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Archive for the ‘2006’ Category.

October 30 – Final Report

"Happy trails to you, until we meet again … "

No news on the home front is … no news, a record-breaking performance in the B&B, and we wrap up another SoCal marlin season. All that and so much more in this final 2006 edition of the Fishing News!

(cue theme song)

HOOKER was working just inside and below the Mid-Channel Oil Islands when they got a blind strike yesterday afternoon. The marlin hog-tied itself in the leader, but they were still able to get it in and successfully revive and release the fish. There’s a whole lot to be said for persistence. Unlike that other website, where the numbers posted put the fish on the backside of Catalina, we have the right ones: 31/05.

Several other fish have been hooked, including one today, but the only other fish I’ve heard of being caught was a marlin on Tuesday by HAULIN ARC. We’ll have to wait and see this weekend to see if our fish holds up as the last for the season.

I’m feeling less than creative tonight, but it’s with good reason. Now that I have a few years of these reports under my belt, I like to include a blast from the past with each Thursday report. But when I went back to see what had happened during this week in the last five years, I found that only once – in 2003 – was I even writing reports this late in the season. We may be getting the fish in drips and drabs, but at least we’re still getting them!

After drama of both the meteorological and political type cost the first day of fishing, the Bisbee’s Black and Blue tournament finally got underway today. Hurricane Paul threatened Cabo San Lucas earlier in the week, and the tourney committee took a wait-and-see attitude towards the first planned day of fishing on Wednesday. While the storm ultimately swung south of Los Cabos and caused little more than rain on the fleet, the Port Captain took the preemptive action to close the port for Tuesday and Wednesday. Now whether this was due to a legitimate concern for the anglers or simply a way to exert power over the gringo fishermen is open to debate. The net effect was to shorten the event from three to two days of fishing, meaning those would be some mighty expensive fishing days.

When the action finally got started this morning, a few blues and one black marlin were caught, but none met the 300-lb qualifying weight. None, that is, until Tournament Control got a call from BAD COMPANY’s Steve Lassley to say they were on their way in with what they felt was a qualifying fish. Their eyes were good, and angler Randy Parker’s fish tipped the scales at 361-lbs. As the only qualifying fish for Day One, Team BC swept the dailies and walked … make that staggered … away with an amazing $1,740,015! Of course, that’s before taxes … :-)

Well, that’s a wrap. It’s been a great year for the site, a great year for marlin, and hey – I even got a few. That automatically makes it a pretty good year. This is the end of the Fishing News, but you can find me over at the MarlinBlog all winter long – hope to see you there!

October 26

A concise and humor-free report, since I have the migraine from Hell and need to get to sleep.

Last time, I whined about having to keep writing reports because people keep catching marlin. I guess I can’t complain this time, since it was our own boat that got the fish.

HOOKER was working just inside and below the Mid-Channel Oil Islands when they got a blind strike yesterday afternoon. The marlin hog-tied itself in the leader, but they were still able to get it in and successfully revive and release the fish. There’s a whole lot to be said for persistence. Unlike that other website, where the numbers posted put the fish on the backside of Catalina, we have the right ones: 31/05.

Several other fish have been hooked, including one today, but the only other fish I’ve heard of being caught was a marlin on Tuesday by HAULIN ARC. We’ll have to wait and see this weekend to see if our fish holds up as the last for the season.

I’m feeling less than creative tonight, but it’s with good reason. Now that I have a few years of these reports under my belt, I like to include a blast from the past with each Thursday report. But when I went back to see what had happened during this week in the last five years, I found that only once – in 2003 – was I even writing reports this late in the season. We may be getting the fish in drips and drabs, but at least we’re still getting them!

After drama of both the meteorological and political type cost the first day of fishing, the Bisbee’s Black and Blue tournament finally got underway today. Hurricane Paul threatened Cabo San Lucas earlier in the week, and the tourney committee took a wait-and-see attitude towards the first planned day of fishing on Wednesday. While the storm ultimately swung south of Los Cabos and caused little more than rain on the fleet, the Port Captain took the preemptive action to close the port for Tuesday and Wednesday. Now whether this was due to a legitimate concern for the anglers or simply a way to exert power over the gringo fishermen is open to debate. The net effect was to shorten the event from three to two days of fishing, meaning those would be some mighty expensive fishing days.

