (6th) and Ish Monroe (9th), as well as legends like Gary Dobyns (13th) and Mike Folkestad (16th) also made the top 20, but all fell well short of Velvick’s 83-05 total.
Velvick certainly wasn’t a newcomer to the sport, having previously won the 1990 and 1996 U.S. Open Championships, but the Clear Lake victory marked the first of his three B.A.S.S. wins to date. In winning, he also set the B.A.S.S. record for total weight in a three-day, five-fish-limit event.
In many respects, Velvick’s win sparked a national awakening of swimbait culture. At the time, even Western writer Michael Jones thought that the big baits looked as if they “were more suitable for salt water than tap water.”
When sight fishing with a plastic craw was not an option, “Velvick switched gears to a cutting edge, typically Western tactic – one widely considered to be the sole domain of big-bass hunters on lakes with planted trout,” Jones wrote.
You don’t need to accurately describe Skeet Reese’s 2000 hairdo in order to win the prize this week. Just be the first to answer the following four questions correctly in the comments section and you’ll win a $25 gift card to Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits.
1) Whose three-day, five fish limit record did Velvick eclipse?
2) What brand of soft plastic craw did Velvick use to catch spawning fish in the early part of the tournament?
3) What species of baitfish was Velvick’s primary swimbait during this tournament meant to mimic?
4) Who caught the big bass of the event?
Here are the answers:
1) Velvick beat the record set by Robert Lee just the year before, which was set a few miles down the road at the California Delta. Lee, in turn, had beaten the record previously set by Bobby Padgett at Lake Eufaula in 1996, a tournament that we’ve previously written about on the Bass Fishing Archives. When bad weather rolled in on the first day of competition, Lee figured “there was no way my record would be broken,” but it was. Lee finished 61st at Clear Lake in 2000 but went on to win two more Bassmaster events on the Delta. Clearly, the record is beatable given the right body of water and the right conditions — at last year’s Toyota Texas Bass Classic on Lake Fork, Keith Combs weighed in 110 pounds over three days.
2) According to B.A.S.S. Times, Velvick used an Angler’s Choice 5-inch Chubby Craw in color No. 305 (green pumpkin/orange belly). He fished it on a 5/0 Gamakatsu EWG and inserted a small nail weight.
3) Velvick’s primary swimbait was a hand-poured Basstrix fitted with a pair of 6/0 Mustad hooks and a 7/8 ounce internal weight. It was meant to imitate the Clear Lake Hitch, a baitfish that can grow to over a foot long. When Steve Kennedy won the 2007 Golden State Shootout on Clear Lake, setting a four-day record that would be beaten the next year by Paul Elias, he likewise used a hitch product from Basstrix – one of the company’s Paddle Tail swimbaits. Oddly, the otherwise rock-solid Velvick finished 98th in that event. It suffices to say that Clear Lake has been very, very good to Basstrix owner Bruce Porter.
4) Robert Roster of California caught the big fish of the event on Day One. It weighed 11-02. His 20th place finish at Clear Lake that week marked the last of 15 B.A.S.S. events he fished.
Since his first B.A.S.S. win, Velvick has won two more Bassmaster events, the 2007 Elite Series Wild Card Qualifier on Okeechobee and the 2010 Elite Series Golden State Shootout, once again on Clear Lake. At the latter event, he again won by a large margin, beating runner-up Bill Lowen by nearly 6 pounds, but his average of a little over 23 ½ pounds was less than his nearly 28 pound average in 2000.