Fishing report: Albacore long way off the Central Coast

Report puts tuna nearly 120 miles off local shores; better chances to get them are near Monterey

Special to The TribuneAugust 8, 2012 

It’s that time of year when anglers must scratch that itch caused by the absence of albacore locally. At least two Central Coast fishermen headed north over the weekend and harvested tuna.

Harrell Kimball of Nipomo, the guru who dispenses up-to-date weather and sea conditions benefiting the saltwater set, said: “Based on the latest chlorophyll I’ve scrutinized, there is green water out 120 miles offshore. Albacore are sight feeders and like clean water. Blue water isn’t within 120 miles off the Central Coast.

“There’s a hot albacore bite off of Monterey, with catches only 10 to 20 miles offshore and some as close as five miles.”

Greg Birkholz of Arroyo Grande fished with San Joaquin Valley anglers Charles Reid and Lou Woltjer Sunday and Monday.

“We got 17 albacore to 25 pounds on Sunday and 16 on Monday when there were 20-knot winds and 6 1⁄2-foot swells every sixseconds. We were out 12 miles and had a triple hookup and five fish on a little later and we boated all of them. One of our late catches was a 40-pounder.”

Mark Struthard of Grover Beach fished out of his 21-foot Sunbird boat Sunday morning.

“I fished 23 miles out of Moss Landing,” he said, “hooking 17 tuna and getting 12. The fish were caught on Mexican Flag, Zucchini feathers and Cedar Plugs. I had the best time by myself.

“The catch was a good mix of 15- to 35-pound fish. In the last two days I’ve already canned 10 cases of tuna and I’m not done yet.”

Ambushers bass tourney

Atascadero’s Marc Hazuka has a penchant for fishing Lake San Antonio. He hadn’t fished it since March, but he duplicated his earlier finish by winning the SLO Ambushers night event Saturday.

He’s not limited to San Antonio. Hazuka has three other top-10 finishes at other Ambusher venues.

“Before dark I caught three keepers on frogs fishing Harris Creek in water so shallow my trolling motor was churning mud,” he said.

Hazuka didn’t have a limit but he was able to add a crankbait fish after dark. His four-fish bag weighed 11.02 pounds worth $300, besting Al Rush by 32 hundredths of a pound. His catch included the event’s big fish, 4.22 pounds.

Bass Ambushers Top 10, Number of Fish, Weight, Winnings

1. Marc Hazuka, Atascadero, 4, 11.02 pounds, $300; 2. Al Rush, Paso Robles, 5, 10.70 pounds; 3. Erik Zillig, Paso Robles, 5, 10.34 pounds, $120; 4. Austin Bonjour, Atascadero, 5, 9.10 pounds; 5. Jeremy Donk, Atascadero, 5, 8.88 pounds; 6. Jacob Lewis, Atascadero, 5, 7.79 pounds; 7. Jim Keeney, Paso Robles, 5, 7.35 pounds; 8. Neal Franklin, Atascadero, 3, 6.64 pounds; 8. Ken Meeks, Atascadero, 2, 4.65 pounds; 10. Burt Lund, Atascadero, 3, 4.20 pounds.

1st Big Fish, 4.22 pounds, Hazuka, $125.

Snag Proof Open

Jared Lintner of Arroyo Grande and Nick Salvucci of San Miguel finished three places out of the money in the 11th-annual Snag Proof Open bass tournament last weekend out of Russo’s Marina on Bethel Island.

The duo placed 23rd with a 10.89-pound weight Saturday and 5.83 pounds on Sunday for a 16.39 total. Only the top 20 teams in the 102-team pro division earned money. Nick Wood and K.C. Harris had a 27.06-pound total weight worth $6,075. Their kicker fish weighed 11.83 pounds.

Ken Sauret of Paso Robles and Brad Shepard of Atascadero placed 52nd in the Pro Division with an 8.30-pound two-day weight.

Joe Gardiner and Joe Malm of San Luis Obispo finished 20th in the amateur division with a total weight of 11.31 pounds.

Patriot Sportfishing

Last week two new anglers shouldered their way into the three money-winning slots in the second phase of Patriot Sportfishing’s eighth-annual Lingcod Contest.

