Father-son fish tale ends on winning note

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The father-son combination of Don and Donnie Riese of Santee came away as the big winners of the summer-long El Cajon Ford Night Series of bass fishing, taking the championship round with a limit-catch of three fish totaling 17.39 pounds.

 The series is held similar in fashion to NASCAR racing, with points garnered during six regular season events, then trimming the field to the 10 top teams (plus a pair of wild card berths) to crown the season’s champions in a winner-take-all shootout.
 

The father-son combination of Don and Donnie Riese of Santee came away as the big winners of the summer-long El Cajon Ford Night Series of bass fishing, taking the championship round with a limit-catch of three fish totaling 17.39 pounds.

 The series is held similar in fashion to NASCAR racing, with points garnered during six regular season events, then trimming the field to the 10 top teams (plus a pair of wild card berths) to crown the season’s champions in a winner-take-all shootout.
 

The Rieses easily out-gained their closest competition by more than half-a-pound. The pair collected $3,500 in prize money, defeating more than 70 pairs of fishermen which began the series back in April. The runners-up were John Blake and Gene Collins at 16.72 pounds.
 

However, the news for the series came during the sixth-round of competition on Sept. 15, also held at El Capitan Reservoir. The team of Ernie Marugg and John Grabowski reeled in a single whopper bass weighing 11.14 pounds, more than 15 percent larger than any other fish caught during the entire summer series – the next-best was 9.79 pounds.
 

Marugg, a battalion chief for Cal Fire, and Grabowski, a sportfishing expeditions captain, took home a combined check for $2,500 after winning the sixth stage, plus the big fish bonus.
 

“When we weighted in at 3 a.m., we couldn’t believe it,” said Capt. Grabowski on his team’s haul. “Getting a big fish like that is hard enough, but doubly hard when you only have a few hours out on the lake during a tournament.”
 

In the finale, Marugg-Grabowski finished among a large group in the middle of the pack.
 “We all were bunched up in the middle within a few ounces of each other,” added Grabowski. “That’s why it’s so important to get one big fish to put you over the top.”
 “We didn’t have any problems, but the big one wasn’t there for us. You got to get a kicker to win.”
 

Typically, the Night Series, which just completed its 12th season, is held monthly near full moon lunar cycles during the summer.
 The El Cajon Ford Series is quickly taking over from a competitor as the top local fishing series. by offering more in cash and prizes.

Dealership owner Paul Leader, a top fisherman in his own right, personally sponsors the series of three main events, all operated by tournament director Jim Sleight of Jamul.
 

Sleight is a veteran San Diego tournament director with more than 20 years of experience in conducting team events. Additionally, he is very active in the fishing community as a professional bass angler, fishing the BASS, FLW and WON Bass Pro Circuits for the last 25 years.
 To register or receive further information on the 2013 season, visit the tournament website, at: http://www.sdteamseries.com/.

                     • • •
 Local summer highlights include a Lake Cuyamaca record 15-3 bass caught by Matt Watson, 14, while fishing with his father….
Mission Viejo’s Mike Folkestad, the first three-time U.S. Open winner and iconic California bass angler, has been selected for enshrinement into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame.. The induction ceremony will take place Feb. 24 in Tulsa, Okla., during the week of the Bassmasters Classic… Lake Jennings Ranger Hugh Marx released the schedule for trout stockings this season, with the first 2,000 pounds slated for the week of Oct. 22. 

14 COMMENTS

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