White seabass have become a hot ticket the past four weeks for saltwater fishermen embarking out of the Port San Luis Boatyard sports launch.
Bakersfield angler John Lindgren cranked up the heaviest of the current season, a 53.15-pounder Aug. 8.
Last week’s seabass harvest (28) was the second-best this year. The best count (45) happened July 20-26. During the past four weeks (July 13 to Aug. 9), 101 seabass have been landed by fishermen out of Port San Luis.
Seabass have captured Whopper of the Week honors four weeks in succession.
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Arroyo Grande’s Roger Bruce was a winner with a 42.4-pounder July 30. Grover Beach’s Danny Teofilo excelled with a 38-pound prize July 23, and Mike Limon from Arroyo Grande began the streak with a 36-pounder July 19.
Bob Honley, a previous owner of Patriot Sportfishing, gifted me with a reference book — A Field Guide to Pacific Coast Fishes of North America — I have consulted for several decades. The book states: “The range of white seabass is from Juneau, Alaska, to Baja and the Gulf of California, rare north of Northern California.”
As far as habitat for the species, the book states: “Usually in schools over rocky bottom and in kelp beds. Also in surf zone to about 400 feet.”
Port San Luis Boatyard
Launched last week were 110 boats. In addition to seabass, the harvest included 158 lingcod, 12 halibut and full daily rockcod limits.
Morro Bay Landing
Anglers on 18 trips last week caught 338 lingcod. The trips were made aboard vessels transporting from two to 39 anglers. Steve Sheffield from Bakersfield caught the biggest fish, a 22-pound lingcod.
Other jackpot winners all caught lingcod. The anglers and weights were: Wendell Chen, Lompoc, 21 pounds, Calvin Walker, Bakersfield, 16 pounds, Nick Bichle, Paso Robles, 17 pounds, Carl Pruitt, Long Beach, 16 pounds, Jim Webb, Cambria, 15-6 pounds, Donald Kellogg, Five Cities, 14-3 pounds, Hailey Villasenor, Dinuba, 13-8 pounds, Frank Booke, Tehachapi, 12 pounds, Bill Armstrong, Paso Robles, and Jay Capell, Arroyo Grande, both 11 pounds, Horace Chan, Alhambra, 9 pounds, and Luke Hoage, Templeton, 8 pounds. For reservations or trip schedules, go to www.morrobaylanding.com or call 771-5500.
Qualifier No. 18 for the end-of-the-year John Rowley Lingcod Tournament is a Woodlake woman, Candice O’Dell. She reeled in a 17.6-pound lingcod aboard the Rita G on Aug. 2.
Clovis angler Dustin Riley retrieved an 18.3-pound ling while fishing on a shallow-water trip Aug. 6 aboard the Princess. Burbank’s Jeff Reed claimed jackpot honors with a 15.2 ling Aug. 2 on a long-range trip to the San Simeon area. Thirty-two anglers caught 41 lingcod, 61 reds, 256 assorted rockfish and one cabezon.
Fishing at the Domes on Aug. 7, Lompoc’s Ken Martin took jackpot honors aboard the Fiesta with a 14.5-pound ling.
Randy McAbee from Bakersfield, a noted bass fisherman, caught a 13.3-pound lingcod for honors Aug. 4 at the Domes. The catch by 34 patrons on the Fiesta included 32 lingcod, 136 reds, 202 assorted rockfish and two cabezon.
Virg’s had 16 trips last week. The 430 anglers caught 4,504 fish including 204 lings.
For trip schedules and reservations go to www.virgs.com or call 772-1222.
Eleven trips, including two first time combination rockcod and white seabass opportunities, were offered last week. The combo trips did not produce any seabass.
This definitely is The Year of Lingcod. Forty-four were caught on one trip by 38 fishermen. The big one was 16-pound, 15-ouncer caught by Mat Melton of Taft.
Other jackpot winners were: Belinda Gomez, Arroyo Grande, 16 pounds, Tom Muscio, Santa Maria, 14 pounds, Roman Duran, Fowler, 12 pounds, Jeremy Pratt, Oakland, Mike Wilson, Morro Bay, and Gabriel Torres, Norwalk, all 10-pounders, and Dylan Carsia, Hanford, 9 pounds.
The catch by 294 anglers was: 157 lingcod, 450 red rockcod, 97 coppers, 2,051 assorted rockfish, 225 bolina, 25 cabezon, seven bocaccio, two ocean whitefish and one sheephead.
For trip schedules and reservations, go to www.patriotsportfishing.com or call 595-7200.
Kids fishing clinic
A free kids fishing clinic is set for Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at Lopez Lake. The event is sponsored by the Friends of Lopez Lake. Instruction on the basics of fishing, as well as positive outdoor ethics, will be followed by an opportunity to fish. Equipment and bait will be furnished. The event is open to children15 and younger. The standard vehicle fee will be charged at the lake entrance.
Arroyo Grande’s Jared Lintner, a 10-year Bassmaster Elite pro, begins his next-to-last tournament on the eight-event schedule Thursday on Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay.
Lintner and 106 other pros will fish Thursday and Friday. The first cut after the second day of fishing will trim the field to 50 anglers. Saturday’s cut will pare the field to the 12 finalists.
The beat goes on. Last week, the 16th one of the season, saw five anglers show up with no trout caught. The reservoir as been open 78 days and only one fisherman’s catch has been documented. That was Jeremy Harkins, who caught a 16-inch trout May 9. The facility is open for fishing Wednesdays through Sundays.
Supervising park ranger Bob Yetter reports: “Bass fishing is rated good. Cypress angler Willie Dumas caught a 6-pound largemouth at Marina Point using a purple plastic worm. Crappie and bluegill are biting on nightcrawers red worms, and crappie jigs baited with nibbles.”
Santa Margarita Lake
Marina manager Ken Hemer caught a bass limit Saturday that weighed 24 pounds. His largest fish weighed 8.5 pounds. “Bass in the 2- to 4-pound range are being caught on jigs, crankbaits, Senkos as well as Poppers and even frog imitations,” Hemer said. “The White Oak docks, as well as the buoy line at the dam are top locations for crappie. Cut mackerel and inflated crawlers have been the top offerings for catfish.”
Marina manager Cody Uhrig reports: “Garlic soaked mackeral is the best bait for catfish. Crankbaits and nightcrawlers are the best bass baits early mornings and late in the day.”