Atascadero anglers qualify for championship

It's been a topsy-turvy ride for Nick Salvucci and Jeremy Burns in W.O.N. Bass Central Coast Region competition. But, in the final tournament on the schedule last Saturday, the duo turned things around.

The two Atascadero High grads, who have followed the same career path in construction, not only won event No. 7 at Nacimiento Lake, but they also qualified for the Tri-States North Championship scheduled at Clear Lake Sept. 21, 22.

"We finally turned the tables in this one," said Burns, recalling earlier W.O.N. Bass challenges this season.

The team tied for 58th place and went fishless in event No. 1, finished 55th in tourney No. 3 when two fish were weighed, placed 34th in test No. 5 and 41st in stop No. 6 when only two fish were brought to the scales.

Salvucci, 26, explained his tournament strategy: "I always go for the big fish and sometimes it's all or nothing.

"Last Saturday we were all over the lake fishing from the dam to the Nacimiento River."

The team's efforts were rewarded to the tune of $4,010. Salvucci and Burns' five-fish limit of 12.60 pounds included the event's big fish of 3.67 pounds.

In the tightly contested second event on the schedule, Salvucci and Burns placed fifth just 33 one-hundredths of a pound out of first place. That placing plus the win were key components that ushered the team into the Tri-States Championship. They are 36th in the final standings.

The Salvucci-Burns margin of victory over John Gallagher ad Stephen Gustafson was 1.49 pounds. The third-place team of John White of San Luis Obispo and Bobby Doss of Santa Maria had the second big fish at 3.42 pounds.

Darrin Bishop of Paso Robles and his dad, Del, of San Miguel, captured the Anglers of the Year title by a margin of seven points (718-711) over Scott Mullins and Tom Nieto of Salinas. The Bishops' entry fees will be paid in 2008. That's the AOY reward.

The Bishops were the only team to win more than once. They were victorious in tournaments at Nacimiento in November 2006 and February 2007.

One hundred five different teams competed in W.O.N. Central Coast 2006-07 tournaments.

Teams placing in the top 21 qualified for the Tri-States plus nine others were bonus qualifiers. W.O.N. Bass Nacimiento Lake top 10 (all had five-fish limits), weight, winnings: 1. Nick Salvucci, San Miguel, Jeremy Burns, Atascadero, 12.60 pounds, $4,010; 2. John Gallagher and Stephen Gustafson, 11.11 pounds, $780; 3. John White, San Luis Obispo, Bobby Doss, Santa Maria, 9.91 pounds, $2,120; 4. Richard Neal, Jerry Waldrip, Bakersfield, 9.84 pounds, $660; 5. Scott Mullins, Tom Nieto, Salinas, 9.54 pounds, $300; 6. Jared Lintner, Tim Sharpe, Arroyo Grande, 9.53 pounds, $250; 7. Ken Sauret, Paso Robles, Jim Slusher, Atascadero, 9.43 pounds; $225; 8. Andrew Broster, Marc Hazuka, Atascadero, 9.14 pounds, $160; 9. Darrin Bishop, Paso Robles, Del Bishop, San Miguel, 9.05 pounds, $120; 10. Gene Gray. Atascadero, Jay Short, Templeton, 8.89 pounds, $120. Final Standings, Top 10---1. Bishop-Bishop, 718 points; 2. Mullins-Nieto, 711; 3. Gray-Short, 674; 4. Lintner-Sharpe, 673; 5. Broster-Hazuka, 656; 6.Dave Solis, Paso Robles, Michael Griffith, Atascadero, 655; 7. White-Doss, 647; 8. Bill Lukeman, Mike Truhitte, Santa Maria, 613; 9. Roger Haas, Morro Bay, Jerry Williams, Porterville, 612; 10. Tony Pratt, John Bitting, Paso Robles, 601.

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