The top two teams in the WON Bass Central Coast standings did what they had to do in the regular season finale at Santa Margarita Lake on Saturday.
As a result, they will once again face off in the WON Tournament of Champions, this time at Clear Lake on Nov. 17-18.
A year ago when Danny Knotts and partner Tim Sharpe won the TOC, the event was held at Nacimiento Lake.
Nick Salvucci is having a career year in securing three Angler of the Year titles. The San Miguel 32-year-old has captured the first-year 101 Bass crown, teaming with Bassmaster Elite pro Jared Lintner. The same duo finished atop the American Bass Pacific Coast Region standings.
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Paired with his older brother, Tony, 33, they have sewn up Tri Valley Club honors. The duo has a 50-point lead with one contest remaining next month.
Fishing Santa Margarita for the second weekend in a row, Salvucci and partner Dusty Kahler of Atascadero won their first WON Bass event of the season. They still finished one point behind the defending venue champions, Knotts and Sharpe, 540-539.
Only the five-best finishes in the seven-tourney series count.
Knotts of Santa Maria and Sharpe of Arroyo Grande needed a high finish last week. In previous tourneys, they had two wins, a second-place finish and a fourth-place finish. A seventh-place finish sufficed for a one-point Central Coast advantage heading into the Clear Lake showdown.
Fifteen minutes into the tournament, a bass exploded on Kahler’s Black Dog Lunker Punker.
“About a dozen teams began the tournament in the Salinas River,” Kahler said. “We accomplished our mission there by catching what proved to be the big fish of the competition (8.38 pounds). Then we left.”
Added Salvucci: “We only had 10 or 12 bites all day. For some reason the fish weren’t biting like they were the previous week. Dusty caught three of our five keepers on M.S. Slammers and flippin. I flipped for one and had a topwater catch.”
The big fish anchored their 26.61-pound limit.
Ten of the 16 teams had limits and a total catch and release of 56 fish.
Joe Gardiner, WON Bass Central Coast tournament director the past two years, announced he was vacating the position. Recently, he was accepted into Cal Poly’s MBA Graduate program. Anglers expressed their appreciation for his outstanding leadership.
WON Bass Top 10, Number of Fish, Weight, Winnings
1. Nick Salvucci, San Miguel, Dusty Kahler, Atascadero, 5, 26.61 pounds, $1,090; 2. Jeff Jue, David Sanchez, Santa Paula, 5, 21.16 pounds, $605; 3.Sam James, Chris Rains, Salinas, 5, 18.31 pounds, $450; 4. Jared Lintner, Arroyo Grande, Ken Mah, Elk Grove, 5, 18.08 pounds; 5. Gene Gray, Atascadero, Jay Short, Templeton, 5, 16.66 pounds; 6. Clark Small, Solvang, Randy McAbee, Sr., Bakersfield, 5, 16.28 pounds; 7. Danny Knotts, Santa Maria, Tim Sharpe, Grover Beach, 5, 15.70 pounds; 8. Mark Pollorena, Los Alamos, Dana Chatterly, Lompoc, 5, 14.51 pounds; 9. Steve Bereda, Santa Margarita, Burt Lund, Atascadero, 5, 11.93 pounds; 10. Ken Whalen, Chris Purgason, Lompoc, 4, 10.16 pounds.
1st Big Fish, 8.38 pounds, Salvucci & Kahler, $190; 2nd Big Fish, 7.12 pounds, Knotts & Sharpe, $120.
ABA fun events
Bobby Doss, ABA Pacific Coast Tournament Director, is sponsoring a fun Tournament of Champions on Saturday at Lopez Lake and Sunday at Santa Margarita Lake. Lintner and area tackle stores are co-sponsors. The event will conclude with a Santa Maria-style barbecue following competition Sunday.
