Twenty albacore, and perhaps a few more were caught Wednesday by anglers aboard a small number of boats fishing near The Donut, a prime tuna location 30 to 40 miles southwest of Morro Bay.
Two boats that launched at Port San Luis had not returned by my Wednesday afternoon deadline.
John Rowley captained the Fiesta on a crew trip out of Virg’s Landing. He reported to Harrell Kimball via radio that his seven employees on board caught 16 albacore. Four or five were taken on bait with the rest on the troll.
Virg’s is taking names of prospective tuna fishermen. Call 772-1222 to get on that list. Virg’s personnel will advise when tuna trips are scheduled.
Greg Birkholz of Arroyo Grande was one of the anglers on board Skipper David Fort’s 30-foot Sea Ray named “You Lie.” They left Morro Bay early Wednesday morning and at last report had four tuna on board.
The wind was picking up Wednesday afternoon and is forecast to continue through Saturday. That would appear to put a damper on the pursuit of albacore this weekend.
Bob’s Marine bass tourney
San Luis Obispo veteran bass fisherman John White and new partner Bobby Doss of Santa Maria placed 42nd in a field of 65 teams in the ninth-annual Bob’s Marine Owners bass tournament at Clear Lake last weekend.
White partnered with Fresno’s Tony Klein for the first eight years of the competition, limited to owners of Champion and Stratos boats. That duo had six top-10 finishes, including a pair of wins and as many second-place finishes. The pair has earned $12,059.
White and Doss managed only eight fish during the two-day tournament They had a weight of 20.32 pounds and finished out of the money.
Creston’s Dale Ball and teammate Fred Rex placed 19th with eight fish weighing 38.18 pounds. It was the eighth appearance for Ball and three different partners and only the second time he had finished out of the money. His winnings total $5,808 with a second-place in 2010 and a third in 2008.
Sandy and Bryan McGeoch won the tournament with a two-day weight of 47.46 pounds for 10 fish, which paid $2,475.
Wounded Warriors event
Saturday’s fishing trip for 20 Wounded Warriors was such a success that the honored guests are eager to experience more fishing opportunities on the ocean. Anglers Anonymous and AMPSURF, co-sponsored the event.
Fishing conditions last week were far from ideal but participants who came from Fresno, Bakersfield and Tehachapi and other cities were delighted and thrilled to catch saltwater fish on the trip out of Morro Bay. A salmon was among the catches but was released as it was taken in error with a barbed hook.
Skipper Daniel Holtzman, owner of the 65-foot Harbor Pathfinder, kept his vessel positioned over fish.
Participants were given T-shirts and caps and cards that demonstrate the steps to tying a variety of fishing knots. A tri-tip barbecue was hosted by the Atascadero and Bay Osos Kiwanis clubs. The veterans even sampled some of the fish they caught. For many of the heroes, it was their first attempt at ocean fishing.
Port San Luis Boatyard
For the first time this season the catch of an albacore earned Whopper of the Week honors. The laurels went to Dusty Musgrave of Pismo Beach. He caught a 24 1⁄2-pound tuna Sept. 3.
Eli Hanover of San Miguel reeled in a 12-pound lingcod on Sept. 9.
Sixty-five boats were launched during the week ending Sept. 9. The catch included 73 lingcod, four halibut, three albacore one salmon and one white seabass. Full rockcod limits were recorded four days and three quarter limits Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Earlier this week, some spots were still open for Friday’s Western Outdoor News Charter trip. It’s a limited-load (28 anglers) trip. Reservations must be made through Western Outdoor News.
Call (949) 366-0030, ext. 31. The fare is $100 for the 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. trip.
Weather permitting, the fishing will be at Pt. Purisima, a location noted for large lingcod.
Last week’s big fish was an 11-pound, 6-ounce lingcod caught by Atascadero’s Jim Robinett. Other jackpot winners included: Manny Lopez, Santa Maria, 9-0 ling; Al Johnson, Exeter, 8-0 ling; Lewis Young, Imperial, 6-0 ling; and Savina Salas, Mendota, and Daniel Christianson, Arroyo Grande, both 5-0 lings.
Last week 150 patrons caught 49 lingcod, 345 red rockcod, 347 assorted rockfish and 14 cabezon.
For trip schedules and reservations, call 595-7200.
Morro Bay’s Al Nunez caught the week’s biggest fish, a 16-pound ling.
Other jackpot winners included Amy Trejo, Atascadero, 11-0 ling; Joe Corona, Hanford, 11-0 ling; and Irma Kehelem, Mariposa, 6-0 red rockcod.
For the week ending Sept. 8, 303 passengers caught 84 lingcod, 825 red rockcod, 1,573 assorted rockfish, and four cabezon.
For trip schedules and reservations call 772-1222.
A newcomer who listed his name on the fish report only as “Mad Max” was the only angler to catch fish. He used PowerBait to catch 18- and 9-inch trout Saturday. He released the fish.
So far this year, 96 trout have been caught by 528 anglers. The facility has been open 99 days. Last week’s turnout was 13 anglers. Twenty-five fish have been caught with PowerBait. Whale Rock is open for fishing Wednesdays through Sundays.
Marina staffer Jonathan Garcia caught a 2 1⁄4-pound largemouth fishing off the F Dock on Wednesday morning. He was using a jig. Ray Green of Los Angeles reeled in a 3 1⁄2-pound largemouth Friday. He used a cricket for bait at Strawberry Flats. Wittenberg Arm has been productive for anglers seeking crappie and redear. Red worms are working and so are red and white crappie jigs with crappie nibbles.
Santa Margarita Lake
Two Atasccadero fishermen caught 120 white bass Wednesday morning fishing Las Tablas with Pop Rs and Real Image jigs. Heritage Ranch reporter Dave Rymal caught and released a mixed bag of 20 white bass and spots in 90 minutes of Wednesday morning fishing. He says there are boils all over the lake and fishing “is good.”
Catfish are the most active species with catches coming from shallow coves with creek channels such as Johnson’s and Harvey’s Bays and Clark Canyon. Fish are being taken from two to 15 feet of water on cut mackerel. There’s an early morning topwater bite for bass. As the day warms, large and smallmouth retreat to depths of 30 feet.
Crappie to 3 pounds are being taken on small tube jigs baited with meal worms. Trout fishing has been slow, however a handful of quality hold-over fish were taken from shore near the mouth of Harvey’s Bay on inflated nightcrawlers and PowerBait.