Fishing Report: Albacore are out there, but they’re a long way from the Central Coast

Special to The TribuneSeptember 11, 2013 

Albacore finally have made an appearance in numbers off the Central Coast. 

They are not close, however, and the tab to get after them out of Morro Bay Landing is $250.

The Black Pearl departed Saturday night with 22 anglers on board. Forty-nine quality fish were caught — 20-plus pounds. The biggest fish was landed by Atascadero’s Eric Seastrand. The tuna were caught 73 miles out and north of Morro Bay.

The Black Pearl departed at 8 p.m. Tuesday and will return 6 a.m. today. The schedule also calls for day-and-a-half trips to leave Thursday and Saturday nights. For reservations and more information, call 771-5500.

Harrell Kimball, who monitors the saltwater scene from atop the Nipomo Mesa, said one albacore was caught over the weekend near The Donut, a location south of where the Black Pearl fished. The tuna was taken by anglers aboard a boat named Slow Troller.

Kimball reported Wednesday morning that fishermen aboard seven or more boats including the Black Pearl were out prospecting for the longfins.   

Bob’s Marine Tourney

Denied of partnering with Bassmaster Elite pro Jared Lintner, San Luis Obispo’s Nick Gregg made a late substitution and it paid dividends at the 10th-annual Bob’s Marine Customer Appreciation Tournament at Clear Lake on Saturday and Sunday.

Casting swimbaits, jigs and frogs Sunday, Gregg and partner Ron Bruggeman weighed a 28.74-pound five-fish limit. It was the second-heaviest bag of the event, bettered only by a 29.64-pound bag by the runners-up on day one. 

The hefty bag didn’t translate into money in the standings. However, their bag included an 8.22-pound bass, the big fish of the day and the tourney’s second largest. It was worth $580. Only three 8-pounders were caught by the 61 teams entered. Saturday’s big fish weighed 8.52 pounds.

Gregg said: “On Saturday, other teams beat us to every spot we had intended to fish. We also lost at least an hour due to oil and gas leaks. We only weighed three fish, all taken on frogs. We were out of the running in 50th place with just 11.10 pounds.” 

Their day two success catapulted Gregg and Bruggeman to a 21st-place finish with a total weight of 39.84 pounds.

San Luis Obispo’s John White and Creston’s Dale Ball and their partners were accustomed to frequent top-10 finishes in nine prior events. Not this time.

Ball and partner Fred Rex were in seventh place with an opening 23.88-pound limit. They slipped to 16th and out of the money with a day two 16.92-pound limit and 40.80 total pounds.  

White and teammate Tony Klein caught three fish (5.76 pounds) Saturday, then a 14.74-pound limit for a 20.50 total and 48th place.               

Adam Martin and Michael Rothstein won $2,540 with 10 fish that weighed 49.16 pounds.

Patriot Sportfishing

The anglers who took the top three spots in the July-August segment of Patriot’s ninth-annual Lingcod Contest each had heavier fish than the threesome that led the way in the May-June competition 

Atascadero’s John Mulay is sitting in the catbird seat with a 21-pound, 1-ounce ling caught aboard the Patriot on July 30. The catch paid $300. If it holds up after the September-October and November-December segments, he’ll pocket $1,000.

The second- and third-place finishers in the July-August contest caught their fish aboard the Rita G. Chris Utley of Ridgecrest earned $200 for his 18-pound, 5-ounce ling caught July 4.

Santa Maria’s Frank McCormick pocketed $100 for third place. He reeled in an 18-pound ling Aug. 27. All three fish were caught on trips to Point Purisma.

John Sturgeon of Bakersfield took top honors n the first go-round with a 17-pound, 5-ounce lingcod caught June 9.

Last week’s jackpot winners included: Ronald Lopez, Santa Maria, 15-0 ling, Frank Brooke, Tehachapi, 12-0 cabezon, Ross Lindsey, Orcutt, 11-9 ling,  Dave McVickers, Arroyo Grande, and Lynn Kim, Los Angeles, both 10-0 lings, Dave Marcum, San Luis Obispo, and Kevin Hartter, Norco, both 8-0 lings, Mark Cabatuan, Santa Maria, 6-0 ling, Juan Atunez, Bakersfield, 4-5 ling, and Jose Montalvo, Fresno, 3-0 red rockcod.

For trip schedules and reservations, call 595-7200 or go online to

Port San Luis Boatyard

Only 89 boats were dispatched last week. The catch included 101 lingcod, 24 halibut and four salmon. Nipomo’s Ray Nanini earned Whopper of the Week honors Sept. 7 with a 25-pound, 8-ounce halibut.

Virg’s Landing

Reservations are being taken for the popular two-day fishing trips to Pacific Valley and Pt. Lopez scheduled for Oct. 19-20. The Sept. 28-29 trip is completely booked. The fare is $235.

Call 772-1222 or go online to www.Virgs. com for trip schedules, reservations.

Long Range (6 a.m. to 4 p.m. trips) are scheduled for Fridays and Sundays for $89.

Jackpot winners last week included: Eddie Alcaraz, Visalia, 14-0 ling, Steve Ostapiuk, Santa Maria, and Glen Fukamoto, Los Angeles, both 12-0 lings, Gary Lester, Santa Maria, 11-0 ling, Bob Shumey, Arroyo Grande, 9-0 ling, Carlos Zuman, Fresno, 8-0 ling, Eric Lemburg. San Luis Obispo, and Freddy Carlenas, Visalia, both 5-0 lings, and David Punser. Bakersfield, 4-0 vermillion.  

Whale Rock
After 22 years as Whale Rock’s Water Supply supervisor, Bob Hamilton is retiring this week. 

Although far from the most important aspects of his job, he has furnished weekly reports regarding fishing activity at the reservoir. Hamilton’s working life has spanned 40 years. His replacement will be Noah Evans.

This writer has appreciated Hamilton’s timely reports that have translated into a weekly litany of successes.

For the first time in the 20-week old season no fish were caught last week.  Twenty-three fishermen tried their luck. Thus far, 786 anglers have harvested 158 trout. The reservoir is open Wednesdays through Sundays.

Nacimiento Lake

Heritage Ranch reporter Dave Rymal says fishing has improved with spotted bass on the surface. Zara Spooks and similar baits are catching them. Residents Gil and Helen Johnson caught 25 spots Friday and 15 Monday. Twice, Helen Johnson had two fish on one lure but they broke off both times. Using shrimp for bait Saturday, Cindy Walden caught a 5-pound catfish. On Tuesday, Atascadero’s Will and Kathy Hesch, with their 4-year-old grandson, caught 20 spots. Almost all were 13 inches, weighed one pound and were taken on top water baits. 

Lopez Lake

Marina aide Tyler Moss noted Arroyo Grande’s Desiree Kittle used a diving lure Sept. 5 at Strawberry Flats for a 2 1⁄2-pound largemouth. An unidentified angler caught a 6 1⁄2-pound bass Tuesday.

Santa Margarita Lake

 “The weather is beautiful, but we’re not busy,” marina manger Don Lopez said. “Some bass and catfish are being caught.”

Cachuma Lake

 “Catfish are plentiful in almost all shallow coves,” marina manger Ken Hemer said. “Cut mackerel and nightcrawlers are preferred baits. The best bass action is early using top water baits. Trolled shad imitations between Santa Cruz point and the sunken cistern interests crappie. Meal worms under a float is a successful way to catch bluegill in weed beds. Trout have retreated to a depth of 70 feet near the dam.”

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