“This season, I’m going to have fun fishing in Bassmaster Elite tournaments. I plan to fish the way I like to fish, which is flippin, punching, and throwing reaction baits in shallow water.
“I miss my family too much not to be having fun,” Jared Lintner said when I caught up with him by phone Tuesday as he was en route to the East Coast.
The Arroyo Grande bass pro will be entering his ninth season on the Elite tour. The first of eight tournaments gets underway one week from today on Lake Seminole at Bainbridge, Ga.
Seminole is one of four tournaments at sites never previously visited by the multi-talented Elite anglers. Also new are tests Nos. 6, 7 and 8 at Chickamauga Lake, Dayton, Tenn., June 11-15; the Delaware River, Philadelphia, Aug. 7-10; and Cayuga Lake, Union Springs and Auburn, N.Y., Aug. 21-24.
For the first time in several years, more than 100 anglers are registered to fish the series. The 108 anglers have paid a $43,000 entry fee. Event winners earn $100,000. But placing 13th to 50th is required to cash a $10,000 check.
“Back in January, I took a trip to Seminole and was able to get in some practice time on the 37,500-acre lake,” Lintner said. “I’m told cold weather has delayed the spawn that usually peaks in February. Key areas of the main lake have sand bars and high spots that have stumps and submerged hydrilla. A lot of different techniques should be effective here.”
After the tournament on Florida’s St. Johns River (March 20-23), Lintner plans on practicing at Chickamauga.
The 40-year-old Lintner will be fishing from a 2014 Skeeter FX 21 boat powered by a Yamaha 250 engine.
Jared and his wife, Keri, are parents of a daughter, Allese, who turned 16 in January.
“My oldest son, J.C., turns 13 on the first day of the St. Johns tournament (March 20), and son Jayden is 6. Without their support and that of my dad (Dan) I couldn’t fish these tournaments,” he said.
“My truck and boat won’t return to California until the end of the Elite series in late August.”
During the offseason, Lintner delivers dairy products in San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria to stores, restaurants and schools for Lintner & Son Distributing.
Victory in the rain
Fishing on a day that “was like standing in your shower at home,” tournament director Al Rush won Saturday’s Ambushers bass tournament at Lopez Lake.
“I was happy my 6-year-old Cabela’s rain suit held up. It rained really hard most of the day, but I was thankful the wind wasn’t the problem it can be at Lopez,” Rush said. “My 16.22-pound limit was the best I’ve ever done at this lake”
Only 11 anglers showed up and four of them didn’t weigh a fish.
Bryan Vogt, who claimed big fish honors with the catch of a 6.32-pound bass, said “it was raining so hard I verified with Al (Rush) that we were going to have a tournament before I left home in Paso Robles.”
Angler, Number of Fish, Weight, Winnings
1. Al Rush, Paso Robles, 5, 16.22 pounds, $175; 2. Bryan Vogt, Paso Robles, 3, 11.21 pounds, $175; 3. Ken Meeks, Atascadero, 4, 10.46 pounds, $70; 4. Marc Hazuka, Atascadero, 2, 8.01 pounds; 5. Jeremy Donk, San Luis Obispo, 3, 6.70 pounds; 7. Graham Melander, Atascadero, 1, 2.35 pounds.
Other entrants who caught no fish — Casey Langley, Nipomo, Del Bishop, Templeton, Jerry May, Paso Robles, Michelle Duncan, Bakersfeld.
1st Big Fish, 6.32 pounds, Bryan Vogt, $50.
The Patriot is back from Ventura where it passed its annual Coast Guard inspection and received a new paint job.
Crab and sanddab trips are scheduled for Fridays and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. for $60 for adults and $50 for children 12 and younger.
Combination whale watching and nature cruises resume Sundays from 9 to 11 a.m. Fares are $35 for adults, $25 for children 12 and younger. At least 10 confirmed reservations are needed for a trip to run.
Sanddabs will be the objective on an 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. fishing trip Sunday. The fare is $59. Whale watching trips are slated for Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fares are $39 for adults and $29 for children 12 and younger. Reservations are being taken for charters. Call 772-1222 or go to www.virgs.com.
Eric Lemieux, 15, of San Luis Obispo caught a 71⁄2-pound bass Sunday while fishing from the F Dock. His catch was reported by marina staffer Mike Palmer.
Dave Rymal reported from Heritage Ranch that although water in the lake is clear there are few, if any, people fishing.
Early last week, fishing for trout was rated “fair” for anglers who flat lined Kastmasters, Rapalas and Flicker Shads along the northwest shoreline. Reports were sparse from shore anglers.
Traditionally productive spots such as E Point and Harvey’s Bay probably were the best sites. Prior to the weekend storms crappie, bass and catfish were biting at the east end of the lake.