Fishing Report: Salmon season looks promising

Salmon season begins Saturday, and it promises to be a bountiful season.

A post on Patriot Sportfishing’s website summarizes the 2013 outlook: “Since we were catching incidental salmon all through the last (2012) rockcod season, right up to mid-December, we are hopeful that it will be a good year.”

Both Virg’s Landing and Patriot Sportfishing are offering limited load salmon trips.

Port San Luis Boatyard manager Marty Codorniz said: “We will be launching private boats starting at 5 a.m. Saturday. Dredging sand from the launch basin has been going on since March 4. Some clean up work is continuing. We are anxiously awaiting the salmon opener. Windy weather is in the forecast for Saturday. That probably means a lot of boats will be coming in early.”

Lintner bolstered by local win

Bassmaster Elite pro Jared Lintner is on hiatus from the tour and was fishing with his friends and winning Saturday. 

It was a pleasant about-face for the eight-year tour professional from Arroyo Grande. Paired with longtime partner Nick Salvucci, the tandem won the 101 Bass event at Lopez Lake by nearly a 6-pound cushion.

Lintner returns to the Elite tour next weekend. His next challenge will be April 18-21 at Bull Shoals Lake in Arkansas.

After placing 33rd in his fourth Bassmaster Classic in late February, the 39-year-old father of three began the 2013 Elite tour in Texas by placing 55th at the Sabine River, then 94th at Falcon Lake.

“I’ve had spells like this before in my career, and I’ve just had to fish my way out of them,” Lintner said. 

He caught only five fish in two days at stop one and eight fish in two days at challenge No. 2.

“At Falcon, I had about a 10-pound fish on 80-pound test line and was broken off,” he bemoaned.

Events at Lopez Lake last week were encouraging thanks to a bait developed by Morro Bay’s Scott Garman. 

“All five fish we weighed were caught on Scott’s Shaky Fins Shad swimbaits,” Lintner said. “We caught about 20 pre-spawn fish in 15 to 20 feet of water some by drop-shotting and some on Alabama rigs.”

Their 26.46-pound limit bested runners-up Joey Reggio and Jeff Hodges, who had a 20.50-pound limit.

Twenty-eight of the 31 teams entered had five-fish limits.

Big fish honors went to Jim Slusher and Erik Zillig. Slusher said he caught a 7.65-pound bass on a Senko.

101 Bass Top 10 (all 5-Fish Limits), Weight, Winnings

1. Jared Lintner, Arroyo Grande, Nick Salvucci, Templeton, 26.46 pounds, $2,540; 2. Joey Reggio, San Luis Obispo, Jeff Hodges, Arroyo Grande, 20.50 pounds, $1,530; 3. Damon Meeks, Atascadero, Jay Short, Templeton, 20.35 pounds, $650; 4. Brad Shepherd, Clark Endres,  Atascadero, 19.58 pounds, $270; 5. Dan Barrios, San Luis Obispo, Casey Langley, Nipomo, 19.22 pounds, $220; 6. Reggie Peinado, Joey Baldacchino, Nipomo, 18.65 pounds,  $180; 7. Jim Slusher,  Atascadero, Erik Zillig, Paso Robles, 18.62 pounds; 8. Tom Vienola, Mead Hedricks, Lompoc, 18.40 pounds; 9. Carlos & Jacob Vasquez, Soledad, 18.26 pounds; 10. Dean Miller, Darrel Masterson, Tulare, 17.76 pounds.

1st Big Fish, 7.65 pounds, Slusher & Zillig, $460.

Patriot Sportfishing

Except for Thursdays, salmon fishing trips will be offered daily beginning Saturday. This schedule will continue through April. The troll-only trips are from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Cost is $84. There is a 16-angler limit. 

Crab and salmon trips from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. are planned for Wednesdays and Fridays (beginning April 12). Cost is $84. 

On the Saturday crab and sanddab combo trip, 15 passengers went home with 54 sanddabs, 102 dungeness and three rock crab. On Wednesday, 16 anglers bagged 49 dungeness and three rock crab.

For more information and reservations, call 595-7200 or go online to www.patriotsportfishing.com.

Virg’s Landing

Salmon fishing begins Saturday. The maximum per trip is 14 anglers, who will troll 2- to 3-pound Krocodile or Apex ball weights. The 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. trips cost $89 for adults and $44.50 those 15 and younger. 

For reservations and more information, call 772-1222 or go online to www.virgs.com.

A minimum of 10 anglers is needed to make salmon trips a go. Combo sanddab and halibut weekend trips from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. are priced at $59 for adults and $29.50 for those 15 and younger. Sixteen anglers Saturday caught 150 sanddabs. 

Whale watching trips from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. are $39 for adults and $29 for those 15 and younger.

Cachuma Lake

Registration forms for the 18th-annual Cachuma Lake Trout Derby are available online at www.troutderby.org. The entry fee for adults is $40 and $10 for children ages 4 to 10. Cash prizes amount to $5,000, plus thousands of dollars in merchandise prizes.

Santa Margarita Lake

Santa Maria’s Bobby Doss, a bass tournament director, caught and released a bass weighing 11 1⁄2 pounds. Shore fishermen kept 14- and 10-pounders.  

“We prefer that bass that big be released. It helps the fishery,” marina manager Don Lopez said. The catfish bite has been decent and redear are beginning to appear while crappie are feast or famine.

Nacimiento Lake

Fishing at the entrance to The Narrows on Tuesday, Bunky Childs and Jack and Brad Foster caught at least 50 white bass plus 15 spots to two pounds, reported 

Heritage Ranch resident Dave Rymal. On Saturday, Dean Guzman caught 30 white bass on Kastmasters dunked in Snake Creek.

Lopez Lake

Marina spokesman Mike Palmer said the most recent catches have been an 18 1⁄2-pound catfish by David Rogers on a crappie jig and a pair of 2 1⁄2-pound bass on jigs by Arroyo Grande’s Rodney Runnels.