Fishing Report: Atascadero’s Gray has patent pending for remote drain plug system

Opportunity still knocks for those who ponder solutions to a problem they’ve personally encountered and persevered until succeeding — no matter who long it takes.

We have a Central Coast resident who fits that description.

Meet Gene Gray of Atascadero who has come up with a solution to a problem that has bedeviled boat owners for eons.

Mr. Boat Owner, Does this scenario ring a bell?

You reach your lake destination envisioning a pleasant day on the water. You back your boat down the launch ramp as you have done countless times. After parking your truck you climb into your boat and discover a major omission.

You forgot to insert the drain plug.

Water has already covered the floor boards and is deepening.

It’s panic time, especially if it’s a tournament situation or a busy weekend.

Both Gray and his 101 Bass tournament partner, Tony Pratt, have separately experienced this boating nightmare.

Pratt, an innovator and the owner of several patents in the wine industry, encouraged his longtime friend to focus on solving this boating fiasco by inventing a solution.

Gray formed Bass Boat Solutions in 2007. The 58-year-old has been an automotive technician for more 30 years. It remains his day job.

Over a period of six years he developed and refined his remote drain plug invention. In 2009, he incorporated the idea of having a switch control the remote drain plug from inside the boat. Now the device could be operated while seated in your boat in front of the driver’s console or from the rear of the boat.

 The idea attracted the attention of a Michigan firm that manufactures live wells for bass boats.

“I’ve formed a strong relationship with Flow-Rite,” Gray said, “and in 2012 we formed a partnership.”

Gray has a patent pending on the Bass Boat Solutions Flow-Rite remote drain plug system.

Cables are available in three lengths. A six-foot length is recommended for mounting the actuator in the splashwell (rear of the boat); eight-foot lengths are for small to medium size boats for a console-mounted actuator and 10-foot lengths for medium to large size boats also for a console-mounted actuator.

His invention is standard equipment for 2014 Ranger 500 series bass boats.

Legend boats has followed suit and several other boat manufacturers are considering making the remote drain plug system part of their original equipment.

Units are available locally from Bass Boat Solutions and Tackle Warehouse. They retail for $89.95.

Port San Luis Boatyard

A trio of Arroyo Grande anglers, who were dispatched from the Sports Launch at Port San Luis on Sunday, landed the biggest halibut of the year. Chuck Knollenberg caught a 41-pounder. He was accompanied by the Tenborg brothers, Charlie and Moe. Whopper winners receive a free boat launch from Marty Codorniz, owner of  Sports Launch  operations.

The Sports Launch will be closed today. Ninety boats were dispatched last week. Twenty-seven lingcod and four halibut were in the harvest. Full rockcod limits were noted four days, three-quarter limits once and half limits once. No boats were launched Nov. 20.

Patriot Sportfishing

Joe Torres of Arroyo Grande, a three-time place winner in prior Patriot Lingcod competitions including a 2008 championship, had last week’s big fish, a 13-pound lingcod.

Other jackpot winners: Tim Murphy, Lompoc, 12-5 ling, Jim Elkins, Grover Beach, 10-0 ling,  Doug May, Orcutt, 9-0 ling, Arnold Luisi, Arroyo Grande, 8-0 ling, Cody Rosa, Orcutt, 8-0 cabezon, Byran Green,  Arroyo Grande, 7-0 ling, and Scott Nelson, Bakersfield, 6-0 ling.

Patriot will be closed  today. For trip schedules and reservations, call 595-7200 or go to www.patriotsportfishing.com.

Morro Bay Landing

The store at 1213 Embarcadero will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., including Thanksgiving. The Black Pearl is in Long Beach for the installation of new engines.  There were no trips last week. 

For more information, call 771-5500 or go to www.morrobaylanding.com.

Virg’s Landing

The landing will be closed today.

Morro Bay’s Jordan Pavacich won the jackpot on the Nov. 19 Cambria Fishing Club’s charter. He had a 14-pound lingcod. 

Last week’s jackpot winners all caught lingcod. Winners and weights were: Jesse Spencer, San Luis Obispo, 18-0, Kevin Kieshing, San Luis Obispo, 15-0, Julian Montez, Santa Maria, 12-0, Byran Locke, Tulare, and Derrick Polk, Coalinga, both 10-0, and Eric Vickers, Hanford,  8-0.

Reservations are being taken for two-day trips  Dec. 7-8 and 28-29.  The fare is $235. Call 772-1222 or go to www.virgs.com for complete trip schedules and reservations.

Santa Margarita Lake

Creston’s Tom Cole said: “Jigs, crankbaits and Rat-L-Traps worked for me. I landed a 2-pound bass on a Rat-L-Trap and a 3-pounder on anchovies.”  

Dennis Yates from Chino caught a 3-pound, 10-ounce bass near the marina on a hot dog. 

The marina will be closed today.

Nacimiento Lake

Reporting from Heritage Ranch, Dave Rymal noted: “Last Sunday, Heritage Ranch resident Dean Shupp and a buddy caught limits of spotted bass while fishing near the dam with football jigs. Their catch was highlighted by a 5-pound, 1-ounce fish. They are catch-and-release anglers.”

Cachuma Lake

Marina manager Ken Hemer reports: “Trout fishing was really good last week.  Limits and near limits were common. Trollers had excellent results using 

Rapalas, Kastmasters and pin minnows at a depth of 10 feet in the west end of the lake. PowerBait and inflated nightcrawlers worked for shore fishermen. Catfish are still on the chew at the east end of the lake.”