It's that time of year when Southland ocean sportfishing operators turn their attention to the biggest critters of all, the annual southward migration of California gray whales.
Beginning in late December, most commercial sportfishing landings begin carrying whale watchers in addition to, on other boats, fishermen. Redondo Sportfishing, for example, offers whale trips twice daily starting today and continuing through April 5. The 145-passenger, double-deck "Voyager" carries passengers on 3 to 3 1/2-hour trips, narrated by American Cetacean Society members.
Fares are $8 per adult and $6 per child under 12. Weekday trips leave at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Weekend departures are 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
The Anaheim Sports, Vacation & RV Show makes its annual run Jan. 3-11 at Anaheim's Convention Center, with over 600 exhibitors signed up.
The show draws thousands of outdoors-oriented people in search of that ultimate fishing vacation in Alaska, Mexico, Canada, Rocky Mountain states or Costa Rica. Also scheduled are new products displays by manufacturers of recreation vehicles and fishing boats. A travel film and video show will be held every day, as well as fishing clinics.
Hours are noon-10 p.m. Saturdays, noon-7 p.m. Sundays, 2-10 p.m. weekdays.
The Department of Fish and Game says its annual trawl survey of small pelagic (open sea) fish species yielded encouraging results. The survey measured success of spawns in 1986.
The DFG said results were "very positive" for anchovies, Pacific hake, market squid and Pacific bonito. Young anchovies, the DFG said, were "stronger" than at any time since 1980. Results for young sardines and Pacific mackerel were not as encouraging. For the third consecutive year, sardines were seen less frequently and mackerel were down for the second straight year.
The study, done by state biologists Ken Mais and Ken Miller, consisted of 158 mid-water trawls at 4- to 5-mile intervals between Point Conception and San Diego over a 20-day period.
Showtime: Southern California Boat Show, Los Angeles Convention Center, Jan. 30-Feb. 8 . . . The Marina del Rey Anglers have announced the Marina del Rey Halibut Derby will be held March 28-29 . . . Bob Rawstron, chief of the DFG's fisheries division, has been awarded the Golden Trout Award by California Trout for being "the public official who has made the most distinguished and significant contribution toward the protection and improvement of wild trout, native steelhead and the waters which nurture them." Brian Daley of Diamond Bar won the recent Lake Havasu Classic Outboard World Championship . . . Utah's Department of Natural Resources says about 40% of all residents over 16 buy fishing licenses . . . Arizona's Game and Fish Commission is considering some no-wake zones on the Colorado River at Parker, Ariz., a popular water ski area . . . Arizona's Game and Fish Department has swapped some bighorn sheep with Texas' Parks and Wildlife Department for 106 Chihuahuan pronghorn antelope, which were released recently in the San Bernardino Valley area of Southeast Arizona . . . The Pasadena Casting Club hosts a beginning fly tying course at the Civil Defense Center in Pasadena, beginning Jan. 13, at 7:30 p.m.