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September 19

"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 …

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