When the action finally got started this morning, a few blues and one black marlin were caught, but none met the 300-lb qualifying weight. None, that is, until Tournament Control got a call from BAD COMPANY’s Steve Lassley to say they were on their way in with what they felt was a qualifying fish. Their eyes were good, and angler Randy Parker’s fish tipped the scales at 361-lbs. As the only qualifying fish for Day One, Team BC swept the dailies and walked … make that staggered … away with an amazing $1,740,015! Of course, that’s before taxes … :-)

As I mentioned earlier, I’d normally be done with reports for the season. At some point in the near future, I’ll decide the fishing’s done and handg up my scribe for another winter. It’ll probably happen pretty quick, so this might be my last opportunity to say something very important – THANK YOU. Everyone who reads this is a paid member of the site, and I greatly appreciate your support. Yeah, it’s only $25, but that helps keep the servers running and the software updated and my Red Bull stocked – all essential tools for making SCMO the resource it is. I couldn’t do it without you, and I never forget that I do it for you …

October 23

I’d be perfectly happy to stop writing the reports and get on with my offseason, but you people just keep catching fish …

The fishing is better than it should be up here, worse than it should be down there … oh, did I mention the hurricane about to shuffle the Bisbee deck? Just another day for … the Fishing News!

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We talked about the swordfish sightings, and several anglers were able to convert opportunity into success. On Friday, Randy Wood, fishing with Bob Akers and their families on OFFSHORE, spotted one between the Avalon and 14-Mile Banks. It was hungry, and was soon on the swimstep. The fish weighed 178-lbs on the BAC scales in Newport.

Not to be outdone, SHOWDOWN angler Reed Miller hooked one in the same region Saturday. After an hour’s fight, the fish was also on it’s way to the scales at the BAC, where it weighed 156. We won’t discuss the rumor that OFFSHORE put them on the fish …

Both of the successful anglers are members of Los Pescadores, and we do maintain the club’s tourney site for free, so it would have been nice if they sent us the pics so we could show them in their high resolution goodness. But they didn’t, so you’ll just have to go over to that other site where they have grainy lo-res versions. But I’m not bitter … :-)

There was marlin to be found as well, as boats continue to search further and further offshore hoping for that last fish of the season. Several were seen and a couple hooked, but the only one I heard being caught was released by AGITATOR Friday just north of Pyramid Head.

The talk leading into the Los Cabos Classic was of the variety of fish that were available. What they forgot to mention was that there weren’t any large ones floating around. The two days of fishing saw 311 anglers release 25 striped, 24 blue and 1 black marlin. Unfortunately, most of the marlin were on the small side – in fact, this 401-lb blue taken by REELAXE would have won the event had they been entered. Two small blues were boated, but no one got any of the big girls that can win the cash. Anglers are certainly hoping that’ll change in the Black and Blue.

Of course, that’s assuming the B&B takes place. Wednesday is scheduled to be the first of three fishing days, but that will be less than 24 hours after Hurricane Paul blows through the region. Currently, it looks like the storm will pass south of the tip of Baja, but you can bet it’ll impact the fishing at the very least. Bisbee management are watching the storm closely to see if any modifications to the schedule will be required.

Say what you want about SoCal anglers – they’re an optimistic bunch. I guess you have to be when you fish on the very edge of a fishery the way we do. But our recent InstaPoll shows that a lot of you think there’s life left in this season. While only a quarter thought there was still a glory hole to be found, over half of the respondents felt there’d be at least a few fish caught in upcoming weeks. For the last few weeks, that’s been the case. Will it continue? Stay tuned …

October 19

The season that refuses to die lives on, at least for a few more days …

We mentioned that the hardcores would still be trying for last fish, and this nice weather we’re having only gives them incentive. Both PESCADOR and FIRE HATT released marlin off the back side of Catalina, and several more were lost. But don’t confuse this with a "bite" …

The same weather conditions are making things pretty sweet for the stickboats as well. The marlin may have run, but the swordfish remains and are getting picked in large numbers. The area inside the Avalon Bank is said to resemble a golf course. Now if only they’d start taking baits …

Tomorrow begins the Los Cabos Classic, first of the back-to-back events that includes the big daddy, the Bisbee’s Black and Blue. Sounds like the fishing conditions are pretty good, with good numbers of blue marlin and striped marlin available based on which way you nose out of the harbor. A few blacks are being found as well, along with some monster tuna, which count in the first event. Should make for a great week in CSL!

October 16

Clear! … THUMP …

The season’s on life support, but a few well-placed shocks this weekend might let it live a little longer.

