Bassmaster Elite pro Jared Lintner and his fellow 107 pros began experiencing what Central Coast bass fishermen have not seen in a long, long time: namely, a lake that is not only full but also flooded.
Stop No. 6 on the Elite trail is Oklahoma’s Lake Texoma, a venue on the Texas-Oklahoma border.
B.A.S.S. Conservation Director Gene Gilliland, an Oklahoma native, said “the fish are likely to be spread out, and all types of flooded structures could come into play.
“With so much water in the lake, you’re talking about thousands of acres of water that the anglers wouldn’t normally have available to them this time of year. All the bushes and shoreline structure could come into play.”
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Arroyo Grande’s Lintner was in 22nd place after two days of competition starting Wednesday, meaning he advanced with the top 50 anglers to the semifinal round on Friday. The anglers will take a break on Saturday for BASSfest activities, including Bassmaster University seminars, and then the top 12 will fish for the $100,000 first-place prize on Sunday.
Eleven of the 12 jackpot fish last week were lingcod. No surprise there.
San Luis Obispo’s Charlie Barrios was the exception with a 10.0 cabezon.
The largest ling capturing jackpot honors was an 18.1 fish reeled in by Rosemead’s Mike Kikkawa.
Other jackpot lings with weights were: Nicholi Mackewicz, San Luis Obispo, 18.0 pounds; John Price, Fresno, 15.6; Steve Jasso, Visalia, and Bill Smith, Santa Maria, 14.0; Ross Martinez, Porterville, 13.0; Dave Patague, Arroyo Grande, 11.0; Marv Woodson, Morro Bay, Mark Masicampo, San Luis Obispo, John McIssac, Clovis, all 10.0; and Shane Kiel, O’Fallon, Missouri, 8.0.
The catch by 357 passengers last week included 173 lingcod, 621 red rockcod, 175 copper rockfish, 300 bolina, 21 bocaccio, six cabezon, one ocean whitefish, one kelp greenling and 2,022 assorted rockfish.
Morro Bay Landing
Last Saturday was a busy one out of Morro Bay Landing. The Endeavor made two trips, and the San Pedro Special made one. Three smaller boats also carried passengers on rockcod fishing adventures.
Visalia’s Greg Veach had the week’s biggest fish, a 16-pound lingcod.
Also winning jackpots were: Jacob Suguitan, Lompoc, 14.9 ling; Robert Sutton, Atascadero, and Jose Valencia, Tehachapi, both 13-0 lings; Sam Oeser, Atascadero, 9-0 ling; Patrick Davies, Bakersfield, 8-0 ling; and Rich Valasquez, Coalinga, 5-0 ling.
Entering into jackpots is optional. On a trip when a 13-pound fish copped jackpot honors, another angler on board not in the competition caught an 18-pound ling.
The catch by 166 passengers last week included 211 lingcod, 419 red rockcod, 113 copper rockish, 992 assorted rockfish, eight boccacio, three cabezon and three bolina.
Glenn Fukumoto, store manager, advised that anglers stationed at both the North and South piers currently are catching Spanish and Pacific mackeral as well as sardines using Sabiki rigs.
The catch of the week was a 39-pound, 6-ounce halibut by Mark Witt of Sacramento. It was made at Cape San Martin on board the Princess on a two-day private charter.
Week No. 9 end-of-the-year lingcod tournament qualifier with a 19.1 fish was Lompoc’s Richard Aquiniga. The Week-10 qualifier was Sherman McBay of El Dorodo Hills with a 19.8 ling.
Other jackpot winners were: Moses Clark, Sacramento, 12.5 ling; Greg Hernandez, Bakersfield 11.6 ling; Sutter Nickerson, Los Osos, 11.5 ling; and Dave Rollins, Madera, 10.5 ling.
Virg’s ran 10 trips last week with 220 passengers. They caught 2,451 fish, including 317 lingcod. Thus far, 2,441 lingcod have been caught.
Manager Bruce Harwood reports: “Surf fishing has stayed steady with Morro Strand and Cayucos beach at Studio Drive reporting the best barred perch results with fish up to 1 1/2 pounds. Currently there are no blood worms available, but live lugworms and Gulp sand worms are doing the trick.”
Fishermen were given the opportunity starting last week to fish seven days instead of the previous regime of Wednesday through Sunday. Only two people showed up with the usual results: no fish.
Santa Margarita Lake
Ken Hemer, marina manager issued this report on Sunday: “At times, the bass bite has been excellent, with anglers connecting on a wide variety of baits. Frog imitations and other topwater baits are getting bit early and late in the day. At midday, the best action has been on jigs, Texas rigs, and by drop shotting. Later in the day, reaction baits are very productive as shad flies are all over the lake. Anglers fishing the edges of weed beds with bobbers and mini jig combos are doing well targeting crappie. Blue and channel catfish, plus bullheads, are being checked in at the marina.”