Last weekend was a big and profitable one for the Zilligs — Erik, his uncle John from Sacramento and nephew Craig from Creston.
Erik Zillig won the fourth event on the Best Bass Coastal Region schedule at Nacimiento Lake on Saturday.
On the same venue Sunday, he took top honors in the Ambushers series with his nephew placing second.
Fishing the backs of coves with topwater and swimbait offerings in the morning, Erik and John had their limit early. Super Spooks were their weapons of choice in the afternoon when the duo culled all their morning spotted bass.
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John Zillig was pinch-hitting for Erik’s usual partner, his dad, Martin from Galt, who passed away in February from cancer.
Their 9.95-pound limit included a 3.41-pound big fish that paid $2,185.
Chase Austin of Templeton and Damon Meeks of Atascadero relied on crank and spinnerbaits early for a trio of bass all over 2 pounds.
“Anything we threw worked in the afternoon,” Damon noted. Their 8.68-pound limit paid $995 for second place.
Best Bass Coastal Region Top 10 (All 5-Fish Limits) Weight, Winnings
1. John Zillig, Sacramento, Erik Zillig, Paso Robles, 9.95 pounds, $2,185; 2. Chase Austin, Templeton, Damon Meeks, Atascadero, 8.68 pounds, $995; 3. Graham Grove, Tanner Kuhnle, Atascadero, 8.29 pounds, $660; 4. Jay Rich, Austin Rich, Bakersfield, 8.28 pounds, $475; 5. Jeremy Gearhart, Jason Martin, Atascadero, 8.09 pounds, $590; 6. Burt & Joan Lund, Atascadero.7.67 pounds, $355; 7. Mike McCrossen, Greg Enns, Bakersfield, 7.48 pounds, $160; 8. Clay & Paul Gates, Paso Robles, 7.41 pounds, $150; 9. Kenneth Cleveland, Grant Byers, 7.32 pounds; 10. Scott Mullins, Salinas, Tim Mullins, Templeton, 7.19 pounds.
1st Big Fish, 3.41 pounds, Zillig & Zillig; 2nd Big Fish, 2.93 pounds, Gearhart & Martin; 3rd Big Fish, 2.53 pounds, Lund & Lund; 4th Big Fish, 2.29 pounds, Austin & Meeks.
Erik Zillig a Sunday winner
Erik Zillig’s prosperous weekend continued Sunday.
Insufficient water in Santa Margarita Lake had forced SLO Ambushers director Al Rush to shift club test No. 4 to Nacimiento Lake.
“Over the two tournaments, I probably caught 150 fish — all spots,” Erik Zillig said.
His 9.52-pound limit paid him $192.50 for the win, plus $60 for the 1.91-pound big fish. Craig Zillig weighed an 8.63-pound limit worth $115 for second place.
Ambushers Top 10
No. Fish, Weight, Winnings
1. Erik Zillig, Paso Robles, 5, 9.52 pounds, $192.50; 2. Craig Zillig, Creston, 5, 8.63 pounds, $115; 3. Richard Butus, Soledad, 5, 7.66 pounds, $77; 4. Ken Meeks, Atascadero, 5, 7.17 pounds; 5. Michelle Duncan, Bakersfield, 5, 6.71 pounds; 6. Jesse Wilson, Atascadero, 5, 6.37 pounds; 7. Burt Lund, Atascdero, 5, 6.18 pounds; 8. Tom White, King City, 3, 4.07 pounds; 9. Ron Christian, Santa Maria, 3, 3.95 pounds; 10. Jim Keeney, Paso Robles, 3, 3.76 pounds.
1st Big Fish, 1.91 pounds, E. Zillig.
Jared Lintner finished in the money last week at Alabama’s Lake Guntersville. But, there was an oddity on Day 3.
The Arroyo Grande 10th year Bassmaster Elite pro did not catch a fish Saturday. He slipped from 43rd place to 53rd, the last position to earn a $10,000 check.
Cachuma Trout Derby
The 20th edition of the Cachuma Lake Nature Center’s Trout Derby is this weekend. It gets underway at 6 a.m. Saturday and ends at noon Sunday. Shore fishermen may fish Saturday night.
A 6,000-pound trout plant is scheduled to be made prior to the start of the competition. This year, entrants will fish for more than trout. For the first time, awards will be made in these categories in addition to trout — bass, catfish, crappie, carp and sunfish.
The entry fee is $40 and may be purchased Saturday or Sunday. Entry fee is $10 for those ages 4-15.
Awards to winners in the various fish categories, as well as raffle prizes, will be handed out Sunday.
More than $5,000 in prizes will be awarded, plus a multitude of merchandise awards. The event is the major fundraiser for the Cachuma Lake Nature Center founded in 1988 by the late Neal Taylor.
Lingcod weighing 23 pounds, 8 ounces and 18 pounds, 6 ounces aboard the Black Pearl on an overnight trip highlighted the catch for the first full week of the rockcod season. Tim Stover of North Salem, N.Y., had the 23-8 lingcod, and Andrew Bartlik of Morro Bay landed the 18-6 ling.
All jackpots were lingcod. Winners and weights were: Josh Patching, Arroyo Grande, 15.25 pounds;William Street, Bakersfield, 10-2; Kevin Dorsey, San Luis Obispo, 11-8; Gene Garcia, Atascadero, 10-8; Jason Allan, Los Osos, 8-3; Justin Percival, Reedley, 8.25 and Jeff Wagner, San Luis Obispo, 5-3.
The catch by 218 passengers last week included 255 lingcod, 653 red rockcod, 1,134 assorted rockfish, 42 cabezon, and one kelp greenling.
For reservations and trip schedules, call 772-1222 or go to www.virgs.com.
Port San Luis Boatyard
The first full week of the rockcod season saw 169 lingcod and five salmon bagged by anglers aboard 130 dispatched boats. No fish were weighed, so no Whopper of the Week and no free boat launch prize.
Full rockcod limits were registered twice, three-quarter to full once, three-quarter limits twice and half-limits twice.
A pair of 16-pound lingcod topped last week’s catch. Tim Murphy of Lompoc and Mark Jarosiak of Bakersfield had the big fish.
Last week, 198 passengers caught 270 lingcod, 407 red rockcod, 660 assorted rockfish, 47 bolina, and 27 cabezon.
For reservations and trip schedules, call 595-7200 or go to www.patriot sportfishing.com.
Morro Bay Landing
The San Pedro Special ran three fishing trips out of the landing last week.
Jackpot winners were Sal Rocha, Jr., Atascadero, 12-8 ling, Svitlanka Richardson, Turlock, 10-0 ling and Tommy Alcantar, Delano, 6-0 ling.
The catch by 73 passengers included 80 lingcod, 78 red rockcod, 376 assorted rockfish and 19 cabezon.
For trip schedules and reservations, call 771-5500 or go to www.morro baylanding.com.