Central Coast competitive bass fishing is plunging into 2012-13 campaigns with a gusto created by new alliances, reassessed objectives and newcomers to skirmishes on water playgrounds.
The first of six events to end 2012 was held Saturday. Nacimiento Lake was the venue and typical for that site, the standings were determined by hundredths of a pound.
Atop the standings were two Salinas tandems quite familiar with Nacimiento Lake. All four anglers consider either Nacimiento or San Antonio their home lake — sites where they honed their angling skills.
“It was nice to defeat them for a change,” Sam James said as he Tom Nieto eked out a win over the father-son duo of Steven and Bryan Grier — 9.05 pounds to 9.03. The difference in winnings was $660.
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Nieto and James pocketed $1,905 while the Griers earned $1,245 bolstered by the event’s big fish, 3.16 pounds.
Nieto and James are back together for WON Bass Central Coast events for the new season after fishing with different partners last season. James will be going to Clear Lake in two weeks to compete in the WON TOC with partner Chris Rains. They placed fourth in the 2011-12 standings.
Nieto, who grew up fishing Nacimiento Lake, said: “We fished worms and Senkos in 15 to 20 feet of water. Our limit was all spots. We caught about 10 fish on worms and five or six on crankbaits.”
James, who calls San Antonio his fishing laboratory, said: “We made a key catch 45 minutes prior to weigh-in that provided our margin of victory.”
Fourteen of the 19 teams entered weighed five-fish limits.
Renewing their tournament partnership at Santa Margarita on Saturday in the American Bass Pacific Region opener will be John White, 71, of San Luis Obispo and Fred Ledesma, 54, of Soledad. They met when Ledesma was 19 at San Antonio and fished as a team for the first time in 1980 in a Western Bass tourney.
WON Bass Top 10, (all 5-fish limits) Weight, Winnings
1. Tom Nieto, Sam James, Salinas, 9.05 pounds, $1,905; 2. Bryan & Steven Grier, Salinas, 9.03 pounds, $1,245; 3. Kyle & Nick Gregg, 7.15 pounds, $545; 4. Aaron Quarles, Nipomo, Dave Solis, Antioch, 7.02 pounds, $305; 5. Reggie Peinado, Joey Baldacchino, Nipomo, 7.00 pounds, $75; 6. Neal Franklin, Atascadero, Clay Gates, Paso Robles, 6.15 pounds, $255; 7. Dennis & Denny Polm, Bakersfield, 6.12 pounds; 8. David Dunn, Clayton Pool, 6.00 pounds; 9. Mike Pierce, King City, John Shaw, Fresno, 5.87 pounds; 10. Dan Frazier, Arroyo Grande, David Frazier, Westminster, 5.83 pounds.
1st Big Fish, 3.16 pounds, Grier & Grier; 2nd Big Fish, 2.69 pounds, Franklin & Gates.
Bass tourney series begins
One event remains for this season — the WON Bass TOC at Clear Lake Nov. 17-18.
On the coattails of the WON Bass Central Coast, the American Bass Pacific Region opener is Saturday at Santa Margarita Lake. On Nov. 17, the successful 101 Bass series begins its second season at Santa Margarita.
If interested, contact Bobby Doss ABA Pacific tournament director, at 680-3180 or Jim Slusher, of the 101 Series, at 237-0549.
Port San Luis Boatyard
Thirty-four albacore were caught Nov. 1 by anglers aboard private boats dispatched at the Sports Launch. It was the only day when tuna catches were logged.
Seventy-three boats were launched. The catch included 100 lingcod and 11 halibut. Full rockcod limits were registered five days, three-quarter and half limits one day each.
Grover Beach fisherman Lance Jobelt seized Whopper of the Week honors with the catch of a 20-pound halibut Sunday.
The trio of winners of the third segment (September and October) of Patriot’s eighth-annual Lingcod Contest are: First: Jordan Bruce, Bakersfield with a 16-pound, 12-ounce ling caught Sept. 23; second: Martin Gamboa, Visalia, with a 16-pound 8-ounce ling caught Oct. 4; third: Kyle Hensley, Bakersfield, with a 15-pound, 12-ounce ling caught Oct. 12. The awards were $300, $200, and $100.
