Plan B worked just fine for the winners of Tri Valley’s split weigh-in event at Santa Margarita Lake on Saturday.
Jeff Hodges and Bud Aquino had anticipated good results fishing grass mats. That didn’t happen. Their luck changed casting Lucky Craft CB D20 lures off a deep lake point.
The two Tackle Warehouse employees culled one fish, choosing to weigh only three bass at 11 a.m. After a four-hour interlude that included the club’s traditional family barbecue, Hodges and Aquinto returned to the same productive point.
“I caught our best fish of the tournament (6.49 pounds), and Bud contributed two solid fish on Strike King 6XD lures, enabling us to cull a smaller fish,” Hodges said.
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Their winning weight was 27.02 pounds.
Tackle Warehouse partner Rich Zeilenga and Mark Hinson placed second, fishing swim jigs and square bill crankbaits for a 24.74 weight. An afternoon battery issue caused two fish to die, resulting in a four-tenths of a pound penalty.
Bassmaster Elite pro Jared Lintner and son J.C., 11, placed fourth with a 20.22 bag. Tackle Warehouse is Lintner’s main sponsor.
With one event left, Dana and Clayton Chatterly, who placed third, own a 22-point lead in the standings.
The year’s biggest fish, a 9.24-pound largemouth, was caught by Eddie Davidson and Josh Brard.
Tri Valley Top 10, Number of Fish, Weight
1. Jeff Hodges, Arroyo Grande, Bud Aquinto, Grover Beach, 6, 27.02 pounds; 2. Mark Hinson, San Luis Obispo, Rich Zeilenga, Oceano, 6* 24.74 pounds; 3. Dana & Clayton Chatterly, Lompoc, 6, 21.88 pounds; 4. Jared & J.C. Lintner, Arroyo Grande, 6, 20.22 pounds; 5. Eddie Davidson, Josh Brard, Atascadero, 3, 17.26 pounds; 6. Frank Fernandes, Janet Ross, Santa Maria, 5, 17.22 pounds; 7. Dave Wills, Chase Casteneda, Atascadero, 6, 16.80 pounds; 8. Nick Salvucci, Paso Robles, Tony Salvucci, Atascadero, 5, 15.69 pounds; 9. Austin Bonjour, Graham Grove, Atascadero, 6, 15.61 pounds; 10. Johnny Johnson, Santa Maria, Rob Marquez, Orcutt, 6, 14.88 pounds.
1st Big Fish, 9.24 pounds, E. Davidson & Brard: 2nd Big Fish, 6.49 pounds, Hodges & Aquinto.
*Two of their six fish died, reducing their bonus weight from 1.20 pounds to .80.
Jerry May celebrated his 71st birthday a month late Saturday by winning the SLO County Bass Ambushers’ night tournament at Lake San Antonio.
Prior to moving to Paso Robles earlier this year, he was a tournament fisherman out of Bakersfield with experience competing at San Antonio, and at night.
Using crankbaits, Senkos and jigs, he landed nine fish during the 6:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. competition. His 12.01-pound limit paid $337. His best previous Ambusher finish was seventh.
Twenty-three of the 27 entrants caught at least one fish with 10 limits. Big fish honors went to Greg Hanley of Paso Robles with a 3.88-pound bass.
Ambushers Top 10, Number of Fish, Weight, Winnings
1. Jerry May, Paso Robles, 5, 12.01 pounds, $337; 2. John Veola, San Luis Obispo, 5, 11.21 pounds, $202; 3. Jeremy Lewis, Atascadero, 5, 11.05 pounds, $76; 4. Marc Hazuka, Atascadero, 5, 10.07 pounds, $59; 5. Grant Koontz, Monterey, 5, 9.98 pounds; 6. Greg Hanley, Paso Robles, 3, 9.74 pounds; 7. Terry Wolf, Santa Margarita, 5, 9.50 pounds; 8. Jeff McAdams, Monterey, 4, 9.38 pounds; 9. Jacob Lewis, Atascadero. 4, 9.35 pounds; 10. Steve Bereda, Santa Margarita, 5, 8.48 pounds.
1st Big Fish, 3.88 pounds, Hanley, $130.
