Winners of Saturday’s 101 Bass team tournament at Lopez Lake overcame a “no-no” cast, which morphed into a positive that ultimately decided the outcome.
Boat skipper Aaron Quarles was watching a midday cast of his when to his amazement his partner arched one over his line.
“I was about to say something about that fishing ‘no, no’ when both of us got bit,” Quarles said.
“We had a double hookup that proved to be instrumental in winning the tournament. The largemouth I reeled in was a 5-pounder. But, my partner (Charley Barrios) had a bigger one.”
That ill-timed cast by Barrios produced an 8.21-pound largemouth. It turned out to be the tournament’s big fish.
The Quarles-Barrios tandem weighed a 26.33-pound five-fish limit in edging the Bishops — Darrin of Paso Robles and his dad, Del, of Templeton.
The Bishops have placed second in both 101 Bass tests to date. They finished 52-hundredths behind Richard Neal and Jerry Waldrip in the January competition at Nacimiento Lake and 98-hundreths of a pound off the lead Saturday when their limit weighed 24.35 pounds at Lopez.
There was a double celebration for Quarles and Charley Barrios.
“Last Saturday was my 37th birthday, and the victory was the perfect present,” Quarles said. Barrios, 27, was a bass tournament winner for the first time in only his second year of tournament fishing.
“We found a strip of water loaded with fish. It extended 25 yards off shore and was over pea gravel,” Quarles said. “We made major upgrades in our bag weight the final hour of the tournament using jigs and swimbaits.”
The “hot spot” is no longer a secret. A number of anglers who fished Lopez last week will be back Saturday competing in a Tri Valley tournament.
101 Bass Top 10 (All 5-fish Limits)
1. Aaron Quarles, Nipomo, Charley Barrios, San Luis Obispo, 26.33 pounds; 2. Darrin Bishop, Paso Robles, Del Bishop, Templeton, 24.35 pounds; 3. Nick Salvucci, Atascadero, Jared Lintner, Arroyo Grande, 20.50 pounds; 4. Gene Gray, Graham Grove, Atascadero, 19.66 pounds; 5. *John Zeolla, *Clayton Lauchland, 19.21 pounds; 6. Todd Reccord, Paso Robles, Mike Maddux, Arroyo Grande, 18.87 pounds; 7. Dan Barrios, San Luis Obispo, Casey Langley, Nipomo, 18.10 pounds; 8. Scott & Matt Mullins, Salinas, 17.92 pounds; 9. Dustin Selck, Fernando Salazar, Atascadero, 17.45 pounds; 10. Marc Hazuka, Clarke Castaneda, Atascadero, 16.84 pounds.
*Cal Poly College Bass Team members.
1st Big Fish, 8.21 pounds, Quarles & C. Barrios.
Anglers fishing from the North and South piers in Morro Bay, as well as from the beach north of Morro Rock, are having very productive outings. Popular baits are lug worms, also known as pile worms, Motor oil grubs and Berkley Gulp worms. The baits are available for sale at Morro Bay Landing, Virg’s and other businesses.
Another sanddab and dungeness crab trip is scheduled for Saturday. Cost for the 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. trip is $60.
For reservations, call 595-7200 or go online to www.patriotsportfishing.com.
Whale watching trips are scheduled for Saturday and March 14 from 11 a.m to 1:30 p.m. Cost is $39 for adults, $29 for children 15 and under. Youngsters must weigh at least 45 pounds. For reservations, call 772-1222 or go to www.virgs.com.
The two-day trip to San Miguel Island scheduled for this weekend has been canceled for lack of sufficient reservations.
Marina employee T.J. Bright reports: “Last week an employee fishing by the main dock caught an 8-pound bass on a nightcrawler. Another young fisherman came in with a limit of crappie. His catch was topped by fish that weighed as much as 11⁄2 to 2 pounds.”
Santa Margarita Lake
The highlight of last week’s fishing was the catch of a 10-pound, 4-ounce bass on a swimbait by John Merino of Paso Robles.
“Other than that catch the bass bite that began to develop the previous week seems to have been put on hold,” marina manger Ken Hemer said. “Some 2- and 3-pound bass were reported. The crappie bite has remained the same with catches all over the lake. Crappie jigs and crappie nibbles were the preferred baits. A handful of redear were taken on meal worms and red worms around the marina docks. Cut mackerel tempted catfish in the White Oak area.”
“Strong afternoon winds last week prompted many boaters to anchor in Cachuma, Johnson and Santa Cruz Bays to escape the chop,” marina manager Cody Uhrig said. “Using mackerel, nightcrawlers and bloody dough baits produced a few limits of Channel Catfish. The bigger fish weighed 4 and 5 pounds.
“Spinners and crankbaits tempted bass off Santa Cruz Point, the rock face east of Cachuma Bay and the bank between Drake Cove and the launch point. Most catches were made early in the morning prior to the winds picking up.”