A duo competing together for the first time leaned heavily on the knowledge that Ken Sauret has accumulated over the past six years as a member of the Lowrance pro staff.
At Nacimiento Lake on Saturday, that knowledge paid off for Sauret and new partner Shawn Lee.
“I have two Lowrance HDS units on my boat, a 10-inch model on the console and an 8-inch one on the bow,” Sauret said.
The fish-finding electronics are the latest innovation by Lowrance.
“When I’m working a fishing show, I have the opportunity to be around the engineers who develop this equipment,” Sauret said. “And I’ve learned the nuances and customization features of the fish finders.
“It made a huge difference Saturday in the heavy rain and the 35 mph wind that kicked up 2-foot waves.”
Sauret labels his high definition equipment as “the most valuable fishing tools I have. The 120-degree coverage is great.”
Included in the team’s 9.80-pound, five-fish limit was the tournament’s big fish.
“The 4.23-pounder was the biggest spotted bass I’ve ever caught,” Sauret said. “It was taken on a Booyah spinnerbait.”
Lee, from Arroyo Grande, fished this season’s first two W.O.N. Bass tournaments solo. On Saturday, he reeled in the team’s last two fish. Their limit was the only one registered. And the five keepers was all the winning tandem caught. There were 14 teams competing.
Fish No. 5 was landed at 1:10 p.m., less than two hours prior to weigh-in. That sealed the victory and a payday of $2,120. Lee, bolstered by a partner, moved from 30th in the standings to 12th.
Lee and Sauret have four more W.O.N. Central Coast tournament opportunities to climb higher in the standings. The next event is Jan. 2 at Nacimiento Lake.
Forty-nine teams competed in the first two W.O.N. tournaments. Stormy weather probably had something to do with Saturday’s small turnout. However, a number of teams are abandoning W.O.N. and casting their lot with U.S. Angler’s Choice Central Coast Region.
Bill Cook, longtime tournament director of several W.O.N. venues, is now the Angler’s Choice Central Coast tournament director. Jim Slusher has supplanted Cook as the new W.O.N. tourney director.
W.O.N. Bass Top 10, No. Fish, Weight, Winnings — 1.Ken Sauret, Paso Robles, Shawn Lee, Arroyo Grande, 5, 9.80 pounds, $2,120; 2. Herm Delore, Jeff Smith, Atascadero, 4, 7.25 pounds, $540; 3. Darrin Bishop, Paso Robles, Del Bishop, Templeton, 4, 6.82 pounds, $620; 4. Jim Keeney, Tom Ryan, Paso Robles, 4, 5.14 pounds, $80; 5. Jared Lintner, Arroyo Grande, Nick Salvucci, San Miguel, 3, 4.66 pounds, $60; 6. Will Duncan, Dylan Waldroop, 3, 3.34 pounds; 7. Marc Hazuka, Atascadero, Al Rush, Paso Robles, 2, 3.05 pounds; 8. Mark Gomes, Shawn Wilson, Santa Maria, 2. 2.96 pounds; 9. Gene Gray, Dusty Kahler, Atascadero, 1, 1.96 pounds; 10. Tim Vaughan, Los Osos, Erik Zillig, Cambria, 1. 1.56 pounds.Big Fish, 4.23 pounds, Sauret & Lee.
Anyone 16 and under will get to fish with Santa Claus on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. The free fishing clinic will be held at the Nature Center near the marina store. Experienced fishermen will be giving lessons and teaching knot tying, fishing ethics and conservation. All the equipment needed will be furnished. Everyone gets a chance to fish.
And now some more ideas for Christmas gifts suitable for outdoor enthusiasts:
Santa Margarita Lake Marina
Marina manager Don Lopez has two kayaks on sale — A single-sit on top for $500 and a double-sit on top model for $700. Seats and paddles are included. For further details call 438-1522.
Lopez Lake Marina
Camping, clothing, swimwear, shorts and fishing tackle are on sale for 10 percent to 30 percent off. Call 489-1006 for further details.
Fishing licenses for 2010 are $41.50. Gift certificates in any amount with no expiration date, can be mailed. Surf fishing equipment and almost everything is 25 percent off; Shimano, Penn, Avet fishing reels $70 to $500; Cal Star, Shimano, Okuma, Shakespeare Ugly Stiks $80-$200; sweatshirts $38-$40; hats $15.99; Marina hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Call 772-1222.
Shakespeare pier rods are $24.95. Penn, Shimano, Shakespeare Ugly Stik rod and reel combinations $169 or $279; car or truck antennae resembling a fishing rod $29.95; Short-sleeved or long-sleeved T-shirts $16-$20; gift certificates in varying amounts; hats $16-$18; barbecue lighters $10.95; utility knives $9.95; souvenir shells and jewelry $0.33 to $39.95; marina hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 to 4 on weekends. Call 595-7200.
Retail store hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, 10 to 4 Saturday & Sunday. Check out www.tacklewarehouse.com to find the holiday gift guide and 12 days of savings. Items include rods, reels, apparel and a variety of lures on sale from 15 percent to 79 percent off. Virtually all namebrand fishing rods, reels, line, baits and apparel are in stock. Among the new items are Frogg Toggs Elite rain suits at $149.95 and two new Powell rods, topwater and crankbait models for $139.99.