|Note No. 1. Two record fish were caught in the cove. For more than 30 years, the state record sheephead was a fish weighing 28 lbs. 14 oz. that was taken in Paradise Cove on December 6, 1978. In 2009 that record was broken by a sheephead that was caught in Newport Beach weighing 30 Lbs. 8 oz. For twenty-five years, the state record for a Pacific bonito was a 22 Lbs. 3 oz. fish taken in Paradise Cove in 1978. Today the record is listed as a 22 Lbs. 5 oz. fish caught in 2003 at the “181 Spot.” Not sure why the smaller fish is now the record.
Note No. 2. Local legend has it that a local angler one day hooked a nearly 600-pound giant (black) sea bass while fishing near the pier in a skiff. Supposedly the huge fish did an imitation of the marlin in The Old Man and the Sea and pulled the skiff nearly fifteen miles to near the Santa Monica Pier. At that point a local lifeguard used scuba gear to tell him what he had hooked (perhaps he thought he had a submarine?) and he decided to cut the line on the illegal fish. Now that is a fish story.
Note No. 3. Marlin from a pier? Well, not exactly. The following report details how a marlin came close to the pier and was captured. The marlin was probably sick and I am a little surprised someone would have it mounted given the method of capture.
Here’s A New Twist on How to Land a Big Marlin
Jim Overfield of Pacific Palisades saw a surface disturbance on the edge of the kelp bed in front of the Paradise Cove pier while paddling around on his 11-foot Styrofoam sailboard last Sunday.
A closer look disclosed it was a marlin, apparently chasing anchovies.
As a crowd of 400 sunbathers watched, Overfield herded the fish to the beach and when a wave washed it ashore a half-dozen spectators pulled it up on the sand.
Among those helping to subdue it with a gaff was George W. Tuess II of Pacoima, who bought a boat this year to fish for marlin. But after burning $800 worth of fuel, Tuess was still marlin-less.
Overfield presented the 9-foot-6, 185-pound marlin to Tuess, who is having it mounted.
—Los Angeles Times, September 13, 1974
Note No. 4. Another interesting fish was a yellowtail captured in the cove in 1958. It’s not recorded what happened to the fish. We can hope that it was rereleased.
A yellowtail tagged at Cedros Island in September, 1955, during a department D-J research cruise, was recaptured at Paradise Cove last February 15th after 882 days at liberty. The distance moved, 407 miles, is the longest recorded for a tagged yellowtail and the recapture site is the northernmost point of return to date.
—San Rafael Daily Independent Journal, November 18, 1958
Note No. 5. Paradise Cove is reputed to be one of the “recurring locations” in California for great white shark sightings and attacks (although the only known fatality at the cove was a kayaker killed in 1989).
Offshore from Paradise Cove the Monterey Bay Aquarium set up a 4 million-gallon mesh, floating pen where captured great whites were held pending their (1) release or (2) shipment to the aquarium. The practice engendered both support and criticism as well as the following joke: (Q) What do you call the paparazzi at Paradise Cove? (A) Chum.
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