By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Four CVHS Bass Fishing Club members participate in state tournament
Ortiz, Weis team up for second year
Brandyn Weis (pictured left) and Ben Ortiz represented Central Valley at the 2015 Student Angler Federation State Championship Tournament last month. Weis and Ortiz placed 10th while teaming up for the second straight year. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Central Valley High School's Bass Fishing Club had a pair of two-person teams compete at the 2015 Student Angler Federation State Championship Tournament on the California Delta on May 10.

Seniors Ben Ortiz and Brandyn Weis teamed up for the second year in a row.

Ortiz and Weis placed 10th in a field of 33.

"It was a great experience," Ben said. "It's something I'll remember forever. To be able to represent Central Valley was awesome. We really wanted to bring back a title and share it with fellow students who are in the club."

Ortiz and Weis had a total weight of 15 pounds, 2 ounces this year.

Ben and Brandyn bagged 13 pounds, 13 ounces on their way to a sixth-place finish at state in 2014.

"Pro fishermen were out there the day before," Ortiz said. "Some of them only had nine pounds. We had seven to eight bites the entire morning. It was a grind all day. The fish weren't biting as hard this year."

The tournament run from 6 a.m. to 1:40 p.m.

The weigh-in was held at Russo's Marina, Bethel Island.
"We weighed in earlier than everyone else and were in third place," Ortiz said. "As other people weighed in, they knocked us down the leaderboard. It's a little nerve racking. I'm really intense. I'm a very competitive person. But I like seeing other people catch fish. It's cool."

Liberty High School's Brandon DeVincenzi and Josh Shapland took second (17-1).

Freedom High School's Ronald Rivers Jr. and Roy Asi placed third (17-1).

Ortiz used a topwater spook and Senko.

Brandyn fished with spinner bait and Senko.

"There was only a three-pound difference between first place and 10th place," Ortiz said. "We were all really close. The only thing we lacked was getting that bigger bite."

Sam Gaede and Nash Madden co-founded the Central Valley Bass Fishing Club during the 2012-13 school year.

"I'd like to see the club grow more," Ortiz said. "Fishing is so challenging. You can do everything that seems perfect and still not catch them. It takes a lot of confidence to stay out there and keep pushing yourself. It's a lot of pressure. It's a real mental game. That's why I love it. I'm going to fish tournaments for the rest of my life."

Central Valley's Eugene Kondratyuk and Alfredo Jimenez finished in 23rd place (7-15).

Analy High School's Mike Miller and Alec Pitts won the championship (18-3).