The outcome of the final regular season 101 Bass tournament was reminiscent of an advertising slogan rated as one of the best of all time.
Maxwell House coffee used the slogan: “It was good to the last drop.”
Making that “last drop” was Jay Short.
“Damon (Meeks) and I were headed in for the weigh-in,” Short said. “I had three spots picked out where I thought we could improve our bag. The first two were occupied.
“My third option was open, a small stretch of water along a rocky wall. I got bit on my first drop. The fish was almost 2 pounds, enabling us to cull our smallest fish. Actually, we won the tournament in the last five minutes.”
Meeks and Short won their third tourney in the series by three-hundreths of a pound. Eight teams weighed 8-plus pounds of bass — all spots.
Meeks caught the event’s big fish (2.64 pounds) employing a topwater bait early in the day. By his guesstimate, the team caught about 60 fish en route to an 8.98-pound limit.
All 16 teams entered posted limits. The Bishops, son Darrin and his dad, Del, claimed Angler of the Year honors although they didn’t win a tournament. They did place second twice. During their long bass history, Darrin said they have been part of six or seven Angler of the Year title.
The Bishops had 512 points for the season to 507 for Meeks and Short.
Jared Lintner and Nick Salvucci were AOY winners in the inaugural 101 season in 2012. Dan Barrios and Casey Langley were the 2013 kingpins, and Dean Miller and Daryl Masterson from Tulare reigned in 2014.
Until this year, all prior AOY teams had at least one tourney title during their winning season.
101 Bass Top 10, all 5-fish limits, weight
1. Jay Short, Templeton, Damon Meeks, Atascadero, 8.98 pounds; 2. Nick Salvucci, Atascadero, Tim Sharpe, Grover Beach, 8.95 pounds; 3. John White, San Luis Obispo, Bobby Doss, Paso Robles, 8.75 pounds; 4. Aaron Quarles, Nipomo, Charlie Barrios, San Luis Obispo, 8.73 pounds; 5. Scott Mullins, Prunedale, Matt Mullins, Salinas, 8.44 pounds; 6. Darrin Bishop, Paso Robles, Del Bishop, Templeton, 8.39 pounds; 7. Richard Neal, Clovis, Jerry Waldrip, Bakersfield, 8.37 pounds; 8. Jim Slusher, Atascadero, Erik Zillig, Paso Robles, 8.09 pounds; 9. Greg and Mike Higgins, Santa Margarita, 7.60 pounds; 10. Marc Hazuka, Chase Castaneda, Atascadero, 7.48 pounds.
1st Big Fish, 2.64 pounds, Short and Meeks.
Jared Lintner, the 10th-year Bassmaster Elite pro from Arroyo Grande began the second half of the season Wednesday at Kentucky Lake near Paris, Tenn.
The format is different. It’s a 5-day event. The 111 Elite pros will be joined by 13 anglers from the three Open series and the Bass Pro Shop Open. After two days of competition, every angler lower than 50th place will head to nearby Barkley Lake for the Second Chance Tournament. The top 10 finishers of the Second Chance Tournament will join the Top 50 Elites for the final day of fishing, guaranteeing them at least a $10,000 check.
Best Bass coastal region finale
Atascadero’s Damon Meeks and partner Chase Austin get a last chance at catching the Mullins brothers. The sixth and regular season final event will be held Saturday at Nacimiento Lake. Scott Mullins from Prunedale and his brother Tim from Paso Robles own a 756-741-point lead on Meeks and Austin.
Port San Luis Boatyard
Saltwater fishermen had their best salmon catch of the season last week when 60 fish were checked in at the Sports Launch.
It figures that a salmon would capture Whopper of the Week honors. Atascadero’s Mike Manning claimed honors with a 22-pound, 1-ounce salmon. Season highs were achieved in boats launched (194) and lingcod caught (170).
Roger York of San Luis Obispo, former Patriot manager, captured big fish honors last week with the catch of a 16-pound, 8-ounce lingcod.
Other jackpot winners were: Doug Wilson, Los Osos, 14-6 ling, Mark Masicampo, San Luis Obispo, 13-8 ling, Chris Bastion, Porterville, 12-9 ling, Mariano Monzon, Santa Maria, 11-0 ling, Scott Randall, Lemoore, 10-0 ling, and Donny Coontz, Arroyo Grande, 8-0 ling.
Last week 199 anglers caught 148 lingcod, 453 red rockcod, 158 coppers, 168 bolina, 880 assorted rockish, 14 cabezon, 10 bocaccio, and one kelp greenling.
For reservations and trip schedules, call 595-7200 or go to www.patriotsport fishing.com.
From May 24-31, Virg’s transported 369 passengers on 15 fishing trips.
Coalinga’s Jim Rees became the latest angler to qualify for the end-of-the-year John Rowley Lingcod Contest. He boated a 15-pound, 3-ounce ling, the heaviest of the week, to qualify.
Other jackpot winners with lingcod catches were: Jesse Wyatt, hometown not listed, 11-0; Bertha Casteneda, Santa Maria, and Andrew Trujillo, Bakersfield, both 9-8,Wesley Mendoza, Paso Robles, 9-7, Henry Lee, Riverside, 9-3, Phillip James, Paso Robles, 9-0, Patrick Smith, Manteca, 8-5, Jim Carroll, Bakersfield, 8-4, Christine Ordern, Bakersfield, 8-2, Rambo Sheridan, Porterville, 7-7, Sid Lemay, Bakersfield, 7-3, and Israel Vasquez, Clovis, 5-6. The lone jackpot fish not a lingcod was a 5-6 red rockcod caught by Matt Russwell of Bakersfield.
The breakdown of the week’s catch looked like this: 280 lingcod, 1,071 red rockcod, 2,253 assorted rockfish, 51 coppers, nine cabezon, two rock sole, and one Petrale sole.
For reservations and trip schedules, go to www.virgs.com or call 772-1222.
Morro Bay Landing
Brad League will pilot his boat, Endeavor, out of Morro Bay Landing beginning June 15. League formerly captained the Princess out of Virg’s Landing.
For the third straight week and fifth time in the six weeks (28 days) the facility has been open for fishing, no trout were caught. The turnout last week was 15 anglers, bringing the 2015 total to 109. The only rainbow trout caught thus far was a 16-inch on May 9 by Jeremy Harkins. He was 2014’s most prolific visitor when he reeled in 40 trout.
Whale Rock is open for fishing Wednesdays through Sundays.
Santa Margarita Lake
Marina Manger Ken Hemer reports: “The bas bite was tougher last week for anglers using spinnerbaits, small swimbaits and jigs. Those opting for live bait fared better with inflated nightcrawlers and net dipped shad.”
Trollers are catching trout up to 2 pounds.
Marina Manager Cody Uhrig reports: “Trout and catfish are the most active. Shore fishermen at E Point and near the launch ramp fared the best. Trolling by the dam is still the best bet.”