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August 15

The first full weekend of the 2005 marlin season is in the books, and thus far, I’d have to call it a draw … marlin win a few, man wins a few …

This will initially be a pretty short report, because I’m still collecting reports. Check back in a day or two for additional details.

We’ve mentioned a couple of times in the last few reports about how the marlin were riding the warm water up the coast and pushing the colder water offshore. That was certainly the case this weekend, as the majority of the action occurred within 15 miles of the beach.

The spots reporting the best action were the 178, the 267 (279 to you newbies) and the 14 Mile Bank, with the majority of the action coming at the 178. At least three San Diego boats caught striped marlin there yesterday, and I understand at least one was released. I also have an unconfirmed report of WILD BILL releasing one there on Saturday. That would certainly make sense, as they are much more likely to be the ones to find the spot. HOOKER worked the area today for naught.

If the 178 sounds unfamiliar, you might recognize it as the "Upper 9-Mile Bank". I guess one of the perks of being the site of the bite is to get a real name. It’s located at about 32.42 and 117.29, which is right on a line from Mission Bay to the 182. You probably drove right over it and never knew it’s name …

We also received reports of hookups at the 14-Mile Bank and 267, and fish seen at most of the inshore banks. This was one of those rare times when the fishing action was close to the beach, and fuel prices made it look particularly attractive. Even some of the boats famous for running offshore just to get away from the fleet kept close to home – and the fish. Of course, that doesn’t mean there was no point in heading out further … more in a moment.

So, did you see where my girl Rachel Wacholder and her partner Elaine Youngs won the AVP’s Huntington Beach Open yesterday? They knocked off the #1 team in the world, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh for the third time this year – all the more impressive considering those are the only three losses May/Walsh have this season. I know you were thinking this would get Rachel another pictorial turn, but I have a standing rule – only one picture per hottie per season. of course, if they win next week at the fabled Manhattan Beach Open, I just might have to make an exception. Keep your fingers crossed …

Oh, what the hell – it’s newsworthy. Here’s a little one …

Almost as cool: Mike Lambert and Karch Kiraly team up for the first time this season … and promptly win. Way to go, old man!

Things remain pretty much the same for the edible offshore species – dorado and yellowtail under the kelp but finicky, albacore sliding further away …

I’m happy to announce the arrival of the new SCMO spotter plane. After that little problem we had a couple of weeks back, we’re taking no chances this time and ordered something with two engines. I think we’re going to have to spring for a radio, though … dropping down low enough to point at the fish is becoming problematic …

An interesting bit of news that may have slid under the radar this weekend as most were hunting marlin – there was a lot of swordfish activity reported from San Clemente Island. Again, I don’t know of anyone actually hooking one, but a lot of baits were tossed to broadbill on both the inside and outside of the island. Lots of bait reported, too. Maybe running away from the marlin makes more sense than I thought …

We have a new InstaPoll this week. Unlike the earlier ones, this one is just to satisfy my own curiosity. We all use sea surface temperature charts as one of our tools in deciding where to fish; the question is where do you go to get your charts. Vote now and let me know!

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