Catching up with area bass tournaments

Bass tournaments are all about learning, teaching and timing. All came into play last weekend at three different venues.

Santa Maria¹s Danny Knotts and Skeeter Moore won the Tri Valley event at Lopez Lake. But, Moore chided his partner for winning the ³wrong² tournament.

Long distance trucker Mike Dashek and his 15-year-old son, Travis, are in their first full year of tournament fishing. The Santa Marians earned $950 by winning the American Bass Pacific Coast division event at Lake San Antonio.

Atascadero¹s Joey Davis prevailed in the two-day San Luis Obispo County Ambushers tournament at Cachuma Lake. Joey¹s 12-year-old son, Austin, caught five fish and placed sixth.

Two weeks ago, Knotts and his W.O.N. Bass partner Felix Camacho finished 24th in a tournament at Lopez. In the April 14 Tri Valley test, Knotts and Moore won with a six-fish limit of 24.93 pounds. The reward: $680 plus $80 for the second big fish of 6.31 pounds.

Had Knotts and Camacho retrieved one 6-pound fish after another out of the same area like Knotts and Skeeter did last week, they would have been in contention for the sweet W.O.N. bass pot of $4,350.Camacho and his cousin, Ken, placed second with a 21.23-pound limit worth $270.

The Camachos also flipped for several 6-pounders out of the same bush at the back of the Lopez Arm of the lake.

T.J. Sharpe, 5, made his 2007 Tri Valley tournament debut with his dad, Tim, of Arroyo Grande.Tri Valley top 10, fish caught, weight, winnings: 1. Danny Knotts, Skeeter Moore, Santa Maria, 5 for 24.93 pounds, $680; 2. Felix Camacho, Nipomo, Ken Camacho, Santa Maria, 6 for 21.23 pounds, $270; 3. Bill Lukeman, Mike Truhitte, Santa Maria, 6 for 18.47 pounds, $205; Tim and T.J. Sharpe, Arroyo Grande, 6 for 16.66 pounds, $110; 5. Jeff Rose, Arroyo Grande, Craig Rose, Bakersfield, 5 for 15.91 pounds, $80; 6. Steve Vidmar, Santa Maria, Phil Infante, Long Beach, 6 for 15.12 pounds; 7. Mike Wiseman, Dustin Bolin, Nipomo, 6 for 15.11 pounds; 8. Pat Schmidt, Templeton, Terry Wolf, Santa Margarita, 6 for 14.49 pounds; 9. Jason Smith, Dave McFarland, 5 for 13.68 pounds; 10. Robbie Flores, Mike Cabassi, Arroyo Grande, 4 for 13.58 pounds.1st Big Fish, 6.64 pounds, Flores & Cabassi, $190; 2nd Big Fish, 6.31 pounds, Knotts & Moore, $80.

€ Mike Dashek noted that he only learned to fish three years ago while on a work stopover in Florida. His initial competition was at Cachuma in a July 2006 Gold Coast tourney.

³Everyone was catching fish by drop shotting," he said. "I didn¹t know how but after the tournament Ron Morrison tutored me. The fact that everyone is helpful is what I like about fishing smaller tournaments.² At San Antonio, the Dasheks reversed a trend. They had been catching fish in practice but not in competition. This time Mike blanked in practice. The Dasheks not only caught a 17.68-pound bass limit on jigs and 6-pound test line but a 10-pound striper and a 16-pound carp also were snared.

American Bass Pacific Coast top 10, fish caught, weight, winnings: 1. Mike and Travis Dashek, Santa Maria, 5 fish, 17.68 pounds, $950; 2. Darrin Bishop, Paso Robles, Del Bishop, San Miguel, 5 for 13.78 pounds, $400; 3.Jon Boles, Brandon Martinez, Atascadero, 5 for 10.73 pounds; 4. Steve Fernandes, Randy Claborn, Santa Maria, 5 for 9.80 pounds; 5. John Wrona, IV, Scott Seitz, Templeton, 5 for 9.34 pounds; 6. Dan Tracy, Justin Garcia, Prunedale, 5 for 8.91 pounds; 7. B.J. Westbrook, Grover Beach, Johnny Johnson, Santa Maria, 5 for 8.74 pounds; 8. Aaron Anderson, Trent Stewart, Greenfield, 5 for 8.18 pounds; 9. Trent Greenwaldt, Don Vawter, Bakersfield, 4 for 3.99 pounds; 10. John and Glenn Newman, Santa Maria, 2 for 3.38 pounds.1st Big Fish, 4.51 pounds, Dashek and Dashek. € Wind-driven 3-foot whitecap rollers hampered the 14 Ambusher participants last Saturday at Cachuma. But that¹s the day winner Joey Davis caught 15 pounds of his two-day total of 21.60 pounds of bass The proud dad said, ³I wished I had on Sunday what my son caught, a 2 1Ž2-pound smallmouth and a 2-pound largemouth.² Austin¹s two-day weight of 8.74 pounds was good for sixth place.

SLO County Ambushers 2-Day Tourney top 10, fish caught, weight: 1. Joey Davis, Atascadero, 10 for 21.60 pounds; 2. Neal Franklin, Atascadero, 9 for 18.08 pounds; 3.Gary Finch, Atascadero, 10 for 16.06 pounds; 4. Jim McKenzie, Paso Robles, 8 for 13.04 pounds; 5. Ken Meeks, Atascadero, 5 for 10.85 pounds; 6. Austin Davis, Atascadero, 5 for 8.74 pounds; 7. Greg Hanley, Paso Robles, 4 for 7.30 pounds; 8. Frank Hunter, 4 for 6.39 pounds; 9. Austin Bonjour, Atascadero, 3 for 5.50 pounds; 10. Jake Gallagher, Atascadero, 3 for 4.14 pounds. Big Fish, Saturday, 4.99 pounds, Meeks; Big Fish, Sunday, 2.62 pounds, Franklin.