He was destined to be a tournament bass fisherman, a “chip off the ol’ block” sorta thing.
At age 31, Louis Fernandes is anxious for the delivery of a new bass boat, a 2011 Ranger Z520 model. But that won’t happen until December.
In the meantime he’s honing his skills in local bass competitions in preparation for the 2011 National Guard FLW Series Western Division circuit.
The son of Frank Fernandes of Santa Maria has already earned big paychecks on the FLW trail. He earned $38,237 by tying for 38th place at the end of the four-tourney 2008 campaign.
Frank, now 59, began tournament fishing as a 17-year-old in 1968. He spent some years as a pro fishing such legendary bass impoundments as Lake Eufaula in Alabama. But, combining the rigors of professional bass fishing with his work as a long-haul trucker became too stressful, causing him to cut short his pro career.
Louis, who is a sheet metal worker, is looking forward to resuming FLW competition next January.
For several years, he and 18-year-old Patrick Touey of Nipomo have been a tandem in team tournament competition. On Saturday, their second-place finish in the 2010-11 American Bass Central Coast opener paid $975 plus a $260 bonus for weighing the third-heaviest fish. Splitting $1,235 will make a nice payment on that new Ranger.
Catching a limit at Santa Margarita Lake on Saturday proved to be a problem. Only six of the 27 teams entered measured up.
Seven teams caught two fish, six weighed three bass and a trio had four. All entries weighed fish. Five teams had one fish.
“Only 12 or 13 of the 25 fish we caught were keepers,” Fernandes said. “Usually, we can catch three or four-pound fish by drop shotting deep structure. Not this time. Had we been successful, I think we could have challenged for first place.”
The tournament title went to the Huntington Beach duo of Manas (Malikian and John Demonet. They won $1,975 for a 19.21-pound limit. Fernandes and Touey’s 15.92-pound limit was 3.29 pounds too light.
“Plastic frogs yielded our bigger fish including the 5.68-pounder that was third heaviest,” Fernandes said.
American Bass Top 10
Number of Fish, Weight, Winnings — 1. Manas Malikian, John Demonet, Huntington Beach, 5, 19.21 pounds, $1,985; 2. Louis Fernandes, Santa Maria, Patrick Touey, Nipomo, 5, 15.92 pounds, $975; 3. Jared Lintner, Arroyo Grande, Nick Salvucci, San Miguel, 4, 14.30 pounds, $425; 4. Cecil Morgan, Arroyo Grande, Ron Reccord, Nipomo, 5, 13.66 pounds, $900; 5. Mark Hinson, San Luis Obispo, Stan Sherwin, Atascadero, 4, 11.96 pounds, $350; 6. Jeff Jue, David Sanchez, 5, 10.68 pounds, $325; 7. Roger Haas, Bob Simmons, Morro Bay, 3, 10.43 pounds, $896; 8. Erik Zillig, Cambria, Tim Vaughan, Los Osos, 4, 10.29 pounds, $200; 9. Doug Chessmore, Andy Joughn, Santa Barbara, 5, 8.87 pounds, $360; 10. Gene Gray, Dusty Kahler, Atascadero, 3, 9.28 pounds, $100.1st Big Fish, 6.22 pounds, Haas & Simmons, $659; 2nd Big Fish, 6.17 pounds, Morgan & R. Reccord, $390; 3rd Big Fish, 5.68 pounds, Fernandes & Touey, $260.
At Folsom Lake last week, a Cal Poly team qualified for the national FLW National Guard College championships to be held April 7-9, 2011, on Kentucky Lake. Murray State University will host the event.
By placing fifth in the three-day Western Regional last week, Damian Bean and Scott Hellesen qualified for the national. Five different regions will send five teams to Kentucky.
Twenty teams had qualified for Folsom by placing among the top five teams in tournaments at Lake Shasta, Lake Mead, The California Delta and Lake Roosevelt in Arizona.
Bean, a junior forestry and natural resource management major from Oakland, and Hellesen, a sophomore environmental management and protection major from Whittier, were winners at The Delta, second at Mead and fifth at Shasta. In the process, they earned $8,500 for university scholarships and an equal amount for the bass club at the university.
Their three-day regional total was 23 pounds, 3 ounces for 14 fish. That effort earned an additional $6,000 divided evenly for scholarships and the club.
Winnings are split evenly between scholarships and campus bass clubs.
