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September 19

Arrrrrr …

Need I say any more? It’s Speak Like A Pirate Day, and the Pre-Pesky edition of the Fishing News!

(cue duck call)

Greetings from the Catalina Jet , as this report is being hacked out mid-channel as I head to Avalon to compete in the 24th Annual Los Pescadores Next To Avalon Invitational Not So Light Tackle Billfish Derby, otherwise shortened to “The Pesky”. That means that the success of this report will hinge on two things – whether my mind works faster than this boat takes to reach Avalon, and how well that iOS7 upgrade I just did to my iPad went …

The Winning Lure

Good news coming out of last night’s Pesky Kickoff in Newport – we’ve got a full field of 30 boats. Nothing like a few marlin flooding into the area to drive up those last-minute entries, I guess. We all know about the outstanding fishing seen south of Pyramid Head last weekend, but it was amazing to listen to some of the folks who had been in the middle of it … “it was like ‘marlin … marlin … swordfish … marlin … hey, is that a tuna?'”. Pretty wild stuff – and it sounds like it’s still going. A number of the boats headed out straight from the Tee Room last night, and more this morning, so if the fish are there, they’ll be found. And remember – one of the few serious rules in the Pesky is that you have to give an accurate GPS location of your hookup, so by noon tomorrow no one will have any excuses.

The theme this year is based on the uber-successful “Duck Dynasty” reality show, and the yearly “bucket o’ crap” reflects. Most notable among the goodies is a special run lure from the good folks at Cousins Lures. The shape looks like their small beeper (sans the circuitry, of course), but it’s the colors that make it special. The head is a special pour to make it look like the famous Red Solo Cup, and the skirt is “duck blind camo”. Given that nine bonus points come for catching a marlin with it – more than for any of the other tricks – I’m betting you’re looking at the winning lure right there … and hopefully on my line …

I’ve got a lot of respect for the folks who fish the Channel Islands Billfish Tournament. A lot of us in Redondo Beach or San Pedro complain about how far we have to go to find the fish, but it’s so far coming dowm from the CI that they practically have to refuel before they can fish. And yet, they get a hearty bunch out every year – this one being no exception. Their five fishing days ran from the 7th through the 11th, and seventeen boats made the run south for a shot at glory. When the dust settled and fuel bills were paid, three boats had released marlin – RUCKUS, TIGHT RIV and HYDROCARBON, with RUCKUS taking top honors. To give you an idea of what these guys go through, one boat reported churning through 257 gallons of diesel during the tourney … ouch!

Our new second home

In our last report, I mentioned the shifting tides in Avalon and the difficulties that it has created for those trying to run fishing events there. Difficulties also create opportunities, though, so I’m happy to report that the traditional Pesky “Passing of the Bagel” – long held at the now-defunct Armstrong’s Seafood – will this year occur at the Lobster Trap. No word yet on if Caleb has a stuffed fish to bagel, or how the watermelon shooters are there, but I guess we’ll find out!

From what I hear, the fish are still out Pyramid cove way, so I expect that to be where most folks will be at lines in tomorrow – us included, I suppose. That other website is reporting as many as three releases for the day, but only DISCO PUNK is confirmed and I can’t say where he was. Doesn’t matter, though – it’s gonna be a fun weekend. Hope to see you out there, or stumble into some of you around town!

8 Years Ago …

September 19, 2005

"It’s the most wonderful time of the year …"

Before you accuse me of channeling Andy Williams, you should know that I’m not talking about Christmas – I’m talking about the Pesky!! I’ve already started building up the aspirin levels in my bloodstream …

Friday and Saturday saw 54 boats representing 9 clubs bomb offshore and brave a nasty south swell to fish in the BAC’s Master Angler Billfish Tournament. The MABT is the premier club event in SoCal, and its team format always attracts the cream of the local billfishing community.

