Two Harbors - Catalina


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Anyone have any experience fishing here? Everyone takes the ferry to Avalon but I don't think I've heard anything about Two Harbors...


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Fishing at Two Harbors is certainly "interesting". I've fished there a couple times at different times of year, spring, early summer, and late summer/fall.

The frontside of the island has hit or miss fishing for whitefish and sheephead off the rocks close to the campsite and the northwestern shore of Isthmus cove. I usually like to fish cut squid or shrimp on a single dropper loop (to avoid snags). You will often find opaleye anglers fishing the rocks near the campsite; they usually have decent luck, but they are using specialized tackle and baits. I've had the most luck fishing here during the spring, while during the early summer it's usually just slow overall, with more bat rays and the occasional soupfin showing up on the sandy bottom closer to the campsite. During the late summer/fall, bottom fishing is at its worst, but pelagics begin showing up, mostly barracuda and bonito, but I've seen a couple yellows. Live bait is hard to come by and keep alive on the rocks, so I usually just fish a jig then.

Cat harbor has a very different environment than the rest of Catalina, and is more reminiscent of mainland harbors, with the same fish, including halibut, all three species of bass (I don't know how the spotties got there but they're there), and croaker, with the occasional barracuda thrown in. On the northwestern shoreline, I like to fish past the floating docks, while on the southeastern shoreline, past the Del Rey Yacht club. There is also very good leopard shark and shovelnose fishing on the southeastern shore before the Del Rey Yacht club, if you're into that. There usually aren't any baitfish, and when they are present, its micro bait, usually tiny anchovies.


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Thanks for the info. I read the old reports but it just seems like it's frequented nowhere near as often as Avalon... was wondering why that might be.


Well-Known Member
Thanks for the info. I read the old reports but it just seems like it's frequented nowhere near as often as Avalon... was wondering why that might be.
To get to any of the spots mentioned there is a lot of walking, to get to the campsite from the ferry landing is a half mile uphill hike, and to get to Cat Harbor its a similar distance. The spots, especially on the frontside, aren't particularly accessible, requiring more hiking through cactus and brush-choked trails with risk of falls. Additionally, the ferry schedule to Two Harbors is significantly limited, the earliest boat leaves 9 am, and the latest leaves at 4 pm, requiring an overnight stay at the campsite, which is the only reasonably priced lodging in the area. Especially during the spring, there are a lot of bugs, both mosquitoes/whatever other small biting flies are around and hordes of angry yellowjackets. Additionally at nighttime, there are these nasty scavenging isopods on the beaches that will literally eat you alive. All in all it's not exactly as hospitable or convenient as Avalon, but it's certainly worth visiting at least once.


Senior Member
Here is an old post that I found. The prices mut be higher now I would think.


The small rooms at the village are only available in winter, when there is less staff on the island.

Thus, camping is one way to stay. There is a house, but I don’t have information on it.

The trip can be done many ways once you get there. I will give you what I paid for an example.

Catalina Express---$70.50 for under 55 years of age. $66.00 for over 55 years. Round trip of course.

Mine was free due to the birthday promotion.

Parking--$15/24 Hr. period. You can save by getting a ride like Burger and RedKorn did. I paid $60.00.

Lodging—There are (13) tent cabins (the kind that we had) which include lantern, stove and propane gas.---$50.00/night plus $21.00/night/occupant.

Since it was four of us, it costs us each $25.00 plus $42.00. Would have been less if there were two more of course.

It sleeps six (6). Cots and mattresses are included.

Linen--$15.00/night. We used our own sleeping bags.

There is a charcoal B.B.Q grill unit for cooking if one wishes.

Firewood $9.00/bundle—Don’t forget the lighter fluid.

Showers--$.50 for 90 seconds.

Cabins--$50.00/night/two bunks. Friday-Sunday. $40.00 M-TH showers included.

Linen--$15.00/night. I will use sleeping bag again on my next trip in November.

There are (42) campsites that one brings everything. Those go for $21.00/night/occupant.

Food—Menu for breakfast, lunch; average $8.00 for dinner $10.00-26.00 or so.

Food quality—above average.

Cabins have a community Gas B.B.Q, stove as well as Microwave unit for all to use.

