It’s been quite a year for Nick Salvucci and friends in bass tournament competitions.
Last weekend at Nacimiento Lake, he and his brother Tony finished the Tri Valley Club regular season by placing first for the third time in eight competitions.
The brothers had sewn up Anglers of the Year honors long ago. Nick, 32, from San Miguel and Tony, 33, from Atascadero were partners at Nacimiento Lake for the first time. Obviously, it was an outstanding tandem. They won AOY honors by a whopping 57 points over runnersup Dan Barrios of San Luis Obispo and Scott Garmen of Morro Bay.
The Salvuccis also had a pair of seconds in compiling 405 Tri Valley points.
“I was surprised we won last week,” Nick admitted. “Our biggest fish was only 2 pounds.”
Several days later Tony was still shaking his head in wonder over how their big fish was landed.
“I was flippin’ in shallow water,” Tony said. “One of my flippin’ fish came flying through the air, hit Nick in the chest and he scrambled to get it in the live well before it could bounce out of the boat.”
Their 10.40-pound six-fish team limit ballooned to 11.60 pounds when a 1.20 bonus poundage was added — 0.20 pounds for each live fish.
Actually, the team’s biggest fish was the fifth-heaviest of the event. Brad Shepherd of Atascadero and partner Kyle James of Bradley had the tourney’s big fish, 3.41 pounds. Second-big fish honors went to Atascadero’s Dave Wills and Chase Casteneda — 2.35 pounds.
Nick Salvucci partnered with Bassmaster Elite pro Jared Lintner in ABA Pacific Coast and 101 Bass tourneys. By winning one event, placing second once and third twice, they were AOY honorees by 10 points in ABA competition. In 101 Bass events, the duo built a 32-point margin over the runnerup team. By winning once, placing second twice and third and fourth once they compiled 587 points.
Tri Valley Bass Club
Top 10, (all 6-fish team limits) *Weight —1.Nick Salvucci, San Miguel, Tony Salvucci, Atascadero, 11.60 pounds; 2. Graham Grove, Austin Bonjour, Atascadero, 10.49 pounds; 3. Bill & Pat Twomey Lompoc, 9.44 pounds; 4. Brad Shepherd, Atascadero, Kyle James, Bradley, 9.36 pounds; 5. Dustin & Ted McAllister, San Luis Obispo, 8.50 pounds; 6. Felix Camacho, Nipomo, Ken Camacho, Santa Maria, 8.43 pounds; 7. Steve Vidmar, Santa Maria, Phil Infante, Long Beach, 8.32 pounds; 8. Dan Barrios,San Luis Obispo, Scott Garmen, Morro Bay, 8.28 pounds; 9. Aaron Quarles, Scott Layous, Nipomo, 8.24 pounds; 10. Greg & Mike Higgins, Santa Maria, 8.16 pounds.
1st Big Fish, 3.41 pounds, Shepherd & James; 2nd Big Fish, 2.35 pounds, Dave Wills, Chase Casteneda, Atascadero. *Weights include 1.20 bonus for six fish.
Game warden graduates
Casey Thomas from Morro Bay and Brian Peters from Taft were among the 36 graduates from the California Game Warden Academy. Ceremonies were held Friday in Paradise.
Peters was among the 19 sponsored cadets who began field training immediately. The other 17 cadets were self-sponsored and paid their way through the academy, planning to become game wardens. The Department of Fish and Game has hopes of hiring them.
The cadets spent the past 31 weeks in intensive training at Butte College in Oroville where the academy is located.
In California the average warden has a district of more than 600 square miles.
Annually, wardens make contact with more than 295,000 people and issue more than 15,000 citations. They often work alone and in remote areas that do not allow for immediate backup.
Port San Luis Boatyard
Only four white seabass were caught last week, but Roger Bruce of Arroyo Grande caught his Friday. It was the only seabass caught that day but it weighed 331⁄2 pounds and was the Whopper of the Week.
Eighty-nine boats were launched last week. Anglers caught 120 lingcod and eight halibut in addition to the seabass. Rockcod limits were logged six days. Aug. 13 was the exception when there were three-quarters limits.
A 20-pound lingcod caught by Gary Morris of Tulare was the big fish of the week.
Two hundred sixty-two passengers on eight trips caught 50 lingcod, 432 red rockcod, 1,044 assorted rockfish, 194 bolina and six cabezon.
