The Angel Hole
By Bill Decoteau
"Folks, your 2005 Paralyzed Veterans of America Grand National Champion is Eddie Camara with a five-bass limit weighing 11.11 lbs," announced emcee and PVA Tournament Director Robert Cartiledge. "I can't believe it, I just can't believe it," smiled Camara. Then looking over to runner-up Paul Julian, with 7.05 lbs, Camara said, "It was the Angel Hole Buddy..............It was the Angel Hole!"
All year long Eddie Camara of Shawnee, Oklahoma and Paul Julian of New Castle, Pennsylvania traveled the country competing on the National Paralyzed Veterans of America Bass Trail. To help off-set their expenses the two PVA anglers shared hotel rooms, split fuel cost for towing and running Eddies Ranger Bass Boat during practice periods, as well as any other expenses that surfaced during the four national tournaments leading to both anglers qualifying for the PVA Grand National Championship, held January 14th-16th on the Saint John's River in Florida.
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"Our goal all year long was for both of us to qualify for the GNC," says Julian. To accomplish this highly competitive task the two anglers formatted the same teaming techniques utilized by many of the nations top B.A.S.S. Touring Pro's....... "So, we shared all our information, charted area maps, reviewed local tournament results and practice together before every tournament," revealed Camara.
The PVA Grand National Championship was no different, as the two competitors worked together during the three official practice days of the GNC. A B.A.S.S. sanctioned event, in which the winner, Eddie Camara, qualifies to compete in the B.A.S.S. Federation National Championship April 2005 on Lake Toho, Florida, with a shot at qualifying for the coveted Bassmaster Classic!
"Our researches lead us to confine our efforts to Lake Monroe, spending our practice time in the shallow backwater creeks," says Julian. Adding, "Weather forecast predicted cold front conditions with high winds come tournament time so these areas seemed to be more protected and sheltered in our opinion."
Holding his Championship trophy in his hands while sitting in his newly acquired Ranger 185VS bass boat powered by a 150 HP Mercury EFI outboard, with a MinnKota electric trolling motor, GNC Champion Eddie Camara whispered, "Let us tell you about our Angel Hole!"
"Paul stood on the bow, as I navigated across a shallow sandy flat, then up the shallow narrow entrance of Debary Creek. As we finally came to the opening Paul lifted his hands in the air, leaning backward he smiled and sang out Angel Hole......Eddie, this is an Angel Hole!"
Listening to Eddie Camara and Paul Julian reveal their tactics and techniques, it was quite obvious these seasoned PVA GNC Bass Anglers were well versed in developing bass patterns!
"Our Angel Hole was actually a very large backwater pond with water depth ranging from very shallow one-foot sections to areas with tapering shorelines into three and five foot drops," says Julian. Julian, a four-time GNC qualifier, went on to describe the cover that was most productive for him. "I spent all my time during the three practice and three tournament days working the cattail reeds away from the bank. But, the most productive sections had to have cuts or pockets in them forming points or the bass were not there!"
Although both anglers competed against each other in the same general area they worked opposite ends of their Angel Hole. Working a Zoom watermelon Trick Worm, rigged on an Owner straight shank heavy 3/0 worm hook, secured to a custom tailored black barrel swivel, Paul Julian pitched with his ALL STAR Rod/Quantum Spinning Reel combination to isolated deeper reeds.
"The deepest water depth in our Angel Hole was ten-feet, but all my bass including my 6.14lb Day#2 Lunker came tight to the reed points with pockets at the edge of the three-five foot drop-off," revealed Julian. Going into the final day of competition Pennsylvanian's Paul Julian lead all anglers with a two-day total weight of 25.12lb. But all that would change on Day#3 as only the Top-Five anglers' advance with all weights erased from the leaders board!
Equipped with an ALL STAR 6'6" worm rod, Pflueger's President Series baitcaster, spooled with 15lb Trilene Big Game line, Camara impelled a 5" Yamamoto purple/black fleck Senko unto a Gamakatsu 4/0 EWG hook.
As the tournament progressed the bass wanted Camara's presentation slower and slower. So the GNC Champion would flip his weightless Senko into the shallow weeds along the bank crawling it at a snails pace into drop-offs, letting it sink to the bottom. "If there was a bass in that pocket, it would usually engulf it just before it reached the bottom," says Eddie Camara. On the final day Camara caught eight bass culling his way to victory.
Reviewing Camara's daily weights, he climbed the leaders' board from his eighth place Day#1 position with 6.10 lbs, into fourth on Day#2 weighing in 10.05lbs to qualify for the Final-Five Shoot-Out. "If we had to carry our total weight for all three competition days, Paul would have been crowned the GNC Champion, blowing everyone away with his total weight," said the GNC Champion!
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