Last season’s WON Bass Central Coast Anglers of the Year, Danny Knotts and Tim Sharpe, notched their second tourney championship of 2012 when they won at one of their favorite venues Saturday — Santa Margarita Lake. In the process they kept loftier goals within reach.
They’re aiming for a berth in the Tournament of Champions at Clear Lake and another AOY crown. They have two tournaments remaining — June 9 at Lopez Lake and back at Santa Margarita Lake on July 21.
Winning an AOY crown again may be a stretch, but qualifying for Clear Lake certainly is within their grasp. This year they were victorious at Lopez in February and placed fourth at Margarita in March. Performances at Margarita in 2011 (fifth, second and sixth) played a key role in cementing AOY honors.
By season’s end they will have met the five tourney entry requirement and barring a hiccup, they figure to be in the top 35 percent in points, a Clear Lake requisite.
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Fishing primarily in the main body of the lake, Knotts and Sharpe probed outside weed edges for 15 to 18 fish. Included in the team’s 26.50-pound, five-fish limit was the event’s big fish. Santa Maria’s Knotts caught the 6.51-pound largemouth on an M.S. Slammer. Grover Beach’s Sharpe began contributing to the win once he switched to Slammers.
All but one of the 21 entries brought at least 10.67 pounds to the scales.
WON Bass Central Coast Top 10 (all 5-fish limits)
Total Weight, Winnings
1. Danny Knotts, Santa Maria, Tim Sharpe, Grover Beach, 26.50 pounds, $1,310; 2. Steve Bereda, Santa Margarita, 25.31 pounds, $910; 3. Neal Franklin, Atascadero, Brad Austin, San Miguel, 22.71 pounds, $420; 4. Gene Gray, Atascadero, Jay Short, Templeton, 21.85 pounds; $260; 5. Dana & Clayton Chatterly, Lompoc, 20.30 pounds; 6. Sam Sawdey, Paso Robles, Ralph Sawdey, Shandon, 20.03 pounds; 7. Meade Hedricks, Tom Vienola, Lompoc, 18.61 pounds; 8. Randy McAbee, Sr., Bakersfield, Clark Small Solvang 18.58 pounds; 9. Ken Whalen, Lompoc, Ken Sauret, Paso Robles, 18.46 pounds; 10. Sam James, Chris Rains, Salinas, 18.17 pounds.
1st Big Fish, 6.51 pounds, Knotts & Sharpe, $240; 2nd Big Fish, 6.23 pounds, Bereda, $160.
Although he admittedly is “starting a little late,” 67-year-old Paul Bailey won his first bass tournament May 19 at Nacimiento Lake. Bailey spent a year as a back seater in SLO County Bass Ambushers tournaments and, in the process, became hooked on the sport and a lot more knowledgeable.
In January 2011, he overlooked a fifth fish in his live well and brought only four bass to the scales. He learned the hard way that once you present your catch to the weigh master, rules don’t allow you to rectify your omission.
Bailey not only finished atop the standings in the 20-angler Ambushers’ field, he also was excited about catching the event’s big fish, 3.87 pounds.“Catching that fish on a drop shot about 1 o’clock made my day,” Bailey beamed.
He was additionally thrilled by the fact he was able to put his young back seater, Graham Grove, on fish, enabling him to place fifth with a 9.62-pound limit.
Ambushers Top 10 (All 5-fish limits)
Total Weight, Winnings
1. Paul Bailey, Creston 10.81 pounds, $182.50; 2.Al Rush, Paso Robles, 9.98 pounds; 3. Jim Keeney, Paso Robles, 9.93 pounds; 4. Damon Meeks, Atascadero, 9.76 pounds; 5. Graham Grove, Atascadero, 9.62 pounds; 6. Aaron Davidson, Atascadero, 9.40 pounds; 7. Burt Lund, Atascadero, 9.18 pounds; 8. Austin Bonjour, Atascadero, 9.17 pounds; 9. Marc Hazuka, Atascadero, 9.14 pounds; 10. Jeremy Lewis, Atascadero, 8.99 pounds.1st Big Fish, 3.87 pounds, Bailey, $95.
Port San Luis Boatyard
High winds and large swells kept most private boat owners in port last week. No boats were launched Tuesday through Friday. Twenty-one of the 33 boats dispatched were launched Sunday. Half-rockcod limits were recorded Monday and Sunday and only one-quarter limits Saturday. The catch included six salmon and six lingcod, both Sunday.
Travis Soule of Grover Beach earned Whopper of the Week honors with the catch of an 8-pound lingcod Sunday.
Ten-year-old Caden Nagy of Grover Beach grabbed the lead for whopper honors this week. He caught a 12-pound lingcod Monday. He was fishing with Boatyard employee Harold Lovett. Caden’s dad, Anthony, also works at the Sports Launch.
A 13-pound lingcod caught by Mike Fralicks of Bakersfield was the big fish of the week. Other jackpots winners included: Alfonso Baz, Portugal, Marilyn Mosley, Bakersfield, both 9-0 lings; George Gonzales, Fresno, 8-0 ling; Jose Navarro, Bakersfield, Delbert Inabnit, Armona, both 6-0 lings; and Vincent Workman, Fresno, 5-0 ling.
Last week, 205 anglers caught 52 lingcod, 605 red rockcod and 947 assorted rockfish.
For trip schedules, reservations call 772-1222.
The big fish of the week was an 11-pound lingcod caught by Aric Johnson of Los Osos. Others jackpot winners were: Roger York, San Luis Obispo, and Bill Allen, Lompoc, both 9-0 lings; George Suchand, San Luis Obispo, and Ben Stiers, Clovis, both 8-0 lings; and Jeff Long, Santa Barbara, 7-0 ling.
Forty-six lingcod topped the catch by 181 passengers last week. The catch included 473 red rockcod, 142 assorted rockfish, and two bolina.
For trip schedules and reservations call, 595-7200.
Hawaii resident Stephanie Rymal, while visiting her parents last week at Heritage Ranch, showed her father, Dave, how to fish. Using white grubs, she caught five white bass and a crappie. Dad was skunked.
On Tuesday, Craig Eckert and daughter Dora, along with Dave Rymal, experienced a consistent white bass and crappie bite while fishing from shore using chartreuse grubs.
Employing live shad for bait, Oceano’s Michael Juarez caught largemouth bass weighing 9 pounds and 3 pounds. Roger Alvarez of Santa Maria reeled in a 6 1⁄2-pound largemouth on a Texas rig. Meal worms are working for bluegill.
High winds and cooler temperatures slowed the bass bite. Crankbaits worked in shallow water and a variety of plastics accounted for most of the limits. Catfish in coves and creek channels are dining on mackerel and dough balls. Trout up to 8 pounds were caught near the dam on Dodger/Crawler combos.
Thirty-one anglers turned out for the six-day Memorial Day fishing week. Only two trout were caught, both the same man, who used worms for 15- and 17-inch fish.