The final chapter of the 2012 contest began Nov. 1 and concludes Dec. 16.
Any angler who purchases his or her fare is automatically entered in the Lingcod Contest.
Patriot again will offer rockcod and crab combo trips every Wednesday and Friday beginning Wednesday. Fares for the 8-hour (6 a.m. to 2 p.m.) trips are $68. The crew pulls crab pots and distributes the catch to anglers aboard then the quest for lingcod begins at Pt. Sal or Pt. Purisma.
For reservations and trip schedules, call 595-7200.
Last week’s jackpot winners were: Dan Dunlap, Ft. Mojave, Ariz., 14-8 ling; Colby Venancio, Grover Beach, 14-0 ling; Josh Knapp, Arroyo Grande, 11-0 ling; Andrew Foss, Nipomo, 8-0 ling; Kent Aune, Bakersfield, 6-0 ling, and John Miranda, Oceano, 5-0 ling.
The catch by 139 anglers last week included 71 lingcod, 394 red rockcod, 304 assorted rockfish, 333 bolina and four cabezon.
A 24-pound albacore caught by Bruce Ely of West Los Angeles topped last week’s jackpots. The next tuna run will leave tonight with fishing Friday. Sixteen anglers harvested 26 longfins on the Nov. 4-5 trip. Tuna fares are $180.
Call 772-1222 for reservations and trip schedules.
Ladies Day trips from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. are scheduled Wednesdays. Ladies pay $49 and males pay $59.
An overnight trip departs Saturday afternoon. Anglers fish Pacific Valley and Point Lopez and may bring back two limits of fish. Cost is $230.
Other jackpot winners were Fernando Ramirez, Arroyo Grande, 16-0 ling; Mark Masicampo, San Luis Obispo and Larry Tuck, Shafter, both 14-0 lings; Paul Lee, Paso Robles, 10-0 ling; and Mick Walker, Atascadero, 7-0 bocaccio.
The catch by 199 patrons last week included 134 lingcod, 626 red rockcod, 731 assorted rockfish, one cabezon and one bocaccio.
Thirteen anglers turned out during the 28th week of fishing at the reservoir. Just two trout were caught, both by Tom Pickett — a 15-inch Nov. 1 and a 10-inch Saturday. Both were bagged on lures. Only six of the total catch of 107 fish have been taken on lures. Worms is this year’s most productive bait having duped 59 fish. PowerBait is the second-best producer, yielding 28 trout. Through 137 days of fishing, 640 anglers have tried their luck. Just six days remain in the season, which closes after fishing Nov. 15.
Santa Margarita Lake
Sardines was the bait of choice for 8-year-old Jack Flick of Nipomo on Saturday when he caught a 5-pound, 1-ounce bass. Catfish weighing 10 pounds, 6 ounces and 7 pounds, 4 ounces were caught the same day by Debra Ferrara of Nipomo in Murphy’s Bay using sardines. “Fishing for bass and catfish is picking up,” marina manager Don Lopez said.
Arroyo Grande’s Lou Denny and a friend recently caught catfish weighing 21, 20 and 17 pounds on mackerel. Fishing in Cottonwood Cove with 4-pound test line, Michael Masicampo landed an 8-pound bass.
Limits of healthy spotted bass were caught by Jack and Brad Foster and Bunky Charles, jigging Real Image lures by the dam. Heritage Ranch reporter Dave Rymal and Mel Moore caught and released 42 spots employing Tiny Torpedo and Pop Rs.
This week several sources reported catching long, skinny fish that appeared to be infected with parasites.
Shore fishermen in particular benefited from the 4,000-pound trout plant from the Nov. 1 Calaveras Trout Farm. Shore anglers positioned on either side of the marine buoy line were rewarded with limits. PowerBait and Kastmasters worked best for fish up to six pounds. The planter fish had not as yet been acclimated to new surroundings so trollers did not do well. Mackerel is producing the best for catfish in The Narrows and Little Cachuma Bay.