Jax Jigs have been an on-demand weapon for Central Coast saltwater fishermen for more than 20 years.
The jigs come in nine different colors and in weights ranging from 4 to 16 ounces. They are especially in vogue during Patriot Sportfishing’s sixth-annual lingcod contest, which began Aug. 15 and continues through Nov. 15 with $6,000 in prize money at stake.
The jigs were designed and used by the late Jack Madison of Arroyo Grande. Maidson was the pre-eminent saltwater fisherman. Aboard a sportfishing boat he was the odds-on favorite to walk away with jackpot monies on virtually every trip.
Dan Dunlap of Santa Maria began working with Madison in November 1989 pouring and painting jigs in Madison’s home. Madison passed away four months later, and Dunlap bought Jax Jigs and has expanded the business since then.
The jigs are available at Patriot Sportfishing and Virg’s Landing locally as well as at numerous Southern California marinas and resorts in Alaska.
“Within the past five years, a 350-pound halibut was caught in Alaska on a Jax Jig,” Dunlap said in a phone interview. Dunlap, who has lived at Fort Mohave, Ariz., for the past eight years, was in San Luis Obispo County last week long enough to catch a jackpot fish in the Patriot tournament.
After the first 10 days of competition the Patriot Sportfishing lingcod leaders are: 1. Lanny Beasly, Bakersfield, 15 pound, 3 ounces, Aug. 17; 2. Tom Pae, Newport Beach, 14-13, Aug. 24; 3. Dan Dunlap, 13-13 ling, Aug. 19.
Damon Meeks moved into the points lead by winning his third Ambushers bass tournament Saturday night at Lake San Antonio. It was the second evening competition in as many nights, but he and partner Josh Brard of Atascadero settled for fourth place in Friday’s night series team event at the same site.
“I had just about the same weight (9.98 pounds alone after 8.61 pounds with Brard both nights),” Meeks said.
Meeks has 706 points in Ambushers tests while Steve Bereda, who placed seventh on Saturday, has 702. Two tests remain.
Meeks said he had a limit before dark in the Ambushers event that attracted 21 fishermen. The two fish he caught in darkness enabled him to cull twice. All his fish were caught on jigs and worms.
The lone fish Atascadero’s Neal Franklin caught, 3.77 pounds, earned big- fish honors.
Ambushers Top 10, Number of Fish, Weight, Winnings 1.Damon Meeks, Atascadero, 5, 9.98 pounds, $237; 2. Clay Gates, Paso Robles, 4, 6.91 pounds, $142; 3. Allan Branson, Paso Robles, 3, 5.54 pounds, $47; 4. Marc Hazuka, Atascadero, 3, 5.50 pounds, $48; 5. Burt Lund, Atascadero, 3, 5.49 pounds; 6. Neal Franklin, Atascadero, 1, 3.77 pounds; 7. Steve Bereda, Santa Margarita, 2, 3.09 pounds; 8. Austin Bonjour, Atascadero, 2, 2.95 pounds; 9. Ken Meeks, Atascadero, 1, 2.90 pounds; 10. Tim Branson, Paso Robles, 2, 2.78 pounds.1st Big Fish, 3.09 pounds, Neal Franklin, $105.
Port San Luis Boatyard
The white seabass bite is not over as it appeared to be when none were caught the first four days of last week.
Since then 33 white seabass were reeled in Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Anglers leaving the Sports Launch Monday and Tuesday caught 34 white seabass. Twenty-four boats were dispatched. A majority of the 27 boats launched Wednesday were still out as of The Tribune’s deadline. Nine white seabass were reported.
Last week’s Whopper of the Week winner with a 40-pound, 8-ounce halibut caught Aug. 21 by Ray Nanini of Nipomo.
Forty-five lingcods and 21 halibut were logged by anglers aboard 111 boats. Mike Berganez of San Luis Obispo is this week’s whopper leader with a 34-pound, 8-ounce white seabass caught Tuesday.
