The Sonoma State University duo of B.J. Kendrick of Morgan Hill, California, and Josh Hanna of Danville, California, won the YETI FLW College Fishing Western Conference tournament at the California Delta presented by Bass Pro Shops Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned the Sonoma State bass club $2,000 and the team will now advance to compete at the 2018 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
“We both fish the Delta quite a bit and we are pretty comfortable throwing finesse baits,” said Hanna, a freshman at Sonoma State. “We had a tough practice and from growing up fishing the Delta we knew that finesse fishing was going to be the deal.”
“We started out fishing an area near Mildred Island,” said Kendrick, a junior majoring in environmental studies and planning. “It was a shallow spot where fish were spawning. Josh caught a couple on a wacky-rigged Senko, but we left there with three bass in the box and decided to move to an area near Middle River.
“We fished for a while and got a couple of small ones there to fill out our limit, but at this point the tide was going out and we knew that our first area would be better in the low tide,” Kendrick continued. “So, we went back to our first spot. On one of my first casts back there I had a 6-pounder blow up on a bubble gum-colored Zoom Trick Worm.”
The Seawolves duo said that they caught 8 keepers throughout the day, fishing watermelon-red and baby bass-colored Yamamoto Senkos and Strike King Shim E Sticks and the bubble gum-colored Zoom Trick worm.
“The key for us was just covering a lot of water and finesse fishing,” Hanna said.
“We knew there were fish there, we just had to slow down and fish patiently to make them bite,” Kendrick added.
The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2018 College Fishing National Championship are:
1st: Sonoma State University – B.J. Kendrick, Morgan Hill, Calif., and Josh Hanna, Danville, Calif., five bass, 16-1, $2,400
2nd: California Polytechnic State University – Johan Eide, San Luis Obispo, Calif., and Colton Farquer, Oakdale, Calif., five bass, 14-9, $1,000
3rd: California State University-Chico – Austin Crane and David Griswold, both of Oroville, Calif., five bass, 13-0, $700
4th: Utah Valley University – Ben Levie, Salem, Utah, and Will Brown, Provo, Utah, five bass, 10-1, $500
5th: California State University-Chico – Frank Tomasello and Jakob Conlan, both of Chico, Calif., five bass, 9-11, $900
6th: California State University-Chico – Chas Brannon, Santa Maria, Calif., and Michael Woods, Olivehurst, Calif., five bass, 9-5, $200
7th: California State University-Bakersfield – Yuan Liu, Hayward, Calif., and Herbert Rounds, Oakley, Calif., five bass, 9-1
8th: University of California-Merced – Herbie LeBlanc, Gilroy, Calif., and Gregory Dooman, Merced, Calif., five bass, 8-11
9th: California State University-Chico – Michael Klemm, Oroville, Calif., and Nick Klein, Oroville, Calif., five bass, 8-5
10th: California State University-Chico – Chad Sweitzer, Chico, Calif., and Tyler Firebaugh, Danville, Calif., five bass, 8-2
This YETI FLW College Fishing Western Conference event at the California Delta was the second regular-season qualifying tournament for Western Conference anglers in 2017. The next YETI FLW College Fishing event is a Central Conference tournament, scheduled for May 20 on Kentucky Lake in Gilbertsville, Kentucky.