April 20, 2014
Some of you old-timers in the club may remember my son Todd Iwamoto, who was an active and enthusiastic member of SCBBBC for many years during the late 1990s and early 2000s. Todd passed away yesterday doing something he loved—fishing in a bass tournament in the Delta. He and his fishing partner were making fast track to Discovery Bay around 11:00 a.m. to fish a spot that Todd felt would produce the big ones. At the Orwood Railroad Bridge, the boat apparently hit an object (the motor almost got ripped off the transom) and Todd and his partner, who was piloting, were flung from the boat. His partner managed to surface and was picked up after 15-20 minutes in the water, but Todd was nowhere to be seen. An extensive search was undertaken using boats, divers and a helicopter, but it was not until after 5 p.m. that his body was found. He had just turned 40 in March.
Todd was a devout, enthusiastic, and energetic fisher since his boyhood days when I would take him fishing for surfperch in Bodega Bay, trout in the Sierras and Foothills lakes, salmon on the Klamath, and pan-fish in Lake Sonoma and Lake Raulphine. He caught his first largemouth in Lake Camanche as a pre-teen on his uncle’s 17-ft runabout. Todd got his start in tournament bass fishing through the SCBBBC. He learned the craft of bass fishing by avidly reading magazines and books on fishing, but his craft was honed to a fine edge by his many mentors and friends in the Club who taught him the crucial fine points of fishing for bass. He became one of the top fishermen in the SCBBC, and I see that he is still the all-time leader in tournament points. He always spoke fondly of his association with the Club and the members who befriended him. Lake Sonoma was his favorite place to fish, but his move to San Jose after getting married and later to Mountain House took him too far away to fish Lake Sonoma and the SCBBC tournaments on a regular basis. With all the commitments of full-time employment and being a husband and devoted father of two, his time fishing was greatly curtailed and his finishes in tournaments dropped precipitously. After moving to Mountain House, he concentrated his efforts on fishing the Delta, which was only 30 minutes from his home, and where a neighbor with a bass boat also fished. The two became regulars on the bass-tournament circuit centered in the Delta, and Todd and his partner began to get better as a team, in recent years finishing in the money more times than not. He and I had just recently discussed purchasing a bass boat together, so that he could take his 9-year-old son out. Now it seems that Grandpa will have to take on the task of mentoring the fourth-generation of avid fishermen in our family (my father was also an avid fisherman).
Todd’s wife, Michelle, told us that one of his wishes was to be cremated, with some of his ashes to be scattered on the lake he loved the most, Lake Sonoma; and the remainder to be given to his kids, by which to remember him. I take this opportunity to thank the folks of SCBBC for having provided my son with so much joy, friendship, and the thrill of competing at a high level, in addition to educating and instilling in him the conservation ethic so important to the sport.