Fishing Report: Ball lands one of largest spotted bass ever at Nacimiento during team win

Borrowing the vernacular of baseball Hall of Famer Yogi Berra, the second chapter of the 2010-11 W.O.N. Bass Central Coast tournament series was déjà vu all over againRight on, Yogi.

It was in fact a déjà vu experience for anglers Dale Ball and Steve Bereda. The two North County menput their stamp on the W.O.N. Bass competition Jan. 2 just like they did last month — same venue (Nacimiento Lake), same finish (first), and big fish honors once again.

Thirty-four teams competed in foul weather more suited for ducks.

Time was running out when Ball, of Creston, caught what proved to clinch the tournament championship.

Where Ball caught the big fish was a site that neither he nor Bereda, of Santa Margarita, had ever caught a big fish at before.

“We just wanted to get in from what was a neverending shower,” Bereda said. “Dale cast a worm off a point where the water was shallow.

“We weren’t expecting what he reeled in, a 5.23-pound spotted bass. Fish will make you a liar every time.”

It was the third-largest spot ever recorded at Nacimiento Lake. Atascadero’s Chris Finch caught a 5.28-pound spot in a Feb. 5, 1994 tournament. That mark stood for 12 years and nine months. Arroyo Grande’s Casey Langley then captured the lake record Nov. 11, 2006 in a Bass Ambushers tournament — a 5.49-pound spot.

During practice, the winners caught fish up creeks and the backs of coves. Their practice strategy wouldn’t work for the tournament as stormy weather muddied the water in those locations.

“We fished virtually the entire tournament in the main lake where the water was clear,” Ball said.

Bereda caught a limit before Ball caught a keeper. The duo estimated they caught 18 fish.

“I had good luck late and that’s what team fishing is all about,” Ball said.

The soaking the duo took despite their Gore-Tex waterproof and breathable outerwear was worth it. The third-heaviest spot caught at the lake sweetened their winnings by $360. Their first-place weight of 12.88 pounds paid an additional $1,420.

The team’s win this time was by a margin of 2.39 pounds. The runnersup were Rudy Rowlett of Paso Robles and Neal Franklin of Atascadero. Their limit weighed 10.49 pounds.

W.O.N. Bass, Central Coast Region Top 10 (all 5-fish limits), Total Wt., Winnings

1.Dale Ball, Creston, Steve Bereda, Santa Margarita, 12.88 pounds, $1,420; 2. Rudy Rowlett, Paso Robles, Neal Franklin, Atascadero, 10.49 pounds, $920; 3. Steven Grier, Mike Prescott, Salinas, 10.39 pounds, $640; 4. Al Rush, Paso Robles, Marc Hazuka, Atascadero, 10.30 pounds, $390; 5. Graham Grove, Atascadero, Mark Scribner, Pismo Beach, 10.27 pounds, $260; 6. Jared Lintner, Arroyo Grande, Tony Salvucci, San Miguel, 10.14 pounds, $140; 7. Clay & Paul Gates, Paso Robles, 9.62 pounds, $100; 8. Darrin Bishop, Paso Robles, Del Bishop, Templeton 9.62 pounds; 9. Sam James, Tom Nieto, Salinas, 9.62 pounds; 10. Gene Gray, Atascadero, Jay Short, Templeton, 9.41 pounds.

1st Big Fish, 5.23 pounds, Ball & Bereda, $360; 2nd Big Fish (tie) 2.57 pounds, Rowlett & Franklin, $110; Nick Salvucci, San Miguel, Dusty Kahler, Atascadero, $110.


Hangover Tournament

Fifty-three brave souls bucked the cold and rain for the annual bass tournament that ushers in the New Year.

Nacimiento Lake was the site of the Jan. 1 event won by Jared Lintner of Arroyo Grande and Nick Salvucci of San Miguel. Their five-fish limit weighed 12.99 pounds and included a 4.18-pound big fish. The duo took home $500 for the title and $270 for the big fish.

Soledad’s Carlos Vasquez and Jose Canchola placed second with a 12.43-pound limit worth $300. Franklin and Paso Robles’ Al Rush fwere third with an 11.20-pound limit worth $200.

Angler’s Choice Tourney

Event No. 3 on the Central Coast Region is set for Saturday at Nacimiento Lake.

Lintner and Salvucci have a 12.57-point edge on the runnerup team in the standings after two events. Lintner and Salvucci have 224.71 points earned via a championship in the November event at Nacimiento and a second at Lopez Lakde in October.

Mike Griffith of Atascadero and teammate Pat Motley ofArroyo Grande have 212.14 points by winning at Lopez and placing 13th at Nacimiento.

American Bass series

Lopez Lake is scheduled to host the fourth competition in the American Bass, Pacific Coast Region series Jan. 15. Lintner and Salvucci hold the top rung in the standings with 325 points. Doug Chessmore of Santa Barbara and Andy Joughin of Santa Ynez are second with 314 points.

Patriot Sportfishing

Whale watching trips from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. Cost is $35 for adults; $15 for children ages 4-12, and $10 for children 3 and under.

Call 595-7200 for reservations and more information.

Virg’s Landing

As of Wednesday, the landing did not have any whale watching trips scheduled this weekend. Call 772-1222 for updates.