Catalina mini-GTG 5/31/2019

Mahigeer

Active member
#1
As soon as I saw the post by Adam (baitfish) that they are coming as a family for a visit to Catalina Island, I had to meet and fish with them.


After all, Adam and Rebecca, were the original hosts of the Catalina GTG back in 2006 when it was my first trip to the GTG. After they left for Florida, Ben took over and finally I was given the honor of hosting.


On Friday, I took the early boat and later Ross (Gordo Grande) and finally Adam and family arrived on Catalina Express.



1-I was even earlier than my usual time, around 4:30 AM.

This time the Catalina Express boat was not at the usual gate 3 as it normally does. This made it the second time for me to go from Gate #1.






2-Adam’s lovely daughter landed the Opaleye that I had hooked by herself.





3-Adam lives to his Web name baitfish.





Actually he is a very experienced angler.




4-Adam’s artistic photo shot.






5-We enjoyed a meal at our usual hangout in Avalon, Antonio’s. Home of “mama’s day old spaghetti”.






After dinner I was too tired to pack and un-pack my cart, so I just went with a new toy to keep Adam company while he was fishing the Green Pleasure Pier (GPP). Ross had already left for the mainland.




6-I tried my new underwater light which was purchased for ice fishing.





7-The light spread made it possible to see a lot of fish.






8-Adam at his happy place. The “Ken Jones corner” on GPP. He caught a lot of bass with swimbait and a small piece of squid.






9-Many visitors pass by this little cave and do not notice it. It took me years before I saw it.








Arcadian arrived on early boat on Saturday and fished with us all day.


At one point he saw a lot of boils, and we started casting for bonito.


10-Arcadian with his first bonito.






11-Here was mine which was hooked not long after Arcadian.





Arcadian had one rod with fillet of fresh bonito straight down the railing, and …….


12-First Big Calico bass caught by Arcadian.





We would alternate between casting and bait fishing. Arcadian hooked another bonito on his first cast!



13-The third bonito caught by Arcadian was even bigger.






I believe a whole squid was the bait for his second calico bass.



14-The best catch of the trip was this calico bass by Arcadian.






Around 5:30 PM, we left Arcadian to fish at the Mole and went to our perspective hotels to clean up for dinner.



15-We had a nice dinner the night before Adam and family were leaving the island.






Too tired to night fish, so after having a nice conversation and catching up with Adam, I went to Hermosa Hotel to rest for next day.


Next day Adam and family left on the first boat. I on the other hand, spent the whole day fishing at the GPP.



16-On the way to the pier, I noticed this new addition to the island. It was in front of the library.






On the pier I setup one rod with single hook for bait and one with float and single hook for peas as bait.

The squid was ignored by the fish, but they devoured the old frozen anchovies.



17-One of the possible 50-60 Calico bass that I landed on the Green Pleasure Pier.






18-There were other species caught too. Like this rock wrasse, as well as sheephead and whitefish for example.






Usually on my Catalina trips something unusual or different than before happens. Well this time it started with a disaster, but ended up……you have to keep reading.



19-I had my rod resting against the railing with a green cast-a-bubble hanging and a feathered hook (fly) hanging below it. Since it was not in water, I did not have the rod in a holder.





I was about 30 feet away fishing, and saw a!@##$%^*%$##%^&**(*$#@@@!%^&* seagull take something of the rig. Perhaps a realistic looking fly resembling a baitfish and flow toward the water.

Low and behold my 10 ft. rod and a large reel all went over the railing, and into the water.

After closing my dropped jaw, I ran over to see where the rod was. Well, the water was clear, but too dark due the position of afternoon sun. However, I could see the green bubble.

I devised a heavy lure and hook and proceeded to jig for snagging. After a while, I managed to hook something and I saw the bubble start to come up. Then suddenly it came off. This time the bubble went down and no longer was visible.

I would not give up a $500.00 setup that easy, so I kept jigging.

Not much longer my rod felt heavy, but it came up slowly. That was a great feeling. Then the bubble appeared followed by glimpse of reel and finally the rod appeared. It was in two pieces, but the line was intact, so everything came up together.



Hurray.



A fresh water rinse at the bathroom was my only option, and time will tell if the reel would be fine.



Later in the day I saw a sheriff putting hand cuffs on a man. A young boy and a young lady were sitting waiting to be searched. I heard there was a tip and sheriff was waiting for the boat to arrive.



20-In the distance you can see three sheriff deputies are walking away. They had a guy in handcuffs. Possible drug bust.





As usual it was a great trip to the island for me. Seeing the Adam and the girls and his lovely wife made it better than normal trips.



Hope to see them in Florida in a future date. Report to follow!





THE END.
 
#2
That's some great fishing. I should have waited for just a couple days to go so that I could have met you guys and have gotten on the bonito bite.
 
#4
its was awesome always have a blast, i saw a 400 plus Black sea Bass swimming where we fishing, then another person saw it like an hour later, never came back after 11am, bonito bit between 10 to 12, stop dead then. I still had fun, was good seeing Mahigeer and Adam, and his daughter. very cool.
Til next time!!
 

Reel Newbie

Active member
#5
Nice! Thanks for the report. Now I’ll have to pack some bonito gear as well. Guess in the end, the entire tackle box will be going with me. Probably can’t bring bait along. Any way to get cheap bait on the island? Also was it incoming or outgoing tide when the bonito started to hit?
 

Red Fish

Active member
#6
A very comprehensive report! Looks like everyone had a great time. A treat to see Adam, Rebecca, and their daughter as well as David and Ross! Always liked Antonio’s! You guys did as well as Dan Hernandez does fishing the front side of the island on charters.
 
