Fishing Report: Lopez Lakes winds prove tricky for anglers in W.O.N. bass tournament

A wayward wind was blowing Saturday at Lopez Lake during the third W.O.N Bass Central Coast competition of the season. Some anglers figured it out. Some didn’t adjust their presentations in time.

Twenty-one of the 40 teams entered brought five-fish limits to the scales. But, it was a team who has partnered off and on for 20 years, that whipped the field by a margin of 7.55 pounds.

Atascadero’s Gene Gray and Templeton’s Jay Short reunited as a team, and it was like old times. Their limit weighed a whopping 27.17 pounds.

Wind conditions were strange for Lopez Lake. Instead of blowing in from the west, which is normal, the gusts came from the east, causing anglers to change how they usually fish the South County reservoir.

“The direction of the wind screwed up how you fish for bass at Lopez,” Gray said. “Usually the fish are positioned facing the dam. But, in this tournament they were facing in the opposite direction. I’ve fished a lot of tournaments at this lake, but I don’t remember another occasion when the wind was blowing out of the Wittenberg and Lopez Arms.

“Jay and I had a limit by 8 o’clock. In fact, we had four fish right away casting swimbaits, spinnerbaits and jigs. We were able to cull two fish 30 minutes later. The fish were pretty shallow early on, but two of the 15 fish we caught during the tournament were pulled out of 25 feet of water.”

Gray, who has a long work history as a mechanic, went to work in January at Golden Hills Auto Center in Paso Robles. His new job will curtail his full participation in FLW pro events.

For the past year, Jay Short has been occupied remodeling the interior of his Templeton home, which has cut into his fishing time. He is utilities supervisor for the Templeton Community Services District.

He expects to once again compete in Tri Valley tournaments with his son, Matt, 18.

He got in the fishing groove by catching the tournament’s big fish on a spinnerbait early in the competition. The 7.11-pound largemouth accounted for $830 of the team’s total winnings of $1,670.

Lompoc’s Ron Morrison, who won the Tri Valley tourney the previous weekend with his son, admitted he probably spent too much time fishing the same area. He and new partner, Mark Pollorena, caught just four fish in placing eighth.


W.O.N Bass Top 10, No. Fish, Weight, Winnings — 1. Gene Gray, Atascadero, Jay Short Templeton, 5, 27.17 pounds, $1.670; 2. Danny Knotts, Santa Maria, Tim Sharpe, Grover Beach, 5, 19.65 pounds, $1,230; 3. Byron Hallett, Templeton, George Stamper, Paso Robles, 5, 16.19 pounds, $710; 4. Mark Scribner, Pismo Beach, Graham Grove, Atascadero, 5, 15.77 pounds, $450; 5. Louis Fernandes, Santa Maria, Patrick Touey, Nipomo, 5, 15.07 pounds, $320; 6. Tom Guidry, Vandenberg Village, Stan Skou, Los Alamos, 5, 14.36 pounds, $220; 7. Darrin Bishop, Paso Robles, Del Bishop, Templeton, 5, 14.13 pounds, $140; 8. Ron Morrison, Lompoc, Mark (Spike) Pollorena, Los Alamos, 4, 13.78 pounds, $120; 9. Ron & Heather Raymond, Paso Robles, 5, 13.65 pounds; 10. Nick Salvucci, San Miguel, Dusty Kahler, Atascadero, 5, 13.51 pounds.1st Big Fish, 7.11 pounds, Gray & Short $830; 2nd Big Fish, 6.59 pounds, Knotts & Sharpe, $700;3rd Big Fish, 6.53 pounds, Hallett & Stamper, $560Closest to 10-pound bag, 10.00 by Jerry Williams, Willy Tompkins, Porterville, $380; AAA Auto Club $100 gas card, Shawn Lee, Arroyo Grande; Director’s Appreciation Award, Scribner & Grove, two $25 Bass Pro Shops gift cards.

Bass tournament

Event No. 5 on the American Bass Pacific Coast agenda will be contested Saturday at Lake San Antonio.

Enchilada project

The Central Coast Women for Fisheries prepared and sold 367 trays (1,468 enchiladas) last weekend. The organization of 65 women, with an assist from the Central California Joint Cable Fisheries Liaison Committee, has provided scholarship monies to relatives of commercial fishermen.

Scholarships totaling $20,000 annually have been awarded to students attending Junior Colleges, four-year colleges as well as graduate programs. That program has been in place four years. The nonprofit organization is involved in numerous other conservation and educational programs.

Patriot Sportfishing

The Patriot has passed its annual Coast Guard certification and was en route back to port Wednesday.

Combination crab and sanddab trips are planned to begin later this month or early March. Whale watching trips are planned for Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Reservations are appreciated. Call 595-7200 to make reservation. Cost is $35 for adults, $15 for children ages 4-12, and $10 for children age 3 and under.

Virg’s Landing

Rizzo dolphins and California gray whales were seen by passengers on the Feb. 6 whale watch ingtrip. Call 772-1222 for reservations and departure times Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Cost is $39 for adults and $29 for children under 16.

Santa Margarita Lake

“A few bass are being caught,” marina manager Don Lopez said.

Lopez Lake

Kids are catching bluegill from the F dock, according to the marina’s John Garcia. Dan Barrios and Justin Goodman of San Luis Obispo caught larger bass in practice than they did placing 11th in the Feb. 5 W.O.N Bass tournament.