| 62.5-POUNDS! White Seabass Championship breaks WSB event records
Brett Ringler, Jim Mulvey and Greg Trompas used their strategy of fishing “the beach” to record a scale-tipping, record-shattering, 62.5-pound white seabass to win the 2012 Yamaha Catalina Island title, while a 59 pounder takes second
BY BOB SEMERAU
Special to Western Outdoor News
TWO HARBORS — Wind and weather eased for the 220 anglers participating in the weekend’s WON/Yamaha Catalina White Seabass Championship held at Two Harbors, Catalina Island May 19-20. The result was that the tourney record of 53 pounds set two years ago was topped twice, first with a 59 pounder and again with a seabass of 62.5 pounds that won the event and was worth $17,000 in cash and prizes.
With easing winds and calmer seas than in recent days, several of the 65 teams entered in the three-species contest headed back to the mainland. It was a good plan for two teams that would not only take first and second place overall but set new white seabass tournament records in the process.
Plenty of other action and differing tactics added to the excitement for anglers from all over Southern California. The crew of Bob Taylor’s boat, Big Woody, planned to “Work the afternoon and evening hours at the west end looking for halibut then head up to the Vees to get some white seabass,” according to angler Brian “Monkey” Zalewski.
Other boat skippers worried about newly enacted closures and how they might affect the fishing. WON Editor and event director Pat McDonell brought along color island maps denoting closure areas and coordinates of three key closure areas new to the event, and passed them out before Saturday’s BBQ lunch and the day’s raffle prizes were given out. Scott Aablers of PIER Institute also went over the closures.
Along with raffle prizes and lunch event sponsors Owner Hooks and Spiderwire Braid were on hand with Owner hooks, PIER Institute hats, and Spiderwire event t-shirts for everyone in the competition.
Before getting down to serious fishing, the casting contest concluded on the sand at Two Harbors with a cast-off among three competitors. The casting contest victory and an award of an Avet MC Cast Reel and Seeker Stealth rod went to a well-known tournament angler in these parts, Tim Husband.
Husband, would later be on the team accepting second place honors for a truly great white seabass. But it was not Husband but his wife, Cori, who would pull in the first of two record setting biscuits during the tournament.
“We took three fish over 50 pounds, all of ’em on the Owner 7/0 Aki Twist hooks we got yesterday,” exclaimed a very excited Cori Husband at the weigh-in.
Cori Husband landed the first white seabass to break the tournament record weight with a 59-pound fish taken on squid under bird schools below Dana Point. The huge croaker came to the scales early during the 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. check in period and looked as if it would stand the test of time, holding on to the record, and first place.
Other team members, Rob Perry and Jake Deangelis took the stage along with Tim and Cori to pick up $1,500 in prize money and a special $250 certificate from West Coast Marine for fishing aboard their Yamaha-powered Parker.
Huge yellowtail also rounded out the action as young Evan Salvay showed up with a forkie tipping the scales at 38.8 pounds. Salvay’s fish earned a fifth place finish and $300 for him and his team of Bennet Salvay, Daniel Salvay, and Matt Grollman. Add in the options money and their cash prize ran up to $ 3,720 for the big mossback.
When a big halibut of 38.5 pounds is only good enough for a sixth place finish you know the fishing is pretty good. That was the case for Teera Saivachit who landed the big flattie at San Clemente Island with the help of teammate Jack Delacorte. Though out of the money for their finish, the team did take home a whopping $5,850 in options winnings.
The popular local six-pack and open party boat, Options, delivered a 35.4-pound yellowtail and a 27.9-pound biscuit to the scales. Angler Garth Kubeldis took the fish and teammates Wes Flesch, Bobby Lienau and Bill Waddle helped pick up the $1,080 in options money for the seventh place finishing yellowtail. Owner 4/0 Circle hooks, pinned with squid on the dropper loop, at the west end of Catalina Island were credited once again with getting the fish.
While several fish taken during the contest would be considered the “fish of a lifetime” no one’s fish could come close to the tanker brought to the scales just a few minutes before the end of weigh-in.
Brett Ringler had been fishing with teammates Jim Mulvey and Greg Trompas using their strategy of fishing “the beach” down by Dana Point but frustration began to take its toll. Early Sunday morning Ringler was on deck with squid soaking in the gray light of morning.
The night had been spent in a quiet effort to pull some croaker with no results. Trompas told the crowd later that you have to keep the faith and just be patient.
Soon, Ringler would be rewarded for his efforts with a scale tipping, record shattering, 62.5-pound white seabass. The new leader was on the board and would hold up for an overall first place finish. The angler and his teammates enjoyed almost $17,000 in cash and prizes. The prizes included three engraved Gravitron 2 Reactor watches for each valued at over $550 each, a trip for four to Hotel Rancho Leonero, a fish mount provided by Global Fish Mounts, SpiderWire, Seaguar, plaques and more..
For all of the details on the 2012 WON-Yamaha Catalina White Seabass Championship see next week’s complete story.
White Seabass Championship Top Finishers and Money Winners
Place Team Captain Species Weight Total Cash
THE FIRST PLACE WHITE SEABASS – This monster 62.5 pounder was taken by Brett Ringler, center pictured with teammates Jim Mulvey, left, and Greg Trompas, right. The huge croaker earned the team $12,400 in cash for first place and taking all three white seabass optionals., plus the team won $4,500 in other prizes for a prize package of over $17,000.