Fishing Report: Big trout catch highlighs bass tourney

Catches made in a Tri Valley bass tournament Saturday may portend some happy entrants in the 18th-annual Trout Derby at Cachuma Lake on Saturday and Sunday. 

Entrants who don’t catch one of the cash-winning tagged trout may go home with tasty consolation prizes — large  trout dinners.

What Aaron Quarles brought to the Tri Valley scales at Cachuma triggered jaw-dropping expressions all around. It was a huge 13-pound, 8-ounce trout. Danny Knotts didn’t bring his 10-pounder to the scales but prompted further awe.

Quarles said he caught his large trout in a foot of water on a swimbait. 

“I thought I had a world class bass on the way it peeled off 10 feet of line a couple of times,” Quarles said. “It ate the bait deep and died on the deck. I kept it in a separate live well. 

Quarles and partner Marc Weiting had four smallies in their 10.49-pound six-fish team limit for 16th place.

Event No. 4 on the Tri Valley Bass schedule had a familiar result. For the third consecutive year, Dana Chatterly and 17-year-old son Clayton won the Cachuma contest and again will contend for Anglers of the Year, which they won in 2011.

The Chatterlys had a limit (two smallmouths and four largemouths) by 8:45 a.m. fishing Stork Flats.

“It’s awesome fishing with my son,” Dana Chatterly said, “although his mind is more on golf these days.” 

Recently, Clayton Chatterly shot a 66 at Vandenberg Village Country Club and has attracted interest from college golf coaches.

“Once we got to the Santa Ynez River, we culled the smalliesm finishing with six largemouth for a 16.05 total weight,” Dana Chatterly said. “We had 30 keepers using the C and D 5-inch curly tail worms which we pour ourselves.”

After four tourneys, the Chatterlys are in third place, eight points back of points standings leaders Tip Martin and Bill Lukeman.

Tri Valley Top 10 (All 6-fish team limits), Weight

1. Dana & Clayton Chatterly, Lompoc, 16.05 pounds; 2. Steve Vidmar, Santa Maria, Phil Infante, Long Beach, 15.23 pounds; 3. Doug Chessmore, Andy Joughin, Santa Barbara, 14.67 pounds; 4. Tip Martin, San Luis Obispo, Bill Lukeman, Santa Maria, 13.75 pounds; 5. Frank Fernandes, Janet Ross, Santa Maria, 13.65 pounds; 6. Gregg & Mike Higgins, Santa Maria, 13.65 pounds; 7. Steve & Justin Goodman, San Luis Obispo, 13.28 pounds; 8. Danny Knotts, Skeeter Moore,Santa Maria, 12.84 pounds; 9. Johnny Johnson, Rob Marquez, Santa Maria, 12.65 pounds; 10. Bill & Pat Twomey, Lompoc, 12.20 pounds.

1st Big Fish, 4.25 pounds, Vidmar & Infante; 2nd Big Fish, 3.51 pounds, Chessmore & Joughin. 

Bishop and Miller seek more

Now that Darrin Bishop of Paso Robles and cousin Dean Miller from Tulare have secured Anglers of the Year honors in the ABA Pacific Coast Region, they are focused on winning similar laurels in the ABA Travelers division.

The duo caught between 10 and 15 fish in the first hour of Saturday’s season finale ABA Pacific Coast Region tourney at Santa Margarita Lake. 

“They were all small fish and we ended up keeping only one of the group,” Bishop said.

“In practice we registered where bedding fish were on my GPS. We had only 10 bites after our early success. We caught all our fish by drop-shotting on our GPS marks. Although you can see a lot of fish, they were hard to catch. We had one 4-pound fish that we lost three times. In the last hour, I lost a 6-pound range fish. We weren’t expecting to win.”

They finished with a one-pound edge on Dan Barrios and Bob Simmons — 19.55 pounds to 18.56 pounds.

In winning AOY honors, Bishop and Miller posted two wins, a second, two fourths and a sixth place.  

