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2012 Delta/Wine Region AOY Small Boat Division

The Adventures of Tinnie Winnie (Name of my boat)
Team: Cloed Origenes and Steve Goltiao – Small Boat Division

Just like other teams that participated, I have a game plan to win every tournament of this years BBT trail especially the championship.

I even made up my mind not to do the 7
th event just to be in the TOC way before the season started. I told my partner if we don’t qualify after the 6th event then we don’t deserve to be in the championship. Besides, it’s called Tournament of Champions.

What’s a game plan good for if you can’t execute it seamlessly right? My partner and I was so excited to start the season strong by practicing hard before the tournament, but on our first day of practice for Lake Berryessa event we had a problem. The outboard won’t start. After fishing a number of spots the outboard just won’t start.

Immediately at the back of my mind is the weight of frustration, but I constantly tell myself there’s still time to get it fixed. My partner is new to this and probably did not realize the weight of this dilemma but I can sense that he is worried too and maybe frustrated that he doesn’t know what to do.

I brought the boat to a reputable shop, so I thought, but by next practice we still end up stranded out in the water and had the sheriff tow us back to safety. Got it back to the shop again and was guaranteed they fixed it this time.

Here comes the tournament day, and it was fine at first but did the same thing again after a couple of runs. Our mind set has desperation written all over that we hesitated running to several spots in fear of not being able to check in on time. That mental stress caused us the Lake Berryessa event. We weighed in just 1 fish. In lack of better word, we sucked! 

I tell you, I didn’t noticed how far of a drive Lake Berryessa is to San Jose nor the heavy traffic because all I can think and feel is disappointment, a hearth pounding disappointment.

I need to get this outboard fix soon before the next event. After several times back to the shop the problem remains. So I decide to learn fixing it on my own. I figured, I learned to fix my own truck and it may be hard but it can be learned. So I made several fix and adjustments and so far its running smooth and almost a one click start. So here I am with a mind set back to the game.

The 2nd event was in the Delta and though we were able to practice and formulate a winning game plan we end up weighing way less from our target sack.  We brought in a 5 pounder but that didn’t help at all. We didn’t even bring in a limit. We failed to make necessary timely adjustments.  Another disappointment, but nothing else we could do but get better next time.

The 3rd event was in Clear Lake and just as I am excited I am also nervous as to what weight we are going to bring in, and just when my mind started to wonder I have learned that my partner can not fish this event due to some emergency.  I am fishing this event alone. So you can imagine the pressure building up. In my mind is the results of the last 2 events were we finish poorly.

The only thing that eased my mind is knowing that the fish will be shallow this time of year due to the spawning cycle. I just need to find them on practice and come up with the best way to catch them. My practice was promising and thought I might have a chance to win this. Tournament day came and I got my limit and have hours to look for my kicker fish. I culled several times but never got my kicker fish. The end result was not disappointing at all compared to the last 2, and to top it, I end up with some money. Besides feeling so happy I thought this could be the kick or the boost I needed for the succeeding tournaments… It can be done! 

Though Mike Iaconelli made the phrase “Never give up!” famous, it has always been my attitude, especially in something that I love to do to never give up. Someone told me “find your passion and spend the rest of your life living it”. I found fishing to be the passion I’ve been seeking all my life and I intend to follow this dream. I just have to do this one step at a time.

Here comes the 4th event in the Delta. With confidence and the right attitude in mind I was so excited to fish this tournament. My partner was excited too after learning the Clear Lake result. I keep telling him “it can be done! We can do this!” We just have to stick with our game plan, and we did. We found our fish during practice and thought we can bring in a good sack of limit. Our confidence was so high that I think it was so high we missed noting the little details that calls for adjustments during the tournament day. We came in with only 3 fish with a 5-pounder, and that didn’t help out either. Again we were back to Disappointment Avenue, wondering with despair. Not until we saw the overall results that looks like majority of the fields had a hard time too. In summary, even though we didn’t place well overall we end up 1st place in small boat and happy as Christmas.

I guess you can say we were lucky last time to make first place but that was enough to boost our moral. My partner and me are now determined to win, if not overall at least our division, the small boats. We aimed for first place in overall and it might be far fetch but we constantly remind ourselves “it can be done!”

Were back to Clear Lake for the 5th event and our moral is as high as the Himalayas. We followed our game plan methodically and took note of the little adjustments we shouldn’t ignore, but then again, it’s called fishing not catching. Even though you do good in practice there is always something during tournament day that makes fishing even harder.

Someone famous put it so eloquently “The greatest intangible of Bass Fishing is the ability of an Angler to quickly analyze the changing conditions and make necessary adjustments to find and catch quality fish.” 

We found our fish during practice and we noted the conditions and everything that can be noted during practice and at the back of our minds are the possible changes that can happen overnight that might affect the bite. Sure enough come tournament day there was a big change in the condition. The bite slowed down due to this change and the 6-hour DFG regulation got to us, we just run out of time. The end result, we brought in just 4 fish with a 5-pounder to add to the weight.  We placed 16th overall but at least 1st place again in the small boat division... Once again, happy as Christmas!

Going to the 6th event I tossed and turn in my sleep weeks before, not sure if my partner did the same thing, but I was just so pumped and excited to place good once again. This time the idea of qualifying the TOC is running around my mind. If we do well as in place 1st in the small boat at least we will definitely qualify, and deserving too.

Practice came and even though we didn’t do well in practice we at least found the fish. We decided to leave the spot alone and hope no one else finds it. Sure enough we were the only boat in that spot during tournament day.

There were tons of big fish in the area but we have to sort thru the small ones first till we caught the bigger ones. We end up getting our limit with a 6-pounder kicker fish.  

Driving back to check-in my partner and me are all smiles and for sure have swallowed those tiny insects, but we didn’t care, we know we will place well if not 1st place in the overall for sure 1st place in the small boat.

We end up 9th place overall, 1st Place in the small boat and got money too, and this time its not just Happy as Christmas but Christmas and Birthday combined.  

WE ARE HEADING TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP. We are one of the champions, and we earned it.

… CLEAR LAKE, Here we come…