Having won the Tri Valley Club tournament at Lopez Lake the previous weekend, Santa Maria’s Louis Fernandes and partner Patrick Touey were primed for a repeat this time in 101 Bass competition.
They were stymied Saturday by the presence of 20 to 25 shore fishermen who were clustered on some of the same locations where the Fernandes-Touey tandem had carved out a championship seven days before.
“It was sad to see stringers of 4- and 5-pound spawners who would not live to deliver a new generation of bass,” Fernandes said.
Fernandes has fished in FLW and other bass series with Randy McAbee Jr., and the two often share angling secrets.
“At noon I talked with Randy and his dad,” Fernandes said. “They had a limit then, but by the time weigh-in came around, they had culled their early limit.”
A pair of 6 1⁄2-pound bass taken off beds in the Pozo and Lopez Arms were not enough to best the McAbees.
“We caught all our fish on 7-inch trout swim baits and we didn’t lose any, but I feared that we needed one more big fish as we headed for weigh-in,” Fernandes said.
He was correct. Randy McAbee Sr., 56, and Randy Jr., 37, won with a 21.80-pound limit. Their previous best finish in three 101 tests was ninth.
Fernandes and Touey finished with a 20.68-pound limit.
Third place Gene Gray and Tony Pratt relied on reaction baits that landed 25 keepers and 20.35 pounds at the scales.
Fourth place was claimed by Damon Meeks and Jay Short.
“We caught only eight fish by working swim baits shallow in the Wittenberg Arm and the main lake,” Short said. “Damon and I help with the weigh-in so we had to come in early. On my next-to-last cast I caught the event’s big fish (7.13 pounds). Damon scooped it up and I had one more cast before we had to dash.”
Twenty-five of the 28 teams entered had limits. The 134 fish caught were released alive to fight another day.
101 Bass Top 10 (all 5-fish limits), Weight
1. Randy McAbee Sr. & Jr., Bakersfield, 21.80 pounds; 2. Louis Fernandes, Santa Maia, Patrick Touey, Nipomo, 20.68 pounds; 3. Gene Gray, Atascadero, Tony Pratt, Paso Robles, 20.35 pounds; 4. Damon Meeks, Atascadero, Jay Short, Templeton, 19.40 pounds; 5. Nick Salvucci, Atascadero, Jared Lintner, Arroyo Grande, 18.38 pounds; 6. Bud Aquino, Grover Beach, Joey Reggio, San Luis Obispo, 18.20 pounds; 7. Darrin Bishop, Paso Robles, Del Bishop, Templeton, 18.18 pounds; 8. Austin & Larry Bonjour, Atascadero, 18.02 pounds; 9. Todd Reccord, Paso Robles, Tom Maddux, Arroyo Grande, 17.83 pounds; 10. Dean Miller, Darrell Masterson, Tulare, 17.46 pounds.
1st Big Fish, 7.13 pounds, Meeks & Short.
Trout Derby No. 19
Close to $42,000 was raised at last weekend’s 19th-annual Cachuma Lake Trout Derby which benefits the nonprofit Neal Taylor Nature Center. The fundraising success enables the Nature Center to continue offering free admission to more than 15,000 school children who annually visit the center on school field trips.
There were 528 men, women and children registered.
David Goss of nearby Los Alamos won the big prize ($2,000) by catching the highest numbered tagged trout (No. 178).
Ken Rossman of Santa Ynez won $1,000 for catching the longest trout (26 inches). Santa Maria’s Chloe Musch, age 4, won $300 for catching the third-highest numbered tagged trout (No. 54).
A rod-and-reel combo was won by 9-year-old Brooke Tosti of Santa Maria. She caught a 17 7⁄8-inch trout.
Port San Luis Boatyard
Whopper of the Week honors went to Grover Beach’s Roscoe Rickard for the second week in a row. His winner was a 17-pound salmon caught Sunday.
Last week 89 boats were dispatched and 89 salmon were harvested.
Forty-one anglers were transported on combination crab and salmon trips April 11-13. They caught 39 dungeness crab, five rock crab, two salmon kept and five salmon released.
Salmon trips from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. At last check, there were eight openings for Saturday and 16 places unfilled for Sunday. Friday’s trip is sold out. Cost is $84.
For reservations, go to www.patriotsportfishing.com or call 595-7200.
Three salmon were kept and one “shaker” was released on two trips last week. The big fish of the week was a 12-pounder caught by Amy Trego of Atascadero. Ron Jackson of Bakersfield reeled in a 10-pounder.
There were 14 anglers aboard Saturday and 10 on Sunday’s trip.
The Fiesta has a 14-angler limit. Salmon trips will be offered Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6:30 am to 2:30 pm if there are sufficient reservations for $89. For reservation go to www.virgs.com or call 772-1222.
Santa Margarita Lake
Using a live shad for bait Tuesday, Christina Hutchison of Santa Margarita caught a 24-pound, 7-ounce catfish while fishing by the dam.
Marina operator Don Lopez is closing the marina store as of Friday.
Lake San Antonio
Kayaks and aluminum boats can be used at the lake. A reliable source said a 15-pound striper and lots of crappie were caught by an individual last week.
Netting live shad paid dividends for Heritage Ranch residents Doug Rice, Bunky Giles, Jack Foster and Brad Foster. Rice caught 25 crappie, 10 white bass, 10 spotted bass and two catfish. Giles and the Fosters — also catch and release anglers — caught crappie, white bass and limits of spots.
Marina manager Ken Hemer noted in his weekly report that “bass fishing is on the upswing.
Both largemouth and smallmouth are moving up to shallow water. During the Trout Derby, shore fishermen had successes at E Point as well as both sides of the buoy line in the marina using PowerBait, nightcrawlers, and a variety of spinners and spoons.”
Most of the crappie being harvested are coming from the East end of the lake. Mini jigs tipped with a meal worm or a crappie nibble are effective. Catfish are being taken in the backs of creek channels and coves with offerings of mackerel and dough baits.