Fishing Report: Salmon fishermen won’t be shut out

There will be a salmon season this year.

California saltwater anglers have been waiting for that news after being denied in 2008 and 2009 by what the Pacific Fishery Management Council called “the largest closure on record.”

The season will open April 3 and reservations are now being taken by Virg’s Landing and Patriot Sportfishing.

The length of the season hasn’t been determined. The length of the season and other salmon fishing topics will be discussed at public hearings at Coos Bay, Ore., and Westport, Wash,. on March 29; and Eureka on March 30. The Pacific Fishery Management Council will consult with scientists, hear public comment and revise preliminary decisions until it chooses a final option in its meeting in Portland, Ore., during the week of April 10.

“I hope everybody limits on opening day,” Patriot Sportfishing manager Roger York said. “We’re taking reservations. Our passenger limit is 16, and we should reach that in the next few days. Our fare will be $80 for trips from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.”

Added Virg’s spokesman Darby Neil: “I’ll believe we’re having a salmon season when I see it. On our rockcod fishing trips the past several years, we have caught and released some really nice salmon. And they were here for quite a while.”

The landing is planning 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. trips and is taking reservations. Fares will be $89.

Call Virg’s Landing at 772-1222 and Patriot Sportfishing at 595-7200 to make reservations.————

Lintner in accident

Pro bass fisherman Jared Lintner, who was involved in a freeway accident Saturday, will be fishing from a borrowed Skeeter demo boat when the second Bassmaster Elite tournament begins today at Clear Lake.

Lintner’s truck, trailer and bass boat were wrecked in an accident Saturday morning on Interstate 5 near Lodi.

The accident happened when he and his 9-year-old son, JC, were only 15 minutes out of Stockton en route to Lakeport, site of this week’s Elite competition.

A speeding motorist reportedly passed Lintner truck, and allegedly cut in front of him and lost control. The car caromed off the embankment and collided with the Arroyo Grande resident’s truck. “My truck was T-boned and pushed sideways down the interstate,” Lintner told ESPN media contact Doug Grassian.

“I remember seeing my boat’s motor in front of the truck, the trailer was beside the truck and my boat was 15 feet away. My first instincts were to make sure my son was OK, then to get away from the truck as I’d just bought fuel.”

JC complained of a headache and a sore neck. He was examined at an area hospital and appears to have no injuries.

Lintner’s wife, Keri, daughter Allese, 12, and son, Jayden, 2, were caravanning in a separate vehicle several miles ahead of the fisherman. She backtracked to the accident scene after receiving a cell phone call from her husband.

Keri Lintner says her husband has a sore back and was having a difficult time concentrating on preparing for the tournament.

“He’s been practicing from a boat loaned to him by a friendm,” Keri Lintner said. “On Monday one of his rods broke in half on his first cast.”

All Elite anglers have $40,000 invested in entry fees and just seven more tournaments to cover those expenses and potentially win some money. Tournament winners earn $100,000. Payouts for second through 12th range from $25,000 to $10,500. Anglers placing 13th through 47th earn as much as $10,000.


Last week I credited Fred and Freddy Ledesma with 2007 March and May bass tourney wins at Lopez Lake. Actually, the March event was at Santa Margarita Lake. The Soledad duo’s March 13 Angler’s Choice win at Lopez positions them perfectly for two upcoming competitions at the lake where event wins have been frequent.

Virg’s Landing

Nine Humboldt squid to 40 pounds were jigged by 16 anglers Sunday. The other squid were in the 10- to 20-pound range. Twenty-two passengers were treated to a varied whale watching show Sunday.

Whale watching trips are scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. until noon. Fares are $39 for adults and $29 for children 15 and under.

A Sanddab and Crab trip is planned from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The fare is $59.

Call 772-1222 for reservations and more information.

Patriot Sportfishing

A Humboldt squid trip is scheduled for Friday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fares are $66 for adults, $45 for children 12 and under.

Whale Watch trips are slated for Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fares are $35 for adults; $15 for children ages 4 to 12 and $10 for children 3 and under.

On Sunday, a combination Humboldt squid and crabbing trip is scheduled from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fares are $78 for adults and $52 for children 12 and under.

For reservations and more information, call 595-7200.

Santa Margarita Lake

“Bass and crappie appear to be waking up,” marina spokeswoman Sandra Lopez said.

On Sunday, Doug Mount of Paso Robles landed an 11-pound, 2-ounce bass while fishing by the dam with a jig. On Saturday, Steve Goldman of Santa Margarita caught a 21⁄2-pound crappie at the mouth of The Narrows. He was using a crappie jig.

A Kids Fishing Clinic is set for March 27 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is open to youth 15 and the younger. The event is sponsored by the Paso Robles Optimist Club.

Lopez Lake

Henry Hang, a visiting angler from Milwaukee, used a Yamamoto Senko to catch a 91⁄2-pound largemouth March 12.

Two Nipomo anglers retrieved a 21⁄4-pound bass and a 1-pound crappie in Mallard Cove on March 13.

Reports on crappie harvests indicate the bite is warming up.