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September 9

Ah, tourney season …

This week, we start into the hardcore money tournaments and anglers lips are tighter than Angelina Jolie’s … well, lips. Wait a minute … what did you think I meant …

All the big guns – you know, those boats you never see or hear of until tourney time – are pre-fishing this week, and aren’t about to tell anyone where they are or what they find. Thank God for the MNAC!

We do have some new stuff to report. Tuesday, MNAC member Jim Bygrave on AMANTE released a marlin on the 125 off the west end of Catalina. Dope Alert – he reported seeing a "healthy population of marlin" up there.

Today, I know of two fish being released. Gary Massamino, fishing solo on ANDIAMO, released one on the 277 after detouring over the high spot on his way down the coast. I’d say that detour paid off, Gary! Also, Kathy Ecklund released a marlin this afternoon on HOOKER. The crew reports they were on their way into Cat Harbor when a marlin "tried to commit suicide on the short corner." Fortunately, we believe in tag and release, and the fish was sent on it’s way with nothing more than advice to get counseling.

With the tight lips in the fleet, info is pretty hard to get until the events start and boats are forced to report. (As an aside, when HOOKER was bit, they promptly put the numbers (08/33) on the air. I’ll bet you could hear the a$$holes pucker throughout the Catalina Bight …). Of course, we’re different. If I hear anything, I’ll post it in the War Room, and you should do the same. This is particularly true for those of you fishing the events who have access to the daily statistics.

First up is Rosie’s Marlin Tournament, followed on Monday by the Zane Grey. Of course, if you know Avalon, then you surely know Rose Cadman. She’s been a fixture at the end of the pleasure pier in Avalon for more years than I’ve been on this planet, and I suspect she’ll be there after I’m gone. Her event is a small one, with usually only 20 or so boats, but is a great way to honor a great lady.

As for the Zane, this is big money all the way. They still only pay lip service to releasing marlin, but it’s as big an event as you’ll see on the west coast. In years past, I’ve been able to provide daily updates in the War Room; I’m hoping to do the same this year.

Our thoughts and prayers are with our friends in South Florida as yet another hurricane bears down on them. This time, it’s name is Ivan, and he’s a Category 5 packing 140-mph sustained winds. This is a serious, no-screwing-around storm. If they tell you to go, go – you can always keep up with us on your laptop.

A lot of great fishing grounds are in the path of this behemoth storm – Islamorada, Marathon Key, Key West and many more. Here’s hoping Ivan takes the long way getting there. Remember – chin up, and head down!

I’m on the 2:00 boat out of Long Beach for Avalon tomorrow afternoon, so if you see a lost looking fisherman wandering the streets of Avalon, it’ll probably be me. No laptop this weekend, so I’ll be out of touch, but look for all the latest and a weekend wrapup right here Monday!

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