The Friday bite was in relatively unprotected waters below the 289 and outside the 181 Ridge. In spite of the nasty conditions, 20 striped marlin were released. After learning the hard way that Pyramid Cove provides little shelter from a south swell, the fleet was happy to see the seas had calmed for Saturday, when another 12 were released.

The High Club was the Light Tackle Marlin Club with six released marlin totaling 1170 points, followed by the Balboa Angling Club and Los Pescadores. Congratulations to the crews of the winning team boats – WILD BILL, KAWAKAWA, JOKER and PIONEER. High Boat was DONNA C of Los Pescadores with 600 points for 4 releases on 30-lb tackle. The 2005 Master Angler was Brian Schultz, who scored 390 points by releasing marlin on 12 and 20-lb tackle while fishing on WILD BILL.

I’m not the kind of guy to sit down and watch the Emmy Awards. Heck, I can barely watch network TV. But when someone told me today that Marcia Cross was the best looking woman on the red carpet last night, I figured the least I could do was give us a chance to see for ourselves …

Here’s a different kind of exotic sighting – I got a report today of someone releasing a 35-lb spearfish near the 138

Did You Know: Today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Arr … hand over yer wimmens …

Someone emailed me this weekend to ask why I haven’t been talking about my beloved Florida Marlins. Why? Easy. They’re done … stick a fork in ‘em … it’s over. And this was the team everyone predicted would end the National League East reign of the Atlanta Braves. To quote "the Simpsons" Nelson Muntz, "HA-HA".

I heard there would be moisture moving into the LA Basin from Hurricane Max, but I didn’t believe it until I just walked outside and saw a bolt of lightning. Marlin fishing in the rain – gotta love it!

Speaking of hurricanes (gee – what a smooth segue …), our Katrina Relief auction is continuing, and I am humbled by the response. We’ve had 15 items placed up for bid, and current bids total over $3,600! There’s some pretty cool stuff to bid on, and there’s still time (hint – hint). Of course, we’d be thrilled to have more items placed up as well.

I don’t have any real product to auction off, so let me sweeten the pot this way. Anyone who places an item up for auction between now (Monday night) and the next publishing of this report (Thursday night) for which the retail value is at least $100, I’ll comp your next year’s membership to the MNAC. You can tack on a year to your own membership, or give it as a gift – your call. It’s not much, but it’s something, and maybe it’ll get a fence sitter or two to commit.

Our compatriots in the Gulf Coast may need even more help than planned – Hurricane Rita is beginning to look rather Katrina-like.

Not sure how I feel about this: the next Atlantic storm large enough to be named will be called Hurricane Stan – no kidding. Man, if it’s a big one, I hope it takes a left turn right before New Orleans and wipes out a longline fleet instead …

Today was Day One for the Hatteras Catalina Classic, and if anyone was worried that the bite would wind down, fear not. At lines out, 16 fish had been released and 4 boated. Most of the action remained between the 181 and 289, but the bite seems much more spread out than in the recent events – there was even one fish caught on the Avalon Bank! The "Thanks for Playing Award" goes to the crew of OSPREY, who lost a swordfish after several hours. There’s one more day of fishing, and we should have the results for you on Thursday.

Hey, I’m looking for info from any who knows. The CC doesn’t let released fish compete for the big prizes, but claims that each release angler gets a "major prize". If anyone knows just what the "major prizes" are, email me.

I talked about the Pesky here before. I guess at this point, you either get it, or you don’t. If you do, I’ll see you Wednesday at the kickoff. If you don’t, well, I’d think twice before casting on any tailers this weekend …

Aside from the CC results, the Thursday report will probably be light, since I’m on the 4:05 boat to Avalon. I wonder if they have a Wi-Fi hot spot on the Catalina Jet …

One Comment

  1. Rob Webster says:

    I think you have a typo there Stan…most of those Channel Islands tourney boats burned a heckuva lot more fuel than that…heck…I burned a lot more fuel than that fishing the 2 days of the MABT!! Good luck in the Pesky.