Saturday is a special day.
It’s a day when the California Department of Fish and Wildlife encourages anglers to invite a friend or neighbor to join them for a day on the water. Saturday is the second of two days in 2013 when fishing licenses are not required.
I was one of those who had lived a deprived life until I relocated to Central Coast to become Cal Poly’s sports information director in 1966. Actually it wasn’t until a decade later when I began writing about the sport that it became obligatory that I learn about it.
Skip Sato, Bob Honley and Steve Moore, owners of sportfishing boats out of Port San Luis, and Sharon Moores, the owner of Virg’s Landing, were instrumental in educating me on fishing.
Had I not experienced the thrills of saltwater fishing, I indeed would have missed something that I hold dear now as an 86-year old.
It’s my hope that on Saturday, a number of you will get the opportunity to experience the joys of fishing.
Albacore still absent
A phone call to Nipomo’s Harrell Kimball, who monitors fishing conditions off the Central Coast, did not provide good news regarding albacore fishing any time soon.
Tuna swim in clean water. Kimball said that dirty water extends 70 miles offshore and perhaps further. That, plus forecasts for 20- to 30-knot winds this weekend, doesn’t help.
“It’s a shame because receivers out of Morro Bay as well as Port San Luis contain live bait, just what tuna fishermen crave,” Kimball said.
Bob’s Marine tourney
John White of San Luis Obispo and Dale Ball of Creston are at Clear Lake preparing for this weekend’s 10th-annual Bob’s Marine two-day tournament. Prior to this year, the event has been exclusively for owners of Champion and Stratus boats. Entry has been extended this year to all customers of the Modesto dealership.
White will be reunited with his longtime partner, Tony Klein of Fresno. Klein missed the 2012 event as he was paralyzed from a fall.
“Tony tells me he has recovered sufficiently to fish two days,” White said.
White and Klein have two firsts, two seconds, and a sixth-place in prior tourneys.
“In practice, 25-pound limits have been common the past week and a half,” White said.
Ball has finished second, third and 10th in prior years. His partner for the seventh time will be Fred Rex of San Jose.
Superlative fishing was experienced by 22 anglers last weekend on Virg’s monthly two-day trip aboard the Princess, piloted by captain Brad Leage. Eighty-eight lingcod were caught, plus 370 red rockcod and 70 assorted rockfish. Fishing was at Pacific Valley on Saturday and Pt. Lopez on Sunday.
This month’s two-day trip scheduled for Sept. 28-29 is already booked. Cost is $235.
A pair of 15-pound lings topped the jackpot winners’ log. Dave Deling of Coalinga and Pat McKenna of Arroyo Grande shared big fish honors. Other winners included: Jim Reeds, Coalinga, 13-0 ling, Dylan Wilson, Bakersfield, and Julie Gilbert, Utah, both 12-0 lings, Robert Woods, Paso Robles, 11-0 ling, Valentine Espanda, Orange County, 10-0 sheephead, Dan Hagley, Morro Bay, 6-0 white belly, and Kyle Dhaykowsk, San Diego, 5-0 vermilion.
For trip schedules and reservations, call 772-1222 or go online to www. virgs.com.
Port San Luis Boatyard
More lingcod were caught last week than any previous week this year: 175. The catch from Aug. 26 through Sunday bettered the previous high lingcod harvest of 169 fish the week of June 3-9. Whopper of the Week honors went to Jim Elkins of Grover Beach.
Elkins caught a 25-pound, eight-ounce halibut Sunday. The 57 lings harvested Friday was the third-best daily take of the year. The No. 1 harvest was 82 fish on May 4. Second best was 62 on June 8.
A 19-pound sheephead was caught Aug. 28. Full rockcod limits were logged three days last week. Twice, three-quarter limits were registered and twice full to three quarter limits were noted.
A 20-pound halibut topped the jackpot list last week. It was caught aboard the Rita G Friday by Fresno’s Greg Davies.
Other jackpot winners were: Frank McCormick, Santa Maria, 18-0 ling, Matt Burkhoff, Oceano, and John Mulay, Atascadero, both 11-0 lings, Darryl Remick, Orcutt, and Les Hildreth, Visalia, both 10-0 lings, Rodney Sousa, Lompoc, 9-8 ling, Jason Hergot, Pleasant Grove, Utah, 7-0 ling, and Gabriel Torres, Norwalk, 5-0 red rockcod.
The catch by 206 passengers included: 84 lingcod, 197 red rockcod, 955 assorted rockfish, 10 cabezon, and five halibut.
For trip schedules and reservations, call 595-7200 or go online to www.patriotsportfishing.com.
Morro Bay Landing
Last week, three trips were run out of Morro Bay’s new sportfishing landing at 1213 Embarcadero. Two of the trips were aboard the Black Pearl, each with 42 passengers. A vessel named The Other Side carried four passengers on its only trip.
No jackpot winners were identified by Black Pearl skipper Rick Craddick. Fifteen lingcod, two cabezon and 644 rockcod were caught.
For reservations and trip schedules, call 771-5500.
Already this year more trout have been caught than the past two years, which were banner ones.
Through 94 days of fishing, 158 trout have been bagged. It surpasses the 130 fish take in 145 days of fishing in 2011 and the 124-trout harvest of 2012, a 147-day season. Forty-eight days of fishing remain this year as of today.
The six-day open period through Labor Day produced a 10-trout, four bluegill harvest. The bluegill catch is the first mention of the species since I’ve been monitoring fishing at the reservoir, which goes back more than two decades.
The Van Zees — Phil, Gary and Hailey — accounted for half of the trout catch. Phil bagged 16- and 17-inch trout Aug. 30 while Gary’s 13 and 17-inch rainbows were taken Aug. 28 which was the same day first-timer, Hailey, reeled in a 13-inch fish. The trio used PowerBait.
Jeremy Harkins added 15- and 17-inch trout on worms Monday. He’s the No. 1 catcher with 27 for the year. Runner-up Jeff Minkler took 14- and 16-inch trout on worms Saturday. The next day he swtched to PowerBait for a 15-inch fish, his 24th. His previous 23 fish all gulped worms. Fly fisherman Roger Grizzle bagged the four bluegill Monday. He caught a 9-inch trout on a fly June 4, 2011.
Santa Margarita Lake
Creston’s Tom Kohl caught eight largemouth bass to 31⁄4 pounds this week using crankbaits in weedy water. Catfish are catchable and shoreline anglers young and mature are harvesting bluegill and redear.
Heritage Ranch reporter Dave Rymal said: “Bunky Charles, along with Brad and Jack Foster kept limits of spotted bass caught early this week on Real Image lures and white tubes. They were fishing drop offs at the edge of flats. Small white bass are being seen on the surface.”
Marina Manager Ken Hemer said: “Catfish were the most active species last week biting on cut mackerel in Cachuma, Johnson’s and Martini bays. Topwater presentations worked for large and smallmouth bass and meal worms under bobbers tempted bluegill in Martini and Little Cachuma bays.”