Cal Poly’s other regional entry, John Zeolla & Joe Gardiner, finished 18th among the regional qualifiers with three fish weighing 4 pounds, 10 ounces in two days of fishing.
Sacramento State won the regional.
FLW Bass College Western Regional, No. Fish, 3-Day Wt., Winnings---1. Robert Matsuura & Peter Lee, Sacramento State, 16, 29-02 pounds, $25,000 & Ranger boat; 2. Parker Moran & Marshal Smith, Chico State, 17, 29-00 pounds, $25,000; 3. Thomas White & Allison Shaw, Chico State, 15. 28-13 pounds, $11,000; 4. Tyler Swasey & Anthony Lee, San Jose State, 12, 25-00 pounds, $8,000; 5. Scott Hellesen & Damian Bean, Cal Poly, 14, 23-03 pounds, $6,000.
The weather forecast is good for today, iffy Friday and it’s expected to be windy for the weekend.
Owner Steve Moore had the Pacific Horizon out on a crew trip out of Patriot Sportfishing on Wednesday with 12 on board. The latest count was 27 albacore caught.
The first two boats back at the Sports Launch on Wednesday had 21 tuna, 10 on Harrell Kimball’s boat with three anglers. A second boat had 11 fish for two people. A final report was not available.
The Fiesta out of Virg’s had two fish onboard Wednesday and seven anglers were still fishing. Virg’s planned for a 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. tuna run today. The For reservations on upcoming trips, call 772-1222.
A two-day trip aboard the Pacific Queen out of Patriot Sportfishing was scheduled to leave Wednesday night. The Queen departs at 10 p.m. Friday to fish Saturday. Cost is $225. Call 595-7200 for more information.
Last weekend just 12 tuna were reported by boats embarking out of the Sports Launch at Avila — four Friday and eight Saturday. Crews on three boats each day actually fished for the target fish.
Don Holder of Nipomo captured Whopper of the Week honors with the catch of a 31-pound albacore Saturday.
Last week Virg’s had only one trip. Sixteen passengers on board the Princess on Oct. 7 came back with 10 tuna. Nick Mendoza of Paso Robles had the 30-pound jackpot fish.
Four of the five trips out of Patriot Sportfishing aboard the Pacific Queen were successful. Twelve anglers blanked Oct. 4. For the week, 86 passengers caught 153 albacore. The two-best trips were Oct. 8 when 26 anglers caught 65 fish and Oct. 6 when 10 passengers boated 48 fish.
Tom Pipkin of Ojai had the lone jackpot fish reported, a 36-pounder Oct. 8.
“In the last week there has been an afternoon bite,” Patriot Sportfishing owner Steve Moore said. “The Pacific Queen has picked up mainly bait fish on trips 35 to 55 miles southwest.”
Bryan Shishido of Lindsay grabbed the lead in the annual Lingcod Contest with a 19-pound, 2-ounce lingcod caught Oct. 8 aboard the Pacific Horizon. On Oct. 11, Santa Maria’s Jerry Limon moved into a three-way tie for second place with an 18-pound, 6-ounce lingcod.
Other jackpot winners last week were: Ray Mayz, Los Osos. 10-0 ling; Fred Kenniston, Bakersfield, 9-10 ling; Peter Gajic. Santa Maria, 9-0 ling; Scott Beach, Ventura, David Robertson, Reno, NV, both 9-0 lings; Ernest Soto, Concord, 6-0 ling; Jesus Ortiz, Terra Bella, 4-0 red rockcod, Marcus Jones, Bakersfield, 3-0 red rockcod; and Jordan Andres, Fresno, 3-0 copper.
Last week’s jackpot winners were: Dat Tran, Bakersfield, 11-0 ling; John Poyour, San Miguel, 8-0 ling; Dennis Lee, Tahoe City, and Jason Hatcher, Bakersfield, both 7-0 lings.
Port San Luis Boatyard
Central Coast Sportfishing
Embarking out of Patriot Sportfishing on Oct. 9, the Rita G, with 28 anglers on board, caught one lingcod, 112 red rockcod, 110 assorted rockfish and one wolf eel. Tanner Stathan of Fresno was the jackpot winner with an 8-pound ling.
For reservations, call 772-3474 or 704-2084.
Gary Collier put an end to an 8-week drought with no trout being caught. On Oct. 8 he caught his sixth fish of the year, a 14-inch rainbow on PowerBait. In the 25 weeks (125 days) the reservoir has been open for fishing,. 23 trout have been caught. The turnout has been 242 anglers.