McAninch/Dooley Take Piru Night Opener

The first NBW Summer Night Series for 2006 kicked off July 8 at Lake Piru. With extremely hot daytime temperatures and a healthy weekend pleasure boating crowd stirring up oxygen in the lake, the bite under the moonlight looked to be good. The lake is at its’ highest level possible with trees and brush inundated from the surface down to 30 feet or more. A healthy spawn the last few seasons has led to a multitude of eager biting “dinks”, but better fish were out there as well.

A field of 21 boats headed out from the launch area in Reasoner Cove just before 7 PM with weigh-in scheduled for 1 AM. As expected, the teams had little trouble getting bit as nearly all reported catching numerous “dinks” on various baits. For many it was just a matter of weeding through the smaller fish until the better fish bit.

Bill McAninch and Glen Dooley pulled up to the scales with 3 bags that eventually weighed out at 21.78 pounds, giving them the victory. Bill and Glen said that they had caught all their fish on 7” Roboworm fished Texas Rigged down to 20 feet. “We started fishing some of the spots I had practiced on”, said McAninch “ but the fish had seemed to move from the primary spots to other areas. We caught most of our better fish as we were fishing between our primary areas.” The winning team culled a few times through the night and even broke off a big fish at the end of the evening. “It didn’t matter if it was mainlake or inside, moonlight or dark, we caught fish everywhere we went, it was just a matter of working hard to get better fish amongst the smaller ones,” concluded McAninch whose tackle is exclusively provided by JT Tackle in Simi Valley, his Triton boat furnished by Stanton Marine in Ventura.

Jesse Marquez and Mark Brown ended up in second place with a “cookie cutter” limit of 19.31 pounds with a 5.16 kicker. They reported catching fish on plastics and Chatter baits. Eric Kim and Dale Honda finished third with 16.54 pounds. Though Piru mainly contains northern strain largemouth bass, these northerns can grow to sizes near their Florida strain cousins. This was evident by the 9.35 pound big bass weighed in by the team of John Galleano and Robert Fitgerald. That fish earned them big bass honors for the tournament and anchored a 6th place finish overall.

All told there were 13 limits weighed in with just under 13 pounds necessary to make the top ten. Of the 86 bass weighed-in only 2 were lost after weigh-in, a 97% successful release rate. Credit belongs to all the anglers who took great care to ensure the survival of their catch. I would also take an opportunity to thank Matt Metroka, Ken Gwynn, Larry Reed, and Angie Johnson for staffing this event and helping it run smoothly.

The Piru Summer Night Series is the last chance for anglers to qualify for the NBW Classic at Lake Havasu this September. The region will qualify the top 50% of teams who fish all 4 events, and give them a chance to compete for a Skeeter boat at the Classic. The next event is scheduled at Piru on Saturday, July 22. Sign-ups are from 3PM to 6 PM with launch scheduled for 7 PM. Thanks to all who came out to the first event and see ya at the next one.

Chris Johnson.