Dusty Kahler of Atascadero and partner Nick Salvucci of San Miguel won the final Central Coast WON Bass tournament Saturday at Santa Margarita Lake, clinching Angler of the Year honors.
They had 11 keeper bites and reeled in six of them, a rarity in this event where nine of the 34 teams drew blanks.
Salvucci’s catch of a 1 3⁄4-pound bass on a frog late in the noon to 6 p.m. event enabled him to earn his third Angler of the Year laurels. Earlier he and Jared Lintner cemented titles in American Bass Pacific Coast and Angler’s Choice Central Coast series.
A 5.24-pound bass caught by Kahler on a Horny Toad presentation anchored the winners’ 14.56-pound limit. Tourney officials reported only one other limit.
Big Fish honors and a runner-up placing went to Dan Barrios and Justin Goodman.
“The big one (8.11 pounds) blew up on Justin’s frog and disappeared. I was at the back of the boat and cast into the location,” Barrios said. “I got an immediate bite and had to reel slowly by a tree as I was spooled with 5-pound test Maxim fluorocarbon line. Justin netted the fish. Luckily it was in the net when the hook came out.”
The big fish enabled Barrios and Goodman to place second with a 13.47 weight for three fish.
WON Bass Top 10, No. Fish, Weight, Winnings
1. Dusty Kahler, Atascadero, Nick Salvucci, San Miguel, 5, 14.56 pounds, $1,080; 2. Dan Barrios, Justin Godwin, San Luis Obispo, 3, 13.47 pounds, $830; 3. Graham Grove, Atascadero, Mark Scribner, Pismo Beach, 4, 12.67 pounds, $650; 4. Jason Letterman, Chris Rains, Salinas, 4, 11.42 pounds, $400; 5. Eddie & Aaron Davidson, Atascadero, 3, 11.24 pounds, $280; 6. Danny Knotts, Santa Maria, Tim Sharpe, Grover Beach, 3, 9.39 pounds, $160; 7. Erik Zillig, Cambria, Damon Meeks, Atascadero, 2, 9.22 pounds, $110; 8. Byron Hallett, Templeton, George Stamper, Paso Robles, 4, 9.16 pounds; 9. Dustin Isbell, Calvin Long, Vandenberg Village, 3, 7.65 pounds; 10. Neal Franklin, Atascadero, Rudy Rowlett, Paso Robles, 3, 7.36 pounds. 1st Big Fish, 8.11 pounds, Barrios & Goodman, $380; 2nd Big Fish, 6.23 pounds, Grove & Scribner, $260.
A major goal was achieved by Arroyo Grande’s Jared Lintner last week as he qualified for the 2012 Bassmaster Classic by finishing in 22nd place among 99 Bassmaster Elite pros.
He has 1,601 points for the season, including his sixth top-10 placement, a fourth last week at Georgia’s West Point Lake. The 37-year-old finished in the money in six of the eight events, earning $60,000. Lintner will compete in his third Classic. He placed 19th in the 2007 Classic and 20th in 2008.
Saltwater regulations update
On June 9, the Department of Fish & Game reduced the minimum length for legal lingcod from 24 to 22 inches. The cabezon limit has been increased from two to three in a 10-fish rockcod limit.
An overnight trip to fish San Simeon and Lopez Point is scheduled this weekend. Departure will be at 3 p.m. Saturday and return late Sunday afternoon. Cost is $205. For reservations and more information, call 772-1222.
Fifty-five lingcod were caught last week by 178 passengers. Also caught were 988 red rockcod, 624 assorted rockfish, 98 coppers and seven bocaccio. Jackpot winners were: Dennis Zack, Santa Cruz, 15-0 ling; Jacoby Sealy, Atascadero, 14-0 ling; Jeff Bruim, Bakersfield, 12-0 ling; Chris Miser, Tulare, 11-0 ling; Ralph Boone, Cambria, 10-0 ling and Wesley Mendoza, Atascadero, 8-0 ling.
Central Coast Sportfishing
Blaine Ulrich-Walker of Bakersfield had the big fish of the week, a 9-pound red rockcod.
