Barring any last-minute changes, ocean salmon fishing season will open Saturday.
On March 9, the National Marine Fisheries Service approved the opening of salmon season from Horse Mountain in California to the Mexican border. As of noon Wednesday, the California Department of Fish and Game had not taken any action.
The Fisheries voice message declares the same gear regulations that were in place in 2010 are still applicable — Chinook salmon only, minimum length 24 inches, limit two per day and barbless hooks only.
Patriot Sportfishing had 11 reservations for Saturday’s 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. salmon trolling trip. Five spots were still open at this writing. Only one reservation had been made for Sunday. The landing will carry tray bait.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Call 595-7200 for reservations and more information. Adult fares for the eight-hour trips are $80. The cost for children 12 and under is $60.
The Port San Luis Boatyard will be open at 5 a.m. Saturday. Moorings will be available beginning Friday for $10 per night. Boatyard operator Marty Codorniz said dredging has been working on high spots and will continue. “The soonest we will have tray bait is Wednesday,” he said.
Codorniz said there will be a halibut tourney at the end of July after a one-year hiatus. It will be a joint effort involving the boatyard, pub and gift shop, the coffee shop and SLO Coast Kayaks.
Virg’s Landing is moving its operation two blocks above the Embarcadero to 1169 Market St. in Morro Bay. It has tentatively set trips from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost will be $89. For more information and reservations call 772-1222.
ABA Pacific Coast Region tournament
Catching the tournament’s “big fish” and a flurry of late catches enabled John White of San Luis Obispo and partner Steve Bereda of Santa Margarita to win the sixth and final ABA Pacific Coast Region tournament of the season Saturday at Lopez Lake.
Bereda finally fooled an elusive “big fish” that he had spooked in practice for and during a WON Bass tourney two weeks earlier.
“They get big for a reason, but this time it bit on my Senko,” Bereda said.
The 8.78-pound largemouth anchored the team’s 25.45-pound limit that paid $2,300.
It was the only fish the team had after an hour-and-a-half of fishing before they caught “about 15 fish flipping in a 90-minute span near the end of the tournament,” Bereda said.
The win enabled White and Bereda to place seventh in the final standings. Jared Lintner and Nick Salvucci finished as Anglers of the Year.
ABA Pacific Coast Top 10 (all 5-fish limits), Total Weight, Winnings
1. John White, San Luis Obispo, Steve Bereda, Santa Margarita, 25.45 pounds, $2,300; 2. Bobby Doss, Santa Maria, Todd Reccord, Paso Robles, 22.96 pounds, $1,040; 3.Gene Gray, Atascadero, Jay Short, Templeton, 21.59 pounds, $697; 4. Doug Chessmore, Santa Barbara, Andy Joughin, Santa Ynez, 21.21 pounds, $498; 5. Nick Salvucci, San Miguel, Dusty Kahler, Atascadero, 20.40 pounds, $276; 6. Jim Slusher, Atascadero, Ken Sauret, Paso Robles, 18.77 pounds, $440; 7. Ralph Sawdey, Shandon, Sam Sawdey, Paso Robles, 17.95 pounds, $200; 8. Jeff Rose, Oceano, Jeff Hodges, Arroyo Grande, 17.45 pounds, $100; 9. Dan & Daniel Tracy, Sr., Prunedale, 17.32 pounds; 10. Brad Shepherd, Clark Endres, Atascadero, 17.10 pounds.
1st Big Fish, 8.78 pounds, Bereda & White, $330; 2nd Big Fish, 6.23 pounds, Chessmore & Joughin, $198; 3rd Big Fish, 6.06 pounds, Gray & Short, $132. Ambushers tournament
“It was rainy, windy and nasty on Saturday and the fishing was great,” said Damon Meeks, winner of the two-day Ambushers tournament at Lake San Antonio. “Sunday was a nice day but the fishing was terrible which is typical after a storm.”
He caught 12 fish on reaction baits on day one and had an 11.97-pound limit. His Saturday passenger, Atascadero neighbor Doug Allred, caught a 12-pound striper on his first cast.
Meeks, the reigning Ambushers’ Angler of the Year, had four bites Sunday and caught three fish.
His two-day weight of 17.15 pounds for eight fish won the tournament worth $197.
The first fish Greg Hanley of Paso Robles caught Sunday was the day’s big fish (3.15 pounds). He caught it in Bee Rock Cove by a small grass mat in one foot of water. Each day he caught one largemouth and two smallies for a total weight of 14.35 pounds and second place.
Ambushers Two-Day Results Number of Fish, Total Weight Winnings 1. Damon Meeks, Atascadero, 8, 17.15 pounds, $197; 2. Greg Hanley, Paso Robles, 6, 14.35 pounds, $118; 3. Ken Meeks, Atascadero, 7, 13.27 pounds, $35; 4. Joey Davis, Atascadero, 6, 11.15 pounds; 5. Erik Zillig, Cambria, 5, 10.28 pounds, $44; 6. Jeremy Lewis, Atascadero, 5, 10.20 pounds; 7. Jacob Lewis, Atascadero, 5, 8.59 pounds; 8. Jim Keeney, Paso Robles, 5, 8.412 pounds; 9. Austin Bonjour, Atascadero, 5, 8.36 pounds; 10. Jesse Wilson, Atascadero, 4, 7.55 pounds.Big Fish Saturday, 2.69 pounds, Jeremy Lewis, $85; Big Fish, Sunday, 3.15 pounds, Greg Hanley, $100.
Failure to update their onboard GPS systems to Daylight Saving Time cost one angler and a team in separate tournaments. Jim Keeney would have won the Ambushers, but he was disqualified for being late to the weigh-in Saturday. He was eighth overall.
In the ABA tournament Saturday, Erik Zillig and Tim Vaughan were disqualified for late arrival for the weigh-in.
The lake looks beautiful,” gushed Heritage Ranch resident Dave Rymal. “It’s full and spilling for the first time since 1983. This will be a great year for fishing and for water recreation.”
There is water in the Heritage parking lot and the day-use benches are under water. Some friends have been catching spotted bass on dartheads and Robo worms, Rymal said.
Santa Margarita Lake
Both launch ramps are operational. The marina’s two docks are in place and marina operator Don Lopez plans to begin bringing marina supplies including motors from his home to the store. He did not have any fishing reports. The water is muddy.