For nine years, the Lock Jaw Bass Club (LJBC) and the Twin Cities Team Club (TCTC) have been competing on various water ways around Louisiana in a tournament we call the Ultimate Bass Club Shootout or better known as the UBCS. The 9th annual UBCS was held on the Calcasieu River, home waters of the Lock Jaw Bass Club. The LJBC hosted the tournament on the first weekend of March 2012 out of Sam Houston State Park. Teams from both clubs started arriving on Thursday, to get settled in and do a little pre-fishing. Most teams had trouble finding quality fish as the river was just getting back to a normal stage after being flooded for nearly 3 weeks prior to the tournament. Small fish were the talk of the groups as they hung around and discussed strategy.
On Thursday night, everyone had their boats prepped for the next day of pre-fishing and were ready to relax and tell stories. Keith Kibodeaux of the LJBC cooked up some squirrels and rabbit for early arrivers. The food was great, and the conversation was a good as it gets. Once our bellies were full, and sleep monkey got on most of our backs it was time for bed. The next morning and as the day progressed more and more teams showed up to get a bait wet and find fish for the two day tournament that would be starting the very next day. Once again the stories of small fish were the talk around the camp sites but several people were talking about some big ones they lost.
After everyone loaded their boats, prepped their rods for the next day, and placed batteries on charge, it was time to grub down on some Chili prepared by TCTC. I believe the cook for the Chili was the infamous John Gullo, or as most know him by Captain Jello. The chili was great and everybody filled up on it while talking about a game plan for the final day. After dinner we all met in the LJBC cabin; to discuss the rules of the tournament, and flip the coin to determine who would blast off first on day one. Who would have ever thought that a coin toss could be dangerous, but I found out the hard way. I won’t go into to detail, but let’s just say a quarter hurts when it hits you in the head. TCTC won the toss and opted to take off first on Saturday.
When Saturday morning arrived everyone was lined up and eager to go. At about 6:30 TCTC was given the go and LJBC followed shortly after. A front was moving through the area as we were blasting off, but luckily it passed quickly. The fishing Saturday was tough, and it showed at the scales. Not a single team brought in a limit of fish. Luckily for us Southwest Beverage provided some adult beverages for the weigh-in which helped bring up the spirits of a tough day for most. After the weigh-in for day one was complete, the LJBC had a 3lb lead. Mitch and Eric of the LJBC took big bass of the day. Teams retired to their cabins to rest and get ready for the Saturday night supper and games.
We started the Saturday evening festivities with a pitching competition. Darrin Savant(LJBC) and Steve Reneau (TCTC) won a Lew’s rod for their efforts in the competition. While waiting for Jacque to finish up with the bar-b-que, several teams played washer boards and others were having a great time talking about fishing. Once Jacques said start serving it was go time for eating some bar-b-que. As usual, Jacques cooked up a spread that everyone enjoyed. The rice dressing, which was prepared by the Browns, was also a big hit. When everyone was done eating, we started giving out the door prizes. We handed out over 100 door prizes, and they ranged from baits to culling scales, to rods and reels. When we finished handing out door prizes, it was time to retire for the night and get some sleep for the next day.
Sunday morning came fast for some that stayed up late, but everyone was in line and ready to go. It was a bit brisk Sunday morning, but the temps rose pretty quickly as the sun came out. Sunday brought tougher fishing conditions and once again it showed at the scales. Just like Saturday, no one brought in a limit on Sunday. After the weigh-in was complete the LJBC on the tournament and took home the trophy. Darrin and Bennit of the LJBC took the big bass on Sunday. Darrin and Bennit of the LJBC took 1st; Brian and Jim of the TCTC took 2nd, and John and Max of the LJBC took 3rd.
As always we all had a great time at the UBCS. I look forward to seeing everyone next year and know that it will be as good if not better than the ones in the past. TCTC will be hosting the 2013 UBCS, and we are anxiously waiting to hear where we will be fishing.