General Store has pretty much everything needed to make your own meals if so desired.

I figure that on vacation, I will let the cooking to someone else.

Fishing license required if planning to do any surf fishing.

It is best to call the reservation office @310-510-2800 as early as you know that you want to go.

Boat reservation should be done at the same time.

For additional questions you can call 310-510-4205

Hope it answered your question.

Hope it helps,



Senior Member
Anyone have any experience fishing here? Everyone takes the ferry to Avalon but I don't think I've heard anything about Two Harbors...

Here is everything you want to know about Two Harbors.

I hope it answers your questions. The only problem with going there is that there are not too many boat trips. Only one I think. Call them to be sure.

The Mole in Avalon is also a great one day trip, if you do not want to stay overnight.

Hope you have fun and good fishing.

Hashem aka Mahigeer at[/color]


Two Harbors, Catalina. 3/23/2012.Very long and informative.


This is a scouting/recon report about the Two Harbors in Catalina. It has fishing as well as other topics, like lodging and camping information.

As usual it is very detailed to be used in future to rekindle old memories when the Alzheimer’s sets in!!

I took an advantage of the promotion given by the Catalina Express with providing a round trip to Catalina; free of charge.

It required travelling on one’s birthday to the island, but the return could be within 30 days.

Skipper Jones and I had talked about going to the Two Harbors many times. However, due to shortage of lodging there, our schedules never allowed it.

I figured I will give it a try this time.

I took a chance and called the reservation office at the Isthmus Harbor. Melissa at the office was a great help to answer all of my questions, book the reservation and help us if we needed.

She was actually on our boat, but I had no idea that it was her. Up to then I had only contacted her via phone and Email.

The only lodging available was a tent that had six (6) cots in it.

I sent out PMs to friends. Burger and RedKorn said yes. Burger brought his dad too.

I think the name Two Harbors must have been derived from the fact that there are two harbors within 15 minute walking distance from each other. Isthmus harbor and Cat Harbor.

They are sort of back to back.


There was only one boat going to the island, and it was departing at 4:05 PM. No getting up at 3:15 AM on this trip. The best part was that it was the big Catamaran from the

Long Beach terminal and not the small single hull boat out of San Pedro.

The return boat left the Isthmus harbor at 2:20 PM on Sunday, and it was the smaller single hull one.

Summer schedules may be different.

To be sure I had room on the boat; I made reservation long before the trip. I even made for the guys to be sure they have a spot.

On the way to the Catalina Express terminal in Long Beach, via the Paul’s Bait and tackle in San Pedro to pick up ghost shrimp, I stopped at a small German village called Alpine Village.

1-The Goulash soup was great and filling, so I had to save the Lux and cream cheese for the island.

2-I had a scare when I saw a huuuuge crowd at the terminal with sleeping bags and backpacks.

However, it turns out that they just got back and not going to the Two Harbors. That meant I was first in line again.

Burger and his dad along with RedKorn joined me not much later.

3-The powerful jet engines were quickly moving us away from the mainland toward the island, once we passed the jetty at Long Beach.

I bought some playing cards on board and we played 21 during the crossing. Although I had taken my pills, I had to go outside to get some fresh air to make sure I did not get sick. It helped.

When we got there, the first order of the business was to register and get our tags for gear transport.

We also bought fire wood and later wished we had bought lighter fluid at the same time!

4-This truck transported all of our gear including the fire wood to the campsite and back to the pier. A $1.00 charge per item for round trip was well worth it.

My dolly including all of stuff on it was considered one item.

5-The small platform in front of the pier is where our boat let us out.

6-We endured some steep climbing on the way to our campsite. Fortunately we were traveling light.

We made the climb several times during the outing. It got easier as we got familiar to the climb and knew what to expect.

7-This spot was just below our campsite. We did not get to fish it. I will do it for sure next time.

8-There were only three tents available. We had this one. There were a couple behind us, and the third one was vacant.

Hind sight being 20/20, I should have moved to that one so I could sleep away from all of the snoring. It was like sleeping in a bear’s hibernation den!

I do snore as well. The second night I used my ear plugs, and was able to get some sleep.