Another quiet weekend on the water, as only the hardcores were out in search of the last fish of the season. As we predicted, the search moved out into the channel between Catalina and Clemente, and both LITTLE BILL and OFFSHORE released marlin off Salta Verde point on the backside of Catalina. Not a lot of other action though, in spite of the weather being a whole lot nicer than forecasted.

Since there’s really nothing to show for our local fishing, here’s a little reminder that there are still fish to be caught to the south. In this case, it’s as pretty a dorado as you’ll ever see, caught from the waters off Puerta Vallarta. On Thursday, we’ll preview the upcoming Mexican tourney season – good thing, since I doubt there’ll be much else to talk about …

As the season winds down, thoughts move to the offseason. For me, that means two things – a solid month away from the site to recharge, and what big projects I have planned to improve SCMO.

Each year, I like to add at least one new feature or provide a major overhaul to some element of the site. Two winters ago, we introduced the new and improved Galeria del Pez, which lets us display pictures like this one in their full glory. Last year, it was the new MarlinBlog, which initially started in the Member’s Section but was moved outside the firewall to garner a few more views. It’s a fun addition, although I’ll confess I wish it was attracting a few more eyeballs …

The question now is what to do this year. I have some ideas, but I want to know what you think. After all, I may run the joint, but it’s you guys who really matter. I want to know what you would do to the site if you ran it – what you would add, or delete, or modify. Tell me what you like or don’t like, and what you’d like to see in place before that first marlin arrives in 2007. Just drop me an email, or post something over in the War Room. This is your chance to change SCMO for the better …

October 12

Mi … mi … mi … mi … mi …

Yeah, the fat lady may not be singing just yet, but she’s loosening up her pipes …

We’re on StormWatch™ here at the Home Office, but don’t expect me to get all breathless like those dorks on the local news. We do have a storm rolling into SoCal that’s expected to bring rain starting tomorrow afternoon. It’s supposed to be the worst mid-morning Saturday – just about the time you were hoping to pull on a marlin.

We’ve talked before about winter storms and the effect they have on the marlin bite. This one isn’t one of those that rolls out of Alaska, so I don’t know just what the impact will be. I’m reasonably sure you’ll get wet, though …

The bite action has been stone cold, but that’s mostly due to the small number of folks on the water. We keep getting reports of fish seen, particularly by swordfish boats, but I don’t know how much value it is. All season long, we’ve been hearing about all the marlin being seen by the spotterplanes between the west ends of Catalina and Clemente, stacked up along the temp break that’s been there for the last few months. But very few fish have been caught there, even when the best marlineers have given it their best shot. I have enough faith in the stickboat guys to believe their reports, though. It’s not that the fish aren’t there – the fish just don’t care.

The most interesting report I got all week was from a stickboat working up by Santa Cruz Island who saw a few marlin. Again, I don’t know what that will mean for our fishing, but hey – it’s your fuel …

A lot of fishing decisions are based on the sea surface temperature charts available from NOAA and several commercial sources. As you probably know, the satellites gathering the data don’t actually measure the temperature of the water but rather the reflectivity of the surface. That data is run through a formula that results in a predicted surface temperature. Several times in the last few weeks there have been pockets of water where the charts predict 70-deg plus water, but when I talk to anglers who were actually there I find the actual temperature to be as much as seven degrees cooler. I’ve never really looked into the science behind the data; sounds like a good offseason project to research and write about. Well, as soon as I finish the EAL autopsy report …

We did hear from several of the SoCal tourney boats as they arrived in Cabo San Lucas for the upcoming tourney season. The ride down was smooth, with the only hiccups being in the fuel situation along the way. What else is new. Next Thursday’s report will include a preview of the Los Cabos tourney slate, so be sure to check it out.

‘Fraid that’s it for now. Was hoping to spend some quality time in the garden this weekend, but it looks like I’ll be dodging raindrops instead. If you venture out, be sure to file a Trip Report and let us know what you see!

October 9

I’m nursing the mother of all migraines tonight, so if I seem a little less witty than usual, that would be why.

