The first-ever Ultimate Frog Challenge – “Battle of the Frogs” event and it’s anglers descended on the massive California delta waterway to compete in an event that evolved from a “single brand” bait event, to allowing anglers to compete with the top water frog brand of their choice.
This option was a key factor in making this event both exciting and unique, as any top water frog angler – even those with marginal skills, will quickly tell you that all top water frog baits are not created equal, but feature their own distinct – but subtle nuances that allow them to perform totally different from one another.
With weather conditions perfect for top water frog baits, nearly 200 teams made their way to Russo’s Marina on Bethel Island, in an effort to find the quality bass that could help them win this inaugural event, and during the 3 hour registration period prior to blast off, anglers were able to visit the many frog bait companies, and fishing industry sponsors, that came to showcase product.
Teams came from far and wide to participate in this event, driving from Kansas, Utah, San Diego, Roswell New Mexico, as well as flying from Japan to participate in this exciting event.
Many found the bite on day one to be tough and there were a ton of “tall tales” of the “big one” that came off at the boat, but some managed to retain their composure and wait for day two to produce the quality bites they would need to be successful.
Live Target frog scores Big Bass honors
Case in point was crafty delta veteran Roy Desmangles, who with partner Rich Desmangles represented Live Target in the event’s separate “Royale Rumble – Top Frog” competition, and recalibrated their strategy, made some corrections, and while only bringing a small limit to the scales on day one, managed on day two, to capture the event’s big fish honors with a 8.45 pound monster using a Live Target Hollow body frog in the tan/brown color scheme.
“We went to a totally different area on day two, and no sooner than I cast that Live Target frog to an outside weed line, and the minute the bait hit the water, she smashed the bait so hard we thought someone had thrown a bowling ball in the water!” laughed Roy as he showed the event’s big bass trophy and $1,000 check to the huge crowd of anglers and spectators that stayed for the awards and big raffle.
Pro-Division’s Schmidt and McCartney… blow the doors off
Pro division winners Kenny Schmidt and Chuck McCartney started off on day one in the top five with a nice 12 pound-plus bag of bass, and then simply “closed the door” on the final day with a 3-fish limit that weighed 20.75 pounds for a combined 6-fish total of 33.04 – caught on SPRO Bronzeye frogs.
For winning this inaugural event, they received two custom made trophies and $5,500 dollars!
Am division’s Kuntz and Kerber…win by a nose
In the Am division it was Bill Kuntz and Cory Kerber that took home the gold, edging out the competition by ounces, to win that division’s top prize of $1500 on the strength of the River2Sea Bully Wa frogs. They also received an addition $300 bounty from River2Sea for winning with their brand of frogs.
And “Royal Rumble” Top frog award goes to…
This event also featured a special division that allowed each manufacturer to select only one team to represent their bait and win the event’s “Top Frog” award.
Kenny, Greg, and R2Sea National GM Angelo Alloro
Delta veterans Ken Cassettari and Greg Troughton representing team River2Sea, were up to the task, beating out the other manufactures teams to win an award that carries with it the custom “Top Frog” trophy, as well as a comprehensive media promotional/marketing package from Angler’s Press Outdoors.
For their outstanding performances the following team will receive the RAM Truck “Guts and Glory” bonus awards consisting of VISA gift cards – good for purchases anywhere.
• Roy and Rich Desmangles – Biggest overall bass (for using a pseudo “Superman punch” to get thier fish to bite)
• Bill Kuntz/Cory Kerber – Am Division winners (for winning by a narrow margin (aka Anderson Silva/Chael Sonnen I)
• Ken Cassettari/Greg Troughton – “Top Frog” winners, for finishing the fight with a nasty cut (they lost a 3rd place and $1,000 when one of the bass they weighed spit out a 3 ounce crawdad – right before the bag was placed on the scale)
Western anglers…The frog tournament has evolved…and the Ultimate Frog Challenge is here – and will be back, to bring you the best in extreme top water frog action and tournament excitement!
We would like to thank all of those who participated in helping to make this inaugural event a HUGE success, along with great sponsors such as:
Gone Fishin Marine of Dixon, Cabral Ram of Manteca, and Nor Cal Tire Pros of Sacramento/Hayward, Coors Light, Plano Tackle Systems, Navionics, Mustang Survival, Daiwa, Maxima Line, Johnson Outdoors, Gamakatsu, Billy Chapman Jr’s Angers Inn Lodge/El Salto Mexico, Top This Truck accessories of Grass Valley, and Gone Fishing and other Stuff of Vacaville and Dublin, The Fish Sniffer, and Bass Angler Magazine…
And we look forward to presenting an even more comprehensive and exciting event next year.
See you all at next year’s Ultimate Frog Challenge!