Vets set to take part in free fishing Saturday

Special meaning is attached to this year’s statewide Free Fishing Day — especially since it pertains to the Central Coast.

Saturday marks the beginning of a project honoring our nation’s “Wounded Warriors.” A group of our military heroes will be treated to a fishing opportunity thanks to a joint effort of these organizations: Anglers Anonymous, AMPSURF, Central Coast Salmon Enhancement and a number of volunteers.

Wounded Warriors, a coalition that aids troops severely wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, will transport some of the participants to the Central Coast from as far away as San Diego. The honorees will board the Harbor Pathfinder, a 65-foot vessel now owned by commercial fisherman Daniel Holtzman. The boat formerly was part of Virg's sportfishing fleet.

APSURF is a 10-year-old organization that teaches amputees how to surf. Anglers Anonymous was founded last November. This is the group’s initial undertaking. Members have expressed interest in expanding the number of veterans they can introduce to saltwater fishing and host in the future.Wounded Warriors will fish between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. This will be followed by a barbecue at Tidelands Park in Morro Bay hosted by members of the Paso Robles and Los Osos Kiwanis Clubs.

Take A Friend Fishing

The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) encourages anglers to take a friend or neighbor fishing on Saturday. This will be the second day this year that no fishing license is required. The first day was July 7. All other fishing regulations, such as bag and size limits, gear restrictions and report card requirements, fishing hours and stream closures remain in effect.

Free Fishing Days provide a low-cost way to give fishing a try. Anglers should check the rules and regulations at www.dfg.ca.gov/regulations/ for the waters they plan to fish.

Fishing Knot Cards

Do you need help learning to tie various fishing knots? The No. 1 source is the website of San Luis Obispo’s John Sherry. He recently redid his website — www.netknots.com.

His fishing knots cards are available at Four Seasons Outfitters in San Luis Obispo for $4.95. Sherry also has a rope knots card available at Mountain Air Sports in San Luis Obispo.

These cards would be an important gift to young or old newcomers to the sport of fishing as well as a refresher course for seasoned anglers.


Whale Rock

For just the second time in 19 weeks only one trout was caught. Jace Zavala, who has caught more trout than anyone else this year, retrieved a 17-inch fish on a grub Sept. 2. Eight of the 21-year-old’s total catches have been enticed with a grub for bait. The reservoir was open a sixth day, Labor Day. The 23 fishermen who turned out boosted the total number of participants for the year to 515. The facility has been open for 94 days and, coincidentally, 94 trout have been caught. Whale Rock is open for fishing Wednesdays through Sundays.

Patriot Sportfishing

Only three fishing trips were offered last week as the business was involved in tagging operations, a Cal Poly endeavor for the Department of Fish and Game. Lompoc’s Rick Lamberton had thw week’s biggest fish, an 8-pound lingcod caught Saturday. Also earning jackpot awards were Mike Lovelle of British Columbia and Joseph Park of Los Angeles, both with 6-pound lings.For trip schedules and reservations call: 595-7200.

Virg's Landing

Atascadero's Rob Black had last week’s big fish, a 15-0 lingcod. Other jackpot winners included: Liz Smith, Bakersfield, and David Castillo, Delano, both 13-0 lings; Glen Giesi, Belmont, 12-0 ling; Gordon Kebler, Cayucos, and Ted Romley, Bakersfield, both 10-0 lings; Bill Troendle, Visalia, and Russ Highfill, Bakersfield, both 9-0 lings; Al Neufeld, Grover Beach, 8-0 ling; Amber Starko, Bakersfield, 7-0 ling; and Mark Ayers, Los Osos, 10-0 wolf eel.

Port San Luis Boatyard

Whopper of the Week went to Brent Lintner, who caught a 26-pound halibut Sunday. It was the fifth time this year that whopper honors went to a halibut catches. Anglers aboard 89 launched boats last week caught 106 lings, nine albacore, seven halibut, three salmon and one white seabass.

Lake Nacimiento

Heading the advice of Heritage Ranch resident Dave Rymal last Saturday, John Sherry and Mark Shelton of San Luis Obispo enjoyed a bountiful day of white bass fishing. Each caught 40 white bass while working waters across from the Heritage Ranch launch ramp. Heritage resident Mel Moore used live nightcrawlers to catch six spotted bass to 2 pounds as well as two catfish. Last Friday, Bunky Childs and friends caught 50 white bass before quitting. They fished near Bee Rock Cove deep jigging Real Image lures and fishing on the surface with Pop-Rs.

Lopez Lake

Marina Manager Aaron Boyd said Lompoc’s Bob Nelson used soft plastic curly tails while fishing near the bridge earlier this week to catch a 21⁄2-pound smallmouth and a 15⁄8-pound crappie. Ethan Clark used a Baby Brush Hog to land a 21⁄4-pound largemough. Other anglers were catch crappie up to 2 pounds using crappie jigs with crappie nibbles.