The 166 teams who will flock to Nacimiento Lake this weekend for the WON Bass Tri-States Championship will experience “fantastic fishing,” according to Heritage Ranch resident Dave Rymal.
This event promises to be one of the largest in decades and perhaps the biggest ever at the North County site.
Bass teams from a dozen regions have met qualifying standards and earned the right to compete in the prestigious Tournament of Champions on Saturday and Sunday. Teams will be vying for two Nitro Z6 Mercury 115 hp Pro XS boat packages each valued at $50,000.
Rymal said that Heritage Ranch resident Martin Rowley caught 50 fish both Monday and Tuesday at the lake. His catches were split evenly between spotted bass, which will count in the tournament, and white bass, which will not. His catches came on Real Image jigs worked near Las Tablas Cove. Some spots weighed up to three pounds.
Another Heritage resident, Dean Shoup, reeled in 15 spotted bass Sunday.
Tournament Director Joe Gardiner’s Central Coast Region has the most qualifiers, 22 teams. Anglers from this region are very familiar with Nacimiento, having fished it twice early in the seven-event campaign. Many teams have years of tournament experience in other tournament series on the lake.
Heading the cast are Anglers-of-the-Year Danny Knott of Santa Maria and Tim Sharpe of Arroyo Grande who won one tourney and placed second twice.
Creston’s Dale Ball, the 2010 Cal Bass state champion, teams with Santa Margarita’s Steve Bereda. The duo won two 2010-11 tourneys at Nacimiento.
Other qualifiers who won Central Region crowns this season include Gene Gray of Atascadero and Jay Short of Templeton; Graham Grove of Atascadero and Mark Scribner of Pismo Beach; Nick Salvucci of San Miguel and Dusty Kahler of Atascadero; and Casey Langley and Aaron Quarles, both Nipomo.
Additional Central Coast qualifiers are: Darrin Bishop of Paso Robles and Del Bishop of Templeton; Shawn Lee of Arroyo Grande and Ken Sauret of Paso Robles; Aaron and Eddie Davidson of Atascadero; Dan Barrios and Justin Goodman, plus Mark Hinson and Scott Hellesen of San Luis Obispo; Byron Hallett of Templeto and George Stamper of Paso Robles; Erik Zillig of Cambria and Damon Meeks of Atascadero; Neal Franklin of Atascadero and Rudy Rowlett of Paso Robles; Sam Sawdey of Paso Robles and Josh Brard of Atascadero; Clay and Paul Gates of Paso Robles; Marc Hazuka of Atascadero and Al Rush of Paso Robles; Tai Martin of Pismo Beach and Paul Douglas of Santa Barbara; and Calvin Long and Dustin Isbell ofVandenberg Village.
Gary Collier moved ahead of Joe Reynolds for the most trout caught here this season.
Collier caught a 15 1⁄2-inch fish Oct. 26 and a trio of 12-inch trout Oct. 29. All were tempted on worms. Collier has caught 35 fish this year. Reynolds added only one fish, a 15-inch trout taken on a lure Sunday. His total is 34 trout. Only 13 days of Whale Rock fishing remains. The season ends Nov. 13.
Two newcomers joined the list of successful 2011 anglers. Dave and Deb Ferraro used worms to catch two 12-inch fish Saturday. Lukas Holder became the 22nd individual to catch fish when he employed a worm to temp a 15-inch trout Saturday.
Thus far, 117 trout have been caught. Eight anglers fished last week.
The Pacific Horizon will be heading for Pt. Purisima on Sunday with anglers seeking to climb into contention in Patriot’s seventh-annual Lingcod Contest. The trio of leaders caught their fish early in the competition, which began Sept. 1. The top three weights are 26 pounds, 19 pounds and 18 pounds, 12 ounces.
Cost for the long-range trip from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. is $78. Call 595-7200 for reservations. Awards of $3,000, $2,000, and $1,000 will be given Dec. 31.
Last week’s jackpot winners were: Joe Torres, Arroyo Grande, 18-0 ling; Curtis Roles, Grizzly Flats, 16-0 ling; Don Pack, Santa Maria, 15-0 ling; Sean McCombs, Taft, 13-8 ling; Kelly Buller, Bakersfield, 10-0 ling; Roger York, San Luis Obispo, 9-0 cabezon; Esteban Aldarote, Fresno, and Andrew Martinez, Santa Maria, both 8-0 lings; Dave Case, Troy, Ill, 5-0 ling; and Jason Allen, Riverdale, 5-0 copper.
Caught by 279 anglers were 110 lingcod, 684 red rockcod, 963 bolina, 939 assorted rockfish, 39 cabezon, two bocaccio and one halibut.
Port San Luis Boatyard
Lompoc’s Adam Enticknap took Whopper of the Week honors with the catch of a 22-pound halibut Saturday.
Full rockcod limits were posted each day. The catch by anglers aboard 78 launched boats included 93 lingcod, 25 halibut ad two white seabass.
An overnight trip departs at 3:30 p.m. Saturday and returns by 6 p.m. Sunday Cost is $205. Anglers can catch two limits of fish. Long-range (6 a.m. to 4 p.m.) trips are scheduled Fridays and Sundays. Shallow Water (120 feet or less) jigs-only fishing is offered Wednesdays for $89.
For reservations and trip schedules, call 772-1222.
Winners with lingcod weights: John Van Dam, Tipton, 17-0; Ralph Boone, Paso Robles, 14-0; Robert Smith, Fresno, 10-0; Ron David, Bakersfield, David Haker, Georgia, and Jose Garcia, Fresno, all 8-0 lings; Jack Stiles, Bakersfield, and Adam Johnson, Morro Bay, both 7-0 lings.
Central Coast Sportfishing
Randy Arnold of Santa Maria and Susan Hudson of Fresno won jackpots last week with 14 and 9-pound lingcod, respectively. Caught on two trips were 16 lingcod, 57 red rockcod, six cabezon and 269 assorted rockfish.
For trip schedules and reservations, call 772-3474 or 704 2084.
Using a yellow crappie jig spiked with crappie nibbles, Aaron Boyd caught a 2 1⁄4-pound crappie. A couple of Arroyo Grande anglers caught four bass up to 5 pounds.
Santa Margarita Lake
Marina winter hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Small crappie, bluegill and redear are being caught, says the marina’s Sandra Lopez.
Marina manager Ken Hemer notes recent warm weather has kept catfish active. Cut mackerel is working for whiskerfish swimming above creek channels. Best bass fishing is early on buzzbaits, spooks and poppers. Bank fishermen are harvesting trout on Kastmasters and PowerBait in Harvey’s Bay.