New marina manager has big plans at Lopez Lake

Lopez Lake’s new marina operator comes armed with a variety of expansion plans.

Fishing at Whale Rock Reservoir suddenly has become bountiful, and the third time was the charm for Arroyo Grande bass pro Shawn Lee in last week’s U.S. Open tournament at Lake Mead sponsored by WON Bass.

On July 14 Randy Van Otterloo, 52, assumed duties of Lopez Lake marina manager. He succeeds Jerry Weatherly, 67, who retired just 35 days shy of handling marina operations for 11 years. Weatherly’s wife, Valerie, worked in the marina with her husband until her passing in August 2009.

As a youth, Van Otterloo spent his summers fishing in the Northwest Territories of Canada 500 miles north of Winnipeg. He plans to hang his trophy mount of a 30-pound Northern Pike in the marina. The onetime owner of the Village Café (1998-2005) in Arroyo Grande plans to continue organic farming 15 acres in Husana, raising both fruits and vegetables. Some of his products will be available in the marina.

Opening an ice cream parlor also is in his plans.

He has added two ski boats to the rental fleet and has purchased new motors for four of the 10 rental boats. Four Hobie kayaks are on order and one of two patio boats is on the lake.

His staff includes his nephew, Aaron Boyd, and holdover Jonathan Garcia.

Whale Rock

A harvest of 20 trout were caught Friday through Sunday last week. That’s the largest catch in decades and nearly matched the total number of trout taken (28) in the first 59 days of the 2011 season.

Ten trout were caught by Joe Reynolds, all on lures. On July 23 he reeled in five fish measuring between 10 and 18 inches. The next day, his harvest included a pair of 10-inch fish plus a 12-, 16- and 18-inch trout.

Randy Holder bagged two 16-inch bows as well as 13 and 17-inch fish on worms Sunday.

Gary Collier landed a 15-inch fish July 22 and three in the 10- to 16-inch range on July 23.

Fred Holder rounded things out with two 16-inchers, a 17 and a 13 on July 24.

WON Bass

As it played out in last week’s annual U.S. Open at Lake Mead, the .60 dead fish penalty assessed Arroyo Grande pro Shawn Lee did not alter where he finished. He would still have placed third without the penalty. It was his best finish in his third Open. The three fish deaths were not caused by the 110-degree heat that blanketed the lake for all three days of competition.

“Twelve of the 15 fish my three amateur (AAA) partners and I brought to the scales were smallmouths. Three swallowed hooks so deeply I couldn’t totally remove the hooks causing the fish to die,” Lee said

The Central Coast angler’s winnings totaled $10,851. It included $2,000 for the heaviest Day 2 pro stringer (12.18 pounds) and $1,000 for one of the five heaviest Day 2 bass (3.42 pounds).

Lee had a three-day weight of 30.51 pounds. The 47-year-old Central Coast equine veterinarian was in second place heading into the July 20 final day of competition.

Bassmaster Elite pro Aaron Martens outdid Lee 10.51 pounds to 7.44 pounds climbing from a .47 third place deficit to the championship with a final weight of 33.11 pounds. His effort paid $39,000 and a new bass boat.

The youngest entrant ever in U.S. Open history, Cody Sims, 13, of Texas, was Lee’s day one AAA partner. The youngster had never drop-shotted. But under the pro’s tutelage, Sims landed a 4.40-pound smallmouth for AAA big fish award paying $1.000, which he donated to the Wounded Warriors Project.


Port San Luis Boatyard

A 20-pound white seabass took Whopper of the Week honors last week. Santa Maria’s Paul Vuocolo caught the whopper on Saturday. The same day, a 48-pounder was landed from a boat launched from the pier.

Eighty-seven lingcod, 26 halibut and three white seabass were caught last week, Full rockcod limits were posted Saturday and Sunday, three-quarter-to-full Thursday, three-quarter limits Wednesday and Friday. Half limits were logged Monday and Tuesday. Port Side Café owner Richard Scangarello noted a current trend: “For the past several weeks, crews that stop for burritos and coffee prior to launch are returning with full limits.”

Patriot Sportfishing

Although 118 lingcod were bagged last week, a 16-pound halibut was the big fish of the week. It was caught by Visalia’s Matt Davidian on Friday aboard the Pacific Horizon. Other jackpot winners were: Don Weeks, Arroyo Grande, 12-pound ling; Bob Bowers, Fresno, 9-3 ling; Dan Barrios, San Luis Obispo, 9-0 ling; Guy Hawes, Atascadero, Jeff Stubbs, Lancaster, Jose Renteria, Bakersfield, all 8-0 lings; Willie Morgan, Bakersfield, 8-0 halibut; Joe Jackson, Lancaster, Richard Rios, Visalia, both 6-0 lings; John Montgomery, Lemoore, 6-0 vermillion; and Anton Rubacava, Pismo Beach, 4-3 ling.

For reservations and/or trip schedules call: 595-7200.

Last week, 407 passengers caught 723 red rockcod, 820 bolina, 1,185 assorted rockfish, 25 cabezon, four kelp greenling, two halibut, and 118 lingcod.

Central Coast Sportfishing

Last week, Enrique Torres of Paso Robles caught the biggest jackpot fish, a 10-pound ling. Other jackpot winners were: Gary Jensen, Grover Beach, 8-0 ling; Ira Amelvson, Cayucos, 6-0 ling; and Greg Naveau, Atascadero, 4-0 red rockcod.

For reservations and/or trip schedules call: 772-3474 or 704-2084.

Seventy nine patrons caught eight lingcod, 279 red rockcod, 284 assorted rockfish, 95 copper rockfish, 59 browns, five rock sole, two kelp greenling, one cabezon and one ocean whitefish.

Virg’s Landing

Sixty lings were caught by 360 passengers last week. Also harvested were 1,053 red rockcod, 2,038 assorted rockfish, 365 coppers, 25 bolina, two cabezon, one sheephead and one bocaccio.

Jackpot winners included Eddie Martinez, Baldwin Park, 14-0 ling; Jesse Spencer, San Luis Obispo, 12-0 ling; Will Malone, Jamestown, 10-0 ling; Manuel Leomos, Bakersfield, 9-0 ling; Bonnie Telfer, Visalia, 8-0 ling; Darran August, King City, 7-0 ling; Dave Hanson, Hanford, Kenny Daz, Bakersfield, both 6-0 lings.

For reservations, trip schedules call: 772-1222.

Santa Margarita Lake

With mackerel for bait, Atascadero’s Dave Widger caught an 18-9 catfish by the marina. Bass are biting early in the morning and evening on topwater lures. Bluegill and redear are plentiful. The marina has a new supply of Gary Yamamoto lures.

Lopez Lake

Bass weighing 6 and 51⁄2 pounds were brought to the marina this week as well as a 21⁄2-pound bluegill. Randy Van Otterloo reports crappie averaging 1 pound are being caught.

Lake Nacimiento

A quartet of pontoon boat fishermen came in Wednesday with a pair of 6-pound catfish, 30 crappie and some spotted bass. The group wishes to remain nameless, according to Heritage Ranch source Dave Rymal.