The Mullins brothers, led by Scott, a skilled tournament participant accustomed to winning, did just that Saturday at Nacimiento Lake.
Younger brother Tim is under the tutelage of his brother and was a contributing factor as the team not only won its second Best Bass Coastal Region tournament in a row but wrapped up Angler of the Year honors as well.
Scott, 38, a Prunedale resident, is a frequent entrant in various Central Coast tournaments.
As usual, this was another event where only spotted bass were weighed by one and all.
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Thirty-eight of the 42 teams entered weighed 5-fish limits.
“I had what appeared to be a 5-pound largemouth within four feet of our boat only to lose it when the hook ripped out of its mouth,” Scott Mullins said.
For Tim Mullins, the triumph was a belated birthday present. The Paso Robles resident turned 37 on May 26.
“Scott has rods all set up and ready for me. I get really excited and act like an 8-year-old when I catch fish. Early in the day I caught five fish,” Tim Mullins said.
The Mullins entered the sixth and final regular season tournament with a 15-point advantage over Atascadero’s Damon Meeks and partner Chase Austin.
Meeks and Austin placed sixth as the Mullins duo widened their AOY margin to 20 points — 911 to 891.
Scott Mullins estimated his team caught between 50 and 60 fish. Their 9.31-pound weight was 65-hundredths of a pound better than Atascadero’s Eddie Davidson and Matt Messina. “I’m looking forward to the October TOC at Clear Lake and the $20,000 first-place award,” Scott Mullins said.
Meeks and Jay Short claimed that money in 2014.
Best Bass Coastal Top 10 (All 5-fish limits), Weight, Winnings
1. Scott Mullins, Prunedale, Tim Mullins, Paso Robles, 9.31 pounds, $1,825; 2. Eddie Davidson, Matt Messina, Atascadero, 8.98 pounds, $1,385; 3. Darin Ferguson, Buellton, John Flynn, Solvang, 8.64 pounds, $635; 4. John Zillig, Sacramento, Erik Zillig, Paso Robles, 8.47 pounds, $725; 5. Jacob Lewis, Mark Moreno, Arroyo Grande, 8.42 pounds, $330; 6. Chase Austin, Templeton, Damon Meeks, Atascadero, 8.21 pounds, $190; 7. Steve Bereda, Santa Margarita, Jim Slusher, Atascadero, 7.97 pounds, $170; 8. Jason Lazzerini, Moss Landing, Geno Lazzerini, Prunedale, 7.89 pounds; 10. Graham Grove, Tanner Kuhnle, Atascadero, 7.74 pounds.
1st Big Fish, 3.47 pounds, Davidson & Messina; 2nd Big Fish, 2.84 pounds, Zillig & Zillig; 3rd Big Fish, 2.46 pounds, Mullins & Mullins; 4th Big Fish, 2.43 pounds, Foreman & McMurray, 5th Big Fish, 2.24 pounds, Mike Garza.
Elite anglers on hiatus
Jared Lintner and his fellow Bassmaster Elite anglers are taking a 52-day hiatus before their next tournament on the St. Lawrence River, Waddington, N.Y. on July 30-Aug. 2.
Last week at Kentucky Lake, Paris, Tenn., Lintner came up 23 ounces short of the 50-angler cut after the second day. The Arroyo Grande pro had an 11-pound, 5-ounce limit on day one and a 20-pound, 13-limit on day two. His 32-pound, 2-ounce total left him in 56th place.
Lintner and 73 others who had missed the first cut fished at nearby Lake Barkley on Friday in a Second Chance competition. The top 10 finishers received a $10,000 reward.
Lintner was among the 34 participants who did not catch a fish.
With just three tourneys remaining on the schedule, Lintner is in 68th place in the Angler of the Year standings with 207 points. A year ago he finished eighth and qualified for the 2015 Bassmaster Classic.
Gibby Soto of Inyokern is the latest qualifier for the end-of-the-year John Rowley Lingcod Contest.
