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October 13

High fly ball into right field, she i-i-i-is… gone!!

Yes, we’re channeling our inner Vin Scully today, for a couple of different reasons. Want to know why? Stick around – it’s the Monday edition of the Fishing News!

(cue theme music)

Until a few hours ago, I thought the one who hit the home run was … me. The response to our Release Rules Rant has been overwhelming and 100% positive – the only ones who disagree at all are those who think it doesn’t go far enough. The Facebook page and Twitter feed have blown up, and my email box is stuffed (although I still can’t get anyone to talk about it at the Marlin Club … that rant will wait for another day). Several fishing clubs have approached me about adopting the SCMO Rules for their use, and I’m preparing to present it to the IGFA for consideration. Yes, I kicked some ass, and really thought I’d be the lead in my own Fishing News – something that hasn’t happened in over a decade.

Yes, a blue marlin in Avalon

That all changed when a blast from the past decided to make some SoCal fishing history.

You remember Team Bad Company? Anthony Hsieh’s hand-picked crew with the best of the best of the local marlin guys? He put them in a great boat with great equipment and they dominated the West Coast marlin scene for a half-decade. The economy and the marlin bite both went south a couple of years ago and the team went their separate ways … until today.

Steve Lassley pointed the nose of the latest version of BAD COMPANY – a pretty sweet ride, if you haven’t seen it – for a spot between Catalina and Clemente where the swordfish boats have been working recently. They were experienced at targeting the big stuff and their 130-lb class gear showed it. With that much talent – and that many gyros whirring – you know that if anyone was going to have success it would be them, and it didn’t take long – shortly after 8AM this morning, Anthony Hsieh landed a blue marlin that would ultimately tap out at 462-lbs on the Avalon Pier scales. It’s not a record – a 692-lber was landed back in 1931 – but it’s the first blue marlin anyone has seen in the parts for a very very long time.

As if the blue wasn’t enough action for them today, they also released a striped marlin and baited a swordfish!

Here’s the most amazing part of the story – Steve effectively called his own shot on Facebook last Friday …

Goin fishin Monday and Tuesday. Really fishin. If anybody has any dope on Willy……tryin to get way offshore. Sick looking conditions

You all know my feelings on dead marlin; it’s a measure of the respect I have for the accomplishment that I include the weigh-in shot for all to witness.

Smile, Logan!

October is traditionally the month when our season grinds to a halt – only once since we’ve started the reports has the season limped into November. But the season no one expected to see is giving no signs of even slowing down. Obviously it’s still going off at the east end of Catalina, but the bite to the south is just off the hook. I know ANDREYA released a pair down that way today, and HOOKER released a baitfish between the 178 and the north end of the 9-Mile Bank. Over the weekend, the 9 was hot for SNOOPER, whose crew released three, and SQUARED AWAY, which released a pair. The numbers down there right now are like a video game – I can’t keep up on the Release Board!

It’s worth noting that blue marlin aren’t the only exotics being caught in our waters. With today a school holiday, Logan Tom got a chance to fish with dad Jeff on BLACK FIN and made the most of it – here he is with his biggest fish ever, a 44-lb wahoo caught off Oceanside. Several more wahoo were caught over the weekend, with the 302 seeming to be the best place for those targeting them. I heard of a couple more spearfish being caught, although I’m still waiting for that first release …

For all the justifiable excitement over the fishing, it’s worth noting that this late in the season, even a small change in the weather could have a huge impact on the conditions. We’ve been lucky to not have any real winter storms form yet, and the cooling trend we’ll see later this week shouldn’t mean much of a change. “Shouldn’t” …

That’s going to do it for now. Thursday we’ll take a look at the upcoming Los Cabos tourneys and see how the region is recovering – and how the events are helping with that. We’ll also see what change if any our weather makes on the midweek fishing, and if I’m feeling brave we may even have a few words to say about the Dodgers and their aborted playoff run.

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