Fishing Report: Cal Poly bass team to compete in FLW National Guard college title event

Cal Poly will have a two-man team competing on a national stage this week in Kentucky.

Seniors Damian Bean and Scott Hellesen are one of five college teams from California that will be fishing Kentucky and Barkley Lakes in the three-day FLW National Guard college bass fishing championship. It begins today.

Two Chico State teams and one each from Sacramento State and San Jose State will be competing after qualifying at the western regional at Folsom Lake in October.

Four 2010 regular season events were held in five regional divisions. Schools earned berths in the national championship by placing among the top five teams in each regional competition.

The University of Florida team of Jake Gipson and Matt Wercinski won the first-ever national championship last year and will defend their title.

Bean, 23, a forestry and natural resource management major from Oakland, started the Cal Poly team three years ago. Hellesen, 22, is an environmental management major from Whittier.

Bean and Hellesen placed first at The Delta, second at Lake Mead and fifth at Lake Shasta, then punched their ticket to the nationals with a fifth place at Folsom.

The Cal Poly tandem spent their spring break March 18-26 practicing for the nationals on Kentucky Lake.

Each team in the national championship will be sporting jerseys in school colors and will fish out of wrapped Ranger boats. The boats are driven by a bass fishing pro. The national championship team will earn $50,000 cash, a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower engine wrapped in school colors and $25,000 for the school they represent.


Bass team event

Damon Meeks of Atascadero and Jay Short of Templeton placed ninth at New Melones Lake last weekend in the California Bass Team championships.

Meeks said he had never fished the lake previously. Short, who got in a half-day of practice, had not been there in 15 years.

The team was in 12th place after day one with a 9.41-pound, seven-fish team limit.

Saturday’s 13.20 limit meant a 22.61-pound total. Ninth place was worth $500.

Sixty teams qualified for the championship event, but only 34 teams participated. The top three qualifying teams from Nacimiento Lake and all six from Cachuma Lake were no shows.

Top Five Teams, Weight, Winnings 1. Glen Lockhart, Joe Hinkle, Oroville, 37.29 pounds, $7,000; 2. Jon Levenson, David Henry, Livermore, 32.30 pounds, $3,500; 3. Alex Niapas, Jerry Harvey, Angels Camp, 30.99 pounds, $2,000’ 4. Jason Remmers, Jeff Frey, Valley Springs, 28.07 pounds, $1,300. 5. Danny Wood, Sterling Killion, Fresno, 25.56 pounds, $1,200. Placings of teams who regularly enter local tournaments were: 14. Fred and Freddy Ledesma, Soledad, 19.03 pounds, $400; 25. Carlos and Jacob Vasquez, Soledad, 15.39 pounds, $250.

Bass event at Nacimiento Lake

Nacimiento Lake will paly host for a 2011 California Bass Solo qualifying tournament April 15. The top 25 percent of entries will earn berths in the June state championship event.

Cachuma Trout Derby

The 16th-annual trout derby benefiting the Nature Center will begin at 6 a.m. Saturday and closes at noon Sunday. Registration fees are $40 for anglers 11 years old or older and $10 for children 10 or younger.

Among the 4,000 pounds of rainbow trout planted today will be 250 tagged fish. Cash awards total $5,000 and will be supplemented by numerous merchandise prizes.

Jared Lintner update

The Arroyo Grande Bassmaster Elite pro began competing today in his third tournament of the season at Pickwick Lake, Florence, Ala.

Last week, he placed 27th in a field of 73 anglers in his first venture in a Professional Anglers Association three-day tourney on Georgia’s Lake Lanier. He had an 11.74-pound limit on day one but only three fish for 6.83 pounds on day two. The winner, Paul Marks, had a weight of 44.44 pounds for 14 fish.

Patriot Sportfishing

Salmon fishing trips from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. are scheduled for Saturday and Monday. Cost is $80 for adults, $60 for children 12 and under. Call 595-7200 for reservations.

A crab-and-dab trip is planned from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Cost is $66 for adults and $45 for children 12 and under. All passengers will get an equal share of the harvest of Patriot crab pots. Fishing for tasty sanddabs will follow the pulling of crab pots. Fourteen passengers Saturday and 11 on Sunday were blanked on salmon fishing trips.

Virg’s Landing

The Morro Bay sportfishing business has relocated to the former Giainni’s marine supply store, 1169 Market St.

It’s two blocks up from the former location on the Embarcadero. Fishermen can buy tickets, tackle and rent rods at the new location.

Rental rods may be picked up on the boat. Staff members will direct customers to appropriate parking areas and advise where to board their boats.

The Fiesta will leave Central Coast Sportfishing, 725 Embarcadero next to Rose’s Landing restaurant. The Princess will take on passengers at the Great American Fish Co. dock next to the T-pier. At a later date, Virg’s other boats will run out of Giavanni’s which is on the Embarcadero at the foot of Beach Street.

Reservations are being taken for a Saturday salmon fishing trip from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost is $89. Call 772-1222 for reservations and trip schedules.

Port San Luis Boatyard

No salmon were caught by boats dispatched out of the Sports Launch — six Saturday, two each Sunday and Monday and five Tuesday. Santa Maria’s Barbara Carter landed a 17.88-pound halibut Monday.

Nacimiento Lake

Dave Rymal reports from his Heritage Ranch location that crappie are being caught and bluegill are being taken by docks. Kastmasters and spinners are working for white bass.

Lake San Antonio

Lance Fairmont caught an 8-pound, 6-ounce catfish and assorted bass Monday, Rymal said.