Port San Luis Halibut Derby back for first time since 2009

An event that was a local saltwater attraction for 16 years and enticed as many as 127 participants will surface again next month. It has not been contested the past five years.

It’s the Port San Luis Halibut Derby.

Brent Lintner and Del Kyle, the co-holders of the Port San Luis Boatyard contract, plan to resurrect the event July 25-26. Competition will begin at 5 a.m. both days. Clarification of the daily closing times could not be obtained by deadline.

The entry fee is $100 per person and all occupants of tournament boats must be paid contestants.

The heaviest flattie in the history of the Halibut Derby was weighed July 26, 2009. Andy Koch of Nipomo, weighed a 54-pound, 2-ounce winner. The prior record holder was an Arroyo Grande youth, Brian Sato. He won in 2005 with a 39-pound, 4-ounce fish.

Editor’s Note: My records span from 1994 to 2009 with one exception. Does anyone have a clipping or knowledge of the 1996 derby? Please contact The Tribune to reach me.

An unlikely Ambushers winner

When he arrived at Lopez Lake, Jim Keeney discovered a wheel on his trailer was about to break loose.

“I didn’t hear any noise en route to the lake from my home in Paso Robles,” he said. “I discovered wheel bearings that were a greasy mess.”

Keeney, a longtime Ambusher participant, was the victim of this situation which required fixing before he could begin tourney No. 6 on the club schedule.

“When I finally began fishing I did OK,” he said, “using a green pumpkin football jig.

“I had a limit by noon but I was certain it wasn’t going to be enough to win. I fished in water nine to 10 feet deep all day. In the last 15 minutes I caught a 6-pounder and a 4. I was fishing beside Burt Lund at that time.”

Added Lund: “ I only had four fish, but while I was adding a 2-pounder, Jim added 10 pounds to his limit.”

Keeney’s winning weight was 15.72 pounds for $157. His 6.00-pound big fish paid an additional $55.

Only six of the 11 entrants at Lopez managed to catch 5-fish limits.

Ambushers Top 10, No. Fish, Weight, Winnings

1. Jim Keeney, Paso Robles, 5. 15.72 pounds, $157; 2. Burt Lund, Atascadero, 5, 15.48 pounds, $94; 3. Andy Levy, Grover Beach, 5, 14.60 pounds, $63; 4. Ken Meeks, Atascadero, 5, 13.29 pounds; 5. Jesse Wilson, Atascadero, 5, 12.11 pounds; 6. Darren Ashford, Paso Robles, 5, 11.17 pounds; 7. Paul Bailey, Creston, 4, 7.98 pounds; 8. Jerry May, Paso Robles, 4, 6.87 pounds; 9. Greg powitch, Paso Robles, 2, 4.07 pounds; 10. Michelle Duncan, Bakersfield, 2, 3.55 pounds.

1st Big Fish, 6.0 pounds, Keeney, $55.

Port San Luis Boatyard

The largest salmon caught by an angler embarking out of the Port San Luis Sports Launch this year was registered last week.

On June 18, Homer Flores of Oceano reeled in a 34.4-pound salmon to earn Angler of the Week honors and the customary free boat launch. His catch bettered the one made the previous week, 23.6 pounds by Nathan Cortez of Atascadero on June 13.

One hundred twelve lingcod and 39 salmon highlighted the catch by fishermen aboard 136 launched boats.

Full rockcod limits were posted four days, three-quarter limits twice and half limits once.

Patriot Sportfishing

Last week’s biggest lingcod, 15 pounds, 5 ounces, was caught by Thad Lang of Auberry. There were three jackpot winners weighing 12-pound lings. They were: Garrett Arnal of Bakersfield, who did it twice, along with Art Julian of Fosterville, Md. Also winning jackpots were: Disa Prince, Santa Barbara, 10-0 ling, and Paul Bate, Visalia, 5-0 red rockcod.

The catch by 164 passengers included: 72 lingcod, 574 red rockcod, 70 coppers, 1,262 assorted rockfish, five Bolinas, and one cabezon.

For trip schedules and reservations, go online to www.patriotsportfishing.com or call 595-7200.

Virg’s Landing

With the catch of a 16.2-pound lingcod last week, Wasco’s Ken Davis became the latest qualifier for the end-of-year John Rowley Lingcod competition.

Other jackpot winners last week included: Manuel Lemosi, San Luis Obispo and Barry Adams, murrieta, both 16-o lings; Larry Tuck, Shafter, 13.4 ling, Yolanda tarzans, Los Osos, 11-7 ling and Luther Terrell, Los Angeles, 11.4 ling.

For the week of June 13 to 19 the catch by 358 anglers was: 357 lingcod, 1,199 red rockcod, 46 coppers, three cabezon, two petrel sole, three wolf eels and 1,807 assorted rockfish.

For trip schedules, and reservations, go to www.virgslanding.com or call 772-1222.

Morro Bay Landing

A pair of 10-pound lingcod took jackpot honors on two of three trips last week.

Jimmy George of Templeton and Andrew Dunn of McFarland were the jackpot winners.

Eighty-six passengers caught 10 lingcod, 151 red rockcod, 14 coppers, and 258 assorted rockfish.

For reservations and trip schedules, go to www.morrobaylanding.com or call 771-5500.

Whale Rock

No trout were caught for the fifth straight week. Six anglers tried their luck. Only one trout has been caught in the nine weeks (43 days) the facility has been open for fishing.

Whale Rock is open for fishing Wednesdays through Sundays and legal holidays.

Nacimiento Lake

Heritage Ranch reporter Dave Rymal said: “There’s been a late shad hatch and there are plenty of fish to catch. Martin Rowley trolls a Roostertail until he finds a school then he uses Real Image lures to catch and release 50 to 60 spotted and white bass. There are a lot of crappie and bluegill around boat docks around the lake.”

Cachuma Lake

A fishing workshop from 8:45 a.m. to noon is scheduled for Saturday at the Nature Center is limited to 30 anglers ages 16 and older The fee is $10.