Consistency and Can-do Spirit Lead to West Region AOY Title
The West Region’s Angler of the Year race concluded on Clear Lake, California with the Golden State’s Danny Uribe claiming top honors in a field of 203 KBF Members. Danny came into the Regional Final with a 45-point lead over second-ranked Bryce Gibbs of Arizona. Californian Alex Cox, Danny’s closet contender, trimmed his lead down to just thirty points by the end of the tournament.
Consistent top-10 performances marked Uribe’s trek to the top. His ascent began on March 9 at Lake Havasu, Arizona, where he finished in seventh place, garnering him 570 Angler of the Year Points. On San Vicente, a sixth-place performance tacked on another 575, and he finished the regular season with a fourth -place finish on Lower Otay Reservoir.
At the season’s finale, Danny beat out 90% of competitors. His Ninth-Place ranking tacked another 560 points onto his tally, which gave him the thirty-point margin of victory.
What did it take to win in the West? Multiple wins? Spectacular limits? Trophy-size bass? No; just solid, dependable, day-after-day five-fish limits of bass averaging 16.25 inches.
Another success factor has to have been a positive attitude—faith that the fish are there and eventually have to eat, so keep plugging away. On Havasu, all the fish by Danny’s name on the NRS Leader Board were posted in the last two and a half hours of competition. At San Vicente, except for one bass caught at 7:25 a.m., the pattern continued, with four fish in the last three hours. On Lower Otay in July, Danny limited out with five keepers in the first three hours.
At Clear Lake, five Day 1 bass totaling 82.50” taken throughout the day, at 7:45, 8:05, 9:05, 9:20 and 12:20 left Danny in 19th place halfway through the Regional Final. Unless he could upgrade on Day 2, he’d likely drop out of AOY contention. Fortunately for him, Danny’s quality of fish showed a marked improvement from the get-go. A 17.75″, 19.50, and 15.50″ before 7am, then a 16.50″ an hour later and finally a kicker of 19.50″ at 11:15 put him at 171.25” for the 2-day event. 1.25” inches less on the board at each of the four KBF TRAIL Events, and Danny would have been standing and applauding Alex Cox’s AOY win with the rest of West Region’s competitors.
As in the fable of the tortoise and the hare, the moral of Danny’s 2019 AOY experience seems to be “slow and steady wins the race;” useful for all competitions to bear in mind.
For earning Regional AOY honors, Danny Uribe will receive a lightweight aluminum YAKIMA EasyRider utility trailer, valued at $2,999.
Here how other top West Region KBF Members fared at the Jackson Kayak KBF TRAIL Series Regional Final at Clear Lake:
- Alex Cox (CA) climbed from third to second place with a Points total of 2,26
- Bryce Gibbs (AZ) dropped from second to third at 2,210 Points.
- Shaun Robinson (CA) finished in third with 2,035, up from 13th.
- Abel Patino (CA) improved two places with an AOY score of 2,005.
- Mark Christman (CA) had 1,990 Points and dropped two places.
- Kerry Peeler (CA), with 1,945 Points, climbed two spots.
- Matthew Bray (CA) broke into the top ten, his 1,920 raising him one place in rank.
- Tim O’Connor (CA) jumped all the way from 15th place to ninth with 1,905
- Dustin Chaon (AZ) earned 1,880 AOY Points for the season and fell from 6th to 10th place.