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Fishing News


July 24

How you feelin’?

– Buster Poindexter, “Hot Hot Hot”

If you’re over 20, you know the answer to that and if you’re anywhere in SoCal, it’s what you’re gonna be this weekend. But let the others decide how the phrase applies to your looks or your social life, because if you came here, you don’t care. What you do care about is how it will affect your fishing. Stick around, because it’s a topic of discussion in this brand-new edition of the SCMO Fishing News!

(cue sweaty-sticky theme music)

Call it a hunch, but I think this is gonna be a busy weekend on the water. After the first local marlin of the year was released last Saturday, anyone waiting on the sidelines for some kind of a sign should be diving off the deep end this weekend. With the Mexican bluefin ban still in place, that limits the number of places you can go and focuses that much more fishing pressure on the north-of-the-border hotspots. You can pretty much assume that the popular numbers will look like a parking lot.

On the bright side, it sounds like it’ll be a gorgeous weekend. Often when it heats up on the beach, the weather over the offshore waters can be unsettled, but that’s not the case this weekend – nothing over 10kts before Monday. Whether you can find a place to throw the hook overnight with all the traffic is another story.

As I look back over the time I’ve been doing these reports, I’m struck by how much the tools used to gather information have changed. When I started, I was something of an outcast even for suggesting that information should be shared. I can’t tell you the number of times a slightly over-lubricated captain tried their best to explain why what I was doing was wrong. Fortunately for all of you, they usually lost their train of thought pretty soon. But that was the way it was – secret channels and late night phone calls were the way “dope” was passed to the fortunate few.

Now, of course, half the anglers in the fleet have a GoPro tacked to their foreheads and videos uploaded to YouTube before their heart rates return to normal. Many of those same captains now have adopted the technology they once scorned, shelling out money to websites that have taken the concepts we pioneered and pushed them to commercial success. And frankly, God bless them; when I look at BDOutdoors or FishTrack or any of the large commercial sites that have filled the need of information-hungry anglers, all I can do is feel pride in knowing that we blazed the trails that they have so successfully exploited.

Warm like your soaker tub

Another tool we have today that has truly changed the way we plan our trips is ready access to near-real-time sea surface temperature charts. Back when we were starting, all there was were a few hand-drawn isobar charts that were based more on predictions than fact, and were often days old. Today, of course, the combination of satellites calculating the temperatures and powerful computers crunching the numbers means that every website out there has their own SST charts for their members. Of course, the data is all the same, and there are a number of ways to run your own charts, like the Coastwatch ones we use here at the Home Office.

Speaking of CW charts, here’s one I ran earlier this evening, color biased to highlight some interesting features. That big hook of warm water off the east end of Catalina? It runs right down to the 209, which has been one of the hottest spots for fish as well as water. When you keep in mind that anything in that shot that is green, yellow or orange is at least 70 degrees, it’s not hard to understand why there is such a wide spread of fish being caught. Don’t discount that stripe of hot water just outside of San Diego, either – both the 9-Mile Bank and the 181 have been producers for weeks. Thinking maybe you’d rather take a chance instead of fishing in the fleet? Notice how the warm water heads off the west end of Catalina then hits a cold wall – any pelagics that venture out that way will stop in their tracks and stack up when they hit that break, which looks to be right around Santa Barbara Island

Sunday, the peloton of riders in the Tour de France will swing around the Arc de Triomphe and race down the Champs-Élysées, completing this year’s edition of the world’s greatest sporting event. So let me ask you – got any idea who’s winning? I didn’t think so. Truth is, even for the hard-core fan it’s hard to get news on Le Tour. Coverage this year is by the obscure NBCSN, which means good luck hearing about it on SportsCenter. In the wake of Lance Armstrong’s epic fall from grace, few broadcast entities seem willing to associate them with the event out of fear of being burned once again. Of course, the fact that the event’s two favorites, such as they are, both crashed out in the first ten days doesn’t help. For the record, after 17 of 21 stages, Astana’s Vincenzo Nibali has a nearly insurmountable lead of over seven minutes. To his credit, he’s won four stages, and it certainly isn’t his fault that Froome and Contador both ate pavement …

For our peek into the FN archives, we’re turning the knob on the Wayback Machine all the way over – we’re going all the way back to the beginning in 2000 … doesn’t really sound all that different than now, does it?

14 Years Ago …

July 24, 2000

As we had indicated last week, the season is truly upon us. That point was driven home by reports of both the first swordfish and first marlin of the season. First the swordies. Two swordfish were caught on the 289 on Saturday. Steve Bledsoe on NO EXCUSES got one to take a frozen squid, and subdued the critter after two hours. The fish weighed 228.5 lbs on the DAC scales. Meanwhile, back at the 289, Eric Grennan on TIGER SPIRIT was feeling pretty bad about losing a broadbill earlier in the day until a second sword took the bait. The battle lasted an hour an a half, and Eric’s fish weighed 302 lbs at the BAC dock. Steve mentioned that while he was fighting his fish, he could look off the stern and see Eric fighting his. Clearly a concentration of fish! We have a picture of Eric’s beast in the Galer’a and hope to have the same for Steve’s soon.

As you might expect, such a bonanza of billfish made the 289 look like a landrush as anglers sped out on Sunday to stake their claim. No other swordfish were landed, but Jimmy Kingsmill on WILD BILL spotted a tailer on their way in (no surprise if you saw him at the 7Strand seminar last month) and got it to take a fresh mackie. At the time of release, they were about 13 miles out of Dana Point, off the power plant domes. Earlier in the day, Eric Nelson on ONO had a chance to beat Team Kingsmill to the punch when he successfully baited a marlin in the same basic area (14 miles, 198 from Dana). Unfortunately, the fish was lost just prior to leadering. You’ll get’em next time, Eric!

Lest we forget, the tuna are still running. We got good reports of albacore catches from the 1010 trench, the inner Butterfly, and a spot about 8 miles south of the twin 220s. The numbers for that last spot are 32¡ 39′ / 118¡ 04′. Those are Hoose’s numbers, so blame him if you get skunked … :-) There were some bluefin reported at the 390 spot, along with the first decent dorado reports of the season, said to be stretched from the 9-Mile Bank up the coast almost into Dana Point.

It’s very exciting now that the season is heating up, and we’d like you to help us share the excitement of your achievement. Take a moment after the excitement wears off and write up your experience for our Tall Tales and True Stories section. It doesn’t need to be fancy, just what happened in your own words. Don’t worry – we’ll take care of the editing! Then, once the pictures come back, send them to us for the Galer’a del Pez so we can show the world what a great fish you caught. You can scan them electronically and email them to us, or send them to us here at the Home Office and we’ll scan them for you and send them back. It’s the successful trip trifecta – file your Trip Report, write a True Story and post your pic in La Galería!

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