A San Luis Obispo father and son team not many years into competitive bass fishing battled back from 16th place on Day 1 to a third place finish. The Best Bass TOC staged at Clear Lake last Saturday and Sunday drew a field of 166 teams.
More than 20 teams representing the Coastal Region showed up at Clear Lake. The region, one of five under the Best Bass umbrella, holds its regular season tournaments at Lopez and Nacimiento lakes.
Dan Barrios, 56, asserted, “I had no idea we would do this well. We were nobodies as far as the veteran participants in this field.
“After Day 1 we were nearly 11 pounds behind the leaders.” (Jim LaRosa and Ed Ortman had 30.84 pounds for their five fish). “Our limit weighed 20.03 pounds. The 6-pounder I lost would have really helped.”
“Our most productive fishing took place at mid lake over rocky terrain. On Sunday we had a slow start. We had a limit by 10 o’clock and wound up culling them all. The 22.99 limit we weighed was the sixth biggest of the day and nailed down a third place finish.”
This was Dan’s son, Charlie’s first major tournament. The 27-year old Tackle Warehouse employee earned a new nickname courtesy of his father.
“I used to call him ‘Charlie Tuna,’ now it has changed to ‘Charlie Catfish.’ ”
Why? “During the tournament, he caught a couple of catfish that must have weighed 25 or so pounds. Of course, he thought they were bass.”
The Barrios boys went home with a check for $4,830 for their third place weight of 43.02 pounds.
Winners Robert Muraco and Robert Kirschiner earned $20,000 for a 43.75 bag weight. Runners-up LaRosa and Ortman took home $8,210 for their weight of 43.25 pounds.
Danny Conaster of King City and partner Dan Dostal of Grover Beach placed 10th with a 38.73 weight worth $1,240.
Jacob Lewis of Atascadero and Mark Morena of Arroyo Grande finished 13th with a 37.60 weight that paid $220.
Coastal Region Anglers of the Year, Scott Mullins of Salinas and his brother, Tim Mullins of Templeton, finished 26th and out of the money with a 36.11 bag.
Atascadero’s Damon Meeks, who won first place money a year ago with Jay Short, fished without his usual partner. Templeton’s Chase Austin. placed 91st with a weight of 21.51 pounds.
Thirteen other Coastal Region qualifying teams did not finish in the money.
Port San Luis Boatyard
For the sixth time this year, a white seabass took Whopper of the Week honors. Dave Portwood of Arroyo Grande caught the 62-pounder on October 9.
Only two seabass were harvested during a week dominated by the catch of 181 bonito, 130 lingcod and two halibut. Seventy-six private boats were dispatched during the week.
The latest qualifier for the Dec. 12 John Rowley Lingcod Fish-off is Boyce Meredith of Redondo Beach. He was the 27th qualifier with a 24-4 lingcod, which he caught aboard the Princess on a two-day trip Oct. 3 to Cape San Martin. Only seven weeks of qualifying remains. Sunday, Nov. 29 is the deadline.
Other jackpot winners included Sara Berens, Red Bluff, 14.5 ling, Nick Ferri, Clovis, 12.0 ling, and Paul Lee, Paso Robles, 7-pound ling.
Ten trips were made last week with 211 anglers onboard. The 2,531 fish count included 259 lingcod. For trip schedules and reservations, call: 772-1222.
A 13-pound lingcod caught by Lompoc’s Shawn Johnson topped last week’s jackpots. Other winners included: Jessica Gonzales, Fresno, Aaron Frattall, Newbury Park, Kevin Rhea, Visalia, and Ted Costello, Bakersfield, all 12-0 lings, Shane McGraw, San Luis Obispo, 11-0 ling, Sean Marshall, Arroyo Grande, Micha White, Paso Robles, Ashley Brown, Bakersfield, and Casey Linehan, Santa Maria, all 10-0 lings, and Daniel Boaz, Bakersfield, 7-9 cabezon.
Last week’s catch by 271 passengers included: 153 lingcod, 308 red rockcod, 1,757 assorted rockfish, 295 bolina, 67 coppers 10 cabezon, 16 boccacio, nine bonito and one ocean whitefish.
For reservation and trip schedules, call: 595-7200.
Morro Bay Landing
A 24-8 lingcod caught by Angel Gallegos of Visalia led last week’s jackpot winners. Others included Richard McConaghay, San Luis Obispo, 21-0 ling, Larry Vanderwere, 19-0 ling, Sean McCombs, Taft, 10-0 ling, Robert Avila, Bakersfield, 6-0 ling and John Fox, 5-0 vermillion rockcod.
On seven trips last week 107 anglers caught: 139 lingcod, 273 red rockcod, 762 assorted rockfish, 20 bonito and 15 coppers.
For trip schedules, call: 771-5500.
Santa Margarita Lake
Marina Manager Ken Hemer reports: “The recent heat wave has improved the bass bite, with anglers scoring both from boats and shore. Frogs, blades and drop shotting all worked. The best sites have been around the marina, White Oak and Mackey Point. The crappie bite has fallen off, although some were caught on mini jigs tipped with crappie nibbles. Local angler Shawn Seitz reported some good catfish action in the White Oak area. He caught a trio of blue catfish weighing, 3, 7 and 10 pounds on cut mackerel.”