Cal Poly duo in bass nationals
For the first time in the eight-year history of the Carhartt Bassmaster National Championship, Cal Poly will have a team participating. Representing Cal Poly the Aug. 1-3 event will be San Luis Obispo’s Kyle Greenlaw and Oak Park’s John Zeolla.
Young Harris College of Young Harris, Ga., will host 68 two-angler teams from 49 colleges and universities
Greenlaw and Zeolla qualified for the nationals in April at the Carhartt Western Conference Regional at Clear Lake. The duo has competed in Western Conference FLW tournaments this year.
After two days, the field will be cut to five teams. The top four teams in the championship round advance to the Carhartt College Series Classic Bracket which will be held in conjunction with the Bassmaster Elite Series post season tournament Sept. 27-29 at Muskegon, Mich.
Port San Luis Boatyard
Nick Webster, 15, fishing with his uncle Don Gheno from Santa Maria, reeled in a 26-pound, 1-ounce halibut Sunday to win Whopper of the Week honors. The Hanover, Va., youth caught the largest halibut of the year and the year’s third-largest Whopper of the Week.
Last week’s catch included 18 halibut, 121 lingcod and four salmon by anglers aboard 133 launched boats. Full rockcod limits were posted six days.
Nineteen anglers on a two-day private charter had squid for bait. Those anglers caught 8 lingcod, 260 red rockcod and 120 assorted rockfish. Chris Cassero of Baldwin Park was a double-jackpot winner with 17- and 19-pound lingcod.
The next open party two-day trip is scheduled for Aug. 17-18. Cost is $235. Call 772-1222 or go to www.virgs.com for reservations and and trip schedules.
Jackpot winners included: Kevin Hill, Lompoc, and Chris England, Visalia, both 14-0 lings, Jerry Reed, Hanford, 12-0 ling, Jesse Spencer, San Luis Obispo, and Kengi Nakagawa, Lodi, both 10-0 lings, Ralph Bush, San Luis Obispo, Davey Davis, Morro Bay, Rick Macias, Oxnard, Gabriel Ochoa, Hanford and Roy Castillo, Porterville, all 8-0 lings, Trent Pike, San Diego, 5-0 red rockcod, Ian Wakeman, Carlsbad, 4-0 white belly.
A North Edwards Air Force Base angler, Robert Groves, had last week’s biggest fish, an 11-pound, 8-ounce lingcod.
Other jackpot winners included: Kevin Rhea, Visalia, 10-12 ling, Gene Savay, Lompoc, and David Bringley, Santa Maria, both 10-0 lings, Aaron Andersen, Grover Beach, and Jeff Parsons, Shafter, both 9-0 lings, Randy Daugherty, Fresno, Jesse Tafolla, Armona, and Jonas Ellis, Lakewood, CO, all 8-0 lings, Tyler Zuber, Fresno, 7-0 ling, Freddie Cardenas, Visalia, and Rey Marroquin, McFarland, both 6-0 lings, and Gavin Kidd, Kona, HI., 5-0 ling.
For reservations on Saturday’s all-day 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. trip and the full schedule, call 595-7200 or go online to www.patriotsportfising.com.
Only one trout was caught last week. On Sunday, Jeff Minkler bagged a 17-inch fish. It was his 10th fish, all taken on worms. He ranks second, only to leader Jeremy Harkins, who has caught 22 trout. Only five anglers showed up.
Mike Collins, using hot dogs for bait Monday, caught a 7-pound catfish. Most anglers are being skunked, notes Heritage Ranch reporter Dave Rymal.
Randy Van Otterloo reports these recent catches: A 4 1⁄2-pound largemouth by Freddy Gonzales on a Bumble Bee jig, a 2-pound, 1-ounce bluegill by Paul Lopez on a white jig and a crappie and a bluegill near two pounds on jigs. Warm water has sent trout from the the trio of 900-pound plants to the bottom of the lake.
The catfish bite held up. Anglers soaked cut mackerel around Arrowhead Island and Cachuma Bay for fish to six pounds. Bass were scattered. Nightcrawlers produced the most fish. Only a handful of trout were taken by anglers who got their bait down to 40 and 50 feet.