Other jackpot winners were Ryan Taylor, Atascadero, 7-pound red rockcod, and Matt Duffy, Morro Bay, 5-pound red rockcod. Last week 54 passengers caught 11 lingcod, 230 red rockcod, 116 assorted rockfish, 104 coppers and two kelp greenling.
For trip schedules and reservations, call 772-3474 or 704-2084.
Last week 121 lingcod were caught. Jackpot winners were: Mark Sullivan, Lakewood, 13-0 ling; Aaron Burt, Taft, Alan Gilstray, Fresno, Kirk Stiltz, Three Rivers, Sean Hudson, Simi Valley, all 10-0 lings; Tim Douglas, Nipomo, Mike Wilson, Morro Bay, both 9-0 lings; David McDermott, Three Rivers, 8-4 ling; Phillip Rothenrecher, Creston, 8-0 ling; Danielle Thomas, Lompoc, 7-8 ling; Rod Jared, Visalia, 6-0 ling; Joe Torres, Arroyo Grande, 6-0 red rockcod; Nick Thomas, Visalia, 5-6 ling; Val Tofan, Fresno, and Oscar Hjerrild, Templeton, both 5-0 lings.
The catch by 443 anglers also included 495 red rockcod, 2,313 assorted rockfish, 558 bolina, 26 cabezon, 83 Dungeness crab, 15 rock crab, 20 kelp greenling, one halibut and one rock sole.
Through June 8, Patriot anglers had caught 162 legal lingcod. In the 10 days since the lingcod minimum length was reduced from 24 to 22 inches (June 9-19), Patriot clients have caught 155 lingcod.
For schedules and reservations, call 595-7200. Combo rockcod and crab trips are planned for June 29 and June 30.
Port San Luis Boatyard
Eighty-four lingcod, 19 salmon, three halibut and two sole were in last week’s catch when three-quarter to full limits of rockcod were caught most days. Skip Goldsworthy of Santa Maria earned Whopper of the Week honors with the catch of a 27-pound, 2-ounce salmon Sunday.
Spencer Hanley is a budding fishing star. The 4-year-old grandson of Greg Hanley of Heritage Ranch caught a 2-pound crappie late last week.
Dave Rymal, my Heritage Ranch reporter, says anglers are catching crappie around downed trees in coves. Rymal needed only an hour June 16 to harvest 25 whites on a Rapala surface popper. The white bass bite is good.
“Just find a boil and you’ll catch a lot of fish. A friend caught 100 last week.
Dip Creek and Las Tablas have been the most productive locations,” Rymal said.
Santa Margarita Lake
Bass fishing improved early this week. Mike Garret of Moorpark caught a limit within three hours Wednesday morning. Only two limits were caught by 34 teams in a WON Bass tournament Saturday.
Marina manager Don Lopez says bluegill and redear catches have been steady. More crappie are showing, including a 2 3⁄4-pounder.
Santa Maria’s Gary Swell drop shotted for a 71⁄2-pound largemouth in the Wittenberg Arm on June 16.
Arroyo Grande’s Michael Blakely used a Rat-L-Trap on June 17 for a 5-pound largemouth, also in Wittenberg. Nine-year-old Rylea Summit of Taft caught a 11⁄2-pound bluegill on a nightcrawler Saturday in Cottonwood Cove. Taft’s Ricky Summit, 13, reeled in a 1 1⁄4-pound redear Sunday while dunking a nightcrawler at Vista Lago.
Bow fishing for carp is rated “excellent” while angling for trout is labeled “good.”
Marina manager Ken Hemer says: “Drifting nightcrawlers in 20 to 25 feet of water has been the best way to catch rainbows. Trolling three to four colors of leadcore line with dodger-crawler combos is working some. The bass bite has improved. Largemouths are taking a variety of baits from jigs to Senkos and blades.”
Seven of the 21 fish caught in the 38 days the reservoir has been open have been caught by Gary Collier, five on lures and two on worms. Collier caught a 10-inch trout Saturday.
Last week’s other fish, also 10 inches, was landed on cheese by Eli Engert on Sunday. The 27 who turned out were the most of the season. The reservoir is open for fishing Wednesdays through Sundays.