The winter handcuffs come off saltwater fishermen Saturday.
Finally, they’ll again be able to engage in their passion, namely, fishing for rockcod. The 2009 season closed Nov. 15. Hopes were buoyed when the two-year ban on salmon fishing was lifted April 3. But, for the most part, it has been 28 days of frustration instead.
Plans for Virg’s Landing, Patriot Sportfishing and Central Coast Sportfishing are listed below as well as an item regarding the launching of private boats this weekend at Port San Luis.
Honoring his mother
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To honor the memory of his biggest booster, his mother, Katy, fisherman Felix Camacho had their ranch brand, an interlocking K t, made into car window decals.
While preparing for the Tri Valley contest at Lopez the 40-year-old CDF fire captain applied a decal to his Ranger Z 21 boat for “good luck.”
“I lost my mom to breast cancer in August 2008. She encouraged and supported me from the time I began fishing and throughout my competing,” Felix Camacho said.
The Camachos, Felix and cousin Ken, didn’t have a six-fish limit until 2 p.m.
Their desired Lopez Arm location finally cleared of other boats and their struggle ended.
While Ken Camacho had two fish on a balance beam, Felix had a big bite.
“The fish was peeling off line,” Felix said. “I guessed it might be an 8-pounder. The second time it came up I called for Ken to net it. He did so one-handed while still holding the two fish on the balance beam.”
Felix’s big fish turned out to be the biggest he’s ever caught, an 11.96-pound female.
“My biggest fish previously was an 8 1/2 or 8 ¾, never a 9-pounder.“In less than half an hour we caught three others in addition to the big one and were able to cull four fish. Everything we weighed (27.05 pounds) came from the Lopez Arm. Most of our catch ate Paddletail Basstrix swimbaits.” Tri Valley Top 10, Number of Fish, Weight, Winnings1. Felix Camacho, Nipomo, Ken Camacho, Orcutt, 6, 27.05 pounds, $1,100; 2. Joe Malm, Joe Gardner, San Luis Obispo, 6, 20.84 pounds, $420; 3. Brad Shepard. Atascadero, Robert Bruggeman, Pismo Beach, 6, 20.52 pounds, $340; 4. B.J. Westbrook, Tory Rolland, Grover Beach, 6, 18.90 pounds, $205; 5. Gene Gray, Dusty Kahler, Atascadero, 5, 18.38 pounds, $160; 6. Jeff Hodges, Arroyo Grande, Corey Schmidt, Oceano, 6, 17.10 pounds, $110; 7. John Phillips, Santa Margarita, Brad Austin, San Miguel, 6, 15.07 pounds; 8. Mark Scribner, Pismo Beach, Graham Grove, Atascadero, 6, 15.07 pounds; 9. Roger Haas, Bob Simmons, Morro Bay, 6, 14.76 pounds; 10.Mike Wiseman, Dustin Bowlin, Nipomo, 6, 14.30 pounds.1st Big Fist, 11.96 pounds, Camacho & Camacho, $320; 2nd Big Fish, 7.53 pounds, Gray & Kahler, $150.
Steve Bereda began Saturday’s Ambushers tournament where he’d lost a “big fish” the day before in practice at Santa Margarita Lake. It was not a déjà vu experience. His cast onto a flat near the dam resulted in his best catch of the day, a 51⁄2-pounder.
Bereda’s 22.42-pound limit provided a nearly 9-pound advantage over runner-up Joey Davis, who managed to land only two fish. One of them was the event’s topper, a 9.99-pound whopper.
Ambushers’ Top 10, Number of Fish, Weight, WinningsSteve Bereda, Santa Margarita, 5, 22.42 pounds, $315; 2. Joey Davis, Atascadero, 2, 13.63 pounds, $180; 3. Clay Gates, Paso Robles, 4, 12.63 pounds, $120; 4.Al Rush, Paso Robles, 3, 7.87 pounds; 5. Mitch Wasley, Paso Robles, 3, 7.17 pounds; 6. Skylar Feldman, Los Angeles, 3, 7.05 pounds; 7. Austin Bonjour, Atascadero, 2, 6.65 pounds; 8. Neal Franklin, Atascadero, 3, 6.31 pounds; 9. Tucker Sanders, Atascadero, 2, 4.63 pounds; 10. Rich Long, Taft, 2, 9.53 pounds.1st Big Fish, 9.99 pounds, Davis, $140.
