Dan Barrios of San Luis Obispo, who is in his sixth year of competitive bass fishing, was the No. 1 qualifier Friday in the Nacimiento Lake regional tournament that attracted 32 entrants. He and seven other top finishers will advance to the California State Bass Championship event.
Barrios’ 52nd birthday was two days early. Playing a key role in his winning effort was a small swimbait.
“Twenty of my 35 fish went for this prototype bait designed by Scott Garman of Morro Bay,” Barrios said. “He gave me three baits two days prior to the tournament.”
Garman, President of Prime Target Swimbaits, said: “My Crunch Minnow won’t be on the market for six months.” He described the 5-inch bait as having “a light pearl under belly, a watermelon topside with a hook on top.”
Added Barrios: “In addition to the swimbait harvest, I caught five fish on jigs, one on a crankbait and the rest on Senkos.”
His winning 9.40-pound limit was 56-hundredths of a pound more than repeat qualifier Jim Keeney of Paso Robles, who had an 8.84-pound limit.
Seven of the eight men advancing to the championship finals are either from the Central Coast or regularly compete in local tourneys. The site of the June 2-3 title event will be announced soon.
Joining Keeney as a repeat qualifier from the Nacimiento competition is Arroyo Grande’s Casey Langley, who placed fifth. Others advancing are Jay Short of Templeton, and Steve Bereda if Santa Margarita.
Reigning state champion Dale Ball of Creston will attempt to qualify to defend his crown at a May 20 regional at Bullard’s Bar Reservoir near Marysville. Two other regionals have yet to be held. Twenty-five percent of the total entries in each will earn state tournament berths.
Tri Valley Club tournament
Stanley Beebe and Andy Levy made the right decision Saturday opting to fish one of their favorite lakes — Lopez Lake. As a result, they won their first tournament together, a Tri Valley Club tournament that attracted 32 teams.
The team has been fishing three different series and chose the club event over a conflicting Angler’s Choice competition.
In the tourney’s final hour, Levy flipped for a 6.28-pound bass on a creature bait. The event’s big fish enabled them to upgrade and wib by 1.33 pounds with a six-fish weight of 22.89 pounds.
Most of their nine fish came out of the Wittenberg Arm, including a 5-pounder by Beebe. The win was an early birthday present for Beebe, who turns 31 today.
Tri Valley Top 10 (all 6-fish team limits), Weight —1. Stan Beebe, San Luis Obispo, Andy Levy, Grover Beach, 22.89 pounds; 2. Jeff Hodges, Bud Aquino, Arroyo Grande, 21.56 pounds; 3. Dana & Clayton Chatterly, Lompoc, 19.23 pounds; 4. Johnny Johnson, Rob Marquez, Santa Maria, 18.10 pounds; 5. Brad Shepherd, Clark Endres, Atascadero, 17.95 pounds; 6. Gene Gray, Dusty Kahler, Atascadero, 17.90 pounds; 7. Shawn Wilson, Sam Sawdey, Paso Robles, 17.63 pounds; 8. Bill & Pat Twomey, Lompoc, 16.87 pounds; 9. Brad Lum, Joey Reggio, San Luis Obispo, 16.59 pounds; 10. Matt Pigeon, Shawn Hoover, 15.77 pounds.1st Big Fish, 6.28 pounds, Beebe & Levy; 2nd Big Fish, 5.90 pounds, Hodges & Aquino.
Bass competitions held on local lakes traditionally attract teams from out of the area. But it has been forever since the top four places were held by nonlocals. Two Salinas duos and one each from Bakersfield and Soledad finished 1-2-3-4 in an Angler’s Choice test Saturday at Nacimiento.
As a result, 83 percent of the Angler’s Choice winnings ($3,190) left the area.
Santa Maria’s Bobby Doss and San Luis Obispo’s John White were the highest-placing local entry. However, their fifth-place purse paid only $60.