The good news is that there are still marlin in the pipeline. The bad news? It’s down to a slow drip …

A lot more than just the air is getting cooler, as most of the waters in the Catalina Bight have dropped below the magic 67-deg surface temperature that the marlin like. That doesn’t mean the marlin won’t be there if you go out this weekend, but it could accelerate their departure. It also doesn’t bode well for those hoping there’s a late season rally waiting to happen. More on that at the end of the report …

The weekend’s action – what there was – was centered on the same basic spots as the last few weeks. Most of the usual hardcore suspects were working around the Avalon Bank, with the trolling patterns stretching from Long Point down to the East End. Several fish were released on Saturday, but I’ve not yet heard who got them. Sunday saw SPRAE IT and WILD BILL each release a fish near Catalina, and LOYAL T caught one on the 14-Mile Bank that weighed a bit over 156-lbs.

Call it the JD Curse. On Sunday, SHOWDOWN scored near the Avalon Bank and celebrated by flying a huge marlin flag dating back to the 1960s. John Doughty shot a picture of the boat and flag as they passed his Balboa Island shop and ran it on his website. Last night, the flag was stolen. If you know anything about this pathetic act of desperation by an obviously frustrated marlin fisherman, you can email me at stan@marlinnut.com. No names required.

MNAC member Steve Mras pulled off an interesting variation on the double as he caught two fish in one tournament – from two different boats! Saturday, he was fishing on TUNACIOUS when he released a dropback fish near the Avalon Bank. He returned to the region Sunday on his own skiff SALSIPUEDES and released a jigfish between Hamilton Cove and Long Point. With the fishing as slow as it was, it was more than enough to take top honors in the DAC event. Well done!

Most of the action is moving south, as the Cabo tourney season is just around the corner. The big dogs from the local tourney season have already paddled south, and we’ll have a preview of the action beginning on Thursday. Should be interesting, as there are two new storms forming that could impact the Baja tip …

I had this grand plan. I was going to spend the final weeks of the season hitching rides on different boats, sharing what I know with the crews and learning new ways of doing things at the same time. Unfortunately, my work schedule has shot that idea all to hell. I’ll be lucky if I even get close to the water before Christmas. All the more reason for you to file a Trip Report when you get back from your trip. Let me know what you did, what you saw, what you heard. I’ll blend them together into this wonderful smoothie we call the Fishing News …

Speaking of the end of the season, sounds like a perfect topic for an InstaPoll …

October 5

Change is in the air …

Welcome to fall fishing in SoCal – a world of long pants, dew on the deck in the morning and dodging the occasional rainstorm. But it can also be a world of great late-season marlin action.

This time of year, it’s always a challenge to be successful. There are fewer boats on the water, fewer tournaments, fewer sources of information. You drive around all day unable to find the fish, and you ask yourself, "Am I just in the wrong place – or have the fish headed south." Fear not, dear reader … as my friend here might say, the prize remains in sight if you only know where to look …

The weather is starting to play a bigger role in our fishing, and you can only expect that to grow in coming weeks. Common thought is that the marlin are chased out of Southern California by the winter storms that sweep out of the Gulf of Alaska. Whether it’s the first, second, third or tenth storm of the season that triggers the migration is open for debate, but the impact of the storms is not. We haven’t had the first big storm yet – it was actually predicted for yesterday, but stalled north of here. But they’re certainly coming, so get that fishing in while you still can.

Most of our coverage is about the action in the waters surrounding Catalina, but just to our south is a very successful group of marlin anglers based out of San Diego. I’ve had a somewhat contentious relationship with the San Diego fleet, primarily based on my belief that they simply kill too many marlin. But you can’t deny the success they’ve had this season.

Much like the local action we’ve seen on the 14-Mile Bank, San Diego-based anglers have only needed to travel out to the 9-Mile Bank for much of their action. The 178 has also produced a lot of fish, and has seen some of the best multiple fish days of the season. It must be a gratifying experience, after some of the barren seasons we’ve seen on the southern banks in recent years.

As of the end of last month, the San Diego Marlin Club had recorded 150 marlin caught, with 95 of those released. For you data freaks, the average weight of the landed marlin is 118.5-lbs, with a low of 81.5 and a high of 196.9. High boat at that point was SEA TREK IV, with 15 marlin – 14 released.

It will be interesting to see the results of this week’s fishing. I suspect that there will be several boats that will take a chance and start to explore the outer spots that traditionally produce late in the season – the Dome off San Clemente Island, the 499, the 267. Whether they find anything is another story …

Of course, this is the tough time of the season for me as well, as I have to decide when it the right time to end these reports for the season. I don’t want to spend weeks talking about nothing if the marlin are gone, but I don’t want to get burned like I did a couple of seasons back when I ended the reports and the second season broke open a couple of weeks later.

