A rarity in tournament bass fishing happened not once, but twice last weekend in separate events.
It was a first for Bobby Doss, the American Bass Pacific Region tournament director, who has been involved in competitive fishing for 39 years, the last four as director.
I had to resort to the rule book to determine the outcome of our sixth and final event last Saturday at Santa Margarita Lake, he said. According to ABA regulations, the team with the bigger fish determines the winner.
Arroyo Grande Jared Lintner and teammate Nick Salvucci of San Miguel had the identical five-fish weight as Jim Slusher and Ken Sauret 24.52 pounds.
Jared (Lintner) caught our biggest fish (6.21 pounds) drop shotting in 10 feet of water, Salvucci said.
That catch not only was decisive as far as winning but also made a $1,777 difference in winnings. Lintner and Salvucci, the Anglers of the Year divided $3,200. Slusher and Sauret settled for $1,423 in runner-up cash.
Our biggest fish was 5.50 pounds, Sauret said. We focused on pre-spawn and post-spawn fish working rocky outside points. All 14 of our fish were caught on Yum Dingers. It looks like Senkos but has better action and has built-in scent.
Added Salvicci: It was cloudy and windy, hardly ideal bed fishing conditions. But, thats what we did all day, catching 15 to 20 fish.
Atascaderos Gene Gray and Jay Short of Templeton shared big-fish honors with a 7.41-pound fish worth $390.
ABA Pacific Top 10 (all 5 fish limits) Weight Winnings
1.Nick Salvucci, San Miguel, Jared Lintner, Arroyo Grande, *24.52 pounds, $3,200; 2. Jim Slusher, Atascadero, Ken Sauret, Paso Robles, 24.52 pounds, $1,423; 3. Mike & Travis Dashek, Santa Maria, 23.31 pounds, $1,061; 4. John White, San Luis Obispo, Steve Bereda, Santa Margarita, 22.79 pounds, $250; 5. Darrin Bishop, Paso Robles, Dean Miller, Tulare, 21.10 pounds, $200; 6. Jason Letterman, Scott Mullins, Salinas, 20.22 pounds, $250; 7. Michael & Joe Meier, Bakersfield, 19.41 pounds, $100; 8. Gene Gray, Atascadero, Jay Short, Templeton, 19.21 pounds, $390; 9. Patrick Motley, Arroyo Grande, Mark Del Papa, Bakersfield, 18.61 pounds; 10. Dan Frazier, Arroyo Grande, David Frazier, Westminster, 18.21 pounds.
1st Big Fish, 7.41 pounds, Gray & Short, $390; 2nd Big Fish, 6.53 pounds, Dashek & Dashek, $234; 3rd Big Fish, 6.37 pounds, Charles Nipper, Templeton, Jim McKenzie, Paso Robles, $156.
*Ties are broken by team with heavier big fish.
Davis wins Ambushers event
Atascaderos Joey Davis led the Ambushers 29-angler field Sunday at Santa Margarita Lake.
He notched his first win in four years with a 19.86-pound limit. By 9:30 a.m., he had a limit on bed fish. Continuing to fish hard enabled him to cull four of his early fish. The club tourney win paid $277.50. Runner-up Erik Zillig (17.45 pounds) was frustrated because repeated attempts to catch a female he estimated to weigh 12 pounds were unsuccessful.
Burt Lunds lone fish, 6.81 pounds, was the big fish and worth $145.
The sixth- and seventh-place anglers had the same weight.
Ambushers Top 10, Number of Fish, Weight, Winnings
1. Joey Davis, Atascadero, 5, 19.86 pounds, $277.50; 2. Erik Zillig, Paso Robles, 5, 17.45 pounds, $166.50; 3. Neal Franklin, Atascadero, 5, 15.99 pounds, $111; 4. Ken Meeks, Atascadero, 5, 15.12 pounds; 5. Austin Bonjour, Atascadero, 5, 14.09 pounds; 6. Jacob Lewis, Atascadero, 5, 12.49 pounds; 7. Allan Branson, Paso Robles, 3, 11.15 pounds; 8. Casey Langley, Nipomo, 3, 11.15 pounds; 9. Jeremy Donk, Atascadero, 4, 10.58 pounds; 10. Jim Keeney, Paso Robles, 4, 10.38 pounds
1st Big Fish, 6.81 pounds, Burt Lund, Atascadero, $145.