#7
Nice! Thanks for the report. Now I’ll have to pack some bonito gear as well. Guess in the end, the entire tackle box will be going with me. Probably can’t bring bait along. Any way to get cheap bait on the island? Also was it incoming or outgoing tide when the bonito started to hit?
you can bring bait, as long as it dead, hahaha but yeah you can bring any bait, i dont see an issue there, just certain type of coolers but you can ask ahead of time, ive seen some weird stuff being hauled to catalina, so go for it!!!!
I think the tide was incoming at that time i have to check the tide times, but the water was flat, I also walk down the southern part of the mole and some kids were fishing with shiny jigs and catching some short barracuda, so yellowtails are not far behind!!!
 

Reel Newbie

Active member
#9
Don’t think I can bring bait aboard a cruise ship I mean, guess the fish’ll have to eat boiled peas and shrimp cocktails. Making landfall in Catalina island on the 11th and then heading down to Ensenada. Guess I’ll just have to try with a few jigs and popping corks. Anyone fish in Ensenada before?
 
#10
Don’t think I can bring bait aboard a cruise ship I mean, guess the fish’ll have to eat boiled peas and shrimp cocktails. Making landfall in Catalina island on the 11th and then heading down to Ensenada. Guess I’ll just have to try with a few jigs and popping corks. Anyone fish in Ensenada before?
oooh a cruise ship. well that i dont know, if you pack it in ice, or those frozen ice packs, even double bag it, the smell, i would be worried about. the pier and stores have ice, i dont think the deli has ice but most liquor stores have ice. i dont think they'll check for bait in your bag, it might smell, but i dont think they will care.
 

Mahigeer

Active member
#11
Reel Newbie: I hope you see this post in time. Forget about tide.

For what is worth, here is my recommendation:
If you want to fight bonito, just stay on the Mole and cast any 3-4 oz. lure as far as you can. For top water action, Cast-a-Bubble and feather is the best. Thus, take rod and reel that helps you cast far.
Tide does not matter; sunny days have been better than overcast for me.
Your chances are low, but if you hook one, the fight is great.

If you want to play with a lot of fish, go directly to the end of Green Pleasure Pier (GPP). The boat rental kiosk and a new souvenir shop (owned by the rental place next door) which are on the pier have squid and anchovies. Get anchovies, use the head for chum and cut the body in half. Please discard the plastic knife and the bag that they give you properly. Thanks.

Use a high-low or a float rig. With peas, very small hook that can be buried in three peas.

If you want peas or ice go to the new Vons. Liquor store on the same street that ends in pier may have ice, but no peas.

Don’t make it too difficult to have fun.


P.S. This is my theory without proof. When the cruise ships anchor in front of the Mole, the bait fish may find refuge under the big structure (ship). That keeps the predatory fish close to the ship and too far from the casting ability from the Mole.

Recommendation: Forget bonito and fish the GPP.

Tight lines, and please post no matter what the fishing conditions.
 
#12
Alright, thanks! I guess I’ll just try to figure it out as I get there, maybe fish the mole first and sightsee around that area. Ill probably head back to the gpp when it’s about time to return to the cruise. Figured that no home made food might as well include bait. Probably not worth arguing with the cruise line. Boarding tomorrow, wish me luck.
 
#15
Due to Doris Day’s passing recently, the movie channel has been showing her movies.

I saw this movie a while back and noticed the scenes in Avalon. Toward the end if you stop the video, you will see the Mole is missing. 1966/76 release.


Here is the whole movie with sub-titles in a different language.


Catalina scenes:

0-2:57 41:30-44:38

Just a walk through memory land.
 

Red Fish

Active member
#16
Don’t think I can bring bait aboard a cruise ship I mean, guess the fish’ll have to eat boiled peas and shrimp cocktails. Making landfall in Catalina island on the 11th and then heading down to Ensenada. Guess I’ll just have to try with a few jigs and popping corks. Anyone fish in Ensenada before?
If you can bring food on, you can bring bait. But you have the job of icing it the entire time.
You can buy fishy bait at Catalina and I am sure you can buy bait fishy bait at the fisherman’s wharf in Ensenada. Catalina, it’s more obvious where to fish (the Mole/GPP).
I was on a comedy cruise that a buddy was putting on (Leslie Jones from SNL was a virtually unknown comic in the line up). I fished Ensenada from a half day boat from the landing and didn’t do well. Caught white croakers. The one other guy aboard the Mercruiser 24’ boat caught a sand bass and a calico. I didn’t really know what to fish for so I was fishing a little big. Some smaller gear and B52 buck tails tipped with squid or swim baits would of done better. There were no live sardines offerings. Thinking now, I would have probably insisted on taking some time to sabiki up some bait.
Your biggest dilemma would be a successful catch if you don’t have a good cooler with plenty of ice.
 
#17
Currently about to make landfall on Catalina island, no bait due to regulation and didn’t want to bother trying to talk it through security. Could have brought some of my brined shrimp and anchovies, but they’d probably tell me to throw it away before anything. Can’t bring any food off either. Guess I’ll just wing it
 

Red Fish

Active member
#18
Currently about to make landfall on Catalina island, no bait due to regulation and didn’t want to bother trying to talk it through security. Could have brought some of my brined shrimp and anchovies, but they’d probably tell me to throw it away before anything. Can’t bring any food off either. Guess I’ll just wing it
Wow, this is the world we live in now. I believe when I went it was before 911.
Sabiki and a fold up bucket or fish basket will get live bait. Or, catch bait and have another rig tied up and ready to go. Honestly, artificial can work just as good. Bucktail jigs tipped with squid or Krocodile spoons. Salmon spinners work extremely well too. Or, just a inline torpedo weight with two eyes, about 4’ of line and a cod or bonito fly at the end. Good luck! Swimbaits are a bonus too.