9-A propane lamp and stove along with gas was provided as part of the tent rental.

The beds were comfortable and we saved money by using our own sleeping bags. $15.00/day charge would get you linen if you wish.

10-This tent had a roof problem and was not rented.

11-These are empty frames for the tents. I imagine they are setup in the summer.

12- Looking toward the mainland.

A potable water faucet and sink as well as Port-A-Potty units were close to our tent.

13-Looking west at a type of campsite that one brings everything.

Once we unpacked and settled, we took our fishing gear headed to the Plaza to get some dinner. The trail this time was downhill.

14-The only eating establishment in town at the Plaza. In the front they serve breakfast and lunch.

Very good food and reasonable for an island.

15-The only restaurant in town is also connected to the only bar in town. They serve dinner.

16-This is the only “watering hole” in town.

17-The happy campers after a nice dinner.

The ticket agent gave me a blue ribbon to wear that indicates it is my birthday. I thought maybe I will get some kisses, but no such luck.



After dinner, we went for our first fishing session. The platform was lit and rest of the island was dark, so we opted to fish there. It removed one more pier from my “to fish” piers list.

18- The crew is ready to do battle with whatever takes their bait!

Mr. Erick (Burger’s dad) caught a legal and a short calico bass. Burger caught some large chub mackerel. We saw a lot of bait fish, sea lions, dolphins and a small angel shark.

19-My only fish of the night. A short calico bass with ghost shrimp.

I toured the available facilities for future references.

20-As part of facilities was this laundry room with a cart full of used books to read while waiting for your wash to finish.

21-Clean coin operated showers.

22-Well worth the money to take a hot shower.

23-Clean bathrooms.

Around 1:00 AM we headed to our tent via the steep climb. Many short breaks had to be taken.


We were back in town around 9:00 AM.

24-The gang is getting ready in front of the Visitors office.

25-A nice breakfast got us started the right way.

26-The main Plaza of the town. Full of palms and other plants and trees.

27-Burger liked this huge plant. “Feed me Morris”.

We headed toward the Cat Harbor to do some serious fishing. Halibut was the target. Stories of 40 LBS barn doors were heard.

28-Looking south on the way to the Cat Harbor.

29-The Cat Harbor in the distance.

30-Lots of trees and greenery on the island.

31-Everybody is taking a picture of someone else. Burger just finished his shot.

We found a bench to put our gear on, and decided to fish that spot. The shovelnose guitar fish that were in the water had no idea that Mr. Erick has arrived.

32-We set up “shop” at this bench. Looking toward entrance of the Cat Harbor.

33-One of the many shovelnose guitarfish that Mr. Erick caught.

34-It is best to fish this place during the high tide. Our timing did not allow that. We saw many fish jumping, but could not ID them.

I was casting lures for halibut all day.

35-Mr. Erick had the SNGF dialed in. One after another.

36-One more time.

Burger kept one smaller SNGF to take home for dowaito to make a print from the fish.

37-This was another location that we fished. It was closer to the harbor entrance.

38-Water looking so clear.

39-Looking toward the closed end of the harbor.

40-Eel anyone. I know someone who is envious of this catch.

41-We are three wild and crazy fisherman from LA.

42-At the end of this peninsula, sits an abandoned building belonging to no one!!

43-We were told that this abandoned building belonged to the Catalina Yacht Club at one time.

Somehow it seems at the present, no one owns it.

44-It had a little pier that I fished from.

45-The entrance to the Cat Harbor. Very fishy, but with lots of kelp.

46-The water looked good, but it was kind of hard to get to it.

47-We took a rest on this bench and took in the view while having a snack.

48-Burger is scouting the area for sight fishing.

49-This is not a surface of the moon. It is a ghost shrimp bed.

50-Due to the low tide, we could see the entire area full of ghost shrimp holes.



Senior Member
Anyone have any experience fishing here? Everyone takes the ferry to Avalon but I don't think I've heard anything about Two Harbors...


51-Due to MLPA, no pumping of ghost shrimp is allowed.

52-Any direction has its own beauty.

53-The end of this bay had the large population of the ghost shrimp.

54-I would think that the high tide comes all the way to the grass, covering the vast ghost shrimp bed area.

