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Fishing News


August 21

Ignore the temps – looks for the breaks

Gotta hunch this is gonna be a short one because, frankly, I don’t have that much for you. But here comes what I’ve got …

(cue short form theme music)

We know from those who were there on Saturday and Sunday of last weekend that the water rolled up on the Osborn Bank and the bite seemed to go drop off significantly. But looking at the SST chart at right, conditions would seem to still be pretty attractive there. Yes, marlin have tails and yes, a couple of other areas on that chart look pretty tasty (extra credit if you can tell which). But it also makes sense that they would leave the area unless really pushed out of an area, and that little squall last weekend just wasn’t that much. Add to that the fact that TIGHT RIV out of Channel Islands released three yesterday near the 172, and I think were it me I’d resist the suction pumps of the closer areas and run back west. If nothing else, the ride home will be sweet. The Tuna Club will have their back to back Linen One and Charity Tournaments today and tomorrow, so hopefully we’ll get some reports out of those.

If you’re like me, you fondly recall Baywatch, the syndicated TV series that made a star of Pamela Anderson and made men coast to coast jealous of drowning victims. You remember the iconic images – red swimsuits, brown skin, white zinc oxide … clear silicone …

Where was I? Oh, right … lifeguards. Anyway, Baywatch was “based” on the exploits of the Los Angeles County Lifeguards, who established many of the techniques and procedures used by lifeguards worldwide. Their preeminence in the field might be no better demonstrated that with their 27-year winning streak at the United States Lifesaving Assocation’s National Lifeguard championships – a streak that was recently broken by a team from … New Jersey?

Yes, somehow the squad from Monnouth County, New Jersey topped the 64-team field to end the SoCal reign. LA County did take second, and team members took both the men’s and women’s individual titles, but it is little consolation. They’ll have a full year to think about what they need to do to start another streak …

The lifeguards may not have gotten it done, but at least the Golden Girl did, as Kerri Walsh Jennings and her partner April Ross outlasted Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat to win the AVP Manhattan Beach Open volleyball tournament for a record 7th time. Five of those previous wins came with her now-retired Olympics partner Misty May-Treanor, but this was her first with new teammate April Ross – a pairing that looks like it could be powerful for quite some time.

Yer doin’ it right …

It’s a shame that the same can’t be said for the AVP tour, which is frankly a shadow of itself. A decade ago, there’d be 15 or sep events, half here in SoCal, and the players – most of whom lived in the South Bay – reveled in a homegrown circuit. After the failure of the AVP a few years back and a subsequent resurrection under new management, the tour consists of seven events with only Huntington and Manhattan Beaches seeing the AVP land on their sand. Worse still, AVP events do not quality players for the Olympics, meaning they have to compete in FIVB events around the world – the top players in MB all had to catch a red-eye to Poland to complete there a few days later. Tough times …

I get a lot of people asking me how to tell which lures fish will like. My response is that they’ll like what they liked before, so look for the ones with evidence. You’ll find few better examples of a lure the fish obviously like than this Makaira Lures Lena model.

That’s it for now. Hopefully a full weekend of fishing will result in lots of news come Monday!

8 Years Ago …

August 24, 2006

For those of you who worry that the information found in these reports isn’t fresh enough, try this one on for size …

I spoke with the HOOKER crew this evening not 10 minutes before writing this report. They released two marlin this afternoon fishing off the Slide near 19/13. One fish came on the stinger, and another on a black/purple #1 beeper. They mentioned that at least ten fish had been released today, with ONO, BRAVADO and several others all scoring. When I spoke with them, they were still trolling the spot, so the count may have gone up again.

Fresh enough?

I had planned to begin the report with some stunning prose about how wonderful it was to get back on the water earlier this week, but now that I hear the boat’s scoring without me, all I want to do is sulk. But I can’t do that, because it’s time for … wait for it … the Fishing News!

Actually, I’m just glad to get through a week without a server crash …

For the last ten days, the bite has been centered a couple of miles off the eastern edge of Catalina, from the ferry lanes outside Avalon down to the Slide. It’s been the most consistent bite I’ve seen in this area in a couple years, and it shows no sign of stopping. There will be some savage pressure applied to the area in the next few weeks as the money tourneys arrive, so we’ll have to wait and see how it lasts. I’m lovin’ the fact that the fish are so close to home, though.

There are several other areas where marlin action is occuring, and boats prefishing the Churchmouse are sure to hit them in the next couple of days. MIRAGE was fishing between the 181 and 289 today and released three fish, prompting several boats to abandon the closer bite. There also continues to be chatter about marlin that have been seen along the string of banks behind Catalina from the 499 to the 267 to the 711. I haven’t heard any great number of fish being released there, though, and since you have to pass the closer fish to get there, I’d seriously wonder about anyone to made the run.

There are still dorado and yellowtail under many of the kelp paddies, particularly as you head south. The numbers seem down, though – it could be the water temperature, or it could be the number of boats hitting them pretty hard. Best bet it to try and find your own kelp early in the AM, but be prepared to share.

Swordfish being still being seen, and a lot of boats and planes have been working the same general area as the marlineers. You could hear several examples of stickboats being called in on swordies that just wouldn’t bite. They got the point, as it were …

I mentioned the Churchmouse tournament earlier – it traditionally marks the beginning of tourney season. There will be several events each weekend from now through the end of September. You can always get the latest info by checking out our Tourney Schedule; there are links to the event websites if they exist.

I have this love-hate relationship with the money events. I hate all the money in the sidepots, as that seems too much like betting and makes me wonder if the entrants are here because they love angling or love money. I also have heartburn with the whole dead fish wins thing, although credit must be given to the event organizers for taking solid steps to minimize the number of marlin killed.

This year, the event organizer was purchased by Anthony Hsieh, who owns the tourney boat BAD COMPANY. It will certainly be interesting to see the dance he has to do when his own boat dominates the events, as it did with the WCBRT earlier this year.

A much bigger story, though , will be the introduction of a true all-release event based at Catalina. The Avalon Billfish Classic is a 100% release event requiring circle hooks for all baitfish. I’ve banged on the drum for years about the need for someone to step up and organize such an event, and I applaud Offshore Tournaments for putting this together (although they should be sending a check to Chris Badsey and The Committee for giving them a blueprint with the WCBRT and shaming them into doing this one). I’d be happier if the prize money was on par with the Zane Grey and the Catalina Classic, but hey – it’s a start.

I’m on the beach this weekend, so when I’m not in the rose garden, I’ll be snarking for news. Keep an eye on the War Room, ‘cuz that’s where I’ll be posting anything I find.

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