In spite of being penalized for his third dead fish of the three-day tournament, Arroyo Grande pro Shawn Lee finished in third place Wednesday in the WON Bass U.S. Open tournament at Lake Mead.
The 47-year-old Lee was docked .20 for a dead fish on Wednesday. That reduced his third day weight to 7.44 pounds and a final bag weight of 30.51 pounds.
Lee, an equine veterinarian with a practice in Arroyo Grande, began the final day of the U.S.Open in second place. He trailed the leader, Chris Bozarth, by a mere .13. While Bozarth skidded to seventh with a 28.02 total weight, Lee was passed by Bassmaster Elite angler Aaron Martens, the ultimate champion, and David Peltier, who jumped up from fifth.
If not for a 0.40 penalty assessed for culling two dead fish on Monday, Lee could have gone into Wedensday with the lead. The third-place finish brought Lee’s grand total winnings to $12,000 for the tournament.
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The champion won a check for $50,000, plus a Nitro Z8 bass boat, Mercury VS 225 horsepower outboard motor, Lowrance electronics and Motor Guide trolling motor.
The pro field includes six of Jared Lintner’s fellow Bassmaster Elite pros — Aaron Martens (3rd), Gary Klein (7th), John Murray (19th), Rick Clunn (21st), plus Fred Roumbanis and Morizo Shimizu.
Morro Bay pro Bob Simmons moved up from 33rd place on Day 1 to finish 11th. Lompoc amateur entrant Pete Manfrina only fished on Monday. His 10.19 limit has him in 85th place.
Atascadero High grad gets 1st win
At the club level of bass tournament competition an 18-year-old rookie entrant, Jesse Wilson, notched his first title. The recent Atascadero High graduate crafted the win in the San Luis Obispo Ambushers’ night tournament at Lake San Antonio.
There were 28 entrants, a majority of them much more experienced than he, but Wilson registered the only limit. And he did it fishing from his father’s 12-foot Valco aluminum boat powered by a 15 hp Evinrude motor. Furthermore, his live well was a Coleman cooler rigged with a Bass Pro Shop aerator.
Fishing Rat L Traps baited with Yum crawdads on 6-pound test line produced a five-fish weight of 9.25 pounds.
“I had the best results fishing real shallow and retrieving very slowly,” Wilson said. “I felt comfortable with my limit, but I found it hard to believe mine was the only limit.”
This is Wilson’s first season of competing after entering the final 2010 club event. He has fished five of the seven 2011 events placing 11th, 3rd, 10th and 5th prior to his July championship. At Lopez in February, he had the big fish at 6.89 pounds. He’s a comer!
Ambushers’ Top 10, No. Fish, Weight, Winnings—1. Jesse Wilson, Atascadero, 5, 9.25 pounds, $45; 2. Jim Keeney, Paso Robles, 4, 8.03 pounds, $262; 3. Austin Bonjour, Atascadero, 3, 7.05 pounds, $51; 4. Al Rush, Paso Robles, 3, 5.90 pounds, $142; 5. Damon Meeks, Atascadero, 3, 5.27 pounds, $50; 6. Jacob Lewis, Atascadero, 3, 4.98 pounds; 7. Neal Franklin, Atascadero, 3, 4.94 pounds; 8. Joey Davis, Atascadero, 2, 3.78 pounds; 9. Mark Meeks, Arroyo Grande, 1, 2.23 pounds; 10. Burt Lund, Atascadero, 1, 2.11 pounds.1st Big Fish, 3.06 pounds, Bonjour, $140.
Salvucci, Kahler take battle with Lintner, son
A trio of anglers accustomed to winning bass tournaments went head to head last Saturday in the annual Tri Valley split weigh-in tournament at Santa Margarita Lake. Contestants participate in a family barbecue between sessions.
Nick Salvucci of San Miguel has partnered with two anglers to win Angler of the Year titles in three venues. Last week, he combined with Atascadero’s Dusty Kahler, his WON Bass buddy, to best Bassmaster Elite pro Jared Lintner, who fished with his 9-year-old son, JC.
Salvucci and Lintner will be competing in postseason events at Clear Lake after heading the talent in both Central Coast Angler’s Choice and Pacific Coast American Bass events
Both Salvucci and Kahler flipped for a 31.67-pound six-fish limit. They caught four fish prior to intermission, but their confidence prompted the release of two.
