An awesome “sweet spot” at Clear Lake yielded plump bass last week and had championship thoughts dancing in the heads of a pair of Central Coast fishermen.
Nipomo’s Patrick Touey, 21, competing as a professional for only the second time in the three-day California Open tournament, was in first place heading into the final day of the WON Bass-sponsored event.
He was ahead of the eventual champion, Matt Shura of Gilbert, Ariz., by 82-hundredths of a pound.
Touey led despite being penalized two-tenths of a pound for having a dead fish, the result of live well problems.
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Touey, Shura and Louis Fernandes of Santa Maria actually shared the same location, an offshore grassy area that held schools of bass.
“We were no longer alone on day two. Ten boats showed up Thursday. But, on Friday, 16 boats were on the location and the traffic prompted the school to disperse,” Touey said.
Swimbaits and topwater baits produced a 57.93-pound two-day weight and first place in the pro standings. His sweet spot no longer held fish Friday, so the Nipomo youth targeted docks with Senkos, finishing with his lightest bag of the tournament, 21.90 pounds.
Fernandes groaned over lost opportunities.
“On my first cast in the tournament, I hooked a female sitting on a nest. I’d discovered her in practice. She jumped out of the water and spit the hook,” Fernandes said.
“There went 10 pounds. Battery problems on day two caused four fish to die in the live well. That cost me an (eight-tenths pound) penalty. I had an excellent day three, caught 40 fish in a span of two hours and weighed 27-plus pounds that enabled me to climb to sixth place.
“I’ve placed in the top 10 of this tournament three years in a row. I’m destined to win this thing.”
Creston’s Dale Ball, who earned the California state bass fishing championship several years back, finished 11th in the final standings with a three-day total of 65.48 pounds for 13 fish, two shy of a three-day limit.
California Open Pros
Number of Fish, Weight
1. Matt Shura, Gilbert, Ariz., 15, 79.83 pounds; 6. Louis Fernandes, Santa Maria, 15, 73.98 pounds; 7. Patrick Touey, Nipomo, 15, 72.14 pounds; 11. Dale Ball, Creston, 13, 65.48 pounds; 24. Nick Salvucci, Atascadero, 15, 61.44 pounds; 44. Ken Whalen, Lompoc, 15, 54.82 pounds; 62. Peter Manfrina, Lompoc, 15, 48.91 pounds. AAA (Amateur)
Number of Fish, Weight
Ryan Scott, El Dorado Hills, 15, 73.94 pounds; 35.Whitney Uyeda, Buellton, 15, 57.09 pounds; 53. Jason Martin, Atascadero, 15, 51.64 pounds.
Recent jackpot winners include Tim Murphy, Lompoc, 16-0 ling, Terry Hamlin, Woodland, 12-0 ling, Kyle Lehto, Glendora, Gavin Williams, Visalia, Kevin Williams, Bakersfield, Leoberto Teiveira, Visalia, all 10-0 lings, Max McGraw, San Luis Obispo, and Scott Floyd, Bakersfield, both 7-8 lings.
Friday and Saturday 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. trips are scheduled for $68 apiece; half-day trips (7 a.m. to noon) are scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday for $52. An all-day (6 a.m. to 4 p.m.) trip is planned Sunday for $82.
For reservations, go to www.patriotsportfishing.com or call 595-7200.
The latest qualifier for the year-end John Rowley Lingcod Fishoff is Grover Beach’s Jesse Spencer. He had a 17-pound lingcod. Thus far, the biggest lingcod catch, 19 pounds, 11 ounces, belongs to Luis Sole of San Jose.
This weekend’s overnight trip is sold out.
Fishing from three boats on Father’s Day were 95 anglers. They caught 45 lingcod, 223 red rockcod and 725 assorted rockfish.
For trip schedules and reservations go to www.virgs.com or call772-1222.
Other jackpot winners included: Eric Hedger, Morro Bay, 18-0 ling, Jim Webb, Cambria, Nick Johnson, Iowa, and Nickolas Orrhan, San Luis Obispo, all 13-0 lings, Carla Acouafrefca, Fresno, 11-0 ling, Sixto Maduina, Fresno, 9-0 ling, Eva Ortiz, Selma, 8-0 ling, Russell Johnson, Atascadero, 7-0 ling, and Mike Molina, Paso Robles, 6-0, ling.
Morro Bay Landing
On Sundays and Wednesdays, one child age 12 and younger fishes for free with a paid adult fare.
For trip schedules and reservations, call 771-5500.
Recent jackpot winners include: Kevin Rhea, Visalia, 10-1 ling, Beryl Gustin, Montrose, Colo., 19-1 ling.
Port Side Boatyard
No log was kept on Father’s Day. For six days last week, 118 boats were dispatched with full rockcod limits three days and three-quarter limits three days. The catch included 87 lingcod, 95 white seabass and 88 salmon. Nothing was weighed, so no Whopper of the Week.
Jeremy Harkins caught all nine trout harvested during Week No. 8.
On June 12, he reeled in 15-, 16- and 19-inch trout with PowerBait.
He switched baits June 13. The result was catches of 15-, 16-, 17- and 18-inch fish, all landed using cheese for bait. Harkins used cheese on June 14 to bag 17- and 18-inch trout. His total for the season is 17 fish.
The turnout numbered 27 anglers for a season total of 207. The 2014 catch total is 66 fish. The facility is open for fishing Wednesdays through Sundays.
The latest trout plant (2,000 pounds) was received June 10.
Lane Barbara of Taft caught a pair of 2-pound bass June 12 at Marina Point with nightcrawlers. Nine-year-old Rebecca Baker of Taft caught a 1-pound bluegill at Marina Point with nightcrawlers.
Santa Margarita Lake
The marina store is no longer open, but the launch ramp is still operating. Boats can be launched, according to rangers at the lake.