Port San Luis Boatyard
Anglers aboard 25 launched boats last week targeted salmon. The harvest was 18 salmon. The Whopper of the Week was a 12-pound, 1-ounce fish caught by Santa Marias Cheryl Trejo on April 12.
Thirteen salmon were caught by 43 anglers on four trips last week. Jackpot winners with weights were Mark Waymire, Lemoore, 12-pounds; Joe Torres, Arroyo Grande 10-14 pounds; and Paul Olguin, Cayucos, 6-pounds. Thirty-six Dungeness crab were harvested on the April 11 combo trip.
As of Wednesday, space was available on 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. salmon trips Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A combination crab and salmon trip is scheduled for Wednesday. The cost for each trip is $84.
For reservations and more information, call 595-7200.
Eight Wisconsin National Guard veterans who had been deployed in Iraq boarded the Princess on Sunday for some salmon fishing with Brad League at the helm. Five salmon were caught, including a 17-pound jackpot fish by Guardsman Bill Jensen.
Twelve passengers aboard the Fiesta on April 15 returned with six salmon averaging 11 pounds. No jackpot winner was listed. For trip schedules and reservations, call 772-1222.
National college fishing
Cal Poly qualifiers Scott Hellesen and Damian Bean finished in 23rd place in the 2012 National Guard FLW College national bass fishing championship at South Carolinas Lake Murray.
The duo caught three fish (3 pounds, 9 ounces) on day one and blanked Saturday. A year ago in the nationals, Hellesen and Bean placed sixth in the 25-team field.
Cachuma Trout Derby
Several area anglers won prizes in last weekends 17th Annual Trout Derby. However, the prizes were not delineated and tournament personnel were not available for clarifications. Results will be included in next weeks column provided the information is made available.
Lintner returns to elite series
The three-week hiatus in Bassmaster Elite competition ends today. Arroyo Grandes Lintner and 98 other pros begin four days of fishing today on Bull Shoals Lake, Mountain Home, Ark. This is the third event in the eight-tourney series.
Santa Margarita Lake
Thirteen teams had five-fish weights in excess of 16 pounds in the April 14 ABA Pacific event. The top two teams had the same weight, 24.52 pounds. In the Ambushers Bass Club tourney Sunday, three teams weighed limits over 16 pounds with a winning weight of 19.86 pounds.
Sean McCombs of Taft caught a 8-pound, 2-ounce bass on a nightcrawler Saturday. Christine Hutchinson of Atascadero reeled in a 2-pound redear on a crawler Sunday. Both catches were by the marina.
Kids Fishing Derby
San Luis Obispo County Optimist Clubs will sponsor a Kids Fishing Derby at Santa Margarita Lake on May 5. The event for boys and girls 15 and under begins at 9 a.m.
A barbecue will follow at 1 p.m. Among the entrants will be members of the SLO County Boys and Girls Clubs.
Huntington Beach angler Ben Veach used a jerk bait to catch a 5-pound, 3-ounce largemouth April 14. The next day, Bakersfields Richard Jackson used a Wiggle Wart to bag a 4-pound, 8-ounce bass between Strawberry Flats and the dam. Redear weighing 1 3⁄4, 1 1⁄4 and 1 3⁄8 pounds were caught by Dan Mann with crawlers.
Heritage resident Dave Rymal and Jim Aldridge caught 25 fish, mostly white bass with some spots and crappie. They found an afternoon bite on crankbaits in The Narrows. Whites are spawning in The Narrows and Las Tablas.
Back-to-back trout plants from Calaveras and Nebraskas famous tail walkers made for excellent fishing last week. Many derby fish were in the 5- to 6-pound range. Trolling Needlefish, Rapalas and Thomas Bouyants produced limits.
Fishing from shore also was bountiful. Bass are biting on Senkos, spinnerbaits and drop shotted plastics.