What looked to be promising conditions for albacore hunting off the Central Coast on Tuesday evening did not pan out that way for longfin seekers Wednesday.
When three boats motored 40 miles out of Morro Bay on Wednesday they found dirty water instead of the expected blue variety. Additionally, there wasn’t much sea life, which usually is the sign that albacore are stirring things up from below.
There was one good thing — no wind. The calm was expected to continue Thursday but gale force winds are forecast to kick in, ruining the Labor Day weekend for tuna seekers.
On Aug. 26, Jim Nailen took his boat Seeker 25 miles out from Morro Bay. His party harvested seven albacore.
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“Apparently, he got into a small body of fish that were just passing through the area,” Harrell Kimball said.
Intrigued by the catch, Virg’s Landing skipper John Rowley later that day hastily put together a crew trip to prospect for the elusive tuna. Rowley piloted the Fiesta out to the same area. But no albacore were found by four crew members.
The outlook had been very promising Tuesday. Sea surface temperatures were right on — 58.5 to 60 degrees. And there was a temperature break in the water 30 miles offshore, and it extended for approximately 40 miles.
Bait was readily available — 5- to 6-inch anchovies out of Port San Luis and some healthy anchovies at Morro Bay.
“September frequently ushers in the start of the best albacore fishing of the year,” Kimball said. “I guess we’ll just have to wait another week.” It’s about time that the tuna set starts hearing their screaming reels go off.
Seabass frenzy dies down
The frenzy over white seabass has abated. The latest big harvest was Aug. 25 when 46 whirte seabass were caught by anglers launching out of Port San Luis. The count for the week was 97, with another 25 being taken Tuesday.
San Luis Obispo’s Mike Berganez grabbed the Whopper of the Week lead Tuesday with the catch of a 34-pound, 8-ounce white seabass. Santa Maria’s Skip Goldsworthy took over with a 43-pound, 8-ounce fish later the same day. But, honors for the week were claimed Wednesday when Trevor Butcher of Shell Beach weighed in a 47-pounder. Port San Luis Boatyard
Sixteen halibut and 35 lingcod were checked in last week, in addition to the 97 white seabass by anglers aboard the 123 boats that were dispatched. While the focus was on seabass, rockcod fishermen registered three-quarter to full limits four days. Eleven barracuda were in the catch Sunday. Ball lands sponsors
Creston’s Dale Ball, the recently anointed California state bass fishing champion, has landed five new sponsorships.
Ball has earned pro staff deals with Dobyns Rods, MonsterFishingTackle.com, Minnkota, Humminbird and Bob’s Marine.
Ball, 53, earned $15,000, plus a wooden trophy carved by artist Chad Turner of FishCarvingArts.com.
“I’m proud to be associated with these fine companies. Each has great products that will help me defend my title in 2011”, Ball said. “I’ve always loved Dobyns Rods and I am extremely excited to add more of them to my arsenal.
Bob’s Marine has kept me on the water for years, and being on their pro staff will help me save money and keep me fishing. Through Monster, I’ll be able to get the latest and hottest products in my boat fast.” Virg’s Landing
Sundowner trips from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. are offered Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Cost is $49.
Ten hour trips (6 a.m. to 4 p.m.) are scheduled for Friday and Sunday. Cost uis $89.
Call 772-1222 for reservations and more information.
On Aug. 27, skipper Brad Leage had 33 anglers aboard the Princess fishing north of the Piedras Blancas lighthouse.
The catch included six lingcod, 260 red rockcod, 10 assorted rockfish, 33 coppers and 30 bocaccio.
Last week, 254 passengers caught 46 lingcod, 448 red rockcod, 1,331 assorted rockfish, 62 bocaccio, 121 coppers and 62 bolina. Winning jackpots were: Alex Babaia, Glendale, P. Summer, Paso Robles, both 9-pound lingcod; Cody Doot, Morro Bay, Robert Tremmer, Fresno, Cory Kelley, San Luis Obispo, and Jordan Mathews, Fresno, all 8-pound lingcod; Zachary Harell, Paso Robles and Bernardo Salazar, Bakersfield, both 6-pound lingcod. Central Coast Sportfishing
Capturing jackpots last week were: Thomas Burke, Dinuba, 7-pound, 8-ounce lingcod, Lynn Kim, Los Angeles, 7-0 lingcod, and Todd King, Bakersfield, 6-0 lingcod.
For reservations and trip schedules, call 772-3474 or 704-2084.
Last week, 50 patrons caught 3 lingcod, 201 red rockcod, 239 assorted rockfish, 25 sanddabs, 15 coppers, 12 bolina, one kelp greenling, one ocean whitefish. Patriot Sportfishing
The three leaders in the sixth-annual Lingcod Contest remained the same.
The top three weights are: 15 pounds, 3 ounces, 14 pounds, 13 ounces and 13 pounds, 13 ounces. The event continues through Nov. 15 when prizes of $3,000, $2,000, and $1,000 will be awarded.
There is no entry fee. The contest is open to all Patriot passengers.
For reservations, trip schedules, call 595-7200.
Jackpot winners last week included: Tom Pae, Newport Beach, 14-13 ling; Joe Torres, Arroyo Grande, 13-12 ling; Dave Marshall, Bakersfield, 11-7 ling; Kevin Rhea, Visalia, 10-2 ling; Lynn Kim, Los Angeles, 8-7 ling; Chris Jacobs, Desert Hot Springs, 7-0 ling; Paul Beno, Tipton, 6-0 ling; Art Sarinana, Corona, 4-pound copper; Thomas Mayen, Granada Hills, and Michael Merit, Bakersfield, both 4-0 vermillion.
The catch by 280 anglers last week: 35 lingcod, 720 red rockcod, 733 bolina, 768 assorted rockfish, 17 cabezon, 3 bocaccio, 2 kelp greenling, one rock crab. Nacimiento Lake
“Fishing is mediocre at best,” said Heritage Ranch resident Dave Rymal. “Catfish are the most active fish. They cruise the shoreline at night. That’s where I caught a 6-pounder on a nightcrawler. Pieces of hot dogs are working, too. You can catch bluegill every once in a while.”
Recently, Greg Hanley caught a 2-pound spotted bass drop shotting.
Santa Margarita Lake
There is an early morning and evening bass bite. Bluegill and redear are catchable. Pressure has been light. Whale Rock
For the third straight week, the trout take remains at 22. It was the seventh time in 19 weeks (94 days) that no trout have been caught. Four fishermen turned out last week, increasing the number of anglers for the season to 231. Fishing this week began Wednesday and will continue through Monday.