Other jackpot winners were: Randy Olson, Pismo Beach, 10-0 cabezon; Matt Biddle, Clovis, and Raul Espinoza. Visalia, both 8-0 lings; Bodie Donald, Grover Beach, 7-0 ling; Tony Dias, Tulare, 6-0 ling; Arnie Ozuna, Lamont, 5-0 cabezon; and Tony Brazil, Tulare, 4-0 copper rockfish.
Kids 12 and under fish free with a paid adult fare on Wednesday half-day trips from 7 a.m. to noon. Call 595-7200 for trip schedules, reservations.
The second round of the 2012 Lingcod Contest ends Aug. 31. The current leaders are: 1. Curtis Ridenor, Santa Maria, 24 pounds, 0 ounces; 2. Gary Morris, Tulare, 20 pounds; 3. Joe Richards, Ammon, Idaho, 19 pounds.
With three boats available, the landing accommodated more than 400 anglers for the third time this summer. Six jackpot winners caught fish 10 pounds and over.
Six jackpot winners caught fish 10 pounds and over. Topping the list was Tommy Sesock, 12, of Fresno who landed an 18-pound ling. Other jackpot winners included: Chris Vailpando, Cambria, and Dave Wilson, Visalia, both 16-0 lings; Taylor Foster, Lake Isabella, 14-0 ling; Ron Keck, Bakersfield, 11-0 and 9-0 lings; Pathana Phannaphob, Fresno, 10-0 ling; Cory Evans, Taft, and Pat Atkin, Las Vegas, both 8-0 lings; Dustin Doyle, Taft, 8-0 copper rockfish; Wes Mendoza, Atascadero plus Robert Coverly and Thomas Florez, both Bakersfield, all 7-0 lings; Alec Kuipers, Virgin Islands, and Gregg Gill, Glendora, both 6-0 lings; and Pat Helberg, 2-0 Tree fish.
For reservations and trip schedules, call 772-1222.
Last week’s catch by 451 passengers included 107 lingcod, 1,241 red rockcod, 1,298 assorted rockfish and one sheephead.
For reservations and trip schedules, call 772-1222.
With the catch of five trout in Week 17 of the reservoir’s fishing season, Jace Zavala became the 2012 leader with 19 total fish. All five of his fish last week were caught on grubs. Ten of the fish he’s caught gobbled worms, eight went for grubs and one ate salmon eggs.
All three trout reeled in by Dan Brebes (15, 20 and 17 inches) all dined on PowerBait. Anthony Reynolds used lures to entice a 16-inch trout Saturday.
Thus far, 91 trout have been caught, 56 on worms, 23 on PowerBait, eight on grubs, and two each on salmon eggs and lures.Jeff Minkler has caught 16 trout and Jeff French 14.
Whale Rock is open for fishing Wednesdays through Sundays and legal holidays.
Santa Margarita Lake
Fishing at a point by the dam Saturday, Lancaster’s Dale Taft caught a 12-pound, 3-ounce bass drop-shotting a 12-inch Margarita Mutilator. On Sunday, Atascadero’s Jared Buckley caught six bass in The Narrows. His largest fish was a bit under seven pounds. Redear to 1 1⁄2 pounds and bluegill are being caught.
Bakerfield’s Denise Ullrich caught a 4-pound largemouth bass on a shad lure at Strawberry Flats. Joseph Wolf of Bakersfield, fishing across the lake from the marina, caught 2- and 1-pound crappie on white crappie jigs. Meal worms have been working for crappie and bluegill, marina manager Aaron Boyd said.
Vertical jigging in 50 feet of water is working for white bass. Heritage Ranch residents Mike Martin and Dean Guzman caught 70 whites Monday morning. They were using Kastmasters. Dave Rymal harvested 12 white bass and six spots Wednesday morning. He did his deep jigging with Real Image lures. He planned to dine on the spots. The whites were released.
In the early morning, bass are biting on reaction baits as well as buzzbaits and poppers. Large and smallmouth bass are scattered at a depth of from one to 20 feet. Marina manager Ken Hemer suggests looking for boiling fish in the morning.
Shad have been on or near the surface. Crappie limits are coming from The Narrows and the Santa Ynez River on spinners and mini jigs. Catfish and trout action has slowed.