On Saturday May 14, the Wild West Bass Trail returned to Big Break Marina in Oakley where the team of Douglas Jones and Joe Bitker took top prize with a total payout of $6,550.
The event featured 94-boats with a total payout of $29,400 which included contingency money.
Jones and Bitker scored a total weight of 32.13 lbs for a 7-fish limit. Their payout included $1,250 in contingency money.
Meanwhile, Oscar Sarnecki and Eric Parra scored the “big fish” of the day at 10.99 lbs on their way to 4th place taking home $2,700 in total payout, including $500 for “toad of the day”.
The Wild West Bass Trail returned to Oakley after the City of Oakley agreed in January to sponsor the series at a cost of $7,500.
Gary Dobyns, co-founder of the Wild West Bass Trail explained they used to run the tournaments out of Big Break Marina and that it was great to be back.
“We would go every weekend out of Big Break and then new ownership took over and tournaments began to disburse and its just nice to be back. This is a nice family friendly atmosphere with parking and an awesome weigh in area. They want us here, it’s a big deal,” said Dobyns.
He further highlighted that people talk and had heard horror stories before coming back. He says the current rumors about Big Break Marina were unfounded and it’s a great facility.
“I haven’t been here in a long time and the war stories were just horrible from guys stealing everything, people sleeping in sheds and if you came down here you needed a gun. It was horrible the stories we were hearing. I drive in, and here is this awesome and clean facility that looked better than it ever did,” explained Dobyns. “I was pleasantly surprised. I knew they were getting it clean and would be ready for us, but this is going to go a long ways. The comment this morning that was said over and over again was man it’s been twelve to fifteen years since I had been here and that was the story this morning, its like the old days.”
Dobyns stated the conditions were a bit rough and the bite was a little off with lots of wind blowing in dirty water making it rough on everybody but that they did have a few good catches.
The Wild West Bass Trail returned to Oakley after the City of Oakley agreed in January to sponsor the series at a cost of $7,500. Oakley mayor Kevin Romick stated at that meeting
“We used to do this a lot before the economic crash in 2008,” explained Romick. “Oakley was known as one of the best bass tournament spots on the west coast. We were busy all summer long and did what we could with the FLW and the demise of Big Break Marina was an unfortunate situation that forced the tournaments out of Oakley onto Bethel Island. But with the rejuvenated Big Break this is a opportunity for Oakley to get its name back on the map as one of the premier bass fishing places on the west coast. This is a great opportunity for us to take advantage of the incentives being presented by both tournament groups. Working with them is a great opportunity to re-invest ourselves.”
The Wild West Bass Trail was started by two fishermen, Dobyns and Matt Morgan in an effort to promote and advertise for the highest quality companies and anglers by providing premier competitive fishing events in the western United States. Anglers and sponsors combined will showcase their skills and products with the most innovative television, web, print and social media available.
“We are trying to bring back to the old style of fishing such as putting a 7-fish limit in an effort to put two guys in a boat fishing as a team again, running off-limits period,” explained Doybns. “They couldn’t practice this week, they had to show up today and get it on. We have a 10-day off period so it evens out the playing field. This is the things that worked in the past and we are bringing it back.”
Doybns thanked the City of Oakley and Dan’s Delta Outdoors for stepping up to get them back to Big Break Marina.
“Now that the guys have launched here and seen it, no more rumors, it’s a great location, tournament friendly and the guys will come back now,” explained Doybns. “The City of Oakley really stepped up to bring a tournament event and a pro-am event here and will bring it back next year. I am glad to be back here.”
For more information on the Wild West Bass Trail, visit: wildwestbasstrail.com