By Francine Brevetti For the Contra Costa Times
Posted: 10/20/2015 04:50:50 PM PDT
OAKLEY — The fish are biting again at Big Break Marina.
The once-troubled marina, now under new ownership, held its first fishing tournament in many years Sept. 26 and followed with another one this past Saturday. Yet another striped bass competition will be held on Nov. 7.
Newly opened tackle shop Dan’s Delta Outdoors sponsored the event that will present eight black bass tournaments in 2016.
Ryan Hulbert and Jesse Schryuer won first place and $500 for bringing in two fish that together measured 61 total inches.
Tackle shop proprietor Dan Mathisen was exuberant about bringing sport, traffic and commercial events back to the marina, and expects a resurgence of pleasurable activity at one of the public gateways to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
Formerly, the marina was home to pleasure craft, restaurants, bait shops and residences.
“Years ago all the tournaments launched from the Big Break Marina,” said Mathisen, who opened his tackle shop June 1, not long after the marina resumed activity under new management this year.
Twenty boats entered the competition during this first tournament and spectators were estimated to number about 60. Marina general manager Sean Ferguson said Big Break Marina LLC is working to attract more tournament directors.
Since the marina’s resurgence, visits to its facilities have increased.
Ferguson said, “We’re having new monthly launches and acquiring a couple of additional rental berths a month.”
Earlier this year San Rafael-based Sequoia Mortgage Company assumed ownership of the facility and created a new corporate name, Big Break Marina LLC, to distinguish the facility from its former owner. The marina had fallen into disrepair under its previous ownership, going into bankruptcy and ultimately foreclosure. The sporting tournaments and festivals ceased, and fun-seeking folks stopped coming.
“There was a big drop in business,” Mathisen said.
Much of the fishing activity and all of the tournaments moved to Bethel Island, according to both Mathisen and Ferguson.
Sequoia Mortgage Company intends to repair, refurbish and revive what once was the center of entertainment and sport life in Oakley and on the Delta.
The mortgage company’s CEO Jason Freskos reported his company is making progress, removing tons of garbage, rotting docks and derelict buildings. “We’re slogging forward,” he said.