55-I landed this 18” halibut with a calico color swimbait. A one before that got away.

56-RedKorn caught this sole (I think), or as he called it shole.

57-He asked me to release it.

58-We were told that this spot which was opposite of earlier spot, was a great place for halibut.

No takers.

59-Looking toward the closed end of the harbor.

60-Across the harbor, where we were earlier. I saw halibut jump out of water several times in front of a boat.

61-Mr. Erick caught and released a small bat ray.

62-The brown spot in the middle of the picture is a buffalo.

What did the buffalo say to his boy as he was leaving?

Around 6:00 PM, we headed to the restaurant for some well-deserved dinner. We had skipped lunch, so everyone was good and hungry.

63-RedKorn and yours truly spoiled ourselves and ordered a prime rib dinner. This was the smaller cut!

One more uphill hike after dinner and we rested for a while at our camp.

64-A Raki party before more night fishing on the second night.

65-After much hard work, we finally got the fire going with the help of our neighbors.

We eventually left for another night fishing session. Mr. Erick stayed behind to rest.

We fished the platform, but this time the only activity was a seal that was feeding. No bites.

One last hike of the trip with many stops and we were in bed. This time I used my ear plugs, and got some sleep.


It the morning we packed and left everything except the fishing gear to be picked up and transported to the pier.

We pretty much stayed at the café to have breakfast and stay out of the rain.

66-While we were waiting for the boat to arrive, Burger and I did some last minute fishing in the rain.

No takers, though the tide was very high.

Here is some more information about the Isthmus Harbor:

67-The staff at the only general store are very friendly and accommodating.

68-A very well stocked store.

69-Plenty of liquor if you so desire.

70-A small fishing section is there too.

71-Frozen food section.

72-Some frozen bait is also available.

The other lodging that is hard to get are the cabins. Here is some information about them.

73-This is the inside of the cabins that is available in winter.

74-It is very small, but I won’t be there to stay in the cabin except to sleep.

It also has a small refrigerator.

75-The seating area is out doors.

76-A community B.B.Q., stove, and a microwave are available for use by the cabin guests.

77-Not far from the Plaza either.

78-Free showers and clean bathrooms.

79-A nice little community.

Well I have to GO back. Thus, I reserved two cabins for two nights in November. This time I am traveling light. Staying at the cabin, eating at the restaurant.

80-A last look at the island before we leave.

81-Our camp at a distance.

82-Happy campers are sad to leave, yet glad to go home to the comfort of their residence.

I will be picking up some new gear that will make the outing even better.

It will be hard to wait, but anytime I have a bad day, I will imagine standing at the banks and fishing.

I hope the report will give you an idea of what to expect if you so desire to go there.

The End.


Senior Member

color=green]Some of you may recall back in March I along with Burger, his dad and RedKorn went to the Two Harbors and stayed in the tent cabins. Here is a link to that report.

At that time I made reservation for rooms that are only available when the staff leaves for the winter break. This time instead of Burger’s dad, it was Mike and Ken.

Ken had never been there before, and has been talking about going there for few years.

I finally decided it was time to do something about it. Thus I reserved three rooms just in case.[/color]

Two Harbors, Santa Catalina trip.

The name Two Harbors refers to the two back to back harbors on the north side of the island.

Isthmus Cove and the Cat. Harbor. The combination of the two is summed up as Two Harbors.

Friday November 2nd, AM.

When I arrived at the San Pedro terminal after picking up some ghost shrimp for myself and the crew, it was 7:00 AM. The boat would leave after 9:00 AM.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the beautiful terminal for the Catalina Express.

1-There is a newly built terminal for the Catalina Express at the San Pedro Harbor location.

Lots of lighted trees at night to provide magical scenery.

2-It has been opened for only a month.

3-Inside of the terminal resembles a high class hotel lobby.


5-A first class reception counter.

6-Eventually this will be a well-stocked food stand.

7-There is an inviting watering hole too.

8-They had a full size, operational plane of this model at the airshow, at the Avalon recently.

9-The 1500’ Vincent Thomas Bridge is being repaired.

10-Our version of the Golden Gate Bridge.


