Fishing Report: Small margin decides bass tourney

The finish of Saturday’s American Bass Pacific Region tournament at Cachuma Lake was as close as it gets as 17-hundredths of a pound separated the top three teams in the 29-team field.

“We’re not accustomed to winning,” chuckled Sol-vang’s Scott Lamberton, who with teammate John Flynn nipped the veteran duo of Gene Gray and Jay Short by 12-hundredths of a pound.

Lamberton assured he and his partner could get use to winning especially when Saturday’s payday amounted to $3,240.

“That’s a far cry from our last win,” he said.

In August the Solvang team took first place in an ABA Central Coast event, also at Cachuma. The check was for $810 in the 10-team event.

“We had a good feeling heading to the weigh-in after we caught our two biggest fish late in the day by flipping black and blue plastic crawdads into the weeds,” Lamberton said. “At Cachuma a 10- or 11-pound limit is the norm.” They caught 20 fish during the day and culled their way to a winning weight of 14.18 pounds

Gray thought he had a winner in the late stages of the competition. “I told my partner (Jay Short) this one is a giant. Get the net.

“Then it rolled on me, characteristic of catfish. I was stunned that the whiskerfish (about 10 pounds) ate a swimbait. I’d never experienced that before.”

Short caught the tournament’s “big fish” (4.49 pounds) on a swimbait. One of the team’s five fish in the 14.06-pound limit was a smallmouth. That was the difference at the scales.

Nick Salvucci and Jared Lintner placed third with a 14.01-pound bag. The team had the event’s third-largest fish, 3.61 pounds that accounted for $168 of their total winnings of $868.

ABA Pacific Top 10 (All 5-fish Limits), Weight, Winnings

1. John Flynn, Scott Lamberton, Solvang, 14.18 pounds, $3,240; 2. Gene Gray, Atascadero, Jay Short, Templeton, 14.06 pounds, $1,810; 3. Nick Salvucci, San Miguel, Jared Lintner, Arroyo Grande, 14.01 pounds, $868; 4. Louis Fernandes, Santa Maria, Patrick Touey, Nipomo, 13.33 pounds, $410; 5. Clark Small, Solvang, Randy McAbee, Sr., Bakersfield, 12.66 pounds, $452; 6. Tony Vullaggio, Scott Perry, Santa Barbara, 12.57 pounds, $125; 7. Jason Letterman, Scott Mullins, Salinas, 11.76 pounds, $100; 8. Jason McLey, Ty McCutcheon, 11.15 pounds, $130; 9. Fred Ledesma, Jose Canchola, Soledad, 11.06 pounds; 10. Brad Shepherd, Clark Endres, Atascadero, 11.04 pounds.

1st Big Fish, 4.49 pounds, Gray & Short, $420; 2nd Big fish, 3.98 pounds, Small & McAbee, $252; 3rd Big Fish, 3.61 pounds, Salvucci & Lintner, $168.

101 Bass Series

While the American Bass Pacific Region series is off to an impressive 2011-12 campaign with two events under its belt, Jim Slusher, the proprietor of Jim’s Pro Bass Tackle, Paso Robles, launches a brand new series. The seven-tournament 101 Bass Series gets under way Saturday at Lopez Lake.

Slusher fully expects a 30-boat entry. Interest in the new venue is driven by its payout promise. Eighty percent of the entry fees ($200 per team) will be doled out at each tournament. A two-day Tournament of Champions skirmish will put the wrapper on the series.

Anglers also may choose to enter a $50 Top 3 option.

Tournament details may be found on the 101bass.com website.

Angler’s Choice

Once again the second event on the Angler’s Choice Central Coast agenda will be facing direct competition. The Tull brothers, Bob and Mark, new directors of the series, will be at Nacimiento Lake on Saturday. Last month, when the Angler’s Choice campaign began, it competed with the ABA Pacific event and attracted just five teams at Lake San Antonio while the ABA had a turnout of 27 teams at Santa Margarita Lake.

Holiday gift suggestions

How about a stocking stuffer for starters?

John Sherry, a San Luis Obispo businessman, has a new version of The Fisherman’s Ultimate Knot Guide. The new version is printed in three colors for even easier to follow instructions. There are three knot cards — freshwater knots, saltwater knots and rope knots. The cards are priced at $5.89 for one or two for $10.89, plus shipping. The cards are available locally at Four Seasons Outfitters in San Luis Obispo. The cards are the best selling knot reference in the U.S. They can be found at www.knotcards.com and also at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s.

Owner Mark Andersen of Been There Caught That in Santa Maria says: “We either have the fishing equipment our customers are seeking, or we can order it or make it.” The stores has gear suited for the pan fishermen ranging to saltwater anglers who target marlin, sharks or Alaskan halibut. On special are custom made and custom wrapped ultra light 5 1⁄2-foot rods for $109. Avet, Okuma and Shimano reels are priced from $17.95 to $1,095. Mention this article and receive a 10 percent discount.

At Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay, giftards for half-day trips, $59; all-day trips $69; and long-range trips $89. Other items include sweatshirts for $37.99, pole floats for kayak anglersm $5.99, knife sharpener, $7.99, salmon oil or tuna blood oil for $9.99.

At SLO Camp and Pack in San Luis Obispo, men and women’s Pea coats run to $115. Soft-shell jackets fleece are $49, water protected styles $89 to $99. Camping food is $2 and up; better-quality knives $23 and up.

Tangle-free guarantee WaveSpin reels for under $50 are available through Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops, West Marine and outdoor recreation stores. The new ZTR 1500 8-ounce model is $45.95, while the ZTR 3000 10-ounce unit is $49.95. All models utilize the same award-winning high-quality spool and drag system as WaveSpin’s more expensive models. Both models are convertible to left- or right-hand retrieve. The units won Field & Stream’s Best-of-the-Best Award. For more information, go to WaveSpinReel.com or contact Russ Riley at (989) 967-8426 or at Russ@WaveSpinReel.com.

At West Coast Light Tackle in Morro Bay, proprietor Leonard Willhite has an inventory of saltwater fishing gear. His shop is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Port San Luis Boatyard

Oceano’s David Madrid earned Whopper of the Week honors with a Saturday catch of a 31-pound white seabass.

Forty-four lingcod were in the catch by anglers aboard 37 launched boats last week. Fifty crab also were caught last week.

Patriot Sportfishing

Belinda Cagacungan of Arroyo Grande, had the week’s biggest fish, a 12-pound lingcod. Both live in Arroyo Grande.

Pots also were won by Arnold Luisi with a 6-pound lingcod and Ben Gilmore with an 8-pound cabezon. Both live in Arroyo Grande. For trip schedules and reservations, call 505-7200. For trip schedules and reservations, call 505-7200.

Virg’s Landing

A 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. trip is scheduled for Sunday aboard the Princess with Captain Brad Leage. Call 772-1222 for schedules and reservations.

Last week’ jackpot winners were: Larry Morton, Morro Bay, 10-0 ling, Josh House, Los Osos, 7-0 ling, and Damon Hernandez, Paso Robles, 6-0 ling.