The popular overnight fishing trip is scheduled for this weekend. The Admiral departs at 3 p.m. Saturday and returns Sunday afternoon. Passengers may keep two limits of fish. Cost is $205. Call 772-1222 for reservations and trip schedules.
Topping last week’s catch by 515 passengers were a 13-pound lingcod by Kevin Kim of Tujunga, a 12-pound halibut by Tina Garcia of Fresno, and a 12-pound ling by Stephen Williams of Los Osos.
Other jackpot winners included: Alex Sliukoff, Bakersfield, 10-pound ling; Pat Helburg, Paso Robles, Joe Konkle, Bakersfield, and Cecilia Wade, Bakersfield, all 9-pound lingcod; Rudy Greg, Nebraska, 9-pound sheephead; Monty Oaks, Roseville, and Kevin Serriff, Bakersfield, both 7-pound lingcod; Chad Matte, Templeton, and Andrew Garcia, Bakersfield, both 6-pound lingcod.The catch included 60 lingcod; 760 red rockcod, 3,466 assorted rockfish; 357 coppers, 20 bolina, 10 bocaccio, three rock sole, five cabezon and two sheephead.
Manager Roger York said 4- and 6-ounce Jax Jigs are the most popular size. The favorite colors are orange and copper or scrambled eggs.
For reservations and trip schedules, call 595-7200.
Other jackpot winners included: Savanah Rhime, Hanford, 10-8 ling; Joe Torres, Arroyo Grande, Thomas Jackson, Three Rivers, and Mike Allen, Nampa, ID, all 8-pound lings; Andrew Wong, Irvine, 6-pound ling; Bill Bixman, Tollhouse, 5-pound vermillion; Matt Lyons, Creston, 4-pound vermillion; James Badasi, Lemoore, 4-pound copper; Brad Hudson and Ryan Farris, both Bakersfield, both 3-pound vermillion.Harvested by 359 passengers last week were: 61 lingcod, 923 red rockcod, 1,218 assorted rockfish, 938 bolina, 36 cabezon, and one ocean whitefish.
Central Coast Sportfishing
Jesse Bash of Los Osos and Keith Bow of Orcutt were jackpot winners with a 4-pound, 8-ounce copper and a 4-pound vermillion, respectively. For reservations and trip schedules, call 772-3474 or 704-2084.
The catch by 38 anglers included, 113 red rockcod, 44 coppers, 112 assorted rockfish and one ocean whitefish. Night Tournament
Bryan and Steven Grier of Salinas won the fourth Friday Night tournament Aug. 20 at Lake San Antonio with an 11.79-pound limit worth $385.
Shawn Wilson and Marc Gomes of Paso Robles ,placed second in the 11-team tourney with an11.13-pound limit worth $220. Damon Meeks and Josh Brard had the big fish, 2.95 pounds, worth $165.
The week’s largest catch, better make that retrieve was a truck.
It happened Sunday when a new boat owner and first time visitor to the lake had a totally forgettable experience. The boat’s engine was not in the trimmed-up position during the launching process.
The prop and the engine’s lower unit ground along the concrete ramp as the rig descended.
When the driver exited the truck to fix the problem, the truck kept backing up. It was still in reverse. As the vehicle slipped deeper into the lake, onlookers were attracted by a continuous blaring horn.
Only four to six inches of the truck’s windshield was above water by the time marina manager Jerry Weatherly arrived to begin rescue operations.
Using chains attached to the two trucks, the runaway vehicle, trailer and boat were extracted from Lopez. The diesel truck, however, would not start and remained in the parking lot until further assistance was arranged.
On the brighter side Richard Willey of Las Vegas, caught a 11⁄2-pound smallmouth bass on a Rapala on Aug. 20.
Santa Margarita Lake
Creston’s Ted Ratcliff caught a 10-pound bass on a crankbait while fishing at a point by the dam Sunday. Some bluegill, redear and catfish are being caught.
For the second week in a row and for the sixth time in the 18 weeks the reservoir has been open for fishing, no trout were caught. Five fishermen tried their luck and struck out. The reservoir has been open 84 days. Twenty-two trout have been caught.
The turnout thus far has been 227 anglers.