Dana Chatterly was aware he had the lead and a hefty bag weight last Saturday in the Central Coast W.O.N. Bass tournament at Lopez Lake. But, the Lintner-Sharpe duo had not yet made its trip to the scales.
Understandably, the Lompoc general contractor wasn't certain of victory just yet. Jared Lintner is off to a fast start on the Bassmaster Elite pro tournament series. The Arroyo Grande angler currently is in third place in the Angler-of-the-Year standings. A tie for 13th followed by a 7th and a 9th place has enabled him to compile 786 points.
He trails only Skeet Reese of Auburn and Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, MI.
With a 9th, 4th and a 2nd in the three events held thus far, Reese has 844 points. VanDam, one of the $2 million anglers on the Elite tour, has amassed 793 points with placings of 5th, 6th and 19th.
Lintner was on a break between Elite competitions, a hiatus that allowed him to fish with his longtime partner, Tim Sharpe. Success on the big stage doesn't necessarily transfer to the local level. That was the case on Saturday.
"When I saw Tim taking fish out of the live well, I knew I had won the tournament," admitted the 46-year-old Chatterly.
Lintner and Sharpe managed a limit, but their 12.91-pound weight was good for only 15th place. Chatterly confided that his decision to enter Saturday's W.O.N. Bass event was a last minute one. His two children had Easter plans with their mother and two possible teammates had conflicting plans.
"I decided to go anyhow," he said. It was a fortuitous decision. On his fifth cast he caught a 9.01-pound bass. It anchored his 23.04-pound limit. Because he fished alone, he didn't have to split the $4,350 purse. "I paid my taxes with half the money," Chatterly laughed.
Lintner is en route to Evans, Ga., and Elite tournament No. 4 at Clarks Hill Lake. Practice begins Monday and the four-day event starts Thursday. This is the site where Lintner registered his lone top 10 finish last year. He placed 7th. Now he has logged back-to-back top 10 finishes this season.
A tight race is shaping up in Gold Coast Club competition. The Lompoc tandem of Mike Michaud and Eric Holcomb became the third different team to win. At Lake Casitas on Mar. 31 their 16.38 5-fish limit paid $350.
Gold Coast Top 10, No. Fish, Wt., Winnings---1. Mike Michaud, Eric Holcomb, Lompoc 5 for 16.38 pounds, $350; 2. Stan Skou, Los Alamos, Calvin Long, Vandenberg Village, 5 for 14.22 pounds, $175; 3. Todd Reccord (cq), Santa Maria, Paul Potter, Paso Robles, 5 for 13.48 pounds, $100; 4. Bobby Doss, Zac Doss, Santa Maria, 5 for 12.22 pounds; 5. Dean Krambeck, Vandenberg Village, Bob Dixon, Santa Maria, 5 for 12.02 pounds; 6. Tom Guiery and wife, Vandenberg Village, 5 for 10.97 pounds; 7. Johnny Johnson, Rob Martinz (cq), Santa Maria, 4 for 9.89 pounds; 8. Spike Pollorena, Buellton, 5 for 9.89 pounds; 9. Jeff Rose, Arroyo Grande, Dustin Bowlin, Nipomo, 4 for 9.83 pounds; 10. Bill and Pat Twomey, Lompoc, 5 for 9.73 pounds. Big Fish, 6.55 pounds, Skou and Long. (30)