Twenty-five Wounded Warriors, including one woman, were honored Oct. 5 with a saltwater fishing experience out of Morro Bay.
This was the second staging of the tribute to veterans choreographed and sponsored by Anglers Anonymous Central Coast. The organization already has begun planning for a possible third such event in 2014.
Participants came from the Central Coast, Bakersfield, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego.
Josh Dempsey from Visalia claimed big-fish honors with the catch of a 10-pound lingcod. He took home the fillets, plus $60 om prize money and a rod-and-reel combo donated by a local tackle store.
There was also a prize for the smallest fish. The warriors laughed when the winner was presented with a package of gold fish crackers.
Anglers Anonymous members donated two rod-and-reel combinations, which the veterans used on the Fiesta chartered from Virg’s Landing. One of the winners was Jason Cooper of San Miguel.
Twenty veterans were aboard the Fiesta with five on the boat You Lie, skippered by club member David Fort.
Each angler caught seven to eight rockcod. Fourteen legal lings also were caught.
Greg Birkholz, Anglers Anonymous president, voiced the club’s appreciation for the generous donations by individuals and businesses of money and prizes that contributed to the success of the event. “Many of the Wounded Warriors told us this was the best event of its kind they had attended,” he said. “They expressed a desire to return next year.”
A tri-tip barbecue sponsored and staffed by Bay Osos and Atascadero Kiwanis Clubs concluded the tribute in Tidelands Park.
Offshore sea conditions appear to be unsettled, meaning albacore fishing out of Morro Bay today through Saturday is questionable. The data usually available in generating National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts is lacking to some degree, likely because of the government shutdown.
Another deterrent is the lack of live bait, a desired ingredient for albacore fishing.
Harrell Kimball, who monitors offshore fishing conditions from his Nipomo Mesa location, expects conditions will be better Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week than they will be today through Saturday.
No wind and flat seas last weekend probably created the best tuna fishing conditions of the season for fishermen embarking out of Morro Bay.
Two or three private boats ventured 15 to 20 miles beyond the Davidson Seamount and remained on the tuna grounds overnight. Anglers on one boat caught 10 fish, and occupants of two boats got 16 fish. There was bulk to the albacore as well with them weighing between 30 to 40 pounds.
One day, fishermen caught five fish, a couple landed four and some other boats came in with three fish.
On Sunday, Birkholz was a passenger on Fort’s boat.
“We went out nearly 66 miles and caught tuna weighing 30, 24 and 26 pounds on Rapalas and Zuchini feathers,” Birkholz said.
Albacore trips aboard the Princess will be scheduled once the weather permits and bait becomes available. Cost will be $235. Shallow-water, light-tackle trips are scheduled for Thursdays, with fishing in 100 feet of water or less off Montaña de Oro State Park. Anglers use 4 to 6-ounce weights.
For reservations and schedule information, call 772-1222 or go online to www.virgs.com.
Jackpot winners were: Johnny Odom, Atascadero, 14-0 ling, Derrick Lazano, Bakersfield, and Marcus Mathissek, Germany, both 13-0 lings, Josh Demsey, Visalia, 11-0 ling, Jim Rouse, Clovis, 10-0 ling, and Greg Veech, Visalia,6-0 ling.
The catch by 145 passengers included 101 lingcod, 327 red rockcod, 1,008 assorted rockfish, and 16 whitefish.
Morro Bay Landing
A shallow-water fishing trip from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. is scheduled for Friday. Call 771-5500 for reservations Cost is $69.
On last week’s lone trip, nine anglers caught 84 rockcod and 10 lingcod up to 12 pounds.
Port San Luis Boatyard
The second-largest lingcod take of the year was recorded Saturday when anglers aboard 27 launched boats caught 69 lingcod. The only time in 2013 when more lingcods were logged at the launch facility was May 4 when 82 were caught.
Forty-two of the total of 48 boats launched for the week were dispatched over the weekend. No boats went out Oct. 1-2. The Whopper of the Week was a 13 1⁄2-pound lingcod caught by Nipomo’s Jay Ward on Oct. 6.
The only time full rockcod limits were recorded was over the weekend. The catch included 115 lings and five halibut.
Dan Barrios of San Luis Obispo, a consistent jackpot winner aboard Patriot’s boats, weighed the biggest ling of the week, 17 pounds, 13 ounces. His catch fell short of displacing any of the trio currently lodged in the top three places in the third part (September-October) of the eight-month long competition.
The current leaders are: Rick Lamberton, Lompoc, 19-pound, 6-ounce ling caught Sept. 29 aboard the Rita G; Greg Harold, Costa Mesa, 18-pound, 5-ounce ling landed Sept. 12 aboard the Patriot; and Kevin Rhea, Visalia, 18-pound, 4-ounce lingcod Sept. 10 while fishing on the Rita G.
The fourth phase (November-December) will wrap up the Patriot Sportfishing’s ninth-annual lingcod contest.
The leader to date is Atascadero’s John Mulay who caught a 21-pound,1-ounce ling from the Patriot on July 30.
Other jackpot winners last week were: Michael Deniz, Tulare, 14-6 ling, Jeremy West, Grover Beach, 9-0 ling, Jeff Demacabalin, Pixley, 8-5 ling, Dave Patague, Arroyo Grande, 7-0 ling, Larry Paredez, Bakersfield, 6-0 cabezon, and Davd Bringley, Santa Maria 3-0 Johnny bass.
For only the second time during this 24-week fishing season (119 days) no trout were caught. Thirteen anglers showed up bringing the 2013 total to 855 anglers. Whale Rock is open for fishing Wednesdays through Sundays.
Reporting from Heritage Ranch, Dave Rymal said Bunky Childs, Jack Foster and three friends fishing from a pontoon boat Tuesday caught five limits of spotted bass. Some fish were caught on the surface. A lot of shad are on or near the surface. Las Tablas was a productive area.
Santa Margarita Lake
Nineteen youngsters turned out for the third kids fishing event of the year sponsored by the Paso Robles Optimist Club. Instruction in knot tying, casting and other fundamentals preceded shoreline fishing. Redear and a few bass were caught.
Terry Wells and Judy Johnson, both from Fresno, caught a dozen bluegill and redear Sunday. They used red worms for bait.
The hot catfish bite cooled some last week, but catches still came in at a steady clip for anglers working Cachuma, Santa Cruz and Harvey’s Bays. Reportedly, catfish were as shallow as two feet and were biting on fly-lined mackerel. Bass fishing showed signs of improving. Rip baits, spinnerbaits and jigs accounted for the most fish. The first trout plant from the Calaveras Trout Farm is scheduled for the week of Nov. 3.