Lingcod Competition!

Who’s going to claim the bragging rights for John Rowley’s Biggest, Baddest Lingcod Competition 2020?

It could be you!

Biggest, Baddest Lingcod Competition Sponsored by Virg's Landing

David Kiel took home $5,000 in 2018!

Biggest, Baddest Winners in 2022

This year is the 10th Annual John Rowley’s Biggest, Baddest Lingcod Competition, where anglers compete for $10,000 in cash! It’s the biggest pot on the Central Coast and YOU should be in it!

Qualifying is easy! Each trip the largest ling cod of the day is weighed by the crew of the boat, the angler is recorded and the tackle shop logs it in the day log. At the end of every week, the largest ling of the week on any trip going out of the landing is selected and entered into the end-of-the-year competition.

During the December fish-off, three anglers will split the jackpot with first place winning $5,000, second $3,000 and third reeling in $2,000.

That’s all it takes! Each week the biggest the angler who catches biggest lingcod on a Virg’s Landing vessel automatically qualifies for a seat on the big fish-off. The competition trip is completely free and includes food-anglers just take the boat ride out to the best rockfishing grounds in California and fish their hearts out for a prize-winning ling!

The only thing you must do for a chance to fish in the competition is to give yourself a CHANCE to get in the competition: book a fishing trip through Virg’s Landing and go for the biggest ling of the week! Any trip on any of the landing’s three Coast Guard approved boats give you the opportunity to qualify.


Every boat in the Virg’s fleet is designed to be a fishing machine! Licensing and rental rods can be taken care of at check-in for any trip through the tackle shop, hot galleys are available for breakfast and lunch, and friendly, knowledgeable captain’s and crew will put even a total novice on fish! All you have to do is bring yourself and maybe a sweatshirt!

So, what happens if someone catches a larger lingcod in the weeks following your qualification? It doesn’t matter! Qualifying lings are determined by the lings caught between Monday and Sunday of any given week, what happens after that does not determine eligibility for someone already qualified.

Once you have qualified, you’re in-it doesn’t matter what other anglers catch in the weeks to come! Some qualifying lings are 5lbs, some 30…it’s what happens on the December fish-off that brings the money!

The last Sunday in November is when qualifications end, and the Lingcod competition fishes the second Saturday of December, weather permitting.

The Ling Cod Competition itself is a totally clean slate! Every contestant has an equal opportunity at reeling in some of that prize money! It’s all about bringing onboard the at least one of the top three biggest lings of the trip, and walking away with $5000, $3000 or $2000 dollars! Top prize has gone to seasoned anglers who spend half the season on the water, and 13-year-old novices just getting into the sport.

This year the Lingcod Competition is sponsored by new Virg’s Landing owners Ron and Lisa Casey. New to the fishing industry, they are proud to continue to offer their customer’s the chance to be entered into the largest pot for amateur anglers on the Central Coast. “This is an iconic part of fishing out of Virg’s and we are excited to be a part of it,” Ron says. “The 2022 competition was a blast, and we are looking forward to making 2023 even bigger and badder!”

The competition is named after Capt. John Rowley, long time skipper at Virg’s Landing and Morro Bay fishing legend. He is now retired in Oregon, but the legacy of all the decades he has spent promoting and fostering ocean fishing on the Central Coast is inescapable. It is his love of sport fishing and the years he spent sharing his love and passion for fishing that makes his name synonymous with the competition!

Mike BonitaBakersfield, CA18.2 lbs.
Gabe MinettiGuadalupe, CA13 lbs. 2 oz.
Sam MatthewsShell Beach, CA14.3 lbs
Justin LongTehachapi, CA6 lbs. 6 oz.
Steve SaylorFresno, CA7 lbs. 2 oz.
Todd WhiteAtacsadero, CA5.8 lbs.
Sean FritzBakersfield, CA12.5 lbs.
Evan KeeneLos Osos, CA14 lbs. 6 oz.
Danny WynnFresno, CA13 lbs.
John BarkmanRidgecrest, CA14 lbs. 3 oz.
Ryan BurgessTulare, CA8 lbs.
Jim WebbCambria, CA7 lbs. 2 oz.
Lanny BeaslyBakersfield, CA19 lbs. 4 oz.
Enrique RodriguezMorro Bay, CA9 lbs.
Larry PittsMorro Bay, CA15 lbs.
Jordan DutraHanford, CA14.6 lbs
Isiah ProvchyFresno, CA7 lbs.
Terry MarshallMorro Bay, CA7 lbs.
James WhiteClovis, CA21.3 lbs.
Ryan BandelaFresno, Ca11 lbs.
Steve HowellMorro Bay, CA22.5 lbs.
Shaun JonesMoreno Valley, CA19 lbs. 2 oz.
Marty PerezPorterville, CA14 lbs. 7 oz.
Carlos BarajasExeter, CA14 lbs.
Eric MulanaxPaso Robles, CA24.9 lbs.
Matthew GutierrezFresno, CA21 lbs. 9 oz.
Marcus PruittHanford, CA20 lbs. 2 oz.
Kris MajernFresno, CA15 lbs. 6 oz.
Lawrence Carlton7.8
Micah ParkerBakersfield, CA10.4
Rick SpradlingCoalinga, CA11
Bill StaffordTulari, CA11.7 lbs
Henry OrtizeDelano, CA5.5 lbs
Michael PapiermanDana Point, CA12 lbs