Some different saltwater fishing opportunities are opening up for Central Coast fishermen just as the white seabass gala is coming to a screeching halt.
Albacore enthusiasts have been frustrated by a persistent marine layer that inhibits detection of water temperature and measurement of the chlorophyll which reveals whether the water is clean or dirty. Winds also have been persistent, causing upwelling that translates to dirty water. Because the longfins are sight feeders, they like clear blue water. This has been a scarcity within range of small, private boats this summer.
Long-range rockcod chances
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The arrival of the Pacific Queen from San Diego next week will provide some long-range rockcod opportunities as well as some prospecting for tuna. This year, the 88-foot long by 22-foot wide vessel will run out of Patriot Sportfishing. Previously, it has operated out of Virg’s Landing.
Bill Cavanaugh and Drew Card, the co-owners as well as the skippers, will begin operations Sept. 16. Departure on a two-day trip will be at 10 p.m. that night with return at 8 p.m. Sept. 18. The passenger load is 40 anglers. Cost is $300 and reservations can be made through Patriot at 595-7200.
A second trip departs at 10 p.m. Sept. 18 with a return by 9 p.m. Sept. 19. Cost is $225 and the limit is 33 anglers.
Outdoor newspaper offers trip
Western Outdoor News has chartered the Pacific Horizon for a shallow water lingcod trip to Pt. Purisima Sept. 16 from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is the third year the outdoor newspaper has offered a charter out of Patriot Sportfishing. Only 10 berths were open as of Wednesday afternoon. The limit is 30.
Passengers will receive a variety of gifts from the newspaper. For reservations, call Ben Babbitt at (949) 366-0030, Ext. 31. Brandon Hayward, the newspaper’s saltwater editor, will be on board to chronicle the trip for the publication.
The top-three weights in the 31⁄2-month-long Lingcod Contest remain unchanged — 18 pounds, 0 ounces, 15 pounds, 3 ounces and 14 pounds, 13 ounces. There is no entry fee for the tournament. The prizes are $3,000, $2,000, and $1,000 for the top three weights Nov. 15.
Call 595-7200 for reservations, trip schedules.
Anglers who caught lingcod captured seven of last week’s 10 jackpots. They were: Steve Robertson, Tulare, 18 pounds, JoBe Alloway, Santa Maria, 10 pounds, 13 ounces, James Guin, Shell Beach, 10 pounds, Humberto Zul, Guadalupe, 9 pounds, Steve Zuniga, Fresno, 8 pounds, Dan Leary, San Jose, 7 pounds, 5 ounces, and Jason Finley, Santa Ynez, 5 pounds. Other jackpot winners were: Saundra Basurto, Shafter, 7-pound vermillion, Ken Caputo, Moreno Valley, 5-pound vermillion, and Casper Lopez, Wasco, 3-pound vermillion.
The catch by 269 passengers last week included: 34 lingcod, 763 red rockcod, 855 assorted rockfish, 350 bolina, 17 cabezon and two rock sole.
Central Coast Sportfishing
A pair of 10-pound lingcod topped the week’s catch by passengers aboard the Rita G. Julio Trevino of Paso Robles and Kyle Stephens of Bakersfield had the 10-pound lingcod jackpot winners. Ricky Bandurraga of Arroyo Grande won the other jackpot with a 6-pound, 8-ounce bocaccio.
For reservations, and trip schedules, call 772-3474 or 704-2084.
Fifty-six fishermen caught four lingcod, 108 red rockcod, 161 assorted rockfish, 61 coppers, 35 bocaccio, 27 bolina, one cabezon, and one sanddab.
Prize money that has accumulated in the season-long Rockcod-Lingcod Tournament totals $5,469. And there are eight weeks remaining. All paying customers aboard Virg’s boats on rockcod trips are automatically entered in the competition. There is no entry fee.
A dollar from each paid fare between May 1 and Oct. 31 goes into the prize pot. The 26 anglers who have caught the heaviest fish of the week will be entered in a one-day tournament Nov. 6.
An overnight trip is scheduled for this weekend, departing at 3 p.m. Saturday and returning Sunday afternoon. Participants may catch two limits of fish. Cost is $205. Call 772-1222 for reservations and trip schedules.
Sundowner trips are scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Cost is $49.
Jackpot winners last week were: Jeff Buchalla, Valencia, 25-pound halibut; Bernardo, Bakersfield, 11-pound ling; Jack Rowland, Fresno, 10-pound ling; Truman Dudley, Exeter, and Ariana Grekow, Santa Ynez, both 9-pound lings; Jennifer Kurutz, Arroyo Grande, Darby Patterson, Arcadia, Roger McCarty, Arizona, and Tim Little, Fresno, all 7-pound lings.
The catch by 283 customers included: 89 lingcod, 402 red rockcod, 1,429 assorted rockfish, 59 bocaccio, 107 coppers, two halibut, and 56 bolina.
Port San Luis Boatyard
A 36-pound halibut took Whopper of the Week honors. The catch was made Sunday by Michael Ellison of Arroyo Grande. He bettered the catch of a 24-pound, 8-ounce halibut made Sept. 2 by Ethan Arrington of Grover Beach.
Only four white seabass were caught last week. On prior weeks, 309 white seabass were caught the week ending Aug. 8; 158 the week of Aug. 15; 33 the week of Aug. 22 and 97 the week ending Aug. 29.
Last week 96 boats were launched. Thirty-seven lingcod and five halibut were in the catch. Three quarter rockcod limits were caught three days and full limits on Sunday when 20 boats were launched.
Santa Margarita Lake
Stan Beebe of San Luis Obispo caught a 12-pound largemouth bass Monday while fishing by the dam with fishing buddy Andy Levy. The catch was made on a Texas-rigged presentation near the dam.
Atascadero’s Greg Milhorn had the catch of the week, a 16-pound catfish Saturday. The catch was made at the point near the launch ramp. Mackerel was the bait.
Fishing by the dam on Sept. 2, Jared Buckley of Atascadero reeled in a 9-pound, 3-ounce bass on a jig. Marc Pink of San Jose ventured beyond the Narrows on Sunday to catch a 2-pound, 12-ounce catfish on frozen shad.
Orville Lee Hill of Compton caught bluegill, redear and bass while fishing Wednesday near the boathouse.
For the fourth straight week no trout were caught. It was the eighth time in the 20 weeks (100 days) the reservoir has been open that anglers were blanked. Only two anglers gave it a try in the six days the facility was open for fishing. Twenty-two trout have been caught. The season’s turnout: 233 anglers.