The winners of a Saturday bass fishing tournament shared an improbable wish. Both wished the tournament would not end.
Why? Because they were catching so many fish and having too much fun to want it to finish.
“Between us we caught close to 100 fish,” Arroyo Grande’s Jared Lintner said. “I’ve had days like this before, but it seldom happens in tournament competition. We wanted to keep on fishing. As a matter of fact, my partner (Nick Salvucci) returned to Nacimiento (Lake) Sunday and the bountiful fishing continued.
“We were catching fish on a wide variety of presentations — drop shotting, shaky heads, jigs and reaction baits. We both had bloody thumbs from lipping our fish into the boat.
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I caught what proved to be our biggest fish and the heaviest of the tournament (3.28 pounds) on a jig about 11:30.”
The 13.29-pound limit Lintner and Salvucci brought to the scales not only won the event but paid $2,580. Their margin of victory over Atascadero’s Brad Shepherd and Clark Endres was 2.41 pounds. The runners-up had a weight of 10.88 pounds. Their third-largest bass accounted for $138 of their total winnings of $1,186.
Through four ABA Pacific Coast Region events, Lintner and Salvucci have 435 points with a win, a runner-up finish and two third-place finishes. They have a 23-point advantage over Shepherd and Endres. Only two events remain on the schedule. Lintner will be available for the Feb. 12 test at Lake San Antonio before he heads east for his sixth season on the Bassmaster Elite tour.
“Nick has become an accomplished all-around fisherman,” Lintner said. “We have a good time together and I learn as much from him as he does from me. I’m sure he’ll do well while I’m away and get us into the postseason.”
ABA Top 10, (all 5-fish limits), Weight, Winnings
Jared Lintner, Arroyo Grande, Nick Salvucci, San Miguel, 13.29 pounds,, $2,580; 2. Brad Shepherd, Clark Endres, Atascadero, 10.88 pounds, $1.186; 3. Sam & Jesse James, Salinas, 10.28 pounds, $919; 4. Fred Ledesma, Jose Canchola, Soledad, 9.70 pounds, $570; 5. Charles Nipper, Templeton, Jim McKenzie, Paso Robles, 9.68 pounds, $308; 6. John Beckett, Bakersfield, Chris Beckett, Ventura, 9.66 pounds, $250; 7. Danny Conatser, Jack Owen, King City, 9.48 pounds, $200; 8. Sam Sawdey, Paso Robles, Ralph Sawdey, Shandon, 9.23 pounds, $100; 9. Carlos & Jacob Vasquez, Soledad, 8.66 pounds; 10. Neal Franklin, Atascadero, Clay Gates, Paso Robles, 8.62 pounds.
1st Big Fish, 3.28 pounds, Lintner & Salvucci, $345; 2nd Big Fish, 3.07 pounds, Conatser & Owen, $207; 3rd Big Fish, 2.98 pounds, Shepherd & Endres, $128.
Bishop’s late charge nets win
Darrin Bishop of Paso Robles made a second-day charge and vaulted from a fifth-place tie 11⁄2 pounds off the pace to a WON Bass Pro-Am championship at Lake Shasta on Jan. 8-9. He was a last-minute entry and practiced just a day and a half for the event at a venue he’d not fished in four years.
Fog delayed the start of the tournament for two hours on day one, but Bishop had a limit in the first 30 minutes.
“I had 15 keepers Saturday, however the capper was the catch of a 3.77-pound fish about 2:30,” he said. “It turned out to be the second big fish of the tournament and was worth $390.
“I finesse fished and cast a 4-inch tube bait. But my bigger fish were caught on Senkos.”
Bishop won the tournament by 0.03 pounds, edging first-day leader Mike Menno of Cottonwood. The win paid $5,963.
Paso Robles pro Ken Sauret placed 35th with 7 fish weighing 11.57 pounds, Louis Fernandes, Santa Maria, placed 44th in the 47-angler field with 6 bass weighing 8.83 pounds. Del Bishop of Templeton, the father of winner Darrin, placed 32nd in the co-angler grouping with nine fish weighing 12.48 pounds.
Gardiner enjoying pro events
A year ago Joe Gardiner was competing with the Cal Poly team in FLW National Guard college tournaments. At Lake Shasta last weekend, he entered a major tournament for the first time as a co-angler.
“It was an awesome experience fishing behind a veteran pro like Dave Nollar on day one and Young Yang of Los Angeles on day two,” Gardiner said.
“I realized my role as the co-angler was to learn as much as I possibly could, and if I ended up catching a few fish, it would be icing on the cake. Heavy rain and temperatures hovering around 40 degrees made for a tough bite. I managed to boat two fish for 4-6 pounds. On day two, I boated five keepers (5 pounds, 11 ounces) and even culled a few times.”
Gardiner’s seven fish totaled 10 pounds, 1 ounce, placing him 37th in a field of 150 anglers. He earned $500.
Jeff Michels of Lakehead topped the 150-man pro field with 15 fish and 36 pounds to win $35,000. Arroyo Grande pro Shawn Lee was 96th after day one with four bass for 4 pounds, 12 ounces. He finished 134th, going fishless on day two.
Bryant Smith of Castro Valley took co-angler honors with a 24-pound, 5-ounce total for 15 fish. He won a Ranger bass boat. Buellton’s Whitney Uyeda placed 122nd with three fish for 2 pounds, 2 ounces.
An angler, who wished to remain anonymous, caught a 41⁄2-pound bass trolling a spinnerbait by the dam Jan. 15. A marina spokesman said bass are being caught on crankbaits and plastics.
Santa Margarita Lake
Travis Gray of Atascadero used mackerel to entice an 18-pound, 9-ounce catfish. Using hot dogs for bait, Ted Ratcliff of Creston caught a 16-pound, 3-ounce catfish and Steve Goldman of Santa Margarita a 5-0 bass.
A whale watching trip from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. is set for Sunday. Another will be held Saturday if sufficient reservations are confirmed. Call 772-1222 for reservations and more information.
Two boats were chartered last weekend for the annual Morro Bay bird count. Whale watching trips are set Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Call 595-7200 for reservations and more information.