W.O.N. bass tournament
The top 10 teams in the April 25 W.O.N. bass tournament at Santa Margarita Lake caught only a total of 25 fish.
Winning their first tournament were Mark Gomes and Shawn Wilson, Paso Robles, with a 12.07-pound weight for three fish.
They won $1,550 moved up two spots to 10th in the standings after five events.
Shawn Lee of Arroyo Grande and Ken Sauret of Paso Robles settled for second place although they had the only four-fish bag. Their 10.30 weight paid $500.
W.O.N. Bass Top 10, Number of Fish, Weight, WinningsMark Gomes, Shawn Wilson, Paso Robles, 3, 12.07 pounds,$1,550; 2. Shawn Lee, Arroyo Grande, Ken Sauret, Paso Robles, 4, 10.30 pounds, $500; 3. Jason Letterman, Salinas, Ken Restani, Carmel Valley, 3, 9.39 pounds, $740; 4. Will Duncan, Dylan Waldroop, Hollister, 3, 7.42 pounds, $300; 5. Erik Zillig, Cambria, Tim Vaughan, Los Osos, 3, 6.96 pounds; 6. Marc Hazuka, Atascadero, Al Rush, Paso Robles, 3, 6.58 pounds; 7. Steve Bereda, Santa Margarita, Dale Ball, Creston, 2, 6.27 pounds; 8. Mark Hinson, San Luis Obispo, Stan Sherwin, Atascadero, 2, 5.48 pounds; 9. Neal Franklin, Atascadero, Clay Gates, Paso Robles, 1, 2.40 pounds; 10. Gene Gray, Dusty Kahler, Atascadero, 1, 1.85 pounds. 1st Big Fish 6.13 pounds, Letterman & Restani; 2nd Big Fish, 5.49 pounds, Gomes & Wilson.
Port San Luis Boatyard
Marty Codorniz said: “It is advisable to have your boat on a mooring this weekend for the opening of rockcod fishing Saturday. Minus tides of 0.9 at 7:10 a.m. Saturday and 0.6 at 8:02 a.m. on Sunday will cause an interruption of launch operations until 8:30 or 9 a.m.”
The staff will begin launching at 5 a.m. Call 595-7214 or 595-7895 for moorings information.
Anglers pursuing salmon were in four launched boats last week. No salmon were caught.
A salmon fishing trip from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. is scheduled for Friday. Cost is $89.
Scheduled Saturday for the rockcod opener are a 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. trip for $69 and a long range trip from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for $105. An 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. trip is set for Sunday for $59. Call 772-1222 for reservations and more information.
Both boats are fully booked for Saturday’s opening of the rockcod fishing season. As of midday Wednesday, 15 spaces were available for the two long range 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. trips Sunday. Cost is $78. Call 595-7200 for trip schedules and reservations.
Central Coast Sportfishing
The Rita G is scheduled to run 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. fishing trips Saturday and Sunday. Weather conditions Saturday may prevent fishing beyond San Simeon. The long range fare is $86. Call 772-3474 or 704-2084 for more information.
Arroyo Grande’s Lou Denny used a creature bait to catch an 8-pound, 12-ounce largemouth deep in the Wittenberg Arm. The marina’s Jerry Weatherly said that a lot of shad are present in the lake and catfish have been boiling.
Santa Margarita Lake
Saturday will mark the fifth anniversary for Don and Sandra Lopez as marina operators.
Atascadero’s Dave Widger caught four crappie Sunday with crappie jigs with a white nibble. One weighed 2 pounds, 2 ounces and another was 1-15.
Lake San Antonio
Anglers using net dipped shad for bait are catching catfish up to 15 pounds and smallmouth bass between the marina and Harris Creek.
Daniel Hernandez, the Santa Barbara County Director of Parks, said negotiations are ongoing with a prospective Cachuma Lake marina operator. The process should be forwarded to the Board of Supervisors within two weeks. The marina has been closed since October 2009.
Whale Rock Reservoir
Thirty-one anglers caught only two trout Saturday and Sunday, the opening weekend of the season. Zane Dodd caught a 17-inch on a Krocodile lure Saturday. The reservoir is open for fishing Wednesdays through Sundays.