Season No. 9 on the Bassmaster Elite trail without a doubt was Jared Lintner’s most successful campaign.
The Arroyo Grande pro put the capper on the season Monday at Bays de Noc with an eighth-place finish in the Angler of the Year competition.
The event was to have been a three-day test but it was reduced to two days after three straight days of small craft advisories and wicked winds from seemingly all directions whipped Lake Michigan into a froth.
The field was sent out Monday amid a steady west wind that still made for some rough rides and challenging boat control.
This was the first year that the Angler of the Year was decided by a ninth event involving the top 50 anglers in the 107-man 2014 field.
Lintner, 41, entered competition on Lake Michigan with 612 points. He added 84 points by finishing 17th. He had a 19-pound, 14-ounce limit Sept. 18 and a 21-pound, 3-ounce limit Monday. His 37-pound, 1-ounce total weight was worth 84 points that propelled him to eighth place in the final AOY standings. He earned a $23,000 check.
His accomplishments have rewarded him with a berth in the 2015 Bassmster Classic next March. It will be his fifth qualification.
Lintner is homeward bound via Clear Lake where he will team with Nick Salvucci in an Anglers Choice competition this weekend.
101 TOC featured tough competition
Dan Barrios and Casey Langley, a tandem that has been fishing together for four years, finished atop the standings in the 101 Bass Tournament of Champions last weekend. The third season of Jim Slusher’s brainchild wrapped up at Lopez Lake on Saturday and Nacimiento Lake on Sunday.
One fish determined the ultimate winners.
I caught up with Langley, a crane operator and welder, Monday night on the job in Bakersfield. “I was targeting bigger fish Sunday,” Langley said, “so I was surprised my spot (4.58 pounds) was the biggest fish at Nacimiento. The catch was made on a main lake point leading into a cove. It came on a Zara Spook.”
There were two spots in the team’s winning 9.02-pound limit.
Barrios noted that his team was in fifth place after weighing a 13.89-pound limit on Saturday at Lopez.
“We had the fourth-biggest fish on day one (4.87 pounds). I caught that one on a Zap head jig. We must have culled 15 times on Sunday,” Barrios said.
The runners-up at Nacimiento and for the weekend, Marc Hazuka and Chase Castaneda, had a 7.92-pound bag Sunday. However, their biggest bass weighed only 1.73 pounds, which was the eighth-heaviest.
Salvucci, fishing alone with Lintner in Michigan, had the second-biggest bass at Nacimiento, 2.89 pounds.
101 Bass TOC Top 10, Day 1 Weight, Points, Day 2 Weight, Points, Total Points
1. Dan Barrios, San Luis Obispo, Casey Langley, Nipomo, 13.89 lbs., 101, 9.02 lbs., 105, 206; 2. Marc Hazuka, Chase Castaneda, Atascadero, 10.86 lbs., 96, 7.95 lbs., 104, 200; 3. Steve Bereda, Santa Margarita, Nick Gregg, San Luis Obispo, 16.24 lbs, 104, 5,78 lbs., 96, 200; 4, Scott Mullins, Kelly Keeling, Salinas, 16.24 lbs., 105, 5.72 lbs., 94, 199; 5. Tom Vienola, Mead Hedricks, Lompoc, 11.87 lbs., 100, 6.00 lbs., 99, 199; 6. Bud Aquino, Grover Beach, Joey Reggio, San Luis Obispo, 11.57 lbs., 99, 6.11 lbs., 100, 199; 7. Austin & Larry Bonjour, Atascadero, 16.07 lbs., 103, 5.76 lbs., 95, 198; 8. Jim Slusher, Atascadero, Erik Zillig, Paso Robles, 6.87 lbs., 89, 7.64 lbs.,102,191; 9. Richard Neal, Jerry Waldrip, Bakersfield, 10.28 lbs., 94, 5.79 lbs., 97, 191; 10. John White, San Luis Obispo, Bobby Doss, Santa Maria, 9.18 lbs., 92, 5.81 lbs. 97, 191.
Big Fish at Lopez, 5.72 lbs., Mullis & Keeling; Big Fish at Nacimiento, 4.58 lbs., Barrios & Langley.
Port San Luis Boatyard
The Whopper of the Week honor was earned by Atascadero’s Bob Gannon for the 25-pound, 4-ounce halibut he caught Saturday. Seven halibut, five white seabass and 123 lingcod were in last week’s catch. There were 104 boats dispatched.
Cambria’s George Suchand, became the 20th angler to qualify for the end of the year John Rowley lingcod celebration. Suchard punched his ticket to the Dec. 6 showdown with the catch of a 21-pound, 5-ounce lingcod. Only 10 weeks remain to qualify. Each week the fisherman who catches the biggest lingcod earns a spot in the grand finale.
Every jackpot fish last week was a lingcod. The winners and weights were: George Milanes, Morro Bay, 16-5, Rhonda Conner, Bakersfield, 13-8, Kelly Herring, Denver, 11-5, Jose Salinas, Bakersfield, 11-0, Larry Tuck, Shafter, 10-5, Luke Provchy, Simi Valley, and Bob Goosens, Los Osos, both 9-0 fish, Ulysses Castaneda, Seaside, 8-0, and Cliff Crew, Rio Vista, 7-0.
For trip schedules and reservations, go to www.virgs.com or call 772-1222.
The catch by 285 passengers last week included: 201 lingcod, 665 red rockcod, 1,951 assorted rockfish, three cabezon, one greenling, one whitefish and one sheephead.
Lake Forest angler Kevin Pham had last week’s big jackpot fish, a 21-pound, 11-ounce lingcod.
Other jackpot winners included: Kevin Rhea, Visalia, 14-10 ling, Roger York, San Luis Obispo, 14-8 ling, David Pico, Lompoc, 13-1 ling, Brian Bragonien, Landen, Wyo., 10-0, Adam Wren, Bakersfield, 8-0 ling.
Bryce Lintner, a young fisherman from Arroyo Grande, caught the jackpot fish aboard the Patriot on Sunday. The weight of the fish was not reported by the crew.
Last week, 259 passengers caught 206 lingcod, 374 red rockcod, 1,450 assorted rockfish, 502 bolinas, 28 cabezon and one bocaccio.
For trip schedules and reservations, go to www.patriotsportfishing.com or call 595-7200.
Morro Bay Landing
Bakersfield anglers won jackpots Saturday and Sunday, the only days the San Pedro Special operated last week.
Vernon Geiser took Saturday jackpot honors with an 18-pound, 11-ounce lingcod. On Sunday, the jackpot was earned by Merlin Hehnke with a 15-pound, 2-ounce lingcod.
Fifty-seven passengers caught 12 lingcod, 16 red rockcod and 523 assorted rockfish.
For reservations and trip schedules go to www.morrobaylanding.com or call 771-5500.
For the eighth time (and for the third week in a row), no fish were caught by the 11 anglers who gave it a try. Only eight fish have been caught since the series of zero catches began July 16-20.
The reservoir has been open for fishing 109 days. Participants number 466. Warm weather and warm water are making for difficult fishing conditions.
Whale Rock is open Wednesdays through Sundays.
Catfish continue to be the most active species. They continue to be caught in shallow coves such as Cachuma and Santa Cruz Bays and Clark Canyon. Bass are chasing shad early in the morning and late afternoon hours. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits and rip baits are the lures of choice.