Currently, there are numerous folks basking in the thrills associated with fishing for and catching albacore in waters off the Central Coast.
You would be hard pressed to find anyone who has enjoyed the experience more than a Porterville fisherman and his uncle.
That incite was gleaned from a post on the fishreports.net website.
John Roan, 54, related his joy in his very first post on the website.
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“Like many of us who use this website, my uncle, who just turned 69, is a tuna nut,” Roan wrote. “Although he is in great physical condition, he has trouble with communication and now I have to help him up some of life’s hills.”
When Roan was only 4 and 5 years old, his uncle began taking him hunting and fishing. Now the roles are reversed. His uncle has sold his boat, “but I’ve purchased one so we could fish together,” Roan wrote, exuding with obvious pride.
“We ran to the numbers suggested on the website. When the water temperature got to 60 degrees, we put the gear in the water just like my uncle used to do. We went about half a mile and hooked up on a fish trolled way back. That’s the way uncle did before his setback.
“It was such an honor to have him catch the first albacore on my new boat. His reaction was too much for words.”
The duo ended the day with nine longfins — three on fish traps, two on xraps, one on a feather and three on bait.
“Uncle can still do the tuna tango, I’m sure he is still grinning from ear to ear and he has some new stories to tell and I’m a very happy new skipper,” Roan wrote.
Roan expressed his appreciation to launch operators, the bait man, and unknown people who were helpful with moving the truck and trailer during the launch process.
Albacore fishing has come full circle for Roan and his uncle. Undoubtedly, it’s happening with many other fathers and sons, relatives and acquaintances new and old.
Harrell Kimball and two of his Nipomo neighbors (Shawn Russ and Garry O’roark harvested 14 albacore in the 25- to 30-pound class on Tuesday. His was one of the 11 boats out of the Port San Luis Sports Launch that brought back 56 tuna, including the first bluefin tuna reported this season.
After scrutinizing his many sources, Kimball said: “Friday looks like the best day this week for albacore seekers.”
Virg’s Landing dispatched the Princess and Fiesta this morning on 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. trips for $135. The Admiral, with a capacity of 35 anglers, is scheduled out Friday, also for a 5 to 5 trip.
Marina manager Greg Smith says the fish are only 14 miles out. Similar trips are planned for Saturday and Sunday. Call 772-1222 for reservations.
Patriot Sportfishing has scheduled the Pacific Horizon, skippered by Sal Rocha, for tuna runs at 10 p.m. Wednesday night, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Cost is $250 with a limited load of 18 anglers. The Pacific Queen is continuing albacore trips leaving nightly at 10. Cost is $225. Call 595-7200 for reservations on either boat.
Cambria’s Erik Zillig became the sixth different angler to win an Ambushers’ tournament this season. He secured the win fishing topwater baits from the river to the dam at Nacimiento Lake on Sept. 19.
He fished with his 11-year-old nephew, Craig Zillig of Creston. While Erik caught nine fish and a 10.02-pound limit worth $265, his nephew had one fish.
The final competition of the season is a two-day affair at Nacimiento Lake on Saturday and Sunday. The angler of the year will be determined. Damon Meeks, who has won three tourneys, owns an 11-point lead on Steve Bereda, the winner of two events.
Ambushers Top 10, (All 5-fish limits), Weight Winnings
1. Erik Zillig, Cambria 10.02 pounds, $265; 2. Jim Keeney, Paso Robles, 9.75 pounds, $153; 3. Damon Meeks, Atascadero, 9.59 pounds, $102; 4. Steve Bereda, Santa Margarita, 9.48 pounds; 5. Neal Franklin, Atascadero, 9.42 pounds; 6. Paul Gates, Paso Robles, 8.10 pounds; 7. Greg Hanley, Paso Robles, 7.73 pounds; 8. Tucker Sanders, Atascadero, 7.67 pounds; 9. Burt Lund, Atascadero, 7.62 pounds; 10. Jeremy Lewis, Atascadero, 7.61 pounds.
Big Fish, 2.92 pounds, Damon Meeks, $135.
Meeks, Brard win
On Saturday, Damon Meeks and his cousin, Josh Brard, won the TOC of the Night Tournament Series held at Nacimiento Lake. Their 10.24-pound limit bested Al Rush and Jeremy Gearheart by 1.56 pounds.
