There may be plenty of fish in the sea, but for world class bass fishing, the Wild West Bass Trail brought their largest West Coast tour to the Columbia River!
The WWBT held their first ever Columbia Cup Pro/Am Open from June 21-23, 2019 and brought some amazing prizes that drew in anglers from Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon and more!
Competitors raced for their chance to win $10,000 from the Professional pool and $5,000 from the Amateur pool. Ultimately first place for both the professional and amateur cups went to local Kennewick residents! Pro winner Mel Williams collected 51.76lbs, while Am winner Josh Roy came in with 29.37lbs.
Beginning on Friday, the anglers hit the waters a half-hour before sunrise and would fish up and down the river until 3 p.m., when weigh-ins were due. Spectators could see the boats flock in to make the cut-off. Family and friends would cheer the anglers on as they docked and were excited to see the large bass during the weigh-ins.
Some anglers were shocked to see swells up to four-feet due to the wind. Mel Williams took advantage of his competitors’ struggle with the wind and current fluctuations and held steadfast to fishing for only largemouth, as opposed to a combination of large and smallmouth. That may have been what gave him the advantage, as the 2nd place in his category came in at 45.71lbs.
“I have been visiting the Columbia River for over 20 years and it remains my favorite venue both because it is world class fishery and the scenery,” said Randy McBride, Tournament Director.
Brandon Hua, an angler from Portland, took third overall in the amateur division and noted that he enjoyed his first competition on the Columbia River and is looking forward to participating in more events in the future!
The Richland Rod and Gun Club was present during each day of the tournament, teaching kids how to cast.