Tournament fisherman Shawn Wilson was beginning to wonder if he’d ever win again.
He did just that while going it alone against a field comprised of 28 of the most talented bass teams on the Central Coast last weekend.
After catching what proved to be the biggest fish of the tournament early on, it took him until 12:30 p.m. to compile a five-fish limit.
“That big fish (a 4.94-pound spotted bass) helped me to relax the rest of the day,” Wilson said. “I caught a number of 11- and 12-inch fish moving all over Lake Nacimiento using topwater baits. “Although I lost a couple of good fish, I did catch 10 keepers (at least 13-inchers).”
It had been almost four years since Wilson of San Miguel last had a tournament win. Because he fished solo, he didn’t have to split $2,780 in winnings.
Templeton’s Nick Salvucci, who was missing partner Jared Lintner, placed second with a 9.48-pound limit worth $1,420.
101 Bass Top 10
Number of Fish, Weight, Winnings
1. Shawn Wilson, San Miguel, 5, 9.78 pounds, $2,780; 2. Nick Salvucci, Templeton, 5, 9.48 pounds, $1,420; 3. Randy McAbee, Ty McCutcheon, Bakersfield, 5, 8.75 pounds, $620; 4 Ken & Kenna Sauret, Paso Robles, 5, 8.14 pounds, $250; 5. Jim Slusher, Atascadero, Eric Zillig, Paso Robles, 5, 7.98 pounds, $200; 6. Dan Barrios, San Luis Obispo, Casey Langley, Nipomo, 5, 7.54 pounds; 7. Fred & Freddy Ledesma, Soledad, 5, 7.43 pounds; 8. Carlos & Jacob Vasquez, Soledad, 7.39 pounds; 9. Tom Vienola, Mead Hedricks, Lompoc, 5, 6.73 pounds. 10. Scott Mullins, Kelly Keeling, Salinas, 4, 5.58 pounds.
1st Big Fish, 4.94 pounds, $420.Anglers Anonymous
Plans for a second Wounded Warriors saltwater fishing event received a major shot in the arm earlier this week.
Greg Birkholz, Anglers Anonymous Central Coast president, was notified by PG&E that a $2,000 grant has been approved. The grant will help the organization again sponsor a fishing trip for Wounded Warriors. The date has not been determined yet.
On Saturday, the Morro Bay the club is sponsoring a saltwater tournament with half the proceeds from entry fees earmarked for the Warriors’ event.
The tournament will begin at 6 a.m. Saturday. Participants must be back at the launch ramp by 3 p.m. Cash awards will be made in two divisions — rockcod/lingcod and salmon/halibut/white seabass. The person with the heaviest fish of the event will also win money.
All individuals in tournament boats must be registered. Entry fees of $40 will be accepted at the outset of the event, Birkholz advised.
Raffle tickets will be available all day at the Morro Bay public launch ramp. An Avet reel, a custom-wrapped saltwater rod, and a pair of 10-launch cards sponsored by Port San Luis Boatyard are a few of the raffle prizes.
Space is available on the overnight trip departing at 3 p.m. Saturday with fishing off San Simeon and up to Lopez Point.
Call 772-1222 for reservations and more information. Cost is $205. Anglers may bring home two limits of fish.
Three-quarter day trips (7 a.m. to 3 p.m.) are offered Monday through Thursday and weekends. Cost is $69 per trip. Ladies Day trips are scheduled from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays. Ladies pay $49; men are welcome for $59. Long Range trips (6 a.m. to 4 p.m.) are planned for Fridays and Sundays for $89. Tickets for weekend Sundowner fishing from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. are $49.
Last week all seven jackpot winners caught lingcods. Winners and their weights were: Keith Tralick, Oakhurst, 15 pounds; Jesus Castanda, Clovis, 14 pounds; Roy Rowe, Bakersfield, 12 pounds.
Lompoc’s James Chen weighed the heaviest jackpot fish of the week, a 10 1-2-pound lingcod caught Sunday aboard the Patriot.
Catching 10-pound lingcods were Al Spievak, Atascadero, Marilou Matsuda, Juniper Hills, John Schaub, Orcutt, and Carl Brickey, Lompoc. Also winning jackpots were: Steve Tamjida and Jesse Morales, both of Bakersield, and Jeff Bilasuell,Visalia, all 8-pound lings. Other jackpot winners included: Molly Asplund, San Luis Obispo, 6-pound ling, and Dolphus Mc Minn, Bakersfield, 5-pound red rockcod.
The catch by 213 passengers included 90 lingcod, 602 red rockcod, 839 assorted rockfish, 212 bolina, one cabezon, one kelp greenling, 99 dungeness crab and two rock crab.Port San Luis Boatyard
Although 69 lingcod, three salmon and three halibut were caught last week, no fish were weighed so there was no Whopper of the Week.
The best lingcod harvest was Saturday when 16 were caught by anglers in 22 boats. Three salmon and three halibut were caught the same day. For the week, 85 boats were launched.
Last week on the Alabama River, Jared Lintner was among the 10 Elite pros who failed to catch a limit on day one of the fifth event of the season. He caught three fish. He did limit on day two, but his 19-pound, 5-ounce bag weight was insufficient to qualify for competition on day three.
He is in 91st place in the 100-angler standings with 133 points. Tourney No. 6 is not until June 20-23 on the Mississippi River at La Crosse, Wis.
Dave Rymal, reporting from Heritage Ranch, advised that shad are near the surface and can be net dipped for bait. Anglers are catching crappie with net-dipped shad. Bunky Charles, one of the many proficient anglers on this lake, caught a
4-pound spotted bass using live shad for bait. Charles, Jack Foster and Brad Foster had another good harvest of white bass and crappie employing net dipped shad. The Johnsons, a husband-and-wife duo from the San Joaquin Valley, caught and released 19 spotted bass Tuesday. They kept 15 white bass.
Santa Margarita Lake
Marina manager Don Lopez says net dipping shad is the ticket to bountiful catches of crappie. Jigs also are producing. The bass bite is strong all over the lake and the bluegill and redear take is plentiful.
Lake San Antonio
Mark Rodriguez of Paso Robles reported experiencing a torrid largemouth bass bite earlier this week.
Eight of the 17 fish caught last week were enticed by worms, while seven were duped by PowerBait.
Successful worm fishermen included a man who didn’t give his last name with three 18-inch fish; Jeff French and Jeff Minkler each caught one, 17-inch trout; T. Hansen, Cary Williams and Jeff Minkler each caught one, 15-inch fish.
Catching trout with PowerBait were: Jeremy Harkins with the big fish of the week, a 19-incher, plus a 17-incher; James Taylor with two 16s, a 14 and 18, and Pat Buckley an 18-incher. An anonymous angler who neither listed his name nor bait caught 10- and 12-inch fish.
Trout fishing picked up last week, reported marina manager Ken Hemer. Trout are being caught in 20 to 30 feet of water near the dam and the river channel. Effective techniques include drifting worms and trolling dodger/crawler combos.
Shore anglers off E Point nailed trout with PowerBait and soaking nightcrawlers. Bass fishing was rated as good all over the lake by using small swimbaits, jigs and drop shotting. Crappie were found in three feet of water.