Now it can be said officially what has been suspected for quite some time concerning Brad Shepherd of Atascadero.
He is hooked on fishing.
At Saturday’s Tri Valley Tournament weigh-in at Nacimiento Lake several onlookers gasped: “Oh, look he’s got a hook in his finger!”
At a very inopportune time (10 minutes before weigh-in) Shepherd made an errant cast with a crankbait that came back and bit him. The result was a treble hook was embedded just above the nail on a finger in his left hand.
“I cut the bait off the hook and told my partner (Clark Endres) to drive us back to port while I pondered hook removal,” Shepherd said.
“It’s amazing the number of stories I heard fellow anglers tell about similar experiences. And I heard a lot of different ways others have removed hooks.”
Frank Fernandes came to the rescue once he’d finished weigh-master duties. Armed with a pair of pliers, he first received Shepherd’s OK to proceed.
“I nodded and at lightning speed the hook was out,” Shepherd said. “I thought the experience would be a lot more painful than it was. My finger is
tender, but Clark and I will enter this Saturday’s ABA tourney at Nacie.”
Oh, yes, Shepherd and Endres won the Tri Valley Tournament nearly 2 1⁄2 pounds, officially, 15.39 pounds to 12.99 pounds for Joey Reggio and Brian Nawrocki.
Neither member of the winning tandem had fished Nacimiento in more than two months.
“We caught about 40 bass during the day,” Endres said. “Of course, all 20 teams entered caught six-fish team limits.”
The 31-year-old, fourth-year tournament fisherman was guarded in revealing how his team caught so many fish. That’s the common stance of competition anglers engaged in fishing the same venue on back-to-back weekends.
He did reveal that his team drop-shotted for most of their catch. By the way, Endres reported he caught the event’s second largest bass (3.38 pounds) on a spinnerbait around 10 a.m.
Reggio’s partner, Brian Nawrocki, caught the big fish, 3.51 pounds.
Tri Valley Top 10---(All 6-Fish Limits) weight
1. Brad Shepherd, Clark Endres, Atascadero, 15.39 pounds; 2. Joey Reggio, San Luis Obispo, Brian Nawrocki, Atascadero, 12.99 pounds; 3. Darren Bishop, Paso Robles, Dean Miller, Tulare, 11.90 pounds; 4. Russ Minneau, Dan Dostal, Grover Beach, 11.39 pounds; 5. Gene Gray, Atascadero, Jay Short, Templeton, 11.06 pounds; 6. Nick & Tony Salvucci, Atascadero, 10.80 pounds; 7. Phil Infante, Long Beach, Steve Vidmar, Santa Maria, 10.36 pounds; 8. Mead Hedricks, Tom Vienola, Lompoc, 9.90 pounds; 9. Bill & Pat Twomey, Lompoc, 9.82 pounds; 10. Stan Beebe, San Luis Obispo, Andrew Levy, Grover Beach, 9.65 pounds.
1st Big Fish, 3.51 pounds, Reggio & Nawrocki, 2nd Big Fish, 3.38 pounds, Shepherd, & Endres.
Jared Lintner began his ninth campaign on the Bassmaster Elite tour by placing 13th in the inaugural 2014 tournament last week at Lake Seminole, Bainbridge, Ga.
Today he begins tournament competition with 106 other entrees in event No. 2 on Florida’s St. Johns River. It’s his third time at this venue.
By placing 14th in 2011 and 38th in 2012 he earned $10,000 both times.
At Lake Seminole last week, the Arroyo Grande pro was in 54th place with a first-round limit weighing 14 pounds, 9 ounces. His 21-pound, 5-ounce limit on day two catapulted him into 14th place. A day-three limit weighing 17 pounds, 11 ounces enabled him to finish 13th, one place removed from qualifying to fish Sunday.
It was the second time in 73 Elite events that he has missed the 12-angler cut by one place. He has five top 10 finishes to his credit.
Cachuma Trout Derby
The 19th annual two-day event benefiting the Neal Taylor Nature Center at the lake is set for April 12-13.
Derby prizes include $5,000 in cash and hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise.
Entry fees are $35 if postmarked by March 29 and $40 after that date. Children ages 4-15 may enter for $10. To receive entry forms in the mail, call the Derby hotline at 693-8381 and leave your name and address. Entry forms are also available at the Cachuma Lake Park entry gate, store, marina and Nature Center.
A kids (15 and younger) fishing derby on Harford Pier is scheduled from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. for Sunday. Entry fees of $5 may be paid at Patriot Sportfishing. Entrants who catch the 10 largest fish and the smallest fish will win prizes. Volunteers to assist young anglers are welcome.
Sanddab and crab trips from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. are scheduled for Friday and Saturday. Cost is $60 for adults, $50 for children 12 and younger.
Whale watching is on Sunday’s agenda from 9 to 11 a.m.
Day-and-a-half rockcod fishing trips to San Miguel Island will begin April 4 aboard the Black Pearl. Departures will be at 10 p.m. Friday with return Sunday morning. There is a 25-passenger limit. Cost is $180 for adults, $160 for children 12 and younger.
For reservations go online to www.patriotsportfising.com or call 595-7200.
Whale watching trips from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. are scheduled Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Cost is $39 for adults $29 for children 12 and younger. For reservations, go to www.virgs.com or call 772-1222.
The fishing for Barred Surf Perch is getting better and better, noted observer and participant Glenn Fukumoto. Anglers fishing from the North and South T Piers in Morro Bay are catching perch to two and three pounds using half a nightcrawler for bait.
Beach anglers are fishing the Morro Bay Strand north of Morro rock to opposite the Morro Bay Camp Grounds. Gulp sand worms and nightcrawlers are the baits of choice.
On Tuesday, Doug Rice and Mark Rodriguez caught and released 30 spotted bass and several white bass using crankbaits. Heritage Ranch reporter Dave Rymal and Lance Clairmont employed spinnerbaits to catch 12 spots and were still fishing Wednesday afternoon.
Mike Palmer reports from the marina that bass and trout are being caught by anglers in Cottonwood Cove and other shoreline spots.
Rising water temperatures has sparked an increase in crappie activity in Santa Cruz Bay, around Arrowhead Island and the cistern. Anglers are trolling
Rapalas to locate schools then are using mini jigs tipped with crappie nibbles for a hot crappie bite. Trout fishing is rated “fair” for anglers working the north shoreline with flicker shads and Kastmasters.
A 4,000-pound Calavaras Trout Farm plant is scheduled Thursday. The Morro Bay Strand north of Morro Rock to opposite the Morro Bay Camp Grounds. Gulp sand worms and nightcrawlers are the baits of choice.