Fishing Report: Looking for Valentine’s Day activity? Help the Kids at Sea program

Anglers and non-anglers alike have an intriguing opportunity on Valentine’s Day, which falls on a Sunday this year.

Simultaneously, points can be earned with your sweetheart while assisting two organizations involved in the Kids at Sea program.

The opportunity is a champagne brunch scheduled from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at the Morro Bay Veterans Building. The menu will include pancakes, sausage, fruit, strawberries with whipped cream, coffee, milk and orange juice. Paid adults receive two coupons for a glass of champagne.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children age 12 and under.

Call Karen at 748-1964 to purchase tickets in advance.

The mission of Kids at Sea is “to give as many kids as possible an introduction to fishing, boating safety, waterfront history and the incredible experience of being on the ocean.”

In 2009, the second year of the program, 13 trips, all free, were offered to youngsters.

Michele Leary, who heads the Kids at Sea program, said: “We will have more people helping this year, so I anticipate an expansion of the program.”

Local businesses have donated many raffle prizes, including dinners for two, whale-watching trips, rockcod fishing trips and a variety of other items. There will also be a 50-50 drawing.

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Here are some leftovers from last week’s column about Shell Beach’s Larry Goularte and his national-record catch in a sanctioned bass tournament at Lake Castaic.

Q: Why wasn’t the catch publicized?

A: For some unknown reason the now- defunct West Coast Bass organization, sponsors of the June 6, 1987 tournament, were just plain negligent. Bill Rice focused attention on the record in his Western Outdoor News column entitled “Record Bass.” The article was published June 9, 2000.

In April 2000, the catch of a 17.57-pound largemouth was believed to be the national record.

But, an e-mail to Rice from Frank Fernandes, a veteran tournament fisherman from Santa Maria, alerted the writer to Goularte’s catch. Fernandes was an eyewitness to the catch.  He directed Rice to the West Coast Bass offices. There Kent Brown checked on the perpetual big fish trophy and came up with the actual weight of Goularte’s catch — 17.93 pounds. The record tournament fish was 30 inches long with a girth of 22 inches.

Goularte’s tournament fishing ended in 1993 when he was forced to sell his boat as part of divorce proceedings. Currently, he is on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. The 2005 disability retiree from the grocery business is on kidney dialysis.

Here are other tournament record bass:

Third-year bass fisherman Al Rush of Paso Robles notched his first tournament win Jan. 30 at Nacimiento Lake. Rush, who is serving his second season as tournament director, won the SLO County Bass Ambushers event with an 8.18-pound limit.

Half the field of 26 anglers drew a blank while just two limits were posted on a drizzly day on a muddy lake littered with a liberal amount of driftwood.Rush fished exclusively at the dam where the clearest water was present. His big fish (2.91 pounds) was taken on a shaky head. His winnings totaled $490.

Ambushers’ Top 10, Number of Fish, Weight, Winnings — 1. Al Rush, Paso Robles, 5, 8.18 pounds, $360; 2. Damon Meeks, Atascadero, 5, 7.26 pounds, $195; 3. Bryan Vogt, Paso Robles, 3, 4.95 pounds, $120; 4, Jennifer Meeks, Atascadero, 2, 3.99 pounds; 5. Graham Grove, Atascadero, 3, 3.68 pounds; 6. Jim Keeney, Paso Robles, 2, 3.36 pounds; 7. Steve Bereda, Santa Margarita, 2, 2.76 pounds; 8. Rick Haun, Atascadero, 2, 2.36 pounds; 9. Mitch Wasley, Paso Robles, 2, 2.23 pounds; 10. Neal Franklin, Atascadero, 1, 1.87 pounds.Big Fish, 2.91 pounds, Rush, $130.