One of the alluring aspects of saltwater fishing is you never know what piscatorial species you are reeling in.
But, a dorado? Off the Central Coast? Are you kidding me?
Nipomo’s Harrell Kimball said: “In all the years I’ve monitored fishing off our coast, I can recall only one other dorado catch.”
The first dorado catch was made Monday by Grover Beach’s Bob Hamlin, who was celebrating his birthday with his son Cory aboard Mark Stuthard’s boat, Pisces. The trio fished 35 miles out from Morro Bay.
In less than three action-packed hours on the tuna grounds, 17 albacore ranging from 20 to 30 pounds were harvested. In the midst of the activity Stuthard recalled exclaiming: “Wouldn’t it be nice to get an exotic.”
In addition to the troll lines off the stern, Stuthard said he had a “whiskey line” trailing the boat by some 400 feet.
“We’d picked up one of our albacore on that line,” he said. “I at first thought we had a Mako shark on a secondary hookup. I turned the retrieve over to the birthday guy. Once he’d reeled it near the boat, we could see the fish’s bright yellowish green coloring. Then we realized we had our exotic.”
It was a beauty, a dorado estimated to weigh 20 pounds. The rounded forehead of this fish identified it as a female. Males have high vertical foreheads.
This wasn’t Stuthard’s first encounter with dorado. He’s caught them in their traditional waters out of Laredo, Mexico.
A Tuesday post by Greg Birkholz on the fishreports.net website noted that Jim Elkins, fishing from Ray Cloud’s boat caught a 20-pound female dorado for the second rare catch of the week.
Kimball called Monday’s surge in albacore catches “probably the best day we’ve had in four years. Great weather, warm water and big fish counts. There were about a dozen boats out 30 miles from Morro Bay with catches of 10 to 50 fish. The warm water plume extends north and south about 30 miles long.”
These were a few of the Monday-Tuesday catches out of Morro Bay listed on fishreports.net website: Dan Kodiak, Simi Valley, a first-timer, 40-pound bluefin, 30 tuna to 38 pounds; Joe Mangiardi, Nipomo, 30 albies; Douglas Hendry, Cayucos, six averaging 35 pounds including one near 50 pounds; Ron McHenry, Santa Maria, 12 tuna, one bluefin; Woody Woodruff, 13 longfins; Shawn Russ, Nipomo, 14 fish over 20 pounds.
Virg’s albacore crew trip
Five men aboard the Fiesta on Tuesday, fishing 32 miles due west of Morro Bay, harvested 40 albacore. Skipper John Rowley said two 12-pound fish were in the catch. The others ranged from 25 to 35 pounds. No live bait was on board. Most catches were on blue and purple feathers and broomtail zucchini. Two fish were caught on iron.
Small-craft tuna forecast
At 6:34 a.m. Wednesday, Kimball posted online: “No really good day in forecast through next Tuesday (Oct. 11). Models indicate nothing less than 15-knot winds with 7-foot swells.”
Virg’s tuna trip
The Princess will board passengers at 11 p.m. Saturday. Because of the closeness of albacore, the cost is $150. Fishing will be Sunday with return around 5 p.m. Call 772-1222 for reservations.
Tuna runs out of Patriot Sportfishing
The Pacific Queen departs on a day-and-a-half trip 8 p.m. Friday with return by 8 a.m. Sunday. A second day-and-a-half trip is planned with an 8 p.m. departure Sunday. Live bait will be on board. Cost for each trip is $300. An overnight trip will depart at 10 p.m. Tuesday with cost for that trip $225. Fuel surcharges of between $20 and $30 will be added to base fares. For reservations, call 595-7200 or go online to patriotsportfishing.com.
Quarels memorial fund
A deposit of $6,100 was made into the Trishawna Quarels Memorial Fund from proceeds from an Oct. 1 bass tournament and raffle held at Santa Margarita Lake.
Eighteen teams participated. The top three finishers were 1. Jared Lintner, Arroyo Grande, Nick Salvucci, San Miguel, 4 fish, 15.10 pounds, $1,730; 2. Todd & Ron Reccord, San Luis Obispo, 4 fish, 14.17 pounds, $1,417; 3. Damon Meeks, Doug Rice, Atascadero, 5 fish, 14.11 pounds, $450. Big Fish, 7.29-pounds, Reccord & Reccord, $1.355.
All tournament winnings were donated back to the memorial fund.
Quarles, 34, died Sept. 16 because complications at childbirth including Sickle cell anemia. She is survived by her husband, Aaron, and infant son, Dorian Sinclair Quarles.
Aaron Quarles of Nipomo and Dan Barrios of San Luis Obispo placed fourth, first out of the money, with 5 fish, 13.26 pounds.
Raffle prizes included a Lowrance HDS 5 GPS and Sonar combo donated by Jim’s Pro Bass Tackle, Paso Robles. Herm DeLore, Atascadero, purchased and donated two Shimano reels. Tackle Warehouse of San Luis Obispo made a $1,000 contribution. Ken Sauret of Paso Robles, a Lowrance rep, arranged the donation of two fish finders. Joe Gardiner, a Cal Poly student and a WON Bass tournament director, donated a cord of almond firewood.
Patrons are reminded the marina facility is now at 1169 Market St. in Morro Bay. Trip tickets, tackle and rod rentals can be purchased there. Anglers board boats at 1185 Embarcadero where the Great American Fish Co. is located.
Last week 150 patrons caught 44 lings. Jackpot winners included Daven Richanberg of San Luis Obispo, Phil Mackechen of Ventura and Greg Beach of Morro Bay with 15-, 10- and 5-pound lings respectively. Call 772-1222 for reservations.
Top catches last week were a 14-pound ling by Jim Long of Shell Beach, a 13-pound, 6-ounce cabezon by David Lau of Fremont of and a 13-pound white seabass by Will Whitehead of Santa Maria. Call 595-7200 for reservations and trip schedules.
Port San Luis Boatyard
Dusty Musgrave of Pismo Beach took Whopper of the Week honors with the catch of a 25-pound white seabass Saturday. Anglers aboard 72 launched boats last week caught 31 lingcod, four halibut and 12 white seabass.
Central Coast Sportfishing
Jackpot winners aboard the Rita G included Riverdale’s Joe Peichoto, 8-pound ling and Jason Smith of Atascadero, 7-pound ling. Thirty-one anglers caught five lingcod, 155 red rockcod, 134 assorted rockfish, 20 coppers, three sanddabs and one boccacio.
For reservations and trip schedules, call 772-3474 or 704-2084.
Grover Beach’s Mark Stuthard incorporates CPR when freshwater fishing — catch, photo and release. In the back of the Wittenberg Arm last weekend, he caught six small bass Saturday and 15 on crankbaits Sunday.
Joe Cooper became the 20th angler to catch a trout this year when he reeled in a 17-inch rainbow on worms Sept. 30. Pat Morris caught his sixth fish (15 inches) on worms Sept. 28. Catch leader Joe Reynolds caught his 28th fish (10 inches) Saturday. Eight anglers fished last week.