But you can help – file those Trip Reports! So long as I know there are boats out there, I’ll keep the reports going. Let me know what you see, where you see it, and just how bad it sucks – or doesn’t. The Fishing News update you save just might be your own … :-)

October 2

Is there anybody … out there …

If your hear strange noises in the background, or I seem a bit distracted, it’s because I currently have three guys with chainsaws running round in my back yard cutting down trees. I’m just sure we’re moments away from having a piece crash through my roof …

This will probably be a short report – not for lack of time or effort, but lack of information. It was a verrrrry quiet weekend on the water – the transition weekend marking the end of the tourney season. I think a lot of folks are just fished out … nah, that can’t be it!

Not a lot of boats on the water this weekend, with many of us trying to catch up with all we missed for the last two months. I’ll bet more honey-do’s got done during the last few days than were done all summer. But for those who risked the wrath of their honey – or took her along – there were some fish to be found.

At the head of the list of found fish would be this nice swordfish caught by Marv Garrett on the beautiful new JERAMAR. Jerry Garrett – who has a little swordfish experience of his own – was along when they hooked the beast off Long Point Saturday. It tipped the scales at 260-lbs.

It’s still early, but I haven’t seen any Trip Reports yet for the weekend. Rumor has it WILD BILL released two fish this weekend somewhere in the shipping lanes, but they run so far under the radar it’s hard to know. With their record, though, I’m betting it’s true. I hear KAWA KAWA released a couple of marlin off the Slide Sunday, and a boat running from Dana to Newport for fuel released one on the 14-Mile Bank. Considering most people are running from Newport to San Pedro for cheap fuel, it scares me to think what they must be paying in Dana Point!

What marlin action there was over the weekend was in the same places pounded during the tourneys – off the Slide, off Long Point, and the 14-Mile Bank. I keep waiting to hear of fish being taken out by San Clemente Island, which is typical of late season action. But with the water cooling offshore, it may be that the fish are going to stay close to the beach. Could we be on the verge of a cut-off warm water pocket that will trap the fish locally? Time will tell …

The dorado seemed to have cleared out a few weeks back, but now we’re getting reports of yellowfin tuna sliding into local waters. Most of the inshore banks are said to have football-sized tuna, although I haven’t heard of any of the larger ones … yet.

Writing is a creative skill, and like all creative skills some got it and some don’t. As for me, sometimes I’ve got it and some times not; today is a not. So I’m stopping right here … see you Thursday.

September 28

Let’s hear it for the bills …

The Pesky is but a memory, but those who can’t remember it can’t seem to forget it. They needed an extra day for the Classic, and still didn’t have not enough dead marlin to go around. It’s Thursday night, and that can only mean one thing …

Live, from the SCMO Home Office in Redondo Beach, CA – it’s the Fishing News!

(cue theme music)

The Hatteras Catalina Classic, last of the season’s big tourneys, was held in Avalon beginning on Monday. This one traditionally has a big fleet, and this edition was no exception, with 420 anglers scheduled to fish on 70 boats. The fishing had been tough during the weekend leading into the event, and unsettled weather left a lot of skippers wondering where to start and pundits wondering if they would find the suddenly missing marlin. We shouldn’t have worried …

Just about the time the Pesky fleet was slipping their cans Sunday morning and starting to paddle home as quietly as possible, the Classic fleet was out doing a little pre-fishing. Several boats caught and released marlin that were well over the 165-lb minimum used by the Classic, including Bill DePriest Sr. of 1 HOT TUNA, at left. If only they knew how hard it would be to repeat over the next three days …

The shotgun start marking the beginning of the event Monday was largely ceremonial, because the fishing ground was only a couple of miles away. Most of the action was close to the island, with the fleet working between Long Point and the ridge off the East End. Thirteen marlin were released, with BAD COMPANY leading the way with three.

Day 2 saw the fleet spread out somewhat, apparently growing tired of sucking on each other’s exhaust. Boats were scattered the lengths of Catalina, with some running nearly as far west as the 286 to get their fish. The fishing was better as well, as 25 marlin were released. GAMBLER was high release boat with four.

