Outdoors

Fishing Report: Rockcod opening weekend is a hit

“The rockcod season opener on the Central Coast was the best one I can recall in a long, long time.”

That’s how Harrell Kimball, who closely monitors saltwater fishing on the Central Coast, rated the rockcod opener. The season opened Sunday after being shuttered for 135 days.

For 25 years Kimball, 80, a retired engineer, has been dispensing pertinent information benefiting saltwater anglers in their varied pursuits, including now by his fishreports.net website. He is by far the most the most consistent contributor with 1,482 posts.

Using his VHF marine radio from his residence atop the Nipomo Mesa, he is able to communicate with vessels 60 to 70 miles offshore.

“I look at 20 to 30 weather sites including six buoys that are of interest,” Kimball said. “I’ve been fishing these waters since 1959, so I’m very familiar with the territory.”

Bob Hather of San Luis Obispo, founder of www.fishreports.net, calls Kimball “a tremendous resource. He’s very precise.”

It’s a tribute echoed by countless other fishermen.

Here are some reports that attest to the successful rockcod opener.

Thirty-five private boats dispatched from the Sports Launch at the Port San Luis Boatyard had full limits that included 50 lingcod Sunday. On Monday, anglers on 27 boats had 31 lings and full limits.

The Patriot and Pacific Horizon out of Patriot Sportfishing in Avila carried 82 passengers Sunday. They returned with full limits, including 12 lings. On Monday, 13 anglers aboard the Pacific Horizon had limits, including 10 lings. The Patriot had a charter with many inexperienced fishermen among the 22 on board. Still, the catch included 10 lings.

Michele Leary piloted the Rita G out of Morro Bay on Sunday with 26 passengers aboard. Limits were caught, topped by a 7.53-pound lingcod. Jim Webb of Cambria was the jackpot winner. The catch included seven lingcod, one cabezon, 22 bolina, 57 red rockcod, one ocean whitefish and 165 assorted rockfish.

Captain Sharon Rowley piloted the Pathfinder out of Virg’s on Sunday with 26 passengers on board. Don Russell of Morro Bay was the jackpot winner with a 12-pound ling. The total catch averaged nine-plus fish per person. The catch included: two lings, one cabezon, 104 vermillion, 20 coppers and 136 assorted rockfish.

The Admiral out of Virg’s carried 42 anglers Sunday. Jackpot honors went to Ulysses Ramos with a 7- pound ling. The catch included 178 vermillion, 200 assorted rockfish, and two lings.

The Fiesta out of Virg’s had 25 passengers Sunday. Fifty vermillion, two lingcod and 150 assorted rockfish were caught. Melissa Berg-irt won the jackpot with a 5-pound red rockcod.

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Port San Luis Boatyard

Danny Biven of Grover Beach earned Whopper of the Week honors with a 15-pound salmon caught Sunday.

Assorted reports on fishreports.net

Buellton’s Dave Flack caught a 49-inch, 42-pound, 2-ounce halibut on a swimbait Tuesday fishing north of Cambria.

Mel de la Motte of San Luis Obispo had limits of lings and big reds on his boat Monday at White Rock No. 2.

Steve Hendricks of Grover Beach used a watermelon apex to land a 15-pound salmon fishing out of Morro Bay on Sunday.

Greg Birkholz of Arroyo Grande caught a 28-inch lingcod Sunday.

Kevin Bole of Orcutt fishing Monday south of White Rock, had a boat limit of five lingcod to 34 inches

Lintner update

The Bassmaster Elite Series begins the second half of the season today at Georgia’s West Point Lake. Arroyo Grande’s Jared Lintner was in seventh place in the Toyota Tundra Angler of the Year standings after three events with placings of 37th, 14th and 17th. But, in event No. 4 (Aprik 14-17) at Toledo Bend in Louisiana, the six-year pro tumbled to 75th place in the 99-angler field. He’s now in 27th place in the standings with 815 points. Texas’ Alton Jones is the leader at the midway point with 1,096 points.

Criteria to qualify for the 2012 Bassmaster Classic has changed. Winners of the eight Elite tournaments, plus the top 28 in the year-end standings, will earn Classic invites.

Port San Luis Bait

Patriot owner Steve Moore will take over the live bait operation formerly handled by Deke Wells. Moore said he is having new receivers built and plans to bring his commercial boat down from Half Moon Bay.

“My intention is to have bait for my boats as well as private boats. I plan to have a live Bait Page on the Patriot Sportfishing website.” On Christmas Day, Wells’ bait boat sank.

Nacimiento Lake and Lake San Antonio

Dave Rymal, who resides at Heritage Ranch, reports that starting Memorial Day weekend Quagga Muscle inspections will begin at both lakes. Boat owners should plan on arriving at both lakes with vessels that are both clean and dry.

Fishing has been picky at Nacimiento. Fishing early in the day with net-dipped live shad is the most productive tactic. Earlier this week, four anglers caught 50 white bass and limits of spots with this technique.

Santa Margarita Lake

Fishing by the dam Saturday, Damon Meeks of Atascadero caught a 10-pound, 5-ounce largemouth. The same day Dale James of Atascadero reeled in a 15-pound, 6-ounce catfish on a nightcrawler in Jackass Cove. Sandra Lopez reports few crappie, bluegill and redear are being caught.

Lopez Lake

Gary Swell caught a 6 1⁄4-pound bass drop-shotting in the Vasquez Arm on Wednesday. Randy Jenkins of Bakersfield landed a 4 3⁄8-pound largemouth while fishing near the boathouse with nightcrawlers. Fishermen are seeing trout small fry in the Wittenberg Arm.

Cachuma Lake

“Bass fishing has been good early and late with top water, blades and jerkbaits all working,” marina operator Ken Hemer reports. “Shad have been sighted up tight in Dead Horse Canyon and Cachuma Creek. Trolling leadcore line at four to five colors for trout is hit or miss.

Crappie are starting to become active in The Narrows and Santa Cruz Bay. Bow hunting for carp has been good with fish up to 17.5 pounds.”

Whale Rock

Gary Collier used PowerBait on opening day to catch a 10-inch trout. Twenty-three fishermen were out over the weekend. The reservoir is open for trout fishing Wednesdays through Sundays.

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