What a difference less than half a pound makes.
When you are fourscore plus as the author is, you can recall things like the 1959 album by Dinah Washington “What A Difference A Day Makes.”
Segue to Saturday’s ABA Pacific Coast Region bass tournament at Lopez Lake.
Less than half a pound — 48-hundredths to be exact — separated first and second place in a competition that had 18 of the 28 teams entered catch a five-fish limit.
Inspired by their championship and $3,498 purse, Bakersfield’s Jim Dobbs and Bob Grayson have decided they’ll fish the last two tournaments on the schedule.
Last week was just their second Pacific Coast entry. Usually, the duo focuses on ABA events on Isabella Lake. Dobbs and Grayson did not practice prior to December’s competition at Lopez Lake and placed 25th.
“We had bluebird weather in practice Thursday when we found two spots that produced in spite of overcast weather,” Dobbs said.
“Saturday’s bite wasn’t nearly as good as practice; still we were culling by noon. We caught 15 fish with swimbaits and crankbaits in water 8 to 10 feet deep.”
Cousins Darrin Bishop of Paso Robles and Dean Miller of Tulare logged their fourth top-10 finish in as many events. While their 21.03-pound limit was less than half a pound shy of the winners and their $1,392 check was significantly less.
“In the tourney we didn’t lose any fish, but we went three hours without a bite after Dean caught our first fish (5.80) on a swimbait,” Bishop said. “Dean ended our drought with a 3-pound-plus fish pulled out of the grass.
“I filled out our limit using Senkos for a 5 1⁄2 and a pair of 3 1⁄2-pounders. After that flurry we caught nothing but 2-pound fish.”
The team of San Luis Obispo’s Robert Merino and Signal Hill’s Robert Adams captured big fish honors using some of his sponsors’ equipment, namely a Dobyns rod and a 2.5-inch Biggie Pappa crankbait. The 7.05-pound fish accounted for $405 of their sixth-place winnings of $665. It was their highest finish in four tourneys.
This weekend, Bishop and Miller will be opponents in the 101 Bass tourney at Lopez. Darrin will be paired with his dad, Del, while Miller fishes with his Tulare teammate, Darrel Masterson.
“Dad and I hope for an earlier send off,” Darrin Bishop said. “Dean and I fish exactly the same way and in identical locations so getting to these spots first is important.”
ABA Pacific Coast
Top 10, All 5-fish limits, Weight, Winnings
1. Jim Dobbs, Bob Grayson, Bakersfield, 21.51 pounds, $3,498; 2. Darrin Bishop, Paso Robles, Dean Miller, Tulare, 21.03 pounds, $1,392; 3. Randy McAbee, Ty McCutcheon, Bakersfield, 20.20 pounds, $870; 4. Louis Fernandes, Santa Maria, Patrick Touey, Nipomo, 20.10 pounds, $355; 5. Gene Gray, Atascadero, Jay Short, Templeton, 19.98 pounds, $200; 6. Robert Adams, Signal Hill, Robert Merino, San Luis Obispo, 19.23 pounds, $665; 7. Steve Bereda, Santa Margarita, Dale Ball, Creston, 19.09 pounds, $200; 8. Nick Salvucci, Atascadero, Jared Lintner, Arroyo Grande, 18.56 pounds; 9. Pat Motley, Arroyo Grande, Mark del Papa, Bakersfield, 16.72 pounds; 10. Brad Shepherd, Clark Endres, Atascadero, 16.68 pounds.
1st Big Fish, 7.05 pounds, Adams & Merino, $405; 2nd Big Fish, 6.49 pounds, Dodds & Grayson, $243; 3rd Big Fish, 5.99 pounds McAbee & McCutcheon, $162.
On Sunday, 20 anglers participated in the crab and sanddab trip. The harvest was 10 dungeness crabs and reportedly “lots” of sanddabs. A similar trip will be offered from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday for $59. For reservations, call 772-1222.
To date, 93 whales have been seen bound for Mexican breeding waters. Whale watching costs are $39 for adults and $29 for youngsters age 12 and younger. Trips are offered from 10 a.m. to noon Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Reporting from Heritage Ranch, Dave Rymal said “the fish are biting.” These were his examples: On Tuesday, Dean Shupp caught and released 40 spotted bass while fishing from a boat. Shore fishermen Dean Guzman and Mike Martin caught nine spotted bass Monday while fishing from shore with Senkos.
Fishing near the ranger boat house Saturday, Francisco Santos caught a 3 7⁄8-pound largemouth bass, according to marina staffer Mike Palmer.
After Glenn Fukumoto saw what Derrick Palk caught Sunday, he returned his catch to the sea. Palk caught a 161⁄4-inch, 3-pound-plus barred surf perch. They were fishing north of Morro Rock in front of the Morro Bay Campgrounds a little before high tide. They were using Berkley gulp sand worms available at Morro Bay Landing and other locations.
Except for Saturday, the trout bite was off.
“On Saturday anglers reported a wide-open bite,” marina manger Ken Hemer said. Trollers using Kastmasters or Rapala C.D. 3s experienced the best results in Santa Cruz Bay. Bass fishing remained slow with few participants.