Tim Hanni

Tim Hanni shows his 7-pound Florida bass.

Tim Hanni In Florida… with a 7-pound bass. Yep, they grow big down there and Tim is the guy to fool one – this time in Port St. Lucie. Warm water and lots of bait year-round are the keys to that bountiful fishery. Tim used a Zoom worm on a Carolina rig.

Next time you see Tim, ask him about the time we were long-line trolling in the vast Vancouver, B.C. harbor and I hooked a seal. It was a strong bite far away from the boat. I was thinking “trophy size” fish. Then a huge seal popped up on the surface with that look in his eye – the “What the hell is going on here?!” look. But while he was up top, he unhooked himself and swam of in a huff. True story.

Best Bass Tournaments… closed out its 2019 season with the popular and demanding Tournament of Champions. The TOC had a two-day split location format and was won by Mike Caddick and Mark McCord. Here’s their tally and reward:

*Day One on New Melones, Oct. 12: Mike and Mark scored 19.17 pounds of bass for their five fish brought to the scales.

*Day Two at Don Pedro: They weighed in 15.99 pounds for a TOC-winning weight of 35.16 pounds.

*And the reward was a dandy $21,000. Now, you must realize that Mike and Mark had to qualify throughout the whole season’s regular regional tournaments. It’s obvious that they were on their game in 2019.

There Is A Lot To Like… in this BBT local action. Our close-by waters like Lake Berryessa, the Delta and Clear Lake figure prominently in two of the regional groupings. Weigh-ins are always exciting and fun to watch. It’s a great way to get your kids interested in bass tournament competition, and to meet some of the stars. Next stop is signing up to enter the tournament program. No time to waste: the first 2020 events are Jan. 11. Go online to bestbasstournaments.com/schedule.aspx to get started. Keep me posted on your progress so I can tell your friends back here in Napa Valley about our success.

While Your Calendar Is Out… save Jan. 16-19 for the 2020 edition of the International Sportsmen’s Exposition at CalExpo in Sacramento. It has something for the whole family. More details at sportsexpos.com/attend/sacramento.

And, Remember… to renew your fishing license for 2020. Sweeney’s Sports on Imola and Steves Hardware in St Helena are all set up to provide them.

Mine Is Ready… for next week when my grandson, Jack, and I will fish Clear Lake for a couple of days with pro bass guide Bob Myskey. It will be a special trip for both of us because it reprises a similar bass trip we took with Bob a dozen years ago. We’ll be looking for another live jumbo minnow bite that provided Stan Press and me a fish every five minutes for 10 hours of bait-in-the-water fishing two weeks ago. Stay tuned.

And In The Salt… The incredible rockfish season ended Tuesday, after a most bountiful year of limit all-around fishing. That’s 10 rocks per angler. So as of Wednesday this past week, Bodega Bay boats are offering crab only trips or crab and sand dab combo trips (crab and dab).

That wide-open sturgeon bite up high in San Pablo Bay fizzled out as the diamond backs chased a big herring spawn towards Angel Island. But keep your eye in that fishery which also delivers stripers in this season. I’d call Captain Craig Hanson (415-361-7757) on the Argo berthed at Fisherman’s Wharf for best timing on sturgeon and stripers in the bay. The Argo is a refitted six pack with lots of room and all the amenities to make an office refresher or family outing the perfect way to get away. You play Captain and Craig does all the work.

And in the Delta slow tides and cold water have slowed down the bite. Unfortunately somebody told the Delta Sturgeon about that herring spawn in San Pablo Bay. But, don’t be discouraged; the best Delta sturgeon bite is yet to come as the stable spring weather days approach.

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Email Bill Ryan at acorn_3@comcast.net.