Soto landed an 18-pound jackpot lingcod aboard the Princess on an overnight private charter May 31. Fifty-one lingcod were landed by 17 anglers who were fishing waters between Cape San Martin and the Piedras Blancas lighthouse.
Ninety lingcods were caught by 103 fisherman on four boats May 31. The previous day 106 passengers caught 38 lings from three boats.
Nineteen anglers on the Fiesta on June 2 experienced a red-hot red rockcod bite. The fish count was highlighted by 161 reds.
Additional jackpot winners, all with lingcod, were: Roland Smith, Riverside, 14.3, Sharon Turl, Visalia, 13.3, David Brasil, Hanford, 9.8, Will Bateman, Atascadero, 9.6, Patrick Smith, Manteca, 8.5, Justin Awazz, Fresno, 8.2, Rambo Sheridan, Porterville, 7.7, Kirsten Herring, Sanger, 7.3, and Kenny Davis, Wasco, 5.8.
Through June 5, Virg’s patrons have reeled in 1,705 lings.
For trip schedules and reservations, go to www.virgs.com or call 772-1222.
Port San Luis Boatyard
A rare occurrence happened last week. Two anglers on the same day (Sunday) reeled in 19-pound, 14-ounce salmon to share Whopper of the Week honors.
The honorees who receive a free boat launch are Matt Garner from Paso Robles and Steve Reisbeck from Santa Maria.
In addition to trips out of Morro Bay Landing last week, the Patriot made three trips out of its home base.
One hundred passengers caught: 91 lingcod, 94 coppers, 81 red rockcod, 28 cabezon, 18 bocaccio, 75 bolina, and 598 assorted rockfish.
For trip schedules, reservations go to www.patriotsportfishing.com or call 595-7200.
Morro Bay Landing
The Patriot ran out of Morro Bay Landing on June 4-5. Winning jackpots with 9-pound lingcods were Alfonso Contreras of Grover Beach and Jose Mendez of Santa Maria.
The San Pedro Special is in Long Beach awaiting an annual Coast Guard inspection.
Last week 58 passengers caught 20 lingcod, 173 red rockcod, 330 assorted rockfish and 37 coppers.
For the fourth consecutive week, no trout were caught at the reservoir. Only five anglers tried their luck. After being open 33 days over a span of five weeks, there has been a turnout of 114 anglers and just one trout to show for their efforts. The catch was made May 9 by Jeremy Harkins, the same angler who was the most productive fisherman in 2014.
Whale Rock is open for fishing Wednesdays through Sundays and legal holidays.
Supervising Park Ranger Bob Yetter reports: “The lake has received three trout plants since April. To date, 8,000 pounds of trout (10,500 fish) have been planted. Anglers who are paying out three to four colors of leadcore line are catching trout.”
Santa Margarita Lake
Marina Manager Ken Hemer reports: “Warmer temperatures have sparked a bass bite. Fish up to 9.5 pounds were caught on buzzbaits, wakebaits and Zara Spooks. Crappie bite also turned on especially at Mackey Point for shore fishermen employing mini jigs under a bobber. Some catfish are being taken in the White Oak area with cut mackerel being the bait of choice.”
Heritage Ranch residents fishing from private docks are catching catfish using cut-up hot dogs for bait. Ranch reporter Dave Rymal reports: “Bunky Giles, Jack and Brad Foster and two other friends caught 25 spotted bass and 25 white bass on Monday. The group also caught three catfish to eight pounds.”
Marina mangers Cody Uhrig reports: “Hot weather is forcing trout fishermen to experiment with depths ranging from six to 25 feet. Rapalas, Kastmasters and Needlefish are all working. Bass seekers working the bank along Jackrabbit Flats are having consistent success. Limit anglers are using spinners and deep crankbaits. Crappie anglers have done well at the east end of the lake where tree stumps and structure are hazardous for boats.”