Fishing Report: Local duo nipped at Lake San Antonio

Eleven one-hundredths of a pound separated the top two finishers in Saturday’s American Bass Pacific Coast Region tournament at Lake San Antonio. 

The same pairs vied for big fish honors. The difference was five one-hundredths of a pound.

Salinas anglers Jason Letterman and Scott Mullins won on both fronts with a 13.10-pound limit worth $3,400 and a 4.55-pound largemouth that won big fish honors and contributed $360 to their winnings.

Because Mullins will fish a rescheduled WON Bass event on the same lake Sunday, the winners did not disclose where and how they caught fish.

Runners-up Darrin Bishop of Paso Robles and partner Dean Miller, who will be competing in ABA Big Valley tournament Saturday at Lake Kaweah near Miller’s home in Tulare, were happy to talk about last weekend’s tournament.

 “We began by targeting largemouth. But that wasn’t happening so we changed tactics about 10 o’clock,” Bishop said. “Our success was the result of sight fishing 30 to 40 feet away from smallmouths that were on beds. 

“We couldn’t see the fish, and they couldn’t see us. Of the 20 fish we caught, only four were largemouths, and three of those were very small. Dean and I seem to alternate catching the biggest fish. It was my turn Saturday for the 4.50 largemouth that was the second-biggest.”

Bishop and Miller had a 12.99-pound limit that paid $1,414 with their big fish contributing $316. After five events, Bishop and Miller have a nine-point lead over runners-up Louis Fernandes and Patrick Touey in the point standings race.

ABA Pacific Top 10 (All 5-fish limits), Weight, Winnings

1. Jason Letterman, Scott Mullins, Salinas, 13.10 pounds, $3,400; 2. Darrin Bishop, Paso Robles, Dean Miller, Tulare, 12.99 pounds; $1,414; 3. Bryan Grier, Hollister, Ken Sauret, Paso Robles, 11.60 pounds, $757; 4. Carlos & JacobVasquez, Soledad, 11.57 pounds, $225; 5. Brad Shepherd, Clark Endres,  Atascadero, 11.51 pounds, $200;  6. Louis Fernandes, Santa Maria, Patrick Touey, Nipomo, 11.30 pounds, $200; 7. Nick Salvucci, Templeton, 11.16 pounds; 8. Bryan Botts, Brian Baugh, 11.04 pounds, $254; 9. Gene Gray,  Atascadero, Jay Short, Templeton, 10.84 pounds; 10. Erik Zillig, Paso Robles, Damon Meeks, Atascadero, 10.39 pounds.

1st Big Fish, 4.55 pounds, Letterman & Mullins, $360; 2nd Big Fish, 4.50 pounds, Bishop & Miller, $316; 3rd Big Fish, 3.95 pounds, Botts & Baugh, $144. 

Lintner looking for better days

The second stop on the Bassmaster Elite schedule promises to be a much better experience than what transpired last week at the Sabine River in Texas for Arroyo Grande’s Jared Lintner.

One hundred of the best bass fishermen in the world managed to notch only 56 five-fish limits in four days of competition. Only four of the 12 finalists had limits Sunday. 

Arroyo Grande’s Jared Lintner finished 55th and out of the money. He caught three bass on day one and two on day two for a total weight of 8 pounds, 11 ounces.  Three entrants blanked for the tournament.

Falcon Lake, on the Texas-Mexico border, hosts this week’s event. Paul Elias posted the heaviest bag total in the eight-year history of the Elite series when he caught fish totaling 132 pounds, 8 ounces there in 2008. The single-heaviest fish in tournament history — 13 pounds, 2 ounces, was also caught there in 2008. Along with Elias, 10 other anglers caught fishing totaling more than 100 pounds.

Lintner placed 47th  there in 2008 with limits weighing 26 pounds, 11 ounces, 25 pounds, 1 ounce and 19 pounds, 12 ounces for a three-day total of 71 pounds, 8 ounces.

Patriot Sportfishing

Combination Crab and Sanddab trips are scheduled for Saturday and for March 28 and March 30. Cost for these 6 a.m. to noon trips are $60 for adults and $50 for those 12 and under.  

A whale watching and nature cruise is planned for Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost is $35 for adults and $25 for children 12 and under. Call 595-7200 for reservations and more information.

Virg’s Landing

Encouraged by Saturday’s combination halibut and sanddab trip, Virg’s will offer it again from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Cost is $59. 

Whale watching trips are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m..

Cost is $39 for adults and $29 for children 15 and under. Call 772-1222 for reservations and more information.

Sixteen passengers caught 105 sanddabs and three halibut Saturday. Keanu Ramos of San Francisco and Will Rameriz of Guadalupe each caught 16-pound halibut while Morro Bay’s Elaine Enriquez reeled in a 9-pounder.

Nacimiento Lake

Reporting from Heritage Ranch, Dave Rymal said: “Martin Rowley fished The Narrows  Monday. He found a few white bass starting to spawn but the fish were not biting. On March 15, Dean Guzman and 

Mike Martin using Senkos caught 16 spotted bass to 21⁄2 pounds. Paul and Cindy Walden trolled Shad Raps for six nice crappie.” 

Lopez Lake

Marina Manager Aaron Boyd reported a 6-pound bass was caught this week and the fish are moving into spawning areas. Fly fishermen are catching small panfish off the F dock.

Cachuma Lake

A 4,000-pound Calaveras Trout Farm plant Tuesday is expected to trigger improved trout fishing. It’s the first of three plants prior to the April 20-21 Annual Trout Derby. 

Although the crappie bite has slowed, fish up to 2 1⁄2 pounds have been caught. The bass bite is rated as fair with fish moving to spawning locations. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits and a wide variety of plastics have been catching bass.