Six trout were reeled in by the 29 anglers who turned out for Week 13. Three newcomers joined the successful 2012 anglers. On July 18, Pat Morris landed an 18-inch trout on a worm. On Sunday, Sam Baler caught a 15-incher on PowerBait. Also Sunday, Pat Buckley bagged a 15-inch fish on PowerBait.
Jace Zavala reeled in three trout for the third straight week, increasing his season’s total to 10. On July 18, he caught a 17-incher on worms and Friday, enticed 17- and 18-inch fish on grubs.
Jeff Minkler and Jeff French have harvested the most trout, 16 and 14, respectively. Seventy trout have been caught in the 63 days the reservoir has been open for fishing. So far, 359 anglers have tried their luck.
Port San Luis Boatyard
White seabass are back in local waters. From Wednesday to Sunday, 138 white seabass were caught by anglers embarking out of the Sports Launch.
The Whopper of the Week, a 35-pound seabass, was caught Sunday by Arroyo Grande’s Sandy Angelo.
One hundred sixty-three boats were dispatched. The catch included 80 lingcod and 12 halibut.
A 12-pound lingcod caught by Fresno’s Luis Martinez was the big fish of the week.
Other jackpot winners were: Marty Reitz, Fresno, Frank Liu, Torrance, Dan Ward, Ceres, all 10-0 lings; Keith Birchfield, Atascadero, Jim Engle, Bakersfield, Greg Veech, Madera, Ethan Martinez, Bakersfield, Eric Walter, Modesto, and David King, Exeter, all 8-0 lings; Richard Roberts, Woodstock, Ga., 7-0 ling; Jorge Leon, Kerman, 6-0 ling; Krista Hennington, Houston, Tex. And Martin Morin, Visalia, both 6-0 red rockcod, and Tony Alvarado, Kerman, 6-0 copper.
Sundowner trips departing at 3:30 p.m. are scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. An overnight trip is scheduled to depart at 3:30 p.m. Saturday and returns late Sunday afternoon. Passengers on board the $205 adventure may catch two limits of fish.
Call 772-1222 for reservations and trip schedules.
Since July 10, Patriot has had only one boat. The Pacific Horizon is undergoing repairs at the Ventura Boatyard. It’s not known when the vessel will return to Port San Luis. Scheduled charters are taking precedence at Patriot. Two half-day trips are scheduled for Sunday.
Last week’s biggest jackpot fish was a 10-pound ling caught by Liam Romanchak of Kula, HI. Other jackpot winners included David Vargues, Atascadero, 9-0 ling; Dillan Briant, Bakersfield, and Garrett Myers, Hanford, both 8-0 lings; David Standish, San Luis Obispo, 6-0 ling; Hunter Jones, Overland Park, Kan., 5-0 ling; Eric Teaft, Lakeland, Tex., 4-0 red rockcod, and Mike Dudley, Santa Maria, 4-0 vermillion.
Call 595-7200 for reservations and more information.
Reporting from Heritage Ranch on Wednesday, Dave Rymal fished two hours for white bass and found no boils. “This time of year I like to fish for whites on the surface,” he said. Neighbors Dave and Marilyn Breland did find boils Monday and caught 40 whites.
Santa Margarita Lake
Marina manager Don Lopez reports mackerel bait is catching catfish. Bass tournament anglers are doing well.
Marina personnel did not report any fish of significant size.
Many anglers are catching five-fish catfish limits with fish up to seven pounds. Mackerel, nightcrawlers and packaged dough baits are working best. The Narrows, Cachuma Bay and Clark Canyon are prime locations. The bass bite has tapered. Fish are down 15 to 20 feet. Zara Spooks and Poppers are working early.
Marina manager Ken Hemer suggests use of spinnerbaits and drop-shotting plastics. A few trout have been taken near the dam. Trollers are paying out eight colors of leadcore line. Drifting worms late in the afternoon and evening has been productive.
Bow fishing for carp has been good early mornings at the mouth of Clark Canyon, Bobcat Canyon and Santa Cruz Bay.