An impressive beginning Saturday for the newest bass tournament series, Best Bass Tourney Coastal Division, bodes well for the future.
Outstanding January weather at Nacimiento Lake, and a format that less than hardcore bass tournament participants deemed attractive, led to a 28-team turnout. Absent were the familiar names that consistently appear atop bass leaderboards.
Mark Selbach and partner Ron Nagel probed Snake Creek most of the day where they reeled in a 13.19-pound limit that included the event’s biggest fish, a 5.15-pound spot. Selbach, a onetime Cuesta College football player decades ago, gushed when describing his prize catch on a Senko in 12 to 15 feet of water.
Selbach has fished Nacimiento many times in his 12 years of Kern County Bassmaster events. Nagel has fished four years with the club. Their catch paid $1,455.
The runners-up, Jason McLey and Ty McCutcheon crafted their impressive limit of 11.83 pounds by flipping in deep water with stick baits.Only two local duos earned money. Paso Robles’ Rudy Rowlett and Paul Gates placed sixth with a 9.37-pound limit worth $185. Mark Pollorena of Los Alamos and Steve Fernandes of Santa Maria earned $85 with the event’s third largest fish, 3.12 pounds.
Best Bass Coastal Region Top 10 (all 5-fish limits), Weight, Winnings
1. Mark Selbach, Ron Nagel, Bakersfield, 13.19 pounds, $1,455; 2. Jason McLey, Ty McCutcheon, Bakersfield, 11.83 pounds, $455; 3. Robert Duncan, San Juan Bautista, Clark Poulsen, San Martin, 9.91 pounds, $225; 4. Matthew Clark, Johnny Beasley, Gilroy, 9.85 pounds, $615; 5. Lee Johnson, Wasco, 9.54 pounds, $460; 6. Rudy Rowlett, Paul Gates, Paso Robles, 9.37 pounds, $185; 7. Ryan Spillers, Bakersfield, 8.71 pounds, $55; 8. John Beckett, Julie Brimage, Bakersfield, 8.56 pounds; 9. Mark Pollorena, Los Alamos, Steve Fernandes, Santa Maria, 8.37 pounds, $85; 10. Brian Kennemer, Ray Huff, Bakersfield, 8.35 pounds.1st Big Fish, 5.15 pounds, Selbach & Nagel; 2nd Big Fish, 3.47 pounds, McLey & McCutcheon; 3rd Big Fish, 3.12 pounds, Pollorena & Fernandes; 4th Big Fish, 2.85 pounds, Spillers.
The Central Coast Women for Fisheries, a nonprofit organization, is taking orders for abalone enchiladas. This is the group’s annual fundraiser. The enchiladas will be made from top quality troll-caught albacore.
To order, call Sharon at 674-4854 or Jackie at 772-8281. Options are corn tortillas with green sauce or flour tortillas with red sauce.
Trays of four enchiladas sell for $10.
Orders can be picked up between 1 and 5 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Morro Bay Community Center.
Lintner’s team places fourth
Jared Lintner of Arroyo Grande and fellow Bassmaster Elite pro Mike McClelland of Bella Vista, Ark., placed fourth last week in a Professional Anglers Association Tournaments Team Challenge. Their three limits totaled 55.10 pounds and paid $8,500. The entry fee was $5,000.
Competing on Florida’s Lake Toho, Lintner and McClelland had the second-heaviest limit (22.31 pounds) on the third day of competition. Their bag was anchored by the day’s heaviest fish (9.52 pounds).
Their opening 12.60 limit placed them 15th in the field of 18 teams. On the second day, their (20.19) limit was the fourth heaviest.Pros Bobby Lane and Gerald Brown won the event with a 64.64-pound three-day limit for winnings of $41,700.
Both Lintner and McClelland’s next major activity will be in the Bassmaster Classic on Feb. 24-28 on the Red River out of Shreveport, La.
National Guard college fishing
Cal Poly’s two entries at Lake Shasta on Saturday did not fare well in the first of four 2012 competitions. The most experienced Mustangs entry (Russ Gruener and Patrick Monson) placed 19th in the 40-team field. The duo caught two fish for a weight of 3 pounds, 1 ounce.John Zeolla and Kyle Greenlaw did not boat a fish. Four other collegiate entries had the same fate.
The next test for the college bass anglers will be Feb. 25 at Lake Havasu.
The teams placing in the top five at each site qualify for the Western Regional. Zach MacDonald and William Sparks of Oregon State were the Shasta winners with a 9-pound, 4-ounce weight. UC Santa Cruz (9 pounds) Humboldt State (8 pounds, 7 ounces), Eastern Washington (8 pounds, 5 ounces) and Long Beach State (8 pounds, 5 ounces) rounded out the top five and clinched regional berths.
Hellesen’s pro debut
Scott Hellesen, a recent Cal Poly graduate, debuted as a pro in the FLW EverStart series by finishing in the money at Lake Shasta last week. Hellesen actually dropped from 32nd place on the opening day to 35th on the second day. But his total weight of 17 pounds, 2 ounces was sufficient to earn a $1,026 check. His limits weighed 8 pounds, 14 ounces and 8 pounds, 4 ounces.
Hellesen and Damian Bean will represent Cal Poly in the April FLW College national tournament.
Paso Robles’ Darrin Bishop, a veteran FLW angler, opened with a 9-pound, 1-ounce limit that put him in 29th place in the 119-man field. His day two limit of 6 pounds, 13 ounces dropped him to 48th place with a 15-pound, 14-ounce total and out of the money.
On Saturday, the 12 passengers on the crab-and-dab trip took home six crabs apiece. Their take was worth more than they paid for their trip tickets ($60). A similar trip is scheduled from 6 a.m. to noon Saturday. Cost is $60 for adults, $45 for children 12 and under. Whale watching and nature cruises are scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to noon Sunday. Cost is $35 for adults $15 for children 12 and under. Call 595-7200 for reservations.
Whale watching trips are scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Cost is $39 for adults, $29 for children 15 and under. Weekday trips may be scheduled for groups of 10 or more. Call 772-1222 for reservations.
Warm temperatures last week inspired bass to move up to water as shallow as three feet. Smallmouth were on main and secondary points and were caught on jigs, jerkbaits and spinnerbaits. Largemouth were hooked throughout the lake on jigs, creature baits, blades and crankbaits. Trout bite was fair for trollers in Santa Cruz Bay, around Arrowhead Island and The Narrows. Hookups were made from the surface down to 15 feet on Needlefish, Kastmasters and Rapalas.
There were no reports from Lopez, Santa Margarita, Nacimiento lakes or Lake San Antonio.