Late catches in bass tournaments frequently propel teams to the top of the leaderboard.
Such was not the case Saturday when Mike Griffith and Pat Motley were denied their second victory in the third test on the seven-event Angler’s Choice Central Coast agenda.
What Motley’s catch meant was a second-place finish, only five-hundreths of a pound off the pace set by a Salinas team.
Motley had guided his 2004 Ranger as far from the Nacimiento Lake marina as you can get. The team spent the bulk of the day fishing in the Nacimiento River.
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“We saw only one other boat in the river all day and that team left after about 90 minutes,” Griffith said. “Creeks were gurgling as they emptied into the river making for a current.
“All day we threw plastics into less than five feet of water. Although we’d caught about 18 fish during the day, we knew we needed a bigger fish.”
Time was running out when Motley made a stop off Bee Rock Cove. “On my first cast to a bank next to a big rock I reeled in a 3 ½ -pounder. Earlier, I’d gotten a 3-pounder in the river,” he said
The digital weight of Motley’s big fish was 3.25 pounds. It turned out to be the third-heaviest fish of the tournament, just eight-hundredths of a pound less than the heaviest bass caught by the event winners, Bryan Grier and Steven Grier of Salinas. Their 3.33-pound big fish anchored their 11.88-pound winning weight worth $2,310.
Big-fish honors were claimed by Dan Barrios and Charlie Barrios of San Luis Obispo with a 4.13-pounder.
“The river is where we found fish when we pre-fished on Thursday and the bite held throughout the tournament,” Motley said.
“Mike and I have been friends since we were in the service and resided in the same apartment complex. We lost contact with one another for about 15 years. We met again at a W.O.N. Bass tournament at Cachuma Lake when we had different partners. This is our third season of fishing as a team.”
Griffith, 62, is retired and living in Atascadero. Motley, 58, is semi-retired and living in Arroyo Grande. Both agreed they fish well together. At tournaments at Nacimiento Lake and Lake San Antonio, they fish from Motley’s Ranger. At other venues, they compete out of Griffith’s 1999 Hawk, which is the same style as Legend boats.
Griffith and Motley are in second place in the standings through three Angler’s Choice competitions. Jared Lintner of Arroyo Grande and Nick Salvucci of San Miguel have accumulated 323.59 points, with Griffith and Motley at 322.72. points.
Angler’s Choice standings combine points for placement in tournaments, plus the weight of fish caught in each event.
Other bass news
The fourth event on the American Bass Pacific Coast Region schedule is scheduled for Saturday at Nacimiento Lake.
Meanwhile, at Lake Shasta, Arroyo Grande’s Shawn Lee will be a pro entry in the FLW Ever Start tournament series, which begins today.
Competing as a co-angler will be Whitney Uyeda from Buellton.
Cal Poly has an entry in the FLW College series Saturday at Shasta.
The Tri Valley Bass Club will hold its annual banquet Jan. 23 at Rancho Bowl in Santa Maria beginning at 5 p.m. For more information, call tournament director Steve Vidmarat 354-1912 or 621-9051
The first Tri Valley tournament will be Jan. 29 at Lopez Lake. Entry fees have been raised $5; the new fee per boat is $80.
Santa Margarita Lake
“Chicken hot dogs have become a killer bait for both catfish and bass,” marina manager Don Lopez said.
Dennis Yates, the mayor of Chino who fishes at Santa Margarita eight or nine tims per year, tried unsuccessfully to catch catfish with nightcrawlers, mackerel and anchovies. On Sunday, he switched to Bar S chicken hot dogs and caught several 4-pound whiskerfish.
Seventeen-year-old Colin Hutchison of Santa Margarita landed an 18-pound, 1-ounce catfish with the chicken hot dog bait while fishing near the marina Saturday. On Sunday, Richard Capper of Atascadero caught a 12-pound, 7-ounce catfish, also with the same hot dog bait. Janet Veigh of Santa Margarita used the same bait Sunday to catch a 4-pound, 15-ounce bass.
The weather is looking promising for scheduled whale watching trips Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Cost is $35 for adults, $15 for children ages 4-12 and $10 for children 3 and under. Reservations are recommended. Call 595-7200 for more information.
Whale watching trips are scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Cost is $39 for adults, $29 for those 15 and under. Call 772-1222 for more information and reservations.