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Fishing News


July 21

We now join a conversation between Stan and his inner voice …

Inner Voice: I thought you said one of the reasons you were retiring the Fishing News was that the offshore scene in SoCal was dying.
Stan: I did.
IV: So how is it that we’re in the middle of some of the best offshore fishing in at least a decade?
Stan: Shut up and roll the credits.

(cue theme music)

If you thought that having Mexico shut off the tap to bluefin tuna fishing in their waters would somehow slow down the action, wow, were you wrong! I heard people make statements that I hadn’t heard in thirty years, and even the old … er, older … guys are shaking their heads.

But, hey – more on the epic bite in a moment. Let’s start with the stuff that’s brought us together lo these many years – striped marlin.

They’re heeeeeere …

The first marlin of the season was released on Saturday. Todd Phillips and his TONNAGE crew were 5 miles east of the 289 when a white cedar plug caught the eye of a marlin. It quickly switched to a drop back bait, and angler Billy Grisham fought the estimated 175-kb fish to a clean release. Well done, TONNAGE – you’ve got the first spot on the 2014 Release Board.

This fish is a reminder of something we see every season – folks fishing tuna but stumbling into marlin. The difference is that these guys had a proper rig set up for the possibility and as a result got the job done. You never know when or even if you’ll get a shot, so you have to be prepared.

One more thing the TONNAGE fish does is make it easier to do a mea culpa for missing the first fish of the season. Back on July 3, while I was celebrating my birthday and eligibility for retirement, Jimmy Linville landed a 185-kb baitfish on the 181. You know that we don’t tend to celebrate dead marlin here at SCMO, but this was the first SoCal marlin of the season, making it worth mention if not necessarily praise.

I was finally able to pull an SST chart tonight and while the picture wasn’t pretty enough to display here, the results were pretty clear. There’s a pool of cutoff warm water filling the SoCal bight from the east end of Catalina to the east end of Clemente and back to within a couple of miles of the mainland. That certainly explains the wide distribution of fish we’re seeing, many in places that make you do a double-take. For example, I was raised hearing stories of catching bluefin tuna off Ship Rock on the inside of Catalina – this weekend, boats were catching 30-lb BFT while transiting home from the Isthmus! I don’t know if it’s the El Nino or the cutoff or just damn good fishing, but the time to be on the water would seem to be now.

Rumor has it it’s gonna get hot later this week – really hot – and that always has an impact on the offshore conditions. We’ll look at that and how it might impact your float plan on Thursday, as well as take another peek astern as we continue this Victory Tour that is the 2014 Fishing News. See you then!

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