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Columbia River Bassmaster 2000

By Matt PetersOctober 10, 2000

September 30, 2000

3:44am  Cameron Smith and I left the 76 Station at Del Obispo and PCH in Dana Point, headed for Glendale.  In Glendale we met up with James Niggemeyer and Jerry Ballesteros, and worked out our itinerary.  Jerry, working with two hours of sleep, was grateful to have me drive his rig the first few hours to give him a chance to get some more shuteye.  I was fortunate enough to have met both James and Jerry at earlier tournament events  (two very solid men and extremely capable fishermen).  We set the cruise control at 72mph and headed north on I-5.  We maintained that speed through most of California's central valley, save the Grapevine. I talked to Jerry for about an hour before he dosed off.  He is my kind of man when it comes to music.lots of variety, lot of heart and soul!  I through in the Black Crowes/Jimmy Page album and cruised to the virtual Led Zeppelin.   Jerry woke up after a two-hour rest, and immediately reached for the Santana.  Viva Santana!  We stopped around 9:30am for gas and McDonalds near Kettleman City.  Jerry took over driving his own rig at that time, and I jumped in with Cameron.

No longer needing to pay attention to the road, I reached for my bag of various reading materials.  I read little bits on web development, Internet marketing, professional sales techniques, Tim Tucker's PAI, and of course I browsed my FishNMap of the mighty Columbia!  Up about Manteca/Modesto way, we made the detour to Delta Bait and Tackle.  Out of us four, I won!  I spent the most money!  Only $90 though.  How can you not get a few extra Speed Traps, Nichols Spinnerbaits, and some funky delta-only baits?  So we drove on, over the mighty Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, past the Clear Lake and Oroville turn-offs, and right over beautiful Lake Shasta.  Here's a picture of the North side of Mt. Shasta taken from the road while we were delayed for construction crews: 

Shasta, we knew would be a watering hole for us on the way back!  We anticipated a tough bite on the Columbia (not that tough though!), and grinned about the spotted bass of Shasta.  We detoured off the I-5 at Weed and got onto Highway 97 and headed up into Oregon.  We drove past the Upper Klamath, a huge, formidable, and cold-looking body of water.  Our destination for the first night was Bend, Oregon.  Driving in the evening and nighttime hours was a little sketchy because of the deer on the roadside.  We saw tons of roadkill and were warned by locals to mind the deer.  We pulled into a decent hotel in Bend (Bend is friggin' huge compared to the rest of Oregon's cities we saw along the 97) around 9:30pm.  That's a day of driving!


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