Catalina island trip packing

Reel Newbie

Well-Known Member
Going on a carnival cruise vacation at the beginning of June, around the 15th, and I’m thinking of bringing a little gear with me. I’m assuming that I’ll need to have a light setup for the small kelp bass and other stuff for fun at the mole, and maybe a medium setup in case there is bonito around. What specialty stuff should I pack? I’m thinking an abu 6501c3 on a 8ft medium action and a 3000 size Shakespeare on a 6ft 6 uglystik lite. Gear will be a few sabikis, a splasher rig, some metal jigs and a hi lo rig. Don’t think I can bring bait on the cruise, so I’m guessing the fish will like cooked peas and shrimp cocktail? Lol.


Senior Member
For bonito fishing, a rod and reel set up that would allow you to cast as far as possible. Cast-a-bubble is my favorite due to the action that can be seen. Mega bait and sinker/fly will work too but it is not as exciting to me. Of course you need to be lucky to have bonito around.

I will be there for four days ending June 3rd. Look for my report.

Next is a light rod with float and small hook for peas. The new huge Vons on the island carries frozen peas. Barbra at High Tide Trading store carries bait. Tell her you are on She also has limited fishing gear. If the boat rental place on the green pier is open, they carry squid and anchovies.

Hi-low setup is good as long as you don’t cast far and don’t let it hit the bottom close to the railing. If you must, plan on loosing sinkers/hooks and line!

On a side note: Many years ago, I took the same cruise, but did not hear about getting off the ship at Catalina. We spent a whole day moored there, but I stayed on the ship. I missed that opportunity and to this day it bothers me.

Sabiki is not too useful there.

Hope you have a great time.

Reel Newbie

Well-Known Member
Checked again, turns out my cruise leaves la on the 10th, reaches Catalina on the 11th. How long is the walk from the pleasure pier to the mole? Does a Walmart foam popping bobber with a wire segment work as a splasher? Also just saw this from the pleasure pier on YouTube. How irresponsible.


Senior Member
According to Google Maps, it is (6) minute walk from Mole to GPP. You are probably be dropped off the tenders at landing #4 or 5. Thus, it is even a shorter walk!

The video is an old one. Since you are not going to keep the fish (The ships don’t want you to bring on board due to health issue), there is no advantage in catching a bunch of fish each cast. Six hooks, is (6) possibility of snag.

Barbra carries Cast-a-Bubble usually. She opens at 9:00 AM, so if you want to use one before then, better take one with you. The foam one if it has lead inside of it for weight is fine.

You have limited time on the island. I think by 4:00 PM you must be on the ship. So depending when the first tenders leave the ship that is how much time for you to fish with no other sightseeing.

My recommendation is to make a short walk from the tender landing to the Mole and start casting for bonito. Especially if there are others who are casting for bonito. After maybe 10 casts and no action, start bait fishing, if you have bait. The Vons opens early. They may even have squid, but definitely have frozen peas. Alternate between casting and bait fishing. Keep an eye on the distance for bonito boil. If you see any, start casting.

Relax and enjoy the surroundings. Make the “catching” part a small part of the whole experience.