Because no qualifying fish had been caught in the first two days – and apparently you can’t end a kill tournament without a dead marlin – Wednesday was designated as an extra fishing day. In an attempt to find a new "vein" of hopefully larger fish, the tourney boats headed out in all directions at the start of fishing. Some of the boats ran inside to the 14-Mile Bank and the shipping lanes just outside the oil islands, while others tried the same spots off the East End that had produced in the previous days. The more adventurous boats headed up the backside of Catalina, and found success off Church Rock and Salta Verde point. While several marlin were caught and many more released, none met the minimum weight.

In the end, it was the marlin that were the real winners, as no qualifying fish were caught. Four fish were boated that taped out at the minimum but did not weigh the 165-lb minimum. Another fish came up dead, and one clearly undersized fish was killed because it was the angler’s first marlin. I could write an entire editorial about that last fish – and probably will. The award money that would have gone for the largest fish will be rolled over until next year – I guess Anthony can use the interest to fuel up BAD COMPANY … :-)

With the final day designated for boated fish, the release awards were presented on Tuesday night at the regularly scheduled banquet. BAD COMPANY took the Day 1 jackpots with their three releases and GAMBLER the Day 2 pots for their 4 released marlin. Among the notable catches were a 242-lb swordfish by BAD ATTITUDE on Day 1, and all three fish from a triple by GAMBLER on Day 2.

Overall, BAD COMPANY led the event with six releases during the two official days and several more on the final fishing day. I tend to bash the Classic for only giving cash awards for dead fish; in the past they referred to the release winners as receiving "fabulous prizes", which always reminded me of Carol Merrill smiling in front of the curtain just before it opened to reveal a gag prize. However, in looking at the tourney photos I saw at least one pair of Fraser-Volpe binos, so I’ll cut them a little slack. I think they missed a real opportunity by not simply awarding the prizes to the top release boat and instead trying in vain to find one big enough to kill, for which I won’t cut them slack. Change comes slowly, I guess …

Probably the best line of the tournament came from John Doughty of JD’s Big Game Tackle.

It doesn’t seem there are many older larger fish left – the smart big ones left after the Masters. Just too much pressure; on top of that school of fish the ones left are a three and four year old class 120-150 lbs – they were just born a few years ago. Maybe if they survive the long line hooks off Mag Bay and the wear and tear of Cabo this winter season they’ll be big enough next year to kill.

While there are still a few club events to be run, the Catalina Classic marks the traditional end of the tournament season. Of course some folks aren’t so happy to see the tourneys ending, like our friend here. Certainly among those would be the merchants of Avalon, since this pretty much means the end of the tourist season. It’s not as bad as it was before the cruise ships started making port calls in Avalon, though. Back then, if you rolled into town after September, you’d be lucky to find an open store …

One person who probably is glad to see the end of the tourney run is MNAC member Bill Morris. He fished the CABO / Hatteras shootout on MAGELLAN, the Masters on PESCAHOLIC, the Zane Grey on TUNACIOUS and the Catalina Classic on AFISHINADO. He’d have fished the Pesky, too, if he hadn’t seen his wife with the business card of a divorce lawyer …

I caught a grief – a lot of grief – last year for skipping most of the festivities after the Pesky. This year, I made a plan to remain coherent for the entire evening, and it worked well – maybe too well. You see, I was one of the few folks still sober by closing time at the Marlin Club, and I was snapping photos of the various crowds at the various events all evening long. Apparently, the flash of a camera is something that even the most intoxicated mind can remember, because I let it known that I had a lot of pictures I started getting the calls and emails. "Dude – all I can remember is seeing a flash … you didn’t get a shot of me doing something stupid did you? My girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband might see it on your site …"

Fear not. While I got some amazing pics of really stupid things, I have no intention of burning my friends by posting them without their permission. Of course, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t email them to you, so be careful when you check that Inbox …

The end of the tournaments certainly doesn’t mean the end of marlin fishing. In fact, some of the best fishing traditionally occurs during October when the tourney boats have long sense packed up and headed south. Look for the bite to move further offshore between Catalina and San Clemente in coming weeks.

If you’re headed out this weekend, there’s an added incentive – lobster. The season opens on Saturday, and you can bet most of the boats have a hoopnet – or two – stowed aboard. Of course, the divers will have all the best spots staked out well in advance, but chances are pretty good that you can pull a bug or two from just about anywhere you’ll be anchored. Rumor has it one of the best lobster spots on the island is the Avalon moorings just outside the gas dock along the Casino. But you didn’t hear it here …

I’m on the beach this weekend, and frankly, it’ll make for a nice change. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to read your Trip Reports! Good hunting …