After months of planning and anticipation the 2nd Annual UBCS finally arrived. The Twin Cities Team Club of Bossier/Shreveport, Louisiana set the stage for this 4-day event on Grand Bayou Reservoir (about 50 miles south of Shreveport along highway 71). Starting on Thursday 23 June 2005 with two days of pre-fishing and camaraderie, all building up to two days of competition (Saturday daylight to 3pm – Sunday daylight to noon).
Facilities at the Grand Bayou Resort were excellent, with cabins and campgrounds housing all the Ultimate Bass Club Shoot our participants, and the resort personnel friendly and helpful. Grand Bayou the lake is a relatively small impoundment with shallow points, grass flats on the northern end; and open water humps and creek channels that get as deep as 25 feet on the southern end. Summer time patterns usually involve a shallow water bite early in the grass and then switching to Carolina rigs in the deeper water after the sun comes up. Schooling activity can be found throughout the lake, and it is just a matter of being in the right place at the right time, if you do, you will catch fish cast after cast with top water and crank baits.
In typical Louisiana fashion the weather was hot and muggy with temps exceeding the 95-degree mark and heat indexes well above 100. Normally not too bad but a breeze to cool you off was nowhere to be found. With the heat, pre-fishing days were short as most folks headed back to shore to enjoy the camaraderie of new found friends, the air conditioning of the cabins, and some folks were even partaking in the poker game!
On Thursday after a very warm and productive day of fishing, the Lock Jaw Bass Club, put on an outstanding Cajun home cooked meal, with sausage, venison, and elk meat gumbos. Although a little spicy for some of the northern brothers and sisters, still an excellent meal, and a great taste of the southern Louisiana hospitality! Around the dinner table lips were sealed about what and where fish were caught, of course everyone had found some monster fish and the mind game was ON! After a great meal, a few drinks, and a friendly card game everyone was off to bed to try it again tomorrow, with hopes of some cloud cover in their dreams.
Friday, started off with everyone gathering at the launch ramp getting ready to head out for another day of pre-fishing. With all the talk last night and this morning about big fish, George Perez, asked everyone to put their money where their mouth is and started a $5 big fish take all side pot. After some grumblings about having to bring a big fish to the scale the day before the tournament was to start, several folks got in the pot, with weigh in at noon. The day was again hot with little to no cloud cover, but there was a mild breeze that helped matters tremendously. It seemed like no time at all and everyone was back at the ramp to weight his or her big fish. Scott Rauber (Forum name "FishForFree") had a nice fish that was over the slot limit, but Ernie Cella (Forum name "Papa") bettered it by a few ounces with a nice 4.5-pound beauty and earned $75 for his efforts. Trey, Papa’s partner and son, was very excited about the winnings cause now he had some money for tonight’s poker game!
By the time everyone got back to the cabins, the Legend boats had arrived. Randy Qualls (owner) and Deryl Janzen brought two boats from the Legend line up. One for use to crawl threw, sit in, dig threw the compartments; analyze each and every nook cranny or corner. Basically let us pick it apart, not a single person could find a flaw and found all the little extra effort they put into their boats to be Outstanding. The second boat, they launched and let everyone test drive. Deryl let folks put the Legend 21LE with a 225 Mercury to the test. He first demonstrated some of the handling and cornering abilities and then shut her down and got out of the drivers seat letting each and everyone of the UBCS members take the reigns. When Mike Cork climbed onto the dock after his test drive he claimed, "The speed and handling of the Legend boat is unmatched. I have driven just about every boat on the market and thought I owned the best when it came to hole-shot, top end speed and cornering. But the Legend has my boat and every one that I have ever driven bested". All of the folks at the UBCS were very impressed, and talks of a new boat over shadowed the hamburger and hot dog supper that Randy and Deryl put on for the UBCS crowd. Randy and Deryl are "Top Notch – Down to Earth People" said David Welch. He went on to say "Who else in the boat industry is going to bring two boats to you and then cook you dinner"; Here Here’s and other agreeing gestures were heard throughout the UBCS members. With dreams of a new Legend Bass Boat in everyone’s heads, members called it a night and set the alarms early.