Friday Night Team Series Tourney of Champions, (All 5-fish limits) Weight Winnings — 1. Damon Meeks, Josh Brard, Atascadero, 10.24 pounds, $330; 2. Al Rush, Paso Robles, Jeremy Gearheart, Atascadero, 8.68 pounds, $200; 3. Jim Keeney, Tom Ryan, Paso Robles, 8.40 pounds, $130; 4. Ralph Sawdey, Shandon, Sam Sawdey, Paso Robles, 7.65 pounds, $70. Big Fish, 2.24 pounds, Meeks & Brard, $330.
Cal Poly bass team
A second Cal Poly bass fishing team qualified for next weekend’s National Guard FLW college fishing regional tournament. They did it by placing fifth Saturday in the final regular season competition at Lake Roosevelt, Payson, Arizona.
Freshman John Zeolla, a business major from Oak Park, formed a new team with Joe Gardiner of Bakersfield. The duo had a six-fish team limit of 6 pounds, 12 ounces.
Gardiner had finished 29th at Lake Shasta and eighth at both Lake Mead and The Delta competitions with different partners.
Only the top five teams in each of the four FLW College Fishing Western Division events qualified for the Oct. 7-9 regional at Folsom Lake.
Scott Hellesen of Whittier and Damian Bean of Oakland actually qualified three times for the regional by placing fifth at Shasta, second at Mead and first at The Delta.
Port San Luis Boatyard
Last week, 122 boats were dispatched — 55 on Saturday and 40 on Sunday. Of the 122 tuna checked in for the week, 102 were caught Saturday and 14 Sunday. Nobody took the time to weigh their catch thus bypassing the opportunity for Whopper of the Week honors and a free boat launch. Twenty-eight lingcod were caught. Virg’s Landing
One hundred eight tuna were caught by 84 passengers on four tuna trips last week. Jackpot winners with the weight of their albacore were: Joe Losieu, Morro Bay, 35 pounds; Mark Ayers, Los Osos, Mike Silva, Fresno and Mike Baker, Bakersfield, each with 31-pound tuna.
The catch by 276 rockcod fishermen included 24 lingcod, 808 red rockcod, 1,916 assorted rockfish, 38 bocaccio, 83 coppers and one cabezon.
Jackpot winners were: John Cunningham, Bakersfield, 12-pound ling; Dede Janzen, San Luis Obispo, 9-pound ling; Chris Workman, Lancaster, 8-pound ling; Miguel Sandoval, Bakersfield, and John Mirendez, Kingsburg, both 7-pound lings; Tony Wegny, Fresno, and Dave Castillo, Morro Bay, both 6-pound lings. Patriot Sportfishing
A 12-pound, 5-ounce lingcod caught by Bret Stewart of Goleta was the big fish of the week. Other jackpot winners: Fred Kenniston, Bakersfield, 11-7 ling; Tom Klage, Bakersfield, 9-0 ling; Abel Mendon, Shell Beach, 7-0 ling; Anthony Noriega, Santa Maria, 6-0 ling; Don Dodson, Pinon Hills, 5-0 vermillion; Jeff Harlan, Tulare, 4-0 red rockcod; and Joe Lopez, Santa Maria, 4-0 copper.
Caught by 207 passengers were: 30 lingcods 384 red rockcod, 574 assorted rockfish, 452 bolina and seven cabezon.
Eighty-one anglers on the Pacific Queen caught 56 albacore last week.
Central Coast Sportfishing
Twenty-six passengers aboard the Rita G caught one lingcod, 78 red rockcod, 111 assorted rockfish, nine bocaccio, 20 coppers, and four ocean whitefish.
Jackpot winners were Charles Eskew of Bakersfield, 8-5 red rockcod, and Roosevelt Vickers, Bakersfield, 7-0 red rockcod.
For reservations and trip schedules, call 772-3474 or 704-2084.
Santa Margarita Lake
Frank Fernandes of Santa Maria and son Louis, both tournament bass fishermen, caught a 20-pound, 7-ounce bass limit Sunday. Their bag was anchored by a 9-pound, 9-ounce fish.
They were fishing by the dam with chartreuse Senkos.
Marina operator Don Lopez says the best bass fishing is early or in the evening. An unidentified angler trolling in the White Oak area of the lake last Friday caught a trout estimated to measure 18 or 20 inches.
The grandsons of marina operator Jerry Weatherly — Oren and Chase Weatherly of Atascadero — caught a 2-pound bluegill while fishing off the F dock with a red worm.
Just one angler showed up for the third straight week. There have been seven consecutive weeks with no fish. The reservoir has been open for 23 weeks (115 days) and just 22 trout have been caught.