For the third straight year in the young 101 Bass tournament series, there will be a new team claiming Angler of the Year laurels.
Unlike the first two seasons when there were runaway winners, this one will be decided Saturday at Nacimiento Lake.
In the race for AOY honors, Darrin Bishop from Paso Robles and his father, Del, from Templeton hold a five-point lead on Darrin’s cousin, Dean Miller from Tulare, and his San Joaquin Valley partner, Darrel Masterson.
Jared Lintner and partner Nick Salvucci, who fished alone when Bassmaster Elite competitions kept Lintner away, earned 587 points en route to the inaugural 2011-12 AOY title by a margin of 32 points.
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A year ago, San Luis Obispo’s Dan Barrios and Nipomo’s Aaron Quarels waltzed away with top honors by 77 points.
The Bishops have yet to win a 101 tournament this season. But with a second, two fifths and a pair of sevenths, they have amassed 504 points.
Miller and Masterson won the 2014 opener at Nacimiento Lake, followed by a fourth, sixth and a pair of sevenths, good for 499 points.
AOY winners in prior years have won trolling motor batteries, trophies and the knowledge that they have bested a talented field of bass fishermen.
There is nothing bitter about the competition between the cousins — Darrin Bishop and Dean Miller are teammates in American Bass Pacific Coast Region competition.
The first two-day rockcod trip this season (June 7-8) is booked. The next one is set for June 21-22. Cost is $235.
Ten-hour trips (6 a.m. to 4 p.m.) are scheduled for Fridays and Sundays for $89. Jackpot winners last week included: Zack Capp, Fresno, 12-0 ling; Dan Boyd, Santa Maria, 10-0 ling; Danielle Berry, Bakersfield, 9-0 ling; Chris Hannam, Nevada, 9-0 cabezon; Eric Hedger, Los Osos, and David Semenan, Lemoore, both 7-0 lings; Emilo Solvagrez, Visalia, and John Stonecither, Bakersfield, both 3-0 red rockcod.
The catch by 198 anglers last week included 96 lingcod, 685 red rockcod, 1,082 assorted rockfish, and one cabezon.
For complete trip schedules, reservations and more information on all trips, call 772-1222 or go online to www.virgs. com.
Seventy lingcod were caught on two trips last week. Raul Vasquez of Huron and Sean McCombs of Bakersfield won jackpots with 10-pound lingcod.
For trip schedules and reservations, go to www.patriotsportfishing.com or call 595-7200.
Morro Bay Landing
Weekend trip schedules hinge on boat availability. The San Pedro Special is awaiting a Coast Guard inspection.
For trip information, call 771-5500.
Port San Luis Boatyard
Gary Brown of Nipomo earned Whopper of the Week honors with the catch of a 10.3-pound lingcod Saturday.
Thirty-two boats were dispatched and 64 lingcod were counted. There were three-quarter rockcod limits three days. There were half to three-quarter limits once and full limits Sunday.
Lots of anglers but few fish. That was the story last week at the reservoir. Fifty anglers tried their luck but their reward was a mere four fish. On May 7, Brandon Krips caught a 15-inch and a 16-inch trout on PowerBait.
The same bait was successful Saturday for Jeff Cadwell, who reeled in an 18-inch trout, and an anonymous angler had a 17.5-rainbow.
“Warmer water, the result of unusually warm weather, likely is why so few fish were caught,” Whale Rock supervisor Noah Evans said.
Heritage Ranch reporter Dave Rymal got into the act this week, catching a 4-pound spotted bass from shore using a Scrounger leadhead with a gulp smelt tail. Dave Walden and Doug Rice caught 30 spots to 3 pounds with live shad for bait. Heritage visitors fishing from shore have been catching catfish to 8 and 9 pounds using chicken livers for bait.
Windy conditions plagued anglers last week. Marina Manager Ken Hemer said, “The water is warming so anglers should break out leadcore line and pay out two to four colors and troll Rapalas and Kastmasters to catch trout near the dam. Bass fishing has been good using jigs and by drop shotting. Reaction baits such as cranks and spinnerbaits also are productive. Crappie fishing has slowed. The best locations are at the Cistern and Santa Cruz Point.”