ABA Pacific Coast Bass

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

1. Darrin Bishop, Paso Robles, Dean Miller, Tulare, 19.55 pounds, $2,915; 2. Dan Barrios, San Luis Obispo, Bob Simmons, Morro Bay, 18.56 pounds, $1,275; 3. Louis Fernandes, Santa Maria, Patrick Touey, Nipomo, 18.53 pounds, $673; 4. Sam Sawdey, Paso Robles, Ralph Sawdey, Shandon, 17.79 pounds, $385; 5. Jacob Lewis, Nick Gregg, Atascadero, 17.69 pounds, $430; 6. Ron Reccord, Nipomo, Cecil Morgan, Pismo Beach, 16.81 pounds, $232; 7. Jerry Waldrip, Richard Neal, Bakersfield, 16.65 pounds; 8. Jason Letterman, Scott Mullins, Salinas, 16.14 pounds, $20; 9. Austin Bonjour, Graham Grove, Atascadero, 15.37 pounds; 10. Pat Motley, Arroyo Grande, Mark Del Papa, Bakersfield, 15.37 pounds.

1st Big Fish, 7.21 pounds, Lewis & Gregg, $330; 2nd Big Fish, 6.23 pounds, Barrios & Simmons, $198; 3rd Big Fish, 5.77 pounds, R. Reccord & Morgan, $132.

Cachuma Trout Derby

The 18th-annual Cachuma Lake Trout Derby begins at 6 a.m. Saturday and concludes at noon Sunday. It is the major fundraiser for the Neal Taylor Nature Center at the lake. 

Adults may register at the lake for a $40 fee. Children ages 4 to 10 can enter for $10. Cash prizes total $5,000, plus thousands of dollars in merchandise prizes. Certain prizes are designated for children and teens.  Prizes will be awarded at 1 p.m. in the Fireside Theater.

Salmon reports

Port San Luis Boatyard — Last week, only eight boats were dispatched to fish salmon. Four fish were caught. Five to 15 knot winds are forecast escalating to 15 to 25 knot winds Friday and Saturday.

Patriot Sportfishing — One salmon and 29 dungeness crab were caught by 11 passengers April 12. The next day,15 anglers caught one salmon. The Patriot is chartered Thursday and Saturday. A 6 a.m. to 2 pm. crab and salmon trip is scheduled for Friday. Salmon trips, which are limited to 16 trollers, are scheduled for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. The cost for each trip is $84..

Virg’s Landing — Four salmon were caught by eight anglers April 10. Seven passengers caught one salmon  April 12, and eight anglers caught two salmon April 13.  On Friday, a 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. salmon trip is scheduled for $89. A sanddab and halibut trip is scheduled for Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for $59.

Greg Birkholz hitched rides with Gary Moore of Los Osos and Charles Buzzetti of Atascadero out of Morro Bay on April 12. Birkholz caught one salmon on each boat, while Moore and Buzzetti each had one. Three fish measured 25 inches and one 30 inches.

Santa Margarita Lake

Atascadero’s Dave Widger caught a 9-pound, 10-ounce bass drop-shotting Tuesday. Nipomo’s Katie Marke reeled in a 5 1-2-pound bass using a plastic lizard. Arroyo Grande’s  Michael Austin, fishing with guide Michael Steen in The Narrows caught 10 crappie from 2 1-4 to 3 1-4 pounds Sunday.

Lopez Lake

Joey Masters and friends caught a 13 1-2-pound catfish Sunday, reported marina staffer Bernadette La Burn.

Nacimiento Lake

On Sunday, Dean Shupp Sr. and his wife caught 12 white bass and a 15-pound catfish trolling Rapalas. The Johnsons, a husband and wife duo from the San Joaquin Valley, caught and released 15 spotted bass and one white bass. Dave Rymal reports from Heritage Ranch that the whites are not chasing shad as yet.

Cachuma Lake

Limits or near trout limits were caught trolling Rapalas, Needlefish, Kastmasters and Wedding Rings all over the lake. PowerBait and inflated nightcrawlers clicked for shore fishermen. The Narrows was the best location for largemouth bass, while smallies were taken from Johnson and Cachuma bays. Jigs, Senkos and blades worked best. The crappie bite was fair in Santa Cruz Bay. Arrowhead Island and The Narrows were catfish hot spots.