12-The Battleship Iowa.

13-Leaving the San Pedro Harbor.

14-A nice contingency of firefighting boats.

15-The crew on the boat.

Our first stop was Avalon, then off to the Two harbors. We purposely chose the longer route so we could see the side of the island.

16-We never see these views of the island when we go to the Mole in Avalon.

18-There was a huge pod of dolphins swimming parallel to the Island.

19-It was very hard to capture them in midair.

20-There was maybe a dozen or so going to the Two Harbors from Avalon.

21-In the bow of the boat there were some bar stool style seats. It provided for a scenic view point of the island.

22-This small island is called the “Bird rock”.

It is in the MLPA zone. Apparently some divers were ticked for taking game there. From an underwater F&G agent!!

23-We are almost there.

This was the second time that I would be fishing this location. Last time the ¼ mile uphill hike to tents was not easy. This time we were in the Plaza (see the past report for more information) and in small rooms next to facilities and showers.

24-The campground where we stayed last time is on the hills.

25-A closer look at the campground. The green tent cabins have six (6) bunk beds in each.

26-This is the area that we did not get a chance to fish last time we were there. It is called a Little Fisherman’s Cove

27-We are approaching the floating dock to moor and get off the boat.

After check-in and a relaxing meal at the only place in town, I headed to a place that was below our camp the last time I was there, but could not fish it.

28-On the way to the Little Fisherman’s Cove, I saw what looked like a flock of quails.

I set up on a rock and used one rod with ghost shrimp on a baitrunner setup. With the second rod I tried various lures, but no one was responding.

29-Looking at the south end of Little Fisherman’s Cove.
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Anyone have any experience fishing here? Everyone takes the ferry to Avalon but I don't think I've heard anything about Two Harbors...

30-Looking north toward the town.

31-The rocks here look very fishy, but I only had a couple of small hits.

32-Later I moved north on some rocks and caught this small Calico bass.

33-Later I caught this 16” 0r so Giant kelp Fish. IMG][/IMG]

Friday PM

I went to the pier and put out one hoop net. I also did some fishing, but it was not very productive using a reverse dropper loop rig.

34-A picture does not do justice to capture the beauty of a red/yellow moon.

35-My first calico with net. I had an eel, some small crabs and several red rock crabs.

Saturday November 3rd, AM

36-A peaceful early morning scene at the Isthmus Harbor.

37-Same view, later in the day.

38-The greenery at the Plaza is well kept and very pleasing to the eye.

39-Water soooooo clear.

40-The California State fish, Garibaldi.

41-A lonely Opaleye.

42-What are a bunch of Opaleye fish are called? A school of Opaleye?

We spend the day fishing from a floating dock at the Cat. Harbor.

43-The beginning of the Cat. Harbor.

44-I really liked the “Yankee ingenuity” of this old sea captain.

45-A solar charged, battery operated, electric motor run dingy.

He does not have to dish out $8.50 for a gallon of gasoline on the island.

46-One of the several Opaleye that I caught.

47-Most of our neighbors were divers.

Saturday, PM

Later at night we fished the pier as the night before.

48-A small horn shark that was caught on Saturday night.

We also targeted and caught many mackerels for bait. RedKorn and I were planning to go back to Avalon and spend the Sunday night there hooping.

Sunday November 4th, AM

49-I was glad to see there was law enforcement team at even this remote place.

50—Another Opaleye caught on Sunday.

51-Fishing under this ramp kept the hot sun off most of the day, but it was hard to fish with all the ropes underneath and the ramp up above.

But that was where the fish were hanging out.

I fished the pier until 2:00 PM, when I went to the room and packed to get ready for the 4:15 departure.

After packing, we just relaxed at the patio and enjoyed a relaxing drink.

52-A nice patio to relax and have a drink and swap fish stories.

53-This is also a nice watering hole to get a drink.

RedKorn and I were very disappointed that due to a computer glitch, we could not go to Avalon and came home as originally planned.

It was a good trip, though next time I will be taking my scuba gear and minor fishing gear.

The End.

Can you figure it out?

This is one of the two entrances to a kitchen area.

54-There is something wrong with this picture. Something that does not make sense.