BRENT BENISH 6:01 A.M. (Gary Graham photo)

UPDATED, Saturday morning–Prognosticators were right (and the DFG was there to confirm) the Regional Final of the California Bass Championship at Lake Elsinore was just as tough as advertised. Yet mainstream news coverage was excellent. (Click here.)

But for nine anglers, it was actually good enough. And for Brent Benish of San Diego, there was the satisfaction of catching four bass without burning a gallon of gas and finishing on top for the day.

Of course, for CBC head Tom Leogrande (and business partner Gary Dobyns) there was still some pain. Only nine weighing anglers means they must come up with a solution for qualifying a 10th angler.

JESSIE FORTHUN gets his number posted.

RICK GROVER was one who broke off a good fish--but said he "kept grinding."

THE LEADERBOARD had some holes.

Frankly, I see no reason to reward an angler who fails to catch one, but that resolve will be announced shortly, or a decision may have already have been made by the time I got to my desk.

YIKES, Benish gets another one.

As predicted, there was no safety net for missed or lost fish, but in many cases, it was those who weighed at least a fish who also missed opportunities. In other words, there was no mystery, just an issue of  either execution–or some tough fish hanging in some nasty cover. But a thousand dollars for moving on to the Finals at Clear Lake made the suffering worthwhile.

Those cashing besides Benish were Rick Grover, Anaheim; Robert Duffy, San Diego; Mike Martin, El Cajon; Jerry Hobart, Oceanside; Dennis Saiki, San Diego; Tony Lain, Sun City; Jessie Forthun, La Mesa; and David Baker, Alta Loma.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was the fact that favorites Chip Gilbert of San Marcos, Mike Nemec of Menifee and John Wick of San Diego did not come to the scales–a testament to just how tough it was out there.

The official standings should be posted on the CBC website with other information about the other regional finals. (Click here.) The event was attended by Mike Giusti and Ben Ewing of the Department of Fish & Game as well as media from the Press Enterprise and WON  freelance columnist Gary Graham.


11 Responses to “It’s all over and it wasn’t pretty at CBC”

Why in the world would John Wick be considered a favorite in this contest when he’s never seen the lake before in his life until 2 weeks ago?

My own team partner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But to answer that question……If KVD came to Elsinore he would be a favorite also!

This lake plays no favorite ask mike and chip, any one who wants it and and find the key first, I’m in.

by Kevin Johnson

Hey Mike, didn’t you hear, John is also the pre tournament favorite to win the US OPEN in a few weeks as well!

No matter how close I move to this (GULP)lake I do not think I will ever fish it.Can’t quite see why anyone would ever fish this body of water for fun. As for Wick being a favorite, I think he was suppose to go out and catch Kramers pet bass but it seems Brent got to them 1st. I mean “bubble gum” worm,did Brent think he was fishing for steelhead?
Mike, I think Wick has out grown you. So if you feel you need to kick him lose I’m sure he will understand. Besides I will have some free time when I get down there and could use some spare change Wicks been bringing in.:)

by Brian Linehan

All you fools better be at DVL tomorrow night!

Dang Mikey, Jim straight told you the deal! Next year, him and the power pole on Jdub’s Z521 are going steady!

by Brian Linehan


Cool Lake…Lets do it again for spot ten. Thanks George

I think you guys were taking this wrong…….JDub is my brother. I was just reading the article and noticed George put Wick down as a favorite in the event and it was a big surprise that he didn’t catch a fish and John is not a local or had even seen the lake before until 2 weeks ago. I just think pointing out that my partner didn’t catch any fish in this derby wasn’t nice. It’s funny don’t get me wrong but not nice. lol George it’s not nice to point out when people don’t catch anything. lol.

I’ll man up. I didn’t weigh-in a keeper either.

2 shorts and another catfish all on spinner baits. Lol

I’d like another shot at it but I don’t anticipate that happening.