Fishing Report: Saltwater fishing event to benefit second Wounded Warriors fundraiser

A saltwater fishing event with dual purposes is scheduled for May 18 out of Morro Bay. 

Half the proceeds will go toward assisting with the funding of a second Wounded Warriors event later this year. Anglers Anonymous Central Coast successfully sponsored the initial Wounded Warriors day on the ocean last September.

Greg Birkholz, president of the local Anglers Anonymous club, said the tournament will begin at 6 a.m. May 18. Participants must be back at the launch ramp by 3 p.m.

Tournament registrations should be mailed to Birkholz at 375 Helroy Road, Arroyo Grande, CA, 93420. Entry fee is $30. It will go up to $35 on May 15, and $40 on tournament day.

Fish will be weighed on a digital scale. There will be an overall heaviest fish prize. Additionally there will be first-, second- and third-place cash awards in the rockcod-lingcod division. Another division will include salmon, halibut and white seabass. Sharks and rays do not qualify.

Among the raffle prizes are an Avet reel, a custom-wrapped saltwater rod, and two 10-launch cards sponsored by Port San Luis Boatyard. Raffle tickets are $5 each, or five for $20, and available all day at the Morro Bay launch ramp.

Port San Luis Boatyard

Could Saturday’s salmon catch be a precursor of another good season?

Sixty-eight boats were launched Saturday, and another 10 were on moorings. Anglers aboard those boats had full rockcod limits, including 82 lingcod and 49 salmon.

A year ago, the Sports Launch had a 300-salmon day on May 12, and seven other days with more than 100 fish.

“We didn’t get the last boat pulled on Saturday until around 7 o’clock,” Port San Luis Boatyard owner Marty Codorniz said.  A repair expert was summoned from Los Angeles to fix a motor problem that idled launch operations Thursday afternoon. The facility was back in service by noon Friday.

Whopper of the Week honors went to Darin Mafi of Arroyo Grande with a 19-pound salmon reeled in May 1.

Patriot Sportfishing

A 10-hour trip to big lingcod territory at Pt. Purisima is on the Sunday agenda with some space available. 

Call 595-7200 or go to www.patriotsportfishing.com to book a reservation or get more information. Fares are $82 for adults, $60 for youngsters 12 and under.

Lingcod catches accounted for jackpots on five of the trips made through Tuesday. John La Pointe of Lompoc bagged the week’s biggest ling, a 14-pounder aboard the Rita G. 

Other jackpot winners were: Gerry Camp, Dinuba, 12-0 ling, Larry Morehead, Tulare, 11-0 ling, Glen Fukumoto, Los Osos, 9-6 cabezon, Joe Torres, Arroyo Grande, 8-0 red rockcod, Brad Garcia, Modesto, 7-0 ling and Antonio Baldivig, Arroyo Grande, 6-0 cabezon.

The 222 passengers caught 110 lingcod, 394 red rockcod, 885 assorted rockfish, 348 bolina, 56 cabezon, 28 dungeness crab, two rock crab and one sheephead.

Virg’s Landing

All nine jackpot fish last week were lingcod. Upland’s Bob Keller had the biggest one, a 20-pounder. Justin Wiggens of  Cayucos and Bryan Cofer of Napa  both had 13-pounders, while Tony Dominguez of Guadalupe and Marciso Holguin of Hanford, both had 12-pounders. Others were: Al Newfield, Oceano, 10 pounds, Casey Jones, Bakersfield, 10 pounds, Jim Corell and Alan Menny, both Bakersfield, 8- and 7-pound lings, reespectively.

Reservations are being taken for the season’s first overnight trip, May 18-19. Cost is $205. Passengers may catch two limits of fish. Long Range trips (6 a.m. to 4 p.m.) are on the agenda Fridays and Sundays for $89. Sundowner fishing (3:30 to 7:30 p.m. triples) are offered Saturday and Sunday for $49.

For other trip schedules and reservations, call 772-1222 or visit www.virgs.com 

Last week’s catch by 247 passengers included 155 lingcod, 1,293 red rockcod, and 1,146 assorted rockfish.

Lintner watch

Arroyo Grande’s Jared Lintner experienced perhaps his worst day in his 8-year Bassmaster Elite pro career at Georgia’s West Point Lake last week. He caught a 7-pound, 4-ounce limit on day one to rank 51st in the 100-angler field. 

On day two, he was one of the three nonqualifiers to blank. In Elite events, anglers must finish two days of competition in the top 50 to earn a $10,000 check with the opportunity to be among the top 12 finalists. Thirty-one of the West Point nonqualifiers did not limit on day two.

Lintner begins the fifth stop on the Elite agenda today bent on better days on the Alabama River at Montgomery, Ala. 

Thus far, he has managed just one $10,000 check and needs to log a series of money-qualifying finishes in order to cover Elite entry fees.

Whale Rock

It was incorrectly reported last week in this column that a turnout of 16 anglers for the first weekend of the trout fishing season. The actual turnout was 48 fishermen. For the second open period in a row, nine trout were caught. Fifty-two fishermen showed up between May 1-5.  Big-fish honors were shared by Jace Zavala and Jeff Minkler. Each caught a 19-incher.  

Zavala was the 2012 champion angler with 21 fish. Joe Reynolds caught 13- and 18-inch fish. Retired Whale Rock employee John Bell caught a 17-inch trout May 1. Gary Holder landed a 10-inch fish May 5. An anonymous angler caught an 18-inch fish May 3 while Patrick (no last name listed) harvested a 15-inch fish May 4. Whale Rock is open for fishing Wednesdays through Sundays.

Nacimiento Lake

More than 100 fish were caught Friday near Chimney Rock by Bunky Charles, Jack Foster and Brad Foster. Their catch included both white and spotted bass plus four catfish. Then a cold front came through and fishing didn’t pick up until Tuesday. Then, Chris and Judy Lutz caught 17 fish, mostly white and spotted bass and crappie. They were trolling Rapala Shad Raps. Their catch included a spot estimated to be five pounds. It was their biggest spot ever. The report was by Dave Rymal from Heritage Ranch. 

Lopez Lake

Reporting from the marina, Bernadetette La Barr said Cody Alford of Orcutt caught 4-pound and a 3 9⁄16-pound largemouth bass May 4 on purple crawdads.

Santa Margarita Lake

“Bass are coming off beds,” marina manager Don Lopez said. “Bass are being caught all over the lake. Good-sized crappie are being caught in The Narrows while pound to one and a half-pound bluegill and redear are coming from the Vaca Flats area.”

Cachuma Lake

Warmer weather has driven trout down to a depth of 20 to 30 feet. Only a handful of rainbow catches were reported last week. On the other hand, bass fishing has been productive. 

Topwater baits have been working early and late. Plastics have been working in the afternoon. Crappie action is on an upswing. Small spinners and mini jigs are working in The Narrow, Santa Cruz and Cachuma Bays. Cut baits are producing catfish in the backs of coves and all over the lake.