The third time was anything but the charm for Arroyo Grande’s Jared Lintner last week on the Red River at Shreveport-Bossier City, La.It was the 38-year-old pro bass fisherman’s third trip to the richest bass tournament in the world, the Bassmaster Classic.
Lintner placed 19th in his initial Classic qualification in 2007 with a three-day limit of 15 fish weighing 35 pounds, 6 ounces worth $12,700. Trip No. 2 in 2008 saw him place 20th with 14 fish weighing 33 pounds for $12,600.
Last week, he caught just three fish weighing 6 pounds, 8 ounces on day one. He followed that with a 12-pound, 5-ounce limit on day two. He missed the 25-man cut in the 49-angler field and settled for 35th place with an eight-fish weight of 18 pounds, 13 ounces that paid $10,000.
The lion’s share of the $1,168,900 payout went to champion Chris Lane of Guntersville, Ala. He earned $500,000 for three limits totaling 51 pounds, 6 ounces. Runner-up Greg Vinson of Wetumpka, Ala., finished with a 47-pound, 15-ounce weight and earned $45,000.
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Lintner’s seventh Bassmaster Elite campaign begins March 15 on Florida’s St John’s River. Efforts to contact Lintner prior to deadline were unsuccessful.
Western Rookie League
At the opposite end of tournament bass fishing is the Western Rookie League. In this venue, no team will be allowed to fish if they individually or collectively have won more than $5,000 and/or finished in the top 10 in a pro teams or pro-am event.
This venue is a just-right fit for the likes of 36-year-old Garett Manion of Paso Robles. He and his brother, Bradford of Castro Valley, won a WRL tourney Sunday at Santa Margarita Lake. The duo used dark-colored jigs over rocks in deep water to weigh a 24.25-pound limit. They earned $352.
Five of the six events at Central Coast lakes are on Sundays. That also works for Garett Manion since he works six days at his business, Taps Truck Accessories, Paso Robles.
Western Rookie League, Number of Fish, Weight, Winnings
1.Garett Manion, Paso Robles, Bradford Manion, Castro Valley, 5, 24.25, $352; 2. Dustin Selck, Atascadero, Sal Rocha, Grover Beach, 4,11.09 pounds, $30; 3. Mike Enos, Paso Robles, Kacy Elisarraras, Atascadero, 5, 7.69 pounds; 4.Dan Barrios, San Luis Obispo, Mike Oddo, Shell Beach, 2, 7.44 pounds; 5. Matt Boyd, Santa Margarita, Rod Kirby, San Miguel, 2, 7.05 pounds.Big Fish, 6.04 pounds, Barrios & Oddo, $140.
Tri Valley Club
Atascadero’s Graham Grove teamed with boat owner Mark Scribner, Pismo Beach, in forging a Tri Valley Club win in event No. 2 Saturday at Nacimiento Lake.
Grove, 20, was schooled in angling techniques by a number of mentors as a high school student competing in the area’s other club, SLO County Bass Ambushers.
“Mark and I worked our plan, which was to fish shallow with spinnerbaits early and move to clear water and drop shot Roboworms in 40 to 50 feet of water,” Grove said. “I caught our big fish (4.13 pounds) 20 minutes ’til weigh-in and Mark landed a 3-pounder a few minutes earlier.”
The team caught 40 to 50 fish for a 16.28-pound six-fish team limit.
Tournament director Steve Vidmar chooses not to publish winnings. “We’re a club and not a pro team circuit,” he said.
Twenty-nine of the 32 teams entered had six-fish limits.
Tri Valley Top 10 (all 6-fish limits), Weight, Place
1. Graham Grove, Atascadero, Mark Scribner, Pismo Beach, 16.28 pounds; 2. Scott & Matt Mullins, Salinas, 14.86 pounds; 3. Herm DeLore, Atascadero, John Phillips, Santa Margarita, 14.43 pounds; 4. Dustin Selck, Atascadero, Sal Rocha, Grover Beach, 13.47 pounds; 5. Danny Knotts, Skeeter Moore, Santa Maria, 12.60 pounds; 6. Felix Camacho, Nipomo, Ken Camacho, Santa Maria, 12.35 pounds; 7. Nick & Tony Salvucci, San Miguel, 12.23 pounds; 8. Jeff Smith, Justin Ludwig, 12.07 pounds; 9. Bill & Pat Twomey, Lompoc, 11.98 pounds; 10. Sam Sawdey, Paso Robles, Matt Pigeon, Santa Margarita, 11.94 pounds.1st Big Fish, 4.13 pounds, Grove & Scribner; 2nd Big Fish, 3.70 pounds, Dustin & Ted McAllister, San Luis Obispo.
Nipomo’s Casey Langley was initially disappointed in his five fish, 12.21-pound limit at Lopez Lake last Saturday.
“I knew the cold front that moved through would make fishing tough,” he said. “But I watched two guys catch three fish each early. I figured I was doing something wrong. It turned out those were the only fish they caught all day.”
Langley’s limit led a 25-angler Ambushers field and paid $262.50.
“I started catching fish about noon in the Wittenberg Arm,” he said. “I finished with nine fish by flippin’ Sweet Beavers and Brush Hogs.”Langley and runner-up Marc Hazuka of Atascadero had the only limits. Hazuka’s 9.83-pound sack was worth $157.50.
Atascadero’s Neal Franklin had only one fish but the 4.26-pounder was the biggest and paid $125.
Ambushers Top 10, Number of Fish, Weight, Winnings
1. Casey Langley, Nipomo, 5, 12.21 pounds, $262.50; 2. Marc Hazuka, Atascadero, 5, 9.83 pounds, $157.50; 3. Aaron Davidson, Atascadero, 4, 8.81 pounds, $105; 4. Jim Keeney, Paso Robles, 3, 7.87 pounds; 5. Damon Meeks, Atascadero, 3, 6.84 pounds; 6. Jeremy Donk, Atascadero, 3, 6.73 pounds; 7. Austin Bonjour, Atascadero, 3, 6.65 pounds; 8. Al Rush, Paso Robles, 3, 6.13 pounds; 9.Allan Branson, Paso Robles, 2, 5.86 pounds; 10. Ken Meeks, Atascadero, 3, 5.84 pounds.1st Big Fish, 4.26 pounds, Neal Franklin, Atascadero.
National Guard colleges
Forty teams competed in the year’s second Western FLW National Guard College competition at Lake Havasu on Saturday.
Cal Poly’s Russ Gruener and Patrick Monson placed 26th with one fish weighing 2.03 pounds. The other Mustangs team of John Zeolla and Kyle Greenlaw tied for 32nd place. They were among the nine teams that did not catch a fish.
Winning the event was a Utah Valley University duo with a 13-pound, 11-ounce limit. Also qualifying for the Western Regional were teams from Northern Arizona, Cal State Monterey Bay, Eastern Washington and Chico State.
Could not lose
Lompoc’s Steve Morris and Meade Hedricks could not lose the fourth event on the Anglers Choice Central Coast schedule. They were the only team to show up at Santa Margarita Lake. They got their entry fee back after weighing a 19.46-pound limit that included a 4.87-pound big fish.
Dave Rymal reports that a white bass bite at the entrance to The Narrows started over the weekend. Heritage Ranch residents Virgil Ray and Tammy Post caught 60 white bass plus four trout Saturday and Sunday. They were trolling crankbaits for one and two-pound whites.