Joe Richards of Ammon, Idaho, caught a 19-pound lingcod Friday to move into second place. Jesse Peralez of Pismo Beach rode the July 31 catch of an 18-pound ling into third place. Santa Maria’s Curtis Ridenor has owned the lead in the July-August contest segment with a 24-pound lingcod caught July 26.

Youngsters age 12 and under fish free on 7 a.m. to noon trips on Wednesdays when accompanied by a paid adult fare.

Other jackpot winners last week were Kenneth Settlmire, Wasco, 17-0 ling; Jianz Tham, (cq) Monterey Park, 14-5 ling; Arnold Luisi, Arroyo Grande, 14-0 ling; Ron Garcia, Bloomington, and Lucas Goss, Vacaville, both 10-0 lings; Scott Bixler, Menifee, 9-0 ling; Travis Johns, Glendale, AZ, 7-0 red rockcod; Miriam Rozok, Rockland, 6-0 ling; and Carl Tristoo, (cq) Bakersfield, 5-0 ling.

Port San Luis Boatyard

The white seabass harvest slumped from triple-digit figures to double-digit last week. Eighty-eight seabass were counted at the Boatyard launch.

Also caught by anglers aboard 99 launched boats were 87 lingcod, five halibut and two salmon. Whopper of the Week honors went to David Aguayo from Oceano. He caught a 45-pound white seabass Aug. 2. Undoubtedly he was assisted by his ever present fishing companion, his little dog Hector.

Virg’s Landing

One hundred five lingcod were caught on 12 trips last week, including an overnighter when 27 passengers accounted for 32 lings.

Sundowner trips from 3 to 7 p.m. are scheduled Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Ladies Day trips are scheduled for Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Ladies pay a reduced fare. For reservations and trip schedules, call 772-1222.

Jackpot winners included Jeff Reid, Burbank, 14-0 ling; Stan Chawng, San Francisco, and Scott Royer, Hemet, both 12-0 lings; Bud Birchfield, Atascadero, and Andrew Enmark, age 11, Sacramento, both 10-0 lings; Chris Williams, Compton, and Matt Grimm, Pasadena, both 9-0 lings; Jessie Spencer, San Luis Obispo, and Scott Allison, Sacrameto, both 8-0 lings; Greg Forester, Springfield, 7-0 ling; Armando Salinas, Lemoore, 7-0 red rockcod; and Joe Bavier, Taft, 5-0 ling.

Whale Rock

Six trout were caught last week with Dan Brebes becoming the 21st angler to catch fish at the reservoir this season. Using PowerBait Brebes caught a 15-inch trout Sunday. Twenty of the 79 fish caught this season have dined on PowerBait. Pat Buckley used the same bait to catch a pair of 15-inch fish plus a 13-inch Friday. Worms were the bait of choice for Fred Holder, who reeled in 19- and a 17-inch trout Friday.

Worms are the most productive offering at the Cayucos impoundment having duped 54 fish. Whale Rock has been open 73 days this season, and 427 anglers have fished for trout. The facility is open Wednesdays through Sundays.

Santa Margarita Lake

Paul La Pointe of Paso Robles caught a 12-pound, 7-ounce bass while fishing outside the weed lines with a Banjo minnow. Bass are the best option, although some anglers are having success fishing for bluegill or redear.

Nacimiento Lake

Dave Rymal, reporting from Heritage Ranch, said: “There are plenty of boils caused by white bass off of the Heritage Ranch marina. Chris and Judy Lotz fished a boil Monday morning and caught 25 white bass.”

Lopez Lake

Marina manager Aaron Boyd reports bass being caught off the F Dock, by the dam and near the bridge at the entrance to the park. Anglers are using nightcrawlers and plastic Senkos. Bluegill also are biting at these locations.

Cachuma Lake

Chicken livers, cut mackerel and dough balls are enticing catfish up to 10 pounds. Some limits were reported last week, marina manager Ken Hemer said. Bass fishing is a bit tougher but limits are attainable by drop shotting, creature baits, crankbaits or blades. Crappie bite has slowed. Trout catches have declined although some success stems from drifting nightcrawlers at a depth of 50 to 60 feet by the dam.

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