U.S. team takes the gold at the World Black Bass Sport Fishing Championship
Mexico hosts CIPS event at Lake Cuchillo
MONTERREY, MEXICO–The fifth annual World Black Bass Sport Fishing Championship was held just outside China in northeastern Mexico this past weekend. Located about an hour’s drive from Monterrey, Mexico and 65 miles southwest of McAllen, Texas on the Rio San Juan, the International Angling Confederation (CIPS) sanctioned event hosted 10 countries including the United States.
Winning the gold metal for the U.S. “Top Honors” team included Gary Yamamoto and son Derrick from Palestine, TX, Mark Lassagne from Martinez, CA, Charlie Weyer from West Hills, CA, Tom Mann Jr. from Buford, GA, and Todd Faircloth from Jasper, TX. The three-day competition against six teams from nine other countries comprised of three 2-man teams, competed for Individual Team honors, and their combined team points were tallied for total scores. Aside from wining the overall event, Tom Mann Jr. and Todd Faircloth, fishing together for the first time, also took the gold medal for the Individual Team competition.
Attending his “first ever,” U.S. Team member Mark Lassagne said the magnitude of the event was much larger than he had anticipated. “This multinational event had capacity crowds with 1000s of people, hundreds taking pictures, TV, videos, autographs, it was truly amazing,” Lassagne said.
“There have been other bass tournaments where different countries competed from around the world, but no one in the U.S. ever really hears about them. So it was a nice surprise when they (Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits) asked me to be part of the team. It was a wonderful experience meeting anglers from around the world. Working to communicate in several different languages was interesting but you get fishermen together and no matter where they are from, there are universal terms and gestures used,” he said.
Fishing both the lake (man-made) and incoming river waters, Weyer and Lassagne managed black bass limits from the lake each day and then went up the river to cull up. “The limits we caught in the lake were mostly on outside structure and drop-offs near a river or creek channel. On the deep spots, we caught fish on Strike King crank baits and also on Texas rigged Senkos with a 1/2-ounce bullet weight,” he said. Their best baits included Yamamoto’s 6-inch Senko in watermelon red and the Strike King fat-free shad in shad color. “Our big fish were caught on the drop-offs and also in the shallows in the river on trees.” Mann and Faircloth caught most of their fish on a 12-inch Yamamoto Curly Tail worm. The rest came on deep-diving DT16 and DT20 Rapala crankbaits.
The world bass competition was added to CIPS 5 years ago. The 10 countries competing this year included the USA, Mexico, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Swaziland, Russia, Venezuela, Germany, and Romania, finishing the event in that order. A 13.33-pound Mexican “golona” (monster) bass was caught by the Swaziland team on day-one of the competition.
MEXICO HOSTS WORLD BLACK BASS SPORT FISHING CHAMPIONSHIP—Team USA took top honors and are this year’s Black Bass World Champions! From left to right, Tom Mann Jr., Mark Lassagne, Charlie Weyer, Todd Faircloth, and the Yamamotos, Gary, Beverly and Derek. PHOTO COURTESY OF MARK LASSAGNE.
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