Union Democrat staff

Joe Ernster and Jane Hebel brought in the heaviest bag of fish on Friday then held off a challenge from Dan Richardson and Sonny Abalos Saturday in the rainy, icy chill to take first place in the Sonora Bass Anglers annual two-day tournament at Clear Lake.

Ernster and Hebel and Richardson and Abalos separated themselves from the 16-boat field by about eight pounds and were just 1.75 pounds apart.

Ernster and Hebel hooked a five-fish limit Friday that weighed 25.34 pounds and finished the tournament with a total of 40.19 pounds. Friday’s weight included the Big Fish of the day, an 8.9-pounder.

Richardson and Abalos weighed in five fish Saturday that totaled 19.56 pounds. They finished with a two-day total of 38.44 pounds.

The Big Fish Saturday, 7.82 pounds, was brought to shore by the team of Larry and Mike Freeman. They also finished the tournament in third place with 30.75 pounds.

Rounding out the top five were Mike Taylor and Rob Vann (28.29 pounds) and Rodney Lingo and Matt Brocchini (26.47 pounds).

Clear Lake yielded personal bests for three anglers — Josh Lingo at 8.06 pounds, Riley Calise at 6.22 pounds and Tami Sheppard at 6.28 pounds.

One hundred fifty-seven fish were caught over the two days weighing a total of 391.70 pounds.

All fish were released alive.

All teams battled rain both days but Saturday teams woke up to frost and ice on the docks and a steep drop on the thermometer.