Famed fishing writer George Kramer just released his annual “California Top 40 Bass Angler List” on his blog, kramergonefishing.com this morning. The popular, and always mildly controversial list attempts to gauge the body of work of each bass angler’s (not exclusive to tournament anglers) year, slotting national touring pros amongst “weekend warriors” from team circuits and reclusive big bass hunters.
San Diego County and the City of Escondido has traditionally been represented well, and this year hogged 1/5th of the list with 8 mentions. Leading the San Diego contingent was Escondido’s Tom Leedom at #10. Leedom had far and away the best season of any team tournament angler in the county this year, and easily finished atop of our year-end rankings for the top tournament anglers on SDFish.com.
Fellow team tournament competitors Marco Fenelli and Kevin Norling followed in 12th and 13th respectively. Norling was 12th on last year’s list, while Fenelli made his first top 40 this year.
Valley Center’s Ed Arledge, a regular on the list over the years landed at #16. Arledge is a regional pro angler who does all of his competitive fishing outside of the county lines where the stakes (and competition) are greater, and this year put together a good season in the Rayovac FLW Series where he finished 7th in points.
Another angler who hasn’t been shy about taking his hooksets on the road is El Cajon’s Klayton Belden. A top 10 finish in this year’s US Open gave cause for George Kramer to slot Belden at #25.
Dean Jamieson of Chula Vista landed at #33 and represents the only big bass angler (or non tournament angler) from San Diego County on the list.
At 35 and 36 this year were a couple local team tournament veterans from Santee; Rich “Bama” Welch and Dennis Kolender. Bama won the biggest team tournament in San Diego this year, the two-day, two-lake San Diego Team Open to earn this spot. A former national touring pro, Dennis Kolender had a very good year in National Bass West Team Tournaments in 2015, including a 2nd place in their year-end championship at Lake Havasu (which Leedom won).
To find out who filled out the other 32 spots, and to read Kramer’s commentary on the selections, check out the 2015 California Top 40 Bass Angler List.