Round one of Patriot Sportfishing’s eight-annual Lingcod Contest is in the books and round two is under way.
This year’s format differs from prior competitions. In place of a single event decided over a four-month or longer period, the 2012 version is divided into four, two-month long challenges.
Caesar Chang of Rowland Heights won round one with a 17-pound, 12-ounce lingcod caught June 17 for a $300 check. Second place worth $200 went to Joe Cinelli of Grand Island, N.Y., for a 17-pound, 4-ounce lingcod caught May 13.
Atascadero’s John Mulay earned a $100 check for the 16-pound, 8-ounce lingcod he caught May 8.
The second round of the contest began Sunday and ends Aug. 31. The prize money for the three heaviest lingcod caught will remain the same. The grand prize of $1,000 will go to the overall winner at the conclusion of the May 1 to Dec. 31 contest. The third round will be from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31, and the court round will be from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31.
Paying customers are automatically entered in the contest.
Last week, Arroyo Grande’s Jared Lintner had a great start on day one of the Bassmaster Elite Tour on Lake Michigan at Green Bay, Wis. He was in 16th place with a 16-pound, 8-ounce limit. Matters unraveled on day two as he managed only two fish weighing 3 pound, 9 ounces.
The tailspin dropped him to 55th place in the 98-angler field with a total bag weight of 20 pound, 1 ounce. It was the third time in seven Elite events this year that he has finished out of the money.
Lintner has one tournament remaining — Aug. 23-26 at New York’s Oneida Lake. He slipped three places to 45th in the Angler of the Year standings with 365 points. The 87 bass he’s caught in competition weigh a combined 167 pounds, 3 ounces.
An exciting win
Accomplishing a goal for the first time means exciting times and that’s what 18-year-old Jacob Lewis experienced after winning the SLO Bass Ambushers’ night tournament Saturday at Nacimiento Lake.
Lewis, a recent Atascadero High graduate, is in his fifth season of Ambusher competition — the first three he fished from the back seat of boats owned by more senior club members.
Tournament results have become more satisfying for the Lewis brothers the past two years ever since they purchased a 17-foot Bass Tracker boat. After seven Ambusher tests this season, Jeremy Lewis, 16, has accumulated 675 points to rank third in the club standings while Jacob Lewis hares fourth place with longtime member Burt Lund with 672 points.
Jacob, who plans to continue his education at Cuesta College in the fall, estimates that he and his brother caught 40 to 50 keepers during the 6 p.m. to midnight event.
It was in the final 30 minutes in the moonlight that Jacob secured the victory.
“That’s when I caught my big fish (2.59 pounds) on a Booyah Chatterbait. Norman DD14 crankbaits caught a bunch of fish for us, too,” he said.
A runner-up finish was recorded by Joan Lund, who was competing in only her third Ambusher tourney this year. She was not available to comment on her 9.01-pound limit, but her husband of 30 plus years, Burt, was.
“She caught the fish I missed,” he chuckled. “And that’s not the first time she’s done that from the back seat.”
Joan caught all her fish before dark on jigs.
“She had a lot of fun and was surprised by her second place,” Burt Lund said. He finished seventh with a 7.34-pound limit.
Paso Robles’ Jim Keeney, who tops the standings with 699 points, placed sixth with a 7.86-pound limit.
Ambushers Top 10 (all 5-fish limits), Weight, Winnings
1. Jacob Lewis, Atascadero, 9.20 pounds, $70; 2. Joan Lund, Atascadero, 9.01 pounds, $32.50; 3. Al Rush, Paso Robles, 8.71 pounds; 4. Jeremy Lewis, Atascadero, 8.35 pounds, $28; 5. Ken Meeks, Atascadero, 8.00 pounds, $13; 6. Jim Keeney, Paso Robles, 7.86 pounds, $72; 7. Burt Lund, Atascadero, 7.34 pounds, $48; 8. Allan Branson, Paso Robles, 7.22 pounds; 9. Joey Davis, Atascadero,7.14 pounds; 10. Erik Zillig, Paso Robles, 7.13 pounds.
1st Big Fish, 2.59 pounds, Jacob Lewis, $105.
Forty-six trout have been caught in the 48 days the reservoir has been open for fishing. Thirty-three anglers tuned out last week and harvested six trout. On June 28, Chris Hofstetter caught a 17-inch fish and Jayson Hofstetter a 16-inch both on PowerBait. On Friday, Joe Cooper caught a 17-inch on PowerBait while another angler caught his 17-inch on a worm. Jeff Minkler used a worm for a 17-inch trout Saturday, while Jeff French used a worm for bait for his 17-inch trout Sunday. Thus far, 256 anglers have fished.
Port San Luis Boatyard
Although 65 boats were launched last week and nine salmon, 44 lingcod, nine halibut and two white seabass were caught, nothing was weighed. So there was no Whopper of the Week.
Jesse Spencer of San Luis Obispo had last week’s big fish, a 13-pound lingcod.
Other jackpot winners included: Kaylie Sires, Arroyo Grande, Bill Reid, Bakersfield, both 12-0 lings; Kenny Diaz, Morro Bay, and Kyle Danson, Paso Robles, both 9-0 lings; Steve Flick, Orcutt, Mike Heinz, Bakersfield, both 8-0 lings; Matt Enos, Fresno, 7-0 ling; Mel Imia, Clovis, 6-0 ling; and Jimmy Adams, Porterville, 5-0 ling.
Last week, 285 passengers caught 70 lingcod, 952 red rockcod and 1,557 assorted rockfish.
The next ladies’ day trip is scheduled for Wednesday from 8 a .m. to 2 p.m. Women’s fares are $10 off. Men pay $59. For trip schedules and reservations, call 772-1222.
Alex Mihaila of San Luis Obispo had last week’s big fish, a 15-pound lingcod caught aboard the Pacific Horizon on June 28.
Other jackpot winners included: Roger York, San Luis Obispo, 10-0 ling; Michelle Clark, Atascadero, David Cass, Tulare, Joe Guissepe, Grover Beach, Taylor White, Arroyo Grande, Chris Hill, Santa Barbara, and Sergio Claust, Bakersfield, all 8-0 lings; Ed Lizarrago, Chino Hills, 7-0 ling; Clint Champlin, Three Rivers, 6-5 ling; Joe Lenhert, Georgetown, 5-0 vermillion; and Ryan Estes. Hanford, 3-0 red rockcod.
Caught by 355 anglers last week were 64 lingcod, 694 red rockcod, 1,087 assorted rockfish, three kelp greenling, one cabezon, one rock sole and 173 Dungeness crab.
For trip schedules and reservations, call 595-7200.
Lake San Antonio
The striper bite is on. Linesiders are boiling on shad and are being caught on topwater offerings, swimbaits and jigs. Fish average 5 to 10 pounds. Casey Shepherd, who is in charge of marina operations at both Nacimiento and San Antonio lake, said he has seen stripers up to 15 pounds.
Shepherd says white bass schools are dominating. Jigs bounced off walls in The Narrows are very productive for whites.
Santa Margarita Lake
Fishing in the Salinas River on weed mats Saturday, Jason Buchanan of Hearst Ranch caught a 10-pound, 3-ounce bass. The marina’s Sandra Lopez reported the catch of a 14-pound catfish by an angler who did not leave his name. Four- and five-pound bass are being caught but panfish are scarce.
Lopez and Cachuma lakes