Saturday will be a free fishing day. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife invites all Californians to participate on the second free day of 2015.
People may celebrate the end of summer by going fishing Saturday without a fishing license.
Free fishing days are an opportunity for licensed anglers to introduce non-angling friends, including children, to a fun-filled day in the outdoors.
Californians on Bassmaster Elite Tour
The five anglers from the Golden State faired better in the final Angler of the Year standings than they did in the regular-season finale last week at Michigan’s Lake St. Clair.
Just two of the group cashed checks in Elite test No. 8. San Jose’s Chris Zaldain placed 22nd with 54 pounds, 2 ounces, and Auburn’s Skeet Reese was 42nd with 46 pounds, 10 ounces.
Hughson’s Ish Monroe brought 30 pounds, 7 ounces to the scales in placing 62nd.
Tour rookie Brent Ehrler from Redlands and Arroyo Grande’s Jared Lintner, both had the same weight, 29 pounds, 14 ounce with Ehrler placing 65th and Lintner 66th.
A trio of Californians placed in the top 10 in the Angler of the Year standings. Ehrler was sixth with 548 points, Reese seventh with 531 and Zaldain 10th with 516. Monroe accumulated 381 points for 50th place.
Lintner finished his 10th season as an Elite pro with 346 points for 68th place in the 113-angler field.
In 2014, Lintner placed eighth in the AOY standings, which was his ticket to the 2015 Bassmaster Classic, where he competed for the fifth time. Back in March at Lake Hartwell in Greenville, S.C., he registered his best finish, 18th.
Bryan Meadows became the third Bakersfield angler to qualify for the John Rowley Tournament scheduled for December. Meadows, the 21st qualifier, punched his ticket by catching the heaviest ling during the week ending Aug. 22. He landed an 18.5-pound lingcod while aboard the Princess on a 10-hour trip.
Los Osos is the only other community to date with more than one angler qualified. Harry Brown qualified on Week 4 and Eric Hedger on Week 15.
Virg’s had 11 fishing trips last week. The catch by 258 anglers was 2,739 fish, including 212 lingcod. Atascadero’s Garrett Morton was a jackpot winner with an 18.8-pound ling, and Kermit Roma of Riverside was a winner with a 12.2 ling.
The next two-day trip aboard the Princess departs Sept. 26. Reservations are being taken. Go to www.virgslanding.com or call 772-1222 to make reservations or for more information.
Port San Luis Boatyard
Last week was unusual in that full rockcod limits were registered each day and 109 lingcod were logged, but no Whopper of the Week was recognized. Three halibut also were caught. Ninety-six privately-owned boats were dispatched.
Morro Bay Landing
Amid a 136-fish harvest of lingcod on trips last week was a 6-pound vermillion caught by Tommy Alcantar of Delano that claimed jackpot honors. Winners with lingcod and their weights were Michael Garcia, Bakersfield, 24 pounds, Jesse Hernandez, Porterville, 15 pounds, Robert Turner, Coarse Gold, 13 pounds, Chris Vasquez, San Luis Obispo, 11 pounds, Dennis Parish, Bakersfield, and Christian Velazquez, Visalia, both 10 pounds, and Sam Secord, San Luis Obispo, 9 pounds.
In addition to the lingcod harvest, the catch by 220 customers included 354 red rockcod, 69 copper rockfish, 1,713 assorted rockfish, seven bocaccio and four cabezon.
For reservations and trip schedules go to www.morrobaylanding.com or call 771-5500.
Atascadero’s James Pech caught the biggest jackpot fish last week, a 17-pound lingcod. Other winners were: Tracy Nelson, Arroyo Grande, 15-0 ling, Fernando Villagas, Visalia, and Caleb Waters, Arroyo Grade, both 12-0 lings, Roger York, San Luis Obispo, Dale Brooky, Porterville and David Price, Huntington Beach, all 10-0 lings.
One hundred seventy-one anglers caught 119 lingcod, 227 red rockcod, 285 bolina, 30 copper rockfish, 738 assorted rockfish, 17 boccaio, four cabezon, and 28 bonito.
For trip schedules and reservations, go to www.patriotsportfishing.com or call 595-7200.
Santa Margarita Lake
Marina Manager Ken Hemer reports: “Brian Berti from Paso Robles took big fish honors last week by catching a 10-4 largemouth with a square bill lure. Bass fishing has been fair to good with jigs, shallow cranks and frogs. The crappie bite is still in high gear, with anglers reporting wide open action from both boat and shore.
“The most productive offerings have been jigs tipped with either a mealworm of a crappie nibble. Best action has been along weed lines and steep banks. Catfish didn’t attract much attention. Last reports were good for those using cut mackerel and inflated nightcrawlers just below White Oak.”
Marina manger Cody Uhrig filed this report: “Lots of catfish and bass were caught last week both from shore and areas only accessible by boat. Jackrabbit Flats and the rock walls from Johnson Bay to Clark Canyon yielded large and smallmouth bass to two pounds. The shoreline from Drake Cove to the launch ramp has produced a variety of fish including an occasional trout. Baits soaked or sprayed with a garlic attractant has been an essential addition to fishermen’s arsenal. White and pink crappie jigs worked very well for bluegill.”