Big-fish honors went to Tom Ryan of Paso Robles. A Senko he pitched into shallow water produced a 2.75-pound bass worth $410. He and teammate Jim Keeney placed sixth.
Tom Nieto and Mike Tuck, both of Salinas, won with a 9.18-pound limit worth $2,050.
Angler’s Choice Top 10 (all 5-fish limits), Weight, Winnings — 1. Tom Nieto, Mike Tuck, Salinas, 9.18 pounds, $2,050; 2. Jason Newby, Mike Stiles, Bakersfield, 9.10 pounds, $610; 3. Fred & Freddy Ledesma, Soledad, 9.08 pounds, $430; 4. Bryan & Steven Grier, Salinas, 9.00 pounds, $100; 5. Bobby Doss, Santa Maria, John White, San Luis Obispo, 8.95 pounds, $60; 6. Jim Keeney, Tom Ryan, 8.66 pounds, 7. Carlos & Jacob Vasquez, Soledad, 8.63 pounds; 8. Ron Raymond, Bryan Vogt, Paso Robles, 8.54 pounds; 9. Roger Haas, Bob Simmons, Morro Bay, 8.01 pounds; 10. Nick Salvucci, San Miguel, 7.97 pounds.1st Big Fish, 2.75 pounds, Ryan & Keeney, $410; 2nd Big Fish, 2.32 pounds, Raymond & Vogt, $230. WON Bass Pro-Am at Delta (Two-Day Weigtht) Pro Division— 33. Ken Sauret, Paso Robles 26.28 pounds; 42. Darrin Bishop, Paso Robles, 23.31 pounds. Amateur Division — 3. Del Bishop, Templeton 44.05 pounds; 6. Joe Gardiner, Cal Poly, SLO, 40.10 pounds; 50. Scott Hellesen, Cal Poly, SLO, 15.42 pounds.
Port San Luis Boatyard
Arroyo Grande’s Roger Cabonce claimed the $100 and free lunch by catching the season’s first salmon from a boat dispatched from the Sports Launch. It happened April 14, first day of the offer. On Friday, Debi Wood of Arroyo Grande caught the second salmon and earned the lunch or breakfast prize. Twelve boats were launched during the week ending Sunday and two salmon were caught.
A salmon and crab trip is planned Saturday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Cost is $80 for adults, $60 for children 12 and under. Patriot Sportfishing is closed on Easter. Salmon and crab trips are slated for Monday, Wednesday, and April 29-30. Reservations are being taken for rockcod trips beginning May 1.
Cost for adult five-hour trips is $51, $66 for an eight-hour trip and $78 for a 10-hour trip. Cost for children 12 and under is $35 for a five-hour trip, $45 for an eight-hour trip and $52 for a 10-hour trip.
Call 595-7200 for reservations.
Ten anglers caught two salmon and 60 dungeness crabs Friday. Ten passengers took 48 dungeness crabs and no salmon Tuesday.
Salmon fishing trips are scheduled for today, Saturday and April 28. Cost of the trips, which are from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., are $89.
Call 772-1222 for reservations and more information.
On the Tuesday salmon trip, 15 passengers got only one short.
Dave Rymal reports: “White bass fishing is getting better and better. There are some boils. Trolled Shad Raps are doing really well with catches of from five to 20 fish or more for each boat. Spotted bass are being taken on Senkos.”
Thirteen-year-old Joey Master of Arroyo Grande caught a 91⁄2-pound largemouth on a Rapala. Kevin Hang of Lompoc reeled in a 10-pound, 9-ounce bass by the boathouse on a spinnerbait.
Jerry Weatherly has 700 dyed boiled eggs ready for the 10 a.m. Easter egg hunt Sunday at the Campabello Campgrounds.
Santa Margarita Lake
Fishing has been very good for bass and a few catfish, marina operator Don Lopez said.
Whale Rock Reservoir
Trout fishing will open April 30. Fishing is permitted Wednesdays through Sundays. The facility is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.