Fishing report: Finesse required at Nacimiento Lake

They hate it, but what can you do when it’s about the only thing that’s working?

What is it? It’s finesse fishing.

And it’s about the only way to catch bass at Nacimiento Lake.

Finesse fishing entails using light line (6- to 8-pound test) with small and/or slow moving lures to generate strikes from lethargic bass.

Jared Lintner hates it.

Herm DeLore says: “It’s not a lot of fun.”

Gene Gray admits: “I’d much rather use power fishing techniques.”

This technique employs large and/or fast-moving lures used to create reaction strikes. The style is regarded as the opposite of finesse fishing.

Nacimiento Lake has hosted all but one of the five tournaments already contested during the 2009-10 tournament season.

And Nacimiento Lake will host the next four tournaments — Angler’s Choice, Central Coast Region, Saturday; American Bass Pacific Region on Jan. 16; Tri Valley Bass Club on Jan. 23; and the SLO County Bass Ambushers Club’s inaugural 2010 contest on Jan. 30.

Lintner of Arroyo Grande and partner Nick Salvucci of San Miguel had good and bad results last weekend at Nacimientio Lake. They won the informal Hangover Tournament on New Year’s Day when 25 teams showed up for the annual curtainraiser competition for the new calendar year.

Lintner and Salvucci had a limit weighing 71⁄2 pounds. Included was the “big fish” (2.52 pounds) as they took home the top prize of $450.

But, the next day the duo managed to catch only two fish. Their 2.72-pound weight was good for only ninth place in the W.O.N. Bass Central Coast tournament.

“Nick and I fish for big fish,” Lintner said. “When you catch them you win. We fished the same way both days.

“Right now a 2-pound or a little larger fish is a big one at Nacimiento. When you get one good bite you are doing well.”

Gray has a theory why the fishing is so difficult at Nacimiento Lake.

“It relates back to that big early storm we had that raised the lake some 20 feet,” Gray said. “Then it dropped 20 feet, and it has come back up 12 feet. The water is cold and muddy. The fluctuation has meant that the shad have not died off like they usually do. I believe the bass are hiding under the blanket of shad.”

DeLore and his fellow Atascadero partner, Jeff Smith, didn’t catch their first fish in the W.O.N. Bass event until 10:30 a.m. That’s nearly halfway through the tournament.

“We were worried about catching a limit, but we finally accomplished that at 1:30,” DeLore said. “We tried other things but we had to resort to drop shotting worms and using football-shaped jigs.”

DeLore and Smith placed second in the W.O.N. Bass event with a 7.43-pound bag worth $440.

Winning the championship and taking over the points’ lead after four tournaments were Will Duncan and Dylan Waldroop, both of Hollister. Anchoring their 8.72-pound limit was the competition’s “big fish” of 4.29 pounds. It was harvested from 10 feet of water with a spinnerbait. Their winnings totaled $2,200.

Gray and partner Dusty Kahler of Atascadero earned third place with a 6.76-pound limit. The team earned $650.

In Saturday’s second Angler’s Choice Central Coast tournament, Kahler will have to fish alone. Gray will be at Lake Shasta pre-fishing for the inaugural FLW National Guard challenge, which begins a four-day grind Wednesday.

Defending W.O.N. Bass Anglers-of-the-Year Darrin Bishop of Paso Robles, and his father, Del Bishop of Templeton, are second in the regional standings with 396 points, four points behind Duncan and Waldroop. The Bishops placed fourth last Saturday with a 5.55-pound limit worth $85.