Saturday morning registration and launch was full of excitement and anticipation of catching the fish we all had found during the two days of pre-fishing. Everyone blasted off at 5:45 and had to be back at the Marina at 3 PM. Weigh in found that most all of the UBCS contestants had done their homework very well. Limit upon limit was brought the scale.
Day One – Mike and Jimmy Brown [Lock Jaw Bass Club] brought in the heaviest stringer with a nice five bass limit tipping the scales at 11.89 topped off with a 4.44 big bass. Coming in Second for the day was Chris Franklin and Brent Glover [Twin Cities Team Club], they had a nice limit of bass that actually tied first place but dead fish penalties hurt them and dropped their weight to 10.89. Johnathan LeDoux and Robert Rollins [Lock Jaw Bass Club] came in a close third with 10.66 and had big bass of the day a beautiful 6.60 caught on a wacky worm in a small creek that ran threw a large grass flat. Big Bass is the only cash award of the UBCS and Johnathan earned $175 for day one big bass.
Club standings for Day One – Lock Jaw Bass Club 32.08 / Twin Cities Team Club 28.97.
After Day One’s weigh in, everyone put up their boats and enjoyed a great evening meal of a slow smoked assortment of country style ribs, chicken, and beef briquette that had started early that morning. All provided by Twin Cities Team Club and prepared by David Welch’s family. After dinner and some great conversation, the Twin Cities Team Club held the raffle, with products donated by Fish For Free.com, Bass Pro Shops, Lake Fork Tackle Repair, Academy Sports, Travis Boating Center, Price Supply, Kipawa Propellers, Strike Works, Red River Chevy, Off Shore Oilfield Services, Ernie Cella’s Landscaping, Brian Walters, Shawn Allen and finally Dri-Wash Donated by Mike Noble. Each and every tournament contestant received two prizes and some three. Rods, reels, various baits and even a smoker were enjoyed.
Day Two – Again sign-in and launch went very smooth; Kudos to everyone for being on time and ready to go, two days in a row! Weigh-in today was at noon, so that traveling members could get a head start on their trips home from a great weekend. Not as many limits brought to the scales today, but still a good day on the water. Coming in first place for the day was, Steve Reneau and Kermit Burns [Twin Cities Team Club] with a limit that went 7.68 pounds. Second Place stringer went to George and Rhonda Perez [Twin Cities Team Club] with a 3 bass stringer tipping the scales at 7.66. And Third place was Charles and Darrel Duhon [Lock Jaw Bass Club] with 7.42. Obviously a very close contest the second day! Big Bass of Day Two went to Shawn Allen with a 3.76 pounder that earned him a check worth $175.
Club Standings Day Two – Lock Jaw Bass Club 15.83 / Twin Cities Team Club 26.44.
After all was said and done and everyone’s two-day totals were added together the Lock Jaw Bass Club took the top three individual team trophies. Third Place Trophies went to Johnathan LeDoux and Robert Rollins [Lock Jaw Bass Club] with a two-day total of 14.92. Second Place went to Mike and Jimmy Brown [Lock Jaw Bass Club] with a two-day total of 15.07. First Place, the over all best stringer weighed in, went to Charles and Darrel Duhon [Lock Jaw Bass Club] with a two-day total of 16.82.
Even though it seemed like the Lock Jaw Bass Club dominated the field, after all the totals were added together for the Club weights the Twin Cities Team Club ended up on top and kept the Club Championship Trophy two years running with a two-day weight of 55.41 topping the Lock Jaws Bass Club two-day total of 47.91.
It was a very close race and I think it is best summed up in two quotes that took place after the awards ceremony. Jared Leblue, the Lock Jaw Bass Club President hollered out "Clean Sweep for the Lock Jaw Bass Club" and Trey Cella, Twin Cities Team Club member replied, "Ooops, you missed a spot"!
Lots of fun, fishing, and friendship took place. Highlights were the great meals, the conversations had around the boats while everyone was setting up for the next day, Legend boats providing demonstrations, the raffle, and you can’t forget the card game! If you missed this year’s event, you missed a great time. Next years event will be hosted by the Lock Jaw Bass Club, so watch for the dates and plan ahead, you don’t want to miss the next one!