Fishing Report: Another Ambushers tournament event and another new winner in Shupp

This dad wanted to see how he’d do on his own competing in a bass tournament against some veteran anglers.

He did just fine despite not catching a limit Saturday in a SLO County Ambushers tournament on Nacimiento Lake.

Dean Shupp of Heritage Ranch won the ninth stop on the 10-event Ambushers’ schedule. Catching the event’s big fish, a 3.12-pound largemouth, bailed him out. A dozen of the 25 entrants weighed five-fish limits, but Shupp, a 37-year-old in his first solo tournament, came out on top with an 8.33-pound four-fish bag weight. He edged Graham Grove by 0.98 pounds.

And now dad has a trophy to go along with those earned by his 13-year-old daughter Aaliyah and 11-year-old son Shane. His young family members have accumulated eight or nine trophies in four years of competition in Oakshores Kids tourneys.

He also picked up a $250 for his win and $110 for having the big fish.

Shupp, the seventh different winner thus far in the 2012 Ambusher series, had a memorable experience catching his big fish.

“I cast a Senko over a downed tree and let it sink,” he said. “Nothing happened at first, but as I was retrieving line, I spotted a big fish above the log. I let the Senko drop down a second time. The fish did a 180 and nailed the bait. Obviously, that catch won the tournament for me.”

Entering several of Jim’s Pro Bass summer night tournaments this year whet Shupp’s tournament fishing interest. After his success, he plans to enter the two-day final Ambushers event on Nacimiento on Oct. 20-21. And he admits leaning toward competing in the 101 Bass tournament series in 2013.

Dean’s father, Dean Shupp Sr., was along for moral support last week. Although the senior Shupp caught one fish, he opted not to weigh it.

Ambushers’ Top 10, Number of Fish, Weight, Winnings

1. Dean Shupp, Paso Robles, 4, 8.33 pounds, $250; 2. Graham Grove, Atascadero, 5, 7.35 pounds, $126; 3. Jeremy Lewis, Atascadero, 5, 7.07 pounds, $36; 4. Damon Meeks, Atascadero, 5, 6.84 pounds, $72; 5. Eli Clark, Atascadero, 5, 6.71 pounds, $16; 6. Trent Roinson, Atascadero, 5, 6.60 pounds; 7. Ken Meeks, Atascadero, 5, 6.45 pounds; 8. Marc Hazuka, Atascadero, 5, 6.42 pounds; 9. Al Rush, Paso Robles, 5,6.14 pounds; 10. Erik Zillig, Paso Robles, 5, 5.85 pounds.

1st Big Fish, 3.12pounds, Dean Shupp, $110.

Local albacore outlook

Two critical things need to happen before tuna fishing off the Central Coast kicks in. First, the longfins need to reappear and second, somebody has to locate them. That’s Harrell Kimball’s appraisal. He monitors satellite imagery and conveys weather conditions, water temperature and color from his perch on the Nipomo mesa. He rmakes his findings available to fishermen who very much appreciate his diligence. Kimball is in radio contact with many offshore anglers.

“Eight or 10 boats were out last weekend,” Kimball said. “Most of them were working waters inside 40 miles off the coast. Anglers aboard one boat found jumping albies but they weren’t biting.

“The weather has been fine extending from last Sunday through this weekend. We could still have an albacore season, but it just hsn’t happened yet.”

Patriot Sportfishing

Bakersfield’s Jordan Bruce grabbed the lead Sunday in the third phase of Patriot’s eight-annual Lingcod Contest. Bruce, who did not enter the optional jackpot, caught a 16-pound, 12-ounce ling.

John Mulay of Atascadero is in second place with a 15-pound, 4-ounce lingcod while Visalia’a Ray Turner is third with a 15-pound, 1-ounce ling. The current phase of the contest moves into the second month Monday.

Jackpot winners last week included David Beringly, Santa Maria, David Westmoreland, Taft, and Shawn Crawford, Orcutt, all with 10-0 lings; Kevin Hill, Lompoc, 8-0 ling; and Geb Maravillas, Nipomo, 6-0 ling.

Last week, 176 anglers caught 65 lingcod, 473 red rockcod, 392 assorted rockfish and seven cabezon.

For trip schedules and reservations, call 595-7200.

Port San Luis Boatyard

Bay Area angler Brandon Kipe earned Whopper of the Week honors with the catch of a 16-pound, 10-ounce lingcod last Sunday. Forty-seven lings were caught that day, 10 less than the best day of 2012. Fifty-seven lings were bagged Aug. 10. The most lings brought in during a week this year was July 23-29 when 146 lings were sacked.

Only 51 boats were dispatched last week from the Sports Launch. Anglers aboard these private boats experienced rockcod limits daily, except Friday when three-quarter limits were logged. The catch included 108 lings, 27 halibut and four white seabass.

Virg’s Landing

Biggest fish caught last week was a 15-pound, 0-ounce ling by Bakersfield’s Terry Ellington. Other jackpot winners were Mel Imai, Clovis, 12-0 ling; Darbly Lambrick, Atascadero, 11-0 ling; Keith Fralicki, Oakhurst, and David Suf, Sunset Canyon, both 9-0 lings;Luis Gonzales, Visalia, and Norma Olson, Portland, OR, both 8-0 lings;Gary Derose, Paso Robles, and Bill Riel, Bakersfield, both 7-0 lings; and Debra Haell, Bakersfield, 5-0 white belly.

Last week’s catch by 253 patrons was 70 lingcod, 611 red rockcod, 2,904 assorted rockfish and four cabezon.

For reservations and trip schedules, call 772-1222.

Whale Rock

Eleven anglers managed to catch only two trout last week. There hasn’t been more than two fish caught since Week 17, Aug.15-19, when nine were taken. The total catch through 109 days of fishing opportunity is 99. Five hundred fifty-one anglers have turned out.

Making catches last week was a man who identified himself only as Mike (no last name) and Jeff French. Mike used PowerBait for a 15.5-inch trout, while French continued his success on worms, retrieving a 17-inch fish. Both catches were made Friday.

Jace Zavala, who hasn’t caught a trout since Sept 2, has caught 21. Jeff Minkler has bagged the second most fish, 16, while French ranks third with 15 caught trout. The reservoir is open for fishing Wednesdays through Sundays.

Lopez Lake

Santa Maria’s Jackson Flick used a green and blue spinnerbait for a 3 3⁄16-pound largemouth bass Sunday. On Sept. 20, Arroyo Grande’s Jason Gibbons caught a 1 1⁄8-pound bluegill. Marina Manager Aaron Boyd employed small silver and black speckled jigs in Marina Cove to catch a 2 3⁄8-pound largemouth, and crappie weighing 1 1⁄4 and 1 1⁄2 pounds.

Santa Margarita Lake

After being AWOL all summer, bluegill and redear are starting to show up. “Amazing,” gushes marina manager Don Lopez. “Bass fishing is picking up off points and in coves for drop shotters.”

That’s good news for the 28 teams that have qualified for the inaugural 101 Bass Tournament of Champions this weekend. After competition at Nacimiento Lake on Saturday the anglers move to Santa Margarita for the conclusion of the event Sunday.

Cachuma Lake

The most consistent fishing action is being provided by catfish. Hot spots are in Johnson and Sweetwater Bays, Clark’s Canyon and The Narrows. All types of baits are working. Large and smallmouth bass action is inconsistent with topwater working early, then spoons. Few poople are targeting crappie. Trout fishing is “very slow,” marina manager Ken Hemer says.