A tournament bass fishing anomaly occurred the past two weekends for a North County tandem.
Atascadero’s Gene Gray delved deep into his angling treasure trove and was unable to find a similar occurrence.
“I’ve been fishing with Jay Short since 1987 and never previously have we won tournaments on back to back weekends on different lakes,” Gray said.
In last week’s column, I wrote how Gray and Short conquered 39 other teams and a wind that was blowing out of the east, 180 degrees the opposite of normal, at Lopez Lake.
Last weekend was the first time Gray had fished Lake San Antonio since March 2010. Short managed to squeeze in only a few hours of practice Wednesday, his only experience at the lake in a year. The duo followed their W.O.N. Bass triumph at Lopez Lake with a ABA Pacific Coast Region triumph Saturday at San Antonio.
“It was warm during practice,” Short said. “But at the outset of the tournament, the weather was dramatically different. Gene’s boat was frozen over and the guides on our rods were clogged with ice.”
Added Gray: “I was so sure it was going to be warm that I left my winter gloves and face mask at home. I was wearing jeans and a hoody sweatshirt. That didn’t last long before I put on my heavy duty winter rain gear. When the sun did come out, it didn’t warm up right away.”
Fishing the main lake en route to the San Antonio River, Gray and Short caught a trio of smallmouth, two on swimbaits and the other on a jerkbait. They had a limit by 8:30 a.m. However, the bite ceased until after 11 a.m.
Action picked up once they reached the river and began dragging spinnerbaits slowly through trees along the shoreline. They estimated they caught 13 to 15 fish.
They won the previous week by a margin of 7.52 pounds. On Saturday, they eked out a tournament title by just 25-hundredths of a pound.The winners’ 14-pound, 5-fish limit included two smallmouth they caught early. Gray and Short divided $2,260 in winnings.
Runner-up honors went to Bassmaster Elite pro Jared Lintner of Arroyo Grande and partner Nick Salvucci of San Miguel. Only one ABA Pacific Coast tourney remains on the schedule. Salvucci will have to fish the March 26 tourney at Lopez alone as Lintner will be competing in Elite tournaments in Florida.
Lintner and Salvucci have the Central Coast Region Angler of the Year honors clinched. They have 544 points by registering one first-place finish, two seconds and a pair of thirds. Doug Chessmore (Santa Barbara) and Andy Joughin (Santa Ynez) are 31 points back in second place.
“Nick caught our big fish (3.74 pounds) by flippin. That’s how we caught all 20 to 25 fish,” said Linter, who added that it had been a year since the last time he fished San Antonio.
“I enjoy fishing lakes around home,” he said. “I plan on fishing the Angler’s Choice tournament this Saturday at Santa Margarita. And when my Bassmaster schedule allows, I’ll be home for some of the upcoming local events.”
After three Angler’s Choice events, Lintner and Salvucci have a 323.59 points to 322.72 for Mike Griffith of Atascadero and partner Pat Motley of Arroyo Grande. American Bass Top 10, (all 5-fish limits), Weight, Winnings
1.Gene Gray, Atascadero, Jay Short Templeton, 14.00 pounds, $2,260; 2, Jared Lintner, Arroyo Grande, Nick Salvucci, 13.75 pounds, $1,354; 3. Doug Chessmore, Santa Barbara, Andy Joughin, Santa Ynez, 13.32 pounds, $606; 4. Mark Scribner, Pismo Beach, Graham Grove, Atascadero, 12.60 pounds, $455; 5. Fred Ledesma, Jose Canchola, Soledad, 11.93 pounds, $300; 6. Carlos & Jacob Vasquez, Soledad, 11.74 pounds, $250; 7.Roger Haas, Bob Simmons, Morro Bay, 11.20 pounds, $220; 8. Doug Slaton, Mark Haworth, Hollister, 11.08 pounds; $344; 9. Jeff Rose, Oceano, Jeff Hodges, Arroyo Grande, 10.44 pounds, $50 Tackle Warehouse gift card; 10. Randy & Mason McAbee, Bakersfield, 10.37 pounds. 1st Big Fish, 3.74 pounds, Lintner & Salvucci, $360; 2nd Big Fish, 3.55 pounds, Bobby Doss, Santa Maria, Todd Reccord, Paso Robles, $216; 3rd Big Fish, 3.38 pounds, Slaton & Haworth, $144. Patriot Sportfishing
The Pacific Horizon is scheduled to leave for Ventura this weekend for its annual Coast Guard certification.
Whale watching trips are scheduled for Friday Saturday and Sunday, weather and sufficient reservations permitting. Cost is $35 for adults, $15 for children ages 4 to 12 and $10 for children 3 and under. Call 595-7200 for reservations and more information.California 2011 Fishing and hunting licenses are available for sale. Marina hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Virg’s Landing
Call 772-1222 for whale watching and other trip schedules.
Neither Santa Margarita nor Lopez Lake had fising reports this week. The marinas at Nacimiento Lake and Lake San Antonio pay little or no attention to the fishing scene.