| This trip was for the 2017 lobster opener at city of Avalon, Santa Catalina Island, Southern California, USA, North America and Earth!
It had been several years since I had fished with Burger (Jason) and Redkorn (John) at Catalina. We decided to do it at the opener to renew some old memories and make new ones.
1-Picture from 2011 outing.
Don’t seem to be able to enlarge the picture. My beard is different and John has a beard now.
Saturday September 30, 2017
I missed my usual 6:00 AM departure of the Catalina Express Catamaran boat due to alarm clock issue. Fortunately being weekend, the next boat was leaving at 7:15 AM. It turns out the guys were taking that boat too. However, neither of us knew that the boat would be a single haul; small boat that usually travels from San Pedro to Avalon.
Due to lack of ramp width I had to remove some items from my dolly and hand carry them making two trips to the boat. Due to safety reasons, captain’s permission must be obtained to leave the boat once on board. No problems, since I am sort of known due to my frequent trips and perhaps big load.
The ride over was relatively smooth, and with aide of my Relifband gadget, there was no seasickness issues. It did take longer than Catamaran to get to the island for additional half an hour, but we did not mind.
After all we had the whole day to wait for the sunset to put our nets in the water. Since the Mole is no longer available for hoop netting, the Green Pleasure pier is the only place to hoop net on the island without the boat.
However, space is limited at that pier, so we went straight to the pier and claimed spots to put our net. I actually put one net in the water right away, and fished with one rod all day.
It was very foggy when we left and arrived at the island, but soon the fog was gone and it became rather hot. I even put out my umbrella to fish under it. It did help somewhat. During the two day outing the weather changed many ways from hard wind to calm. It was the usual Catalina weather system.
I setup one rod for bait fishing and did not bother to cast for bonito inside the harbor. The bait was anchovies and market shrimp.
I caught a lot of bass, one opaleye and one wrasse. An exactly 12” sheephead fell for the market shrimp as it was planned and later was given away along with the opaleye.
2-Water was very clear, especially close to surf line.
3-I though Ken Jones would like to see this.
As it got dark, we put out our nets (my second). I had the hot net of the night. In about one hour, I had (6) legal lobsters by 8:00 PM! The seventh and the biggest did not show up until 10:00 PM. Therefore, I had the guys use my nets for the rest of the night. They ended up with (2) and (3) legals respectively.
There were three other hoopers that also got limits. I am not sure, but I think one couple had (5) hoop nets for one permit. Perhaps mistaking for boat regulation. We did not discover it until they left.
When we all did the first pull, me and John had two shorts each. That was an excellent sight, since it meant they are under the pier.
4-One of the first pulls of the night.
We stayed up all night and without much wind the weather was nice. I even had to remove my windbreaker when the legals start coming in and got excited.
Sunday October 1, 2017
Around 5:30 AM, I moved to the Mole and set up a bonito rod.
As the sun came up, I started to cast. Conditions were very favorable for catching bonito.
However, for the 3rd time the early hour bonito fishing was not successful. Once more after a few mid-day hookups, most showed up after 3:30 PM.
Burger and John joined me at the Mole and later took the first boat back home.
5-Finally some nice bonito were caught.
There were anglers at the Mole, and even a member of PFIC. He caught some bonito while casting about 1/3 further than my casts.
We saw boils and made casts and got double hookups. He gave me some, and in turn I gave them away.
I did not try bait fishing and only made casts for bonito.
I took the 7:30 boat home and the crossing was very smooth. Got home around 10:00 PM and hit the sack.
It was another memorable trip to the island.
P.S. Just got a call from a local friend that last night he got only two shorts from the same place.