The only woman in the field of 69 anglers in Saturday’s WON Bass tournament at Lopez Lake stole some of the limelight from a veteran team that registered a win for the first time since December, 2009.
Grover Beach’s Casey Langley and partner Aaron Quarles from San Luis Obispo won the tournament.
Quarles managed to pre fish for the event and found fish in the Wittenberg Arm.
“That’s where we caught all but two of our 10 fish using swimbaits, jigs and flipping,” Langley said.
Langley did have a recent feel for Lopez Lake conditions. Fishing on an individual basis two weeks earlier, he placed second in an Ambushers tournament.
In winning by a shade over a pound with a 22.7-pound limit, Langley and Quarles earned $1,110, including third big-fish honors (5.71 pounds).
While his partner (Dale Ball) was at work at sea, Santa Margarita’s Steve Bereda logged a second-place finish with a 21.65-pound limit by flipping into bushes. It enabled the team to widen their first-place lead to 15 points with three events ahead.
And now to Heather Raymond.
Raymond, 22, was doing what she loves to do — fishing with her father.
She wasted little time in assuring this was going to be a special day. At 7:15 a.m., she caught the team’s first fish on a drop shot.
“At first glance my dad thought it was an 8-pounder,” Raymond said.
“I had the fish near the boat and it tried to jump, but when I put my rod down, it just swam down a little bit and I reeled it up for my dad to net.”
The fish actually weighed 6.71 pounds and was worth $420 as the tournament’s biggest fish.
“I was excited, but I think dad was more excited than I was,” Raymond said. “I’ve been fishing with him since I was 3 years old. I still live in Bakersfield, but I try to come to the coast as often as I can to fun fish with him.”
The catch bettered Heather’s previous best bass catch of 6.48 pounds set in 2010 at Santa Margarita Lake.
Special kudos to rookie tournament director Joe Gardiner. The Cal Poly senior went beyond the call of duty to forward tournament statistics while dealing with a family emergency at his home in Bakersfield.
WON Bass Top 10, (All 5-fish limits) Weight, Winnings
1. Casey Langley, Grover Beach, Aaron Quarles, San Luis Obispo, 22.70 pounds, $1110; 2. Steve Bereda, Santa Margarita, 21.65 pounds, $845; 3. Jerry Williams, Willy Tompkins, Porterville, 21.06 pounds, $685; 4. Nick Salvucci, San Miguel, Dusty Kahler, Atascadero, 19.94 pounds, $400; 5. Jay Short, Templeton, Gene Gray, Atascadero, 18.92 pounds, $280; 6. Shawn Lee, Arroyo Grande, Ken Sauret, Paso Robles, 17.91 pounds, $160; 7. Darrin Bishop, Paso Robles, Del Bishop, Templeton, 17.67 pounds, $120; 8. Tom Nieto, Sam James, Salinas, 16.43 pounds, $60; 9. Mark Pollorena, Los Alamos, Ron Morrison, Lompoc, 15.83 pounds; 10.Danny Knotts, Santa Maria, Tim Sharpe, Grover Beach, 15.67 pounds.
1st Big Fish, 6.71 pounds, Heather and Ron Raymond, $420; 2nd Big Fish, 5.94 pounds, Tray Williams, Tony Day, Porterville, $270; 3rd Big Fish, 5.71 pounds, Langley & Quarles, $110.
Dave Rymal reports that white bass have moved into The Narrows, which is the staging area prior to the spawn. The whites aren’t biting but crappie are on mini jigs.
Santa Margarita Lake
Marina manager Don Lopez said Jeremy Dyer of Paso Robles, caught a 9-pound, 4-ounce bass Wednesday drop shotting a 3-inch plastic worm by the marina. Santa Maria 8-year-old cousins, Matthew and Cole Simms, caught 21⁄2-pound and 11⁄2-pound bass, respectively, on crawlers March 12.