Fishing Report: New Patriot Sportfishing owner happy to be on board

Special to The TribuneJanuary 9, 2013 

At age 40, Patriot Sportfishing’s new owner is beginning to live the dream he conceived as a youth fishing with his grandparents.

Wade Gavin and his wife, Glenna, have succeeded Steve and Cathe Moore, who owned the sportfishing business for nearly 15 years. The Moores held the lease longer than any predecessor. Skip and Kay Sato launched the enterprise Feb. 3, 1973, as Port San Luis Sportfishing. They owned it for nine years, four months.

Gavin began positioning himself to live his dream in 2010. That’s when he left his job as a state employee. He was too young to retire.

He grew up in Bakersfield and moved to Los Osos in 2004. Since leaving state employment he worked at Sky River RV in Pismo Beach and Virg’s Landing.

“My dad, Larry, was an only child and so was I,” Gavin said. “My grandparents (Jerry and Bonnie Gavin of Bakersfield) took me trout fishing at Edison Lake and other destinations in the Sierras. I also was introduced to bass fishing at Lake Isabella and the Colorado River. When I was 8 years old, they took me salmon fishing on the Klamath River in Northern California and the Rogue River in Oregon.”

As an adult, Gavin has fished for salmon from Morro Bay to Neah Bay in Washington.  His saltwater angling experiences included trips out of San Simeon Sportfishing operated by George Valenzuela, Virg’s and Patriot.

Gavin said he learned of the Moore’s desire to sell Patriot Sportfishing at the end of October or the beginning of November. 

“Steve and Cathe Moore were very helpful and generous during the process,” Gavin said. “They are incredible people. I’d dreamed of this opportunity since childhood and I was beginning to wonder if it ever would come true.”

In addition to the 55-foot sportfisher Patriot boat, the new owners have the 45-foot bait boat Billy Boy and four bait receivers with solar-powered lights. The receivers have a 200-scoop capacity. 

“They are first class receivers.” Moore said. “Private boaters will be able to buy fresh bait when albacore season comes around in 2013.”

The new owner is well aware of the need of getting a second boat to operate out of Patriot. 

“It’s a work in progress,” Gavin said.

The Gavins are retaining the enitre Patriot staff — Debi Wood, Tina Barnes and Kurt Miller in the office, Patriot skipper Jay Gavin (no relation) and deckhands John Schumann and Brad Cano.

Glenna Gavin will continue as a state employee and will work in Patriot’s office part-time.

The Gavins have one son, Blake, 13.

Tough bite no problem

Steve Bereda has a thing about “winning small.” Twice he has emerged as a tournament winner when everyone else had a tough time catching fish, especially when the finny population has a case of “lock jaw.”

Bereda has been at it for more than 20 years. On Saturday, the 2013 SLO County Bass Ambushers campaign began at Nacimiento Lake in 27-degree cold. The 30 anglers who turned out caught 39 fish. Thirteen entrants blanked. Seven anglers brought one fish to the scales.

Ambushers’ tournament rules award fishermen a bonus of 0.20 pounds for each live fish. Even with the boost, three players had fish with tournament weights of less than one pound —Erik Zillig (0.98), Ron Raymond (0.91, and Greg Hanley (0.9).

I asked Bereda in a phone interview how he won. “It took talent,” he said.

 “At 11 o’clock, I had only one fish. Obviously, the fish weren’t biting. I passed a point, had second thoughts and went back. I cast a jig and got bit right away. It felt like a bluegill, but it turned out to be the big fish of the tournament.” 

The 2.43-pound fish accounted for $145 of his total winnings of $482.50.

“Some years back I won a January tournament at Nacimiento with one fish. That 2 1-2-pounder also was the big fish of the competition,” Bereda said.

Bereda’s winning weight for four fish was 6.73 pounds, including the 0.80-pound bonus. Only runner-up Dan Barrios had a five-fish limit (6.26 pounds). 

“I caught two fish early that were barely 13 inches (the tournament limit),” Barrios said. “I culled them because I feared they’d shrink in the live well. My son, Charlie is my lucky charm. I’ve finished second in two tournaments when he fished with me.”

Ambushers’ Top 10 Number of Fish, Weight, Winnings

1. Steve Bereda, Santa Margarita, 4, 6.73 pounds, $337.50; 2. Dan Barrios, San Luis Obispo, 5, 6.26 pounds, $202.50; 3. Dean Shupp, Heritage Ranch, 3, 4.61 pounds, $135; 4. Dino Comes, Paso Robles, 4, 4.53 pounds; 5. Marc Hazuka, Atascadero, 3, 4.36 pounds; 6. Terry Wolf, Santa Margarita, 3, 3.97 pounds; 7. Jerry May, Paso Robles, 3, 3.91 pounds; 8. Jeremy Donk, Atascadero, 3, 2.82 pounds; 9. Allan Branson, Paso Robles, 2, 2.21 pounds; 10. Al Rush, Paso Robles, 2, 1.96 pounds.

1st Big Fish, 2.43 pounds, Bereda, $145.

Patriot Sportfishing

Crab and sanddab trips from 6 a.m. to noon are scheduled for Fridays and Saturdays. Cost is $60 for adults and $50 for children 12 and under.

Nature/whale watching trips are scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays and Mondays. Fares are $35 for adults and $25 children age 12 and under.

Reservations are suggested as both offerings have a minimum load. Call 595-7200 for reservations and more information.

Albacore enchiladas

Orders are being taken for albacore enchiladas prepared by the Central Coast Women for Fisheries. The fundraiser has become a tradition linked to the NFL Super Bowl. The albacore has been troll-caught on the West Coast.

Pre-sale tickets are $10. Green sauce corn Tortillas or red sauce flour tortillas are available four per tray. To order, call Jackie at 772-8281 or Sharon 674-4854.  Order early as supply is limited. Orders may be picked up between 1 and 5 p.m., Feb. 2 at the Morro Bay Community Center.

CCWF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering and promoting a sense of the living culture of our fishing communities by providing education, training, research and support for fishermen and their families.

Virg’s Landing

For information and reservations on whale watching trips, call 722-1222.

Lopez Lake

Nancy Valverde reporting from the marina that fly fisherman Michael Masicampo caught a 73⁄16-pound bass fishing from the F dock earlier this week.

Cachuma Lake

Marina manager Ken Hemer said: “Trout fishing was hit or miss last week. Some anglers were able to catch near limits by trolling Rapalas from Santa Cruz Bay towards Arrowhead Island. Shore anglers had the most success from Marina Point, E Point and Teepee Island using PowerBait or nightcrawlers. Best results came early in the morning. Bass fishing showed signs of improvement. Bass are down 25 feet. They will bite on creature baits and by a slow drop shot presentation.  A few catfish catches were reported in The Narrows with nightcrawlers or mackeral.”

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