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OUTDOOR NOTES / PETE THOMAS : Rod-Snapping Marlin Finally Is Brought In Through Team Effort

A Pasadena man and his partner from Boise, Ida., were recently involved in one of the more memorable battles of the year in waters south of the border.

Roy Coats, past president of the Tournament of Roses, had managed to hook a large black marlin that ran off 450 yards of line. Coats struggled with the fish for nearly three hours before “running out of gas.” He handed the rod to Bob Archer and they took turns until the fish took off again, snapping the rod.

Fortunately, the boat’s skipper and mate were able to splice the line onto another rig and the two anglers were able to bring the “broad-shouldered” fish to the boat.

Unfortunately, as the crew prepared to release the fish, it died. It tipped the scale at 590 pounds.

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Steve Abel, a fly-reel manufacturer from Camarillo, was fly-fishing last week off Anacapa Island when he lured a mako shark with his Abel anchovy fly. Abel fought the fish for 92 minutes before landing it. The 72-pound 8-ounce mako, if approved by the International Game Fish Assn., will become a world record in the 16-pound tippet class.

Abel holds the world record in the 16-pound class for a blue shark he caught in the same area in 1988. The fly-rod category record for 16-pound tippet is a 65-pound mako caught off New Zealand in 1984.

Add world records: Recently approved as line-class world records by the International Game Fish Assn. (all were caught in April):

--Scott Houghton’s 20-pound 14-ounce California halibut caught off Catalina Island on four-pound test.

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--Paul Allen’s 56-pound 8-ounce white seabass taken off Catalina on 16-pound test.

--Alfred Whitehurst’s fly-rod catch of a 22-pound 7-ounce striped bass (landlocked), taken from San Luis Reservoir on four-pound tippet.

Briefly

BAJA FISHING--Blue marlin are being taken regularly off Cabo San Lucas, although dorado and small tuna are making up most of the catches. Striped marlin and sailfish catches have slowed somewhat.

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East Cape: Lots of billfish, including sizable marlin and tuna to almost 100 pounds. Dorado to 60 pounds taken offshore and roosterfish are feeding along the beach, according to Harv Evans, who returned Sunday from Hotel Palmas de Cortez.

Loreto: Dorado to 30 pounds, but most are so small “captains are getting lots of experience in catch & release,” according to Gordon Prentice of Baja Fishing Adventures. Sardines scarce and mackerel fair. Best bait is squid, some to 20 pounds, and some going home in ice chests instead of in the water as bait.

La Paz: The giant yellowfin tuna that have been challenging anglers for almost two months were the subject of a sweep by Mexico’s tuna fleet, and the bite has suffered accordingly, according to Bob Butler, who watched as a helicopter directed the net-setting around the 88-fathom bank.

“We’re sitting out there and here comes a helicopter, and he hovers over and around us for about 40-45 minutes and pretty soon here comes the tuna boat, and he put a wrap on that and wrapped the whole school. They probably made $800,000 in one haul.”

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Sailfish and dorado are plentiful and close to shore, Butler added.

HUNTING--Is the sport waning in popularity? Not in Michigan, where license sales rose significantly in 1990. The state became one of three in which licensed hunters exceed a million each year. Pennsylvania led the year in license sales with 1,168,137. Michigan surpassed Texas for the No. 2 spot. . . . Nevada’s Dept. of Wildlife has completed tag drawings and says 1,280 archery mule deer buck tags remain open for nonresidents. One of the tags is for unit 192, popular among California hunters. Tags are allocated through computer drawings. Details: (702) 688-1500.

FLY-FISHING-At Marriott’s Education Center: Hal Patterson, 1 1/2-day weekend fly-fishing classes through August; Charlene Hansen, fly-tying instruction Mondays in August from 7-10 p.m.; Mark Walpin, rod-building classes each Tuesday. Details: (714) 525-1827.


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