Virg’s Landing experiences an “epic” fishing trip

What are the ingredients for an “epic” two-day fishing trip?

Perhaps the most important thing is having John Rowley in the wheelhouse.

Rowley’s been associated with Virg’s Landing fishing for 45 years, the past 30 as a skipper.

“What was different about this trip (Nov. 7 to 8) was there were plenty of big fish on the bite, including some skipjack on the beach,” he said.

It was Virg’s general manager Bruce Harwood who labeled this fishing adventure “epic.”

The 24 passengers on board included Virg’s owner Denise DeCock and a five-member crew.

The catch included 174 lingcod that weighed up to 20 pounds, huge reds and coppers, plus boccacio up to nine pounds and plump blue and olive rockfish.

After the Princess was anchored Saturday night, about half of the anglers on board used Sabiki rigs to fill the bait tank full of small mackerel and anchovies.

Five skipjack were caught Sunday on trolled feathers, and 10 bonito up to eight pounds on the troll were caught with live bait.

Anglers from Springfield took jackpot honors both days. Cameron Paul won Saturday with a 16-pound lingcod, and Charles Paul prevailed Sunday with a 12.4 ling.

Robert Cupp of Hemet, Calif., had the big fish on the trip, a 20.1 ling. Obviously, he didn’t enter the optional jackpots. However, that catch earned him Week 32 qualification for the Dec. 12 John Rowley Lingcod Tournament.

Qualifier No. 31 for the Rowley event is Robert Hatch of Madera, with a 15.4 ling he caught aboard the Fiesta on Oct. 31.

Capturing jackpot honors Nov. 7 with a 16.4 ling was Morgan Ansolabehere of Bakersfield.

Virg’s offered six fishing trips last week. The 191 anglers caught 2,268 fish, including 248 lingcod, bringing the year’s total to 6,930.

For trip schedules and reservations, call 772-1222.

Port San Luis Boatyard

For the second week in a row, no boats were launched for two days. But last week exactly 100 more lingcod were recorded, 153 to 53. Bonito have been in the harvest since Sept. 4. The species has been prominent for five weeks, with catches ranging from 839 from Sept. 7 to 13, 473 the week of Sept. 14 to 20, 255 Sept. 21 to 27, 187 Oct. 5 to 11, and 150 Oct. 12 to 18.

The take last week was 118.

Another species caught often in the warm waters off San Diego and Hawaii, a single Dorado was landed last week. Dorado are also known as Mahi Mahi and Dolphin Fish.

The harvest included 118 Bonito and one white seabass. No fish were weighed, so there was no Whopper of the Week. Seventy-two boats were launched, but none on Monday and Tuesday.

Patriot Sportfishing

Arroyo Grande’s Joe Torres, who has placed multiple times in previous Patriot Lingcod competitions, reeled in a 19.5 ling last week that put him in position to challenge for an award in the current November-December segment of the annual Lingcod competition.

Other anglers winning trip jackpots last week included: Rafael Wences of Hanford, 14.0 ling, Nareg Varalian of Fresno, Glenn Reynolds of Atascadero and Tim Murphy of Lompoc, all 12.0 lings, and Guillermo Gonzales of Santa Maria, 8.0 ling.

On nine trips last week, 162 anglers caught 121 lingcod, 171 red rockcod, 999 assorted rockfish, 216 bolina, 76 copper rockfish, 72 cabezon, one bocaccio and one sheephead.

For trip schedules and reservations, call 595-7200.

Morro Bay Landing

With the San Pedro Special not available, only four trips went out of Morro Bay Landing last week.

The trips may have been limited, but the heftiest fish caught out of the three Central Coast sportfishing landings belonged to a patron out of Morro Bay Landing.

Bakersfield angler Gary Lynch reeled in a 27-pound lingcod aboard the Endeavor on Sunday.

Other jackpot winners were Buck Murray of Hanford, 15.0 ling, and Isaac Coronado of Buena Park with a 10.0 ling.

The 87 anglers caught 154 lingcod, 180 red rockcod, 690 assorted rockfish and one baracuda.

For trip schedules and reservations, call 771-5500.

Whale Rock

An average number of anglers, three, showed up last week and experienced the prevailing result — no trout. In mid-October there was a turnout of 10 fishermen, the most since the turnout of 15 people May 27 to 31.

Lake Nacimiento

Heritage Ranch reporter Dave Rymal said, “A group of anglers have been catching channel catfish from 2 to 6 pounds at the Heritage Ranch launch ramp. They have been using hot dogs and chicken skin for bait.”

Santa Margarita Lake

Marina Manager Ken Hemer filed this report: “Artie Ferguson from Paso Robles caught some quality redear and some blue catfish. He did not disclose the location or his baits. Plunging water temperatures has put the bass bite on hold. The few bass that were caught came on small swimbaits.”

Cachuma Lake

Marina manager Cody Uhrig said, “Bass, catfish and crappie all were biting last week. The shoreline from the marina to Jackrabbit Flats was the most productive area for all three species. Anglers tossing out nightcrawlers and mackerel caught catfish up to 3 pounds.”