Outdoors

At Central Coast bass tournaments, go big or go home

“The key to doing well in bass tournaments at Lake Nacimiento these days is figuring out where the big fish are on that particular day.”

That, in a nutshell, is how Darrin Bishop and his partners in three 2016 tournaments have nailed down “big fish” honors and two triumphs and one runner-up finish.

Fishing with his dad, Del Bishop of Templeton, last weekend, Darrin revealed in a phone interview some of the details of how the team cobbled together a victory in the initial Tri-Valley competition of the season.

The veteran Paso Robles angler said, “In two of our three competitions this year, we have found fish 25 to 30 feet down. It was a different story a week ago when my cousin and I (Dean Miller of Tulare) were competing in the ABA tournament. Dean nailed our biggest fish (3.35 pounds) the first thing in the morning in three feet of water.”

Joey Reggio advised via phone that he and partner, Brian Nawrocki of San Luis Obispo, placed second in the Tri-Valley event with an 8.17 limit, including the second largest fish (2.20 pounds).

Placing fourth were Jeff Hodges (Arroyo Grande) and Bud Aquino (Grover Beach). Further details were not available.

Best Bass also began its fifth year of operation on the Central Coast with a tournament at Lake Nacimiento last weekend.

Inability to make contact with the tournament director out of Bakersfield prevented providing the hometowns of a majority of the 36 teams that competed.

Winning the tournament were Ricardo Rodriguez and Nicolaus Stewart, with an 9.82-pound limit that paid $830.

The ninth place team, Eddie Davidson and Matt Messina, both of Atascadero, had the big fish (2.59 pounds), which paid $360.

The highest-placing local team was Fernando Salazar (Atascadero) and partner Mike Otto (Avila Beach). They finished third with an 8.98-pound limit that paid $795.

Finishing sixth were Chase Austin and Jeramie Dyer (both Templeton) with a 7.96-pound limit that paid $200.

Graham Grove and partner Mark Scribner (both Pismo Beach) grabbed 10th place with a 7.72-pound limit. They finished out of the money.

Lopez Lake

Park Ranger Glenn Simpson reported on Wednnesday, “As a result of the rain the lake has received Monday and Tuesday of this week, we have received a rise of six inches at the launch ramp. We launched an 18-foot boat today with no trouble.”

Lake Nacimiento

Heritage Ranch reporter Dave Rymal advised Tuesday evening, “We are located on Snake Creek, and the recent rains have meant that our docks were not floating on Monday but they are as of today. There hasn’t been any fishing activity.”

Santa Margarita Lake

Marina Manager Ken Hemer notes, “Weather conditions last week kept angling pressure very light. But there were a handul of bass caught including a six pounder. Most of the largemouths went for jigs or rip baits fished around rocky areas of the lake. Some catfish went for cut mackerel and chicken livers.”

Lake Levels

Lake

Capacity

Current Level

Percent

Lopez

49,388.0

14,181.7

28.7

Nacimiento

377,900

87,740

23

Santa Margarita

23,842.9

3,086.0

12.6

Whale Rock

38,966.5

16,701.4

42.9

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