Sal Perales, a 70-year old summertime angler who customarily fishes twice a month in the middle of the week, is the 2016 winner of Patriot Sportfishing's 12th-Annual Lingcod Contest.
The retired PG&E employee made the winning catch aboard the Avenger during a mid-week August trip to Purisma. That's a destination that has yielded big lings for a long time.
“The lingcod I caught was more than twice the size of any I'd caught in many years of saltwater fishing,” he said.
What Perales brought up that day was a 25.3-pound ling. Prior to that catch, he had never landed one better than 12 pounds.
It is becoming normal in this eight-month long competition for the winning catch to occur in July, August or September.
Perales lives in Auberry, not far from Millerton and Shaver Lakes. However, he asserted: “I'm strictly a saltwater fisherman.”
The event is divided into four two-month sessions with $300, $200 and $100 awards doled out for the three heaviest fish in each.
The tournament doesn't close until Dec. 31. Then Debi Wood peruses every trip report to ascertain that no heavier catch slipped through the cracks.
The closest any angler came to Perales' catch was Rudy Didrickson, who took first place in the September-October contest segment with a 21-pound ling.
First place in the contest is awarded a $1,000 gift certificate. That should cover numerous 2017 fishing trips out of Patriot for Perales plus some angling equipment if he so chooses.
Round 4 (November-December) award winners and their prizes were: 1. Keith Bolles, Bakersfield, 16.0, $300 certificate; 2. (tie) Abdul Samaan, San Luis Obispo, and Marvin Dinovitz, Oxnard, both 15.0 lings, each $150 certificates.
Samaan was the 2015 champion with the catch of a 23-pound ling on July 16.
The record for the series that began in 2005 is 29.7 pounds set by Shane McGraw of San Luis Obispo in 2013. That fish was first hooked by McGraw's 8-year-old son, Max, who needed dad's help to complete the catch.
Best Bass ’17 Tourney to Begin
A young team from Templeton is anxiously awaiting the opportunity to defend the Anglers-of the-Year title they claimed a year ago.
Chase Austin and Jeramie Dyer open defense of their title Saturday at Lake Nacimiento.
This will be the sixth season for the Best Bass Tournament Trail. And just like 2016, all six Central Coast competitions are scheduled at Nacimiento.
Last year was only Austin's second season of tournament bass fishing while it was Dyer's first. The duo never finished worse than ninth in the six events. Both anglers are only 26 years old.
Placing sixth, second , third and ninth prior to winning the May and June tournaments, Austin and Dyer earned 914 points to capture the AOY title by a margin of 36 points.
Finishing third in the AOY standings last year and planning to compete again are Paso Robles’ Erik Zillig and his uncle John Zillig from Sacramento.
Other tandems who placed high in the AOY standings and expected to compete again are Scott Mullins (San Juan Bautista) and Tim Mullins (Templeton), who placed eighth, plus the Paso Robles tandem of Jim Keeney and Tom Ryan, ninth.
Super Bowl enchiladas
As Super Bowl weekend fast approaches, it’s time to order enchiladas to support the Central Coast Women for Fisheries. For the ninth year, the organization once again is taking orders for albacore enchiladas to raise funds for the organization. The albacore were troll caught off the Oregon Coast from the Capriccio, a Morro Bay based boat owned by Wayne and Diane Moody.
Trays of four enchiladas per tray are $10. There are two options: Green sauce/corn tortillas or red sauce/flour tortillas.
The supply is limited, so early orders are encouraged. For tickets, contact Jackie 805-772-8281 or Lenore 805-550-0253.
Orders are to be picked up Feb. 4 between 1-5 p.m. at Morro Bay Community Center, 1001 Kennedy Way, Morro Bay.