Fishing Report: Seniors win Tri Valley event at Lopez Lake

Two senior citizen bass fishermen who have scaled back their competitions to Tri Valley Club events had a special reason to celebrate Saturday’s win at Lopez Lake.

Santa Maria’s Bill Lukeman was able to celebrate his 63rd birthday 18 days early.

Lukeman and his partner, San Luis Obispo’s Tip Martin, 75, shared an experience that neither had witnessed previously during decades of angling events.

Both of them were hooked up with fish at the same time. Their fish routinely swam in the same direction and turned in unison.

“They must have been paired up, a female and a male off the same nest,” Martin said. Another fisherman passing by told Martin that it was a first for him.

“We had a quick start, catching a limit early with 21⁄2 and 3-pound fish. We caught about 20 fish so we had virtual upgrades all day long,” Martin said.

Lukeman won big-fish honors with the catch of a 5.81-pounder on an orange plastic worm. “It was a fun day,” Lukeman said. “We caught fish until the shade left and then it was over.”

This is the third season Martin and Lukeman have been paired in Tri Valley tournaments. They registered a win at Nacimiento Lake in February 2013. Their best effort in 2014 was a second place there in June.

Tri Valley Top 10

(All six fish team limits), Weight

1. Tip Martin, San Luis Obispo, Bill Lukeman, Santa Maria, 24.39 pounds; 2. Joey Reggio, Brian Nawrocki, San Luis Obispo, 21.25 pounds; 3. Mark Scribner, August Kinney, Pismo Beach, 20.91 pounds; 4. Gene Gray, Graham Grove, Atascadero, 20.87 pounds; 5. Robert Gardiner, Dale Litwiler, Lompoc, 19.80 pounds; 6. Brad Shephard, Clark Endres, Atascadero, 19.70 pounds; 7. Jeff Hodges, Arroyo Grande, Bud Aquino, Grover Beach, 18.01 pounds; 8. Dan Barrios, San Luis Obispo, Aaron Quarles, Nipomo, 17.84 pounds; 9. Mike & Tommy Maddux, Arroyo Grande, 17.29 pounds; 10. Kyle Greenlaw, Cal Poly, Clayton Lauchland, Cal Poly, 16.96 pounds.

1st Big Fish, 5.81 pounds, Lukeman & Martin; 2nd Big Fish, 5.47 pounds, Gray & Grove; 3rd Big Fish, 5.19 pounds, Shephard & Endres.

South County perch bite

Lukeman said his perch fishing endeavors this year “have been outstanding at Oceano and Pismo Beach. Motor Oil grubs are the ticket to catch perch that average 11⁄2 pounds mixed in with some 2-pounders.”

During an earlier call to a Morro Bay contact, I was advised that the perch bite has died off.

Nacimiento Lake

Heritage Ranch reporter Dave Rymal said: “White bass have been biting just before dark most evenings. ... Dean Shupp thrived Monday evening from his boat. He caught 15 spots all about 11⁄2 pounds.”

Patriot Sportfishing

Crab and sanddab trips are scheduled most Wednesdays and Saturdays. The fare for the 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. trips is $60.

For reservations, call 595-7200 or go to www.patriotsportfishing.com.

On Saturday, 10 people aboard the Patriot caught 20 crokers, 32 sanddabs and shared 66 dungeness crab.

Lopez Lake

Marina employee T.J. Bright said a boat rental customer on Monday caught and released limits of both large and smallmouth bass. Spinnerbaits and drop-shotting was his approach. Another angler caught a 6-pound bass off the docks.

Santa Margarita Lake

Fishing near the dam with swimbaits, marina manager Ken Hemer caught four bass to 7 pounds. Other anglers fishing in shallow water near shore have been catching bass. A few catfish are being harvested from the Coutesy Dock while shore fishermen are connecting with crappie using crappbie jigs baited with crappie nibbles.

Cachuma Lake

Marina manager Cody Uhrig said: “Not much has changed. Catfish are being caught in shallow water such as Cachuma Bay, Santa Cruz Bay and Clark Canyon. Cut mackerel and dough baits fished in 1 to 10 feet of water is producing the most consistently. Large and smallmouth bass have been chasing shad on main lake points both early mornings and late afternoons.

Spinnerbaits, crankbaits and rip baits have been the baits of choice. A few crappie are coming off the docks to the right of the marina and around the boat house.”