Umarex Gauntlet


Centeral CA Saltwater

Morro Bay: Countdown to WON Rockfish Showdown

BY MERIT McCREA/WON Staff WriterPublished: Sep 11, 2019

MORRO BAY/AVILA — Patriot Sportfishing's Morro Bay Landing is the site for the 2019 WON Rockfish Showdown, and the landing's 3 spacious vessels will each be running 10-hour trips up north to where the big cods play. The red fishing has been spectacular and exceptionally large lings add to the excitement of fishing along the spectacular Big Sur Coast.

Sunday both the Starfire and Endeavor were on longer trips fishing these waters. Both boats pulled limits of rockfish, almost exclusively vermilion with a sampling of big coppers. The top ling aboard the Endeavor weighed in at 14 pounds, while the Starfire's best was Aaron B's 17 pounder.

2018 WON Flying Fish Biggest 5 winner Dave Patague, far right, shows his winning handful — 4 jumbo reds and a monster cabezon. The tournaments, featuring a $50 jackpot buy-in, have unique rules that put your bottom fishing skills to the test. All fish must be caught on a single lure with 2 hooks max, no natural bait allowed, and 20-pound-test leader must be used. Only rockfish, lingcod, and cabezon count. The angler with heaviest bag of five fish wins and the jackpot is dispersed among top 3 anglers. Give Patriot Sportfishing a call to join the Biggest 5 tournament!

September 20 is the date and there will be plenty of goodies and prizes given away. If you wish to confirm your spot or get any additional information on an immediate basis please call Dylan Depres at (949) 366-0726.

At Virg's Landing the John Rowley's Biggest, Baddest Lingcod Competition puts the captor of their largest ling each week in a final fish-off competition featuring 10 grand in prize money, with payouts for the top 3 lings caught that day.

Ling sizes up here are impressive. Of the 17 weekly winners, there are 2 ties and 12 fish topping 20 pounds, including a 32.75 pounder by Allen Do of Oakland. Another pair are just ounces under 30 pounds.

Sunday the Black Pearl was back from a reverse 1.5-day. Out on the water 12 or more hours on either side of midnight, the 21 anglers aboard were allowed up to two daily bag limits. They had 380 vermilion and 40 coppers, along with 11 lingcod.

Other more local trips generally put 1/2- and 3/4-day anglers onto landing their 10-fish daily limit of rockfish.

At Patriot's Avila Beach location limits style rockfishing continued for their boats as well. There the Patriot, Phenix and Flying Fish kept to the local area for 1/2- and 3/4-day runs, sacking mixed species of the tasty bottom biters and most, if not all anglers limiting out.

Private boaters launching from the Port San Luis Sportlaunch Sunday scored their limits of rockfish and lingcod too.

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