Still they had an 11.80 pound midway weight. Salvucci, who caught a 5.91 pound fish in the morning, flipped for the event’s second big fish, a 5.97-pounder, in the late session. That fish anchored their weight, which was 4.69 pounds more than Jared and JC brought to the scales.
Young Lintner contributed two fish. The runners-up had a 26.98 bag, including the fourth heaviest fish, 5.57 pounds.
Tri Valley Top 10, No. Fish, Wt. — 1. Nick Salvucci, San Miguel, Dusty Kahler, Atascadero, 6, 31.67 pounds; 2. Jared & J.C. Lintner, Arroyo Grande, 6, 26.98 pounds; 3. Felix Camacho, Nipomo, Ken Camacho, Santa Maria, 6, 25.01 pounds; 4. Gene Gray, Atascadero, Tony Pratt, Paso Robles, 6, 24.33 pounds; 5. Danny Knotts, Bill Lukeman, Santa Maria, 6, 24.01 pounds; 6. Corey Schmidt, Oceano, Neil Twomey, Lompoc, 6, 23.73 pounds; 7. Jeff Hodges, Bud Aquino, Arroyo Grande, 6. 21.12 pounds; 8. Mark Hinson, Chad Steil, San Luis Obispo, 6, 18.60 pounds; 9. Frank Fernandes, Ed Corteguera, Santa Maria, 4, 16.57 pounds; 10. Dana & Clayton Chatterly, Lompoc, 6, 14.65 pounds.1st Big Fish, 6.52 pounds, Hodges & Aquino; 2nd Big Fish, 5.97 pounds, Salvucci & Kahler.
Thirty-one anglers on last weekend’s overnight trip caught 19 lingcod, 372 red rockcod, 62 assorted rockfish and 124 coppers. Eddy Martinez, Baldwin Park, had the big fish, a 14-pound ling. The next overnighter will be July 30 and 31. Call 772-1222 for reservations. Jackpot winners included Ray Chavez, Morro Bay, 12-pound ling, Joe Simonic, Templeton, and Mel Chadwell, Arroyo Grande, both 8-pound lings.
For trip schedules and reservations, call 595-7200. Chris Plunk, Grover Beach, had the week’s biggest fish, an 18-8 ling on July 17. Other area jackpot winners included Tony Castillo, Santa Maria, 9-pound ling; Mike Gregory, Taft, 8-3 ling; Anthony Nagy, Pismo Beach and Paul Feeley, Lompoc, and Danny Bassett, Santa Maria, all 8-pound lings.
Central Coast Sportfishing
Last week’s big fish was a 12-pound ling by Damon Morrison, Visalia. Omar Hernandez, San Miguel, was a jackpot winner with a 6-pound ling. For trip schedules and reservations, call 772-3474 or 704-2084.
Port San Luis Boatyard
Whopper of Week honors went to Pablo Chagolla, San Luis Obispo. He caught a 38-pound halibut July 17. Anglers aboard 74 dispatched boats caught 70 lingcod, 14 halibut and two salmon and had three-quarter to full limits of rockcod.
Kids between the ages of 7 and 15 are invited to a Fishing Workshop from 8:45 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Nature Center. Advance registration is advised. Call 693-0691 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Enrollment is limited to 50. All equipment will be provided. Expert adult anglers will instruct.
Santa Margarita Lake
Dillon Talley, 8, of Atascadero caught a 16-4 catfish Wednesday. Santa Margarita’s Tom Kohl landed a 14-pound catfish July 15 on a nightcrawler. Grover Beach’s Sean Baker reeled in an 11-2 catfish on a nightcrawler July 16. Also on the 16th, Santa Margarita’s Colin Hutchinson caught 9-7 and 8-7 catfish on mackerel.
Heritage Ranch source Dave Rymal reported a quartet of anglers aboard a pontoon boat doing well this week catching both white and spotted bass and crappie by drifting live shad for bait. Fishing hasn’t been very good since the boils have ceased, Rymal said. Rymal caught a 2 ½-pound spotted bass on a leadhead jig.
New marina concessionaire J. Randy Van Otterloo, who took over July 14, will be part of next week’s column. The lone catch reported last week was a 1 1/16th pound redear by Bakersfield’s Paul Higgs, Jr. on July 16.
For only the second week since the facility has been open for fishing, anglers did not catch a trout. The facility has been open 59 days. Ten anglers were blanked last week. This season, 172 anglers have caught 28 trout. The venue is open Wednesdays through Sundays.