Competitively, it was Scott Garman and Roger Haas who were the victors over 36 other teams in the Sept. 11 Lopez Lake charity bass fishing event. The real winner, however, was St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
The second-annual tournament generated $7,190 to fight cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
St. Jude was founded by entertainer Danny Thomas in 1962. The facility in Memphis, Tenn., is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with pediatric cancer and other diseases.
In the inaugural charity tournament in 2010, Garman fished alone and won the tournament “with about the same weight as this year,” he said. “The difference was I fished in 40 feet of water with spoons last year.”
Morro Bay residents Garman and Haas managed a 7-pound limit by 10 a.m. in the Wittenberg Arm. Things picked up once they moved to the Lopez Arm.
“We banged the bottom with a heavy jig in 15 feet of water. And Roger delivered a keeper on a spoon,” Garman said.
But, Garman, the owner and developer of Prime Target Swimbaits, called upon a new creation that he has not yet named. That crawdad bait, plus Shaky Fin Shad swimbaits and Yamamoto creature baits, enabled the winning tandem to catch “at least 20 fish” and cull all of their early limit.
The duo took first place with a 19.08-pound limit, including the big fish of the tournament, 4.40 pounds.
Brad Shepherd and Clark Endres of Atascadero placed second with a 15.98-pound limit and a 4.03-pound big fish. Arroyo Grande’s Jared Lintner and partner, Nick Salvucci of San Miguel placed third with a 13.38-pound limit and a 4.04-pound big fish.
All three teams donated their side pot winnings ($740) back to St. Jude. Entry fees by the 37 teams amounted to $3,700 to St. Jude’s. Tackle Warehouse matched half of the entry fee ($1,850).
Tournament director Ben Florentino said $900 was raised from raffles for a total contribution to St. Jude Children’s Hospital of $7,190.
Windy conditions are expected to put a damper on albacore fishing this weekend. Harrell Kimball says no relief is expected until next Wednesday. Warm-water plumes are 34 miles from Avila Beach and 42 miles from Morro Bay.
On Sunday, Bob Hather and his party of four aboard the Windfall caught two tuna in the 25- to 30-pound range. Although they were only 11 miles off land, they were 48 miles north of Morro Bay. Two other longfins became unbuttoned.
Kimball said: “Fishing at The Donut was scratchy last weekend. Boats in the vicinity of Cape San Martin buoy averaged 10 fish with an overnight party boating 20 tuna.”
Port San Luis Boatyard
A 27 1⁄2-pound albacore was this week’s Whopper of the Week. It ended seven straight weeks when catches of white seabass earned the honor. Dusty Musgrave of Oceano caught the albacore Saturday, the first and only day that tuna have been harvested by anglers embarking out of the Sports Launch.
Six albacore, three white seabass, 45 lingcod and 16 halibut were in the catch by anglers on board 85 launched boats.
Nine albacore were caught Saturday by 23 passengers on the Princess skippered by Brad Leage. It was the first tuna run of the year. Jeff Welch of Summerland had the jackpot fish, a 24-pound tuna.
Call 772-1222 for trip schedules and reservations.
Other jackpot winners included Nick Ramirez, Bakersfield, 12-pound ling; Dave Castillo, Morro Bay, 9-pound ling; Melissa Legg, Modesto, 8-pound ling; and Feiezzel Vamarry, Egypt, 5-pound copper. Last week 412 passengers caught 58 lingcod, 1,184 red rockcod, 2,220 assorted rockfish, 268 coppers, nine albacore and two cabezon.
Anglers aboard the Pacific Horizon caught 25 lingcod Monday at Pt. Sal and 26 at Pt. Purisima on Sunday.
Jackpot winners were led by John Gleason of Santa Margarita. He caught a 17-pound, 15-ounce lingcod. But, there has been no change in the top three spots in Patriot’s 7th Annual Lingcod contest. The top three weights were recorded Sept. 1, the first day of the contest, which ends Dec. 31. The first three weights are 26 pounds, 19 pounds and 18 pounds, 12 ounces.Other jackpot winners last week included Sean McCombs, Taft, 14-10; Dave Patague, Arroyo Grande, 12-4; Winston Ehan, Arroyo Grande, 10-0; Tim Puell, Oceano, 9-0; Jessica Morrow, Arroyo Grande, Hannah Chatham, Los Osos, and Gene Savay, Lompoc, all 8-0 lings; Miles Ley, Atascadero, 8-0 cabezon; and John Lozano, Dinuba, 4-5 red rockcod.
The catch by 213 passengers last week included 95 lingcod, 389 red rockcod, 1,451 assorted rockfish, 385 bolina, 45 cabezon and seven kelp greenlings.
Santa Margarita Lake
Nolan Ross’ grandfather believes in starting them young. The San Luis Obispo 5-year-old caught a 2 1⁄2-pound bass fishing in front of the marina over the weekend. “He had a grin as wide as possible,” the marina’s Don Lopez said.
Creston’s Ted Radcliff caught five crappie and four bass fishing with micro mini jigs Saturday.
Dave Rymal says fellow Heritage Ranch resident Greg Hanley has been having success drop-shotting for spotted bass. The marina’s Ivan Mendoza says some spots are being caught in Dip Creek on crawlers and crappie on crappie jigs. A few largemouth and white bass are being taken on plastic worms along the North shoreline.
Lake San Antonio
Ryan Roth says working at the marina has caused him “to get the fishing bug.”
Now he’s joining his buddies fishing for stripers by the dam in the evening. Shad boiled for an hour in Bee Rock Cove on Tuesday. Three stripers were caught early Wednesday morning. Crawlers and red worms are working for crappie near shore by the marina. Between the Lynch launch ramp and the day beach has been a productive zone for catfish at night.
Anaheim’s David Olson reeled in a 4 1⁄4-pound largemouth bass on a crankbait Monday. Marina reporter Jonathan Garcia said Tyler Green of Atascadero caught a 3 1⁄4-pound largemouth on a nightcrawler by the bridge.
Caesar Chang of Nipomo, using a crawdad for bait, bagged a 3-pound bass near the bridge. Fishing at Marina Point Aaron Boyle of Grover Beach landed a 2-pound, 3-ounce bass on a spinnerbait.
Thunderstorms curtailed the number of anglers on the lake over the weekend. Bass were caught all over the lake at a depth of 20 feet, Ken Hemer reported. Texas rigged plastics and jigs produced most of the fish. Mackerel has been the bait of choice for catfish catches at Santa Cruz, Harvey’s and Cachuma bays. Crappie are being tempted in The Narrows and around Arrowhead Island on mini jigs baited with nibbles. Trout fishing has been slow but trout plants are to begin in October.
Three newcomers caught trout last week. One did not list his name. Adam Richards caught 11- and 12-inch fish but did not say how.
Mo Cabrera used bait to bag a 14-inch rainbow. A 12-inch fish was caught on a lure by the unidentified angler. The 14-inch trout Pat Morris caught on worms was his second for the season.
Fourteen anglers fished the reservoir last week, boosting the number of participants to 308 for the 100 days Whale Rock has been open for fishing. Fish have been caught for eight straight weeks and 18 of the 20 weeks since the April 30-May 1 opening weekend.