San Pedro Channel Is Site of Big Week

Two rarities--a record swim and the catch of two big swordfish--coincided in the San Pedro Channel in the last week.

Chad Hundeby of Irvine swam from Santa Catalina Island to Cabrillo Beach in 8 hours 14 minutes 46 seconds, breaking the record for that direction of 8:27:24 set by Jim McConica in 1983.

Two days later, on Sunday, Eric Matherly, a Long Beach plumber, took a 317-pound swordfish 10 miles east-northeast of the island, the same day Dennis Starr of La Mirada landed one weighing 332--only the third and fourth reported taken on rod and reel this year.

Matherly, 34, was fishing aboard Tony Ledbetter’s private 22-foot boat Two Tone at 1:30 in the afternoon when, after a 1-hour 45-minute battle, he landed his prize.


Starr’s battle was 7 1/2 hours. Both fish were weighed at Rosie Cadman’s Avalon Seafood and Fish Market.


Swimmer Hundeby, 22, is an NCAA All-American at Southern Methodist and the defending world distance swimming champion. He was well off the either-way record of 7:15 set by Penny Dean, mainland to island, in 1976 but said, “This was just a fun swim. I was in town, so I did it.”

With John York of Malibu and David and Margaret Clark of San Diego assisting, he left Catalina at midnight Thursday. He came across three sharks during his swim, but none bothered him.


CONSERVATION--The State Water Resources Control Board will conduct public policy hearings today at 3 p.m. and Thursday at 9 a.m. at Big Bear Lake on California Trout’s proposal to increase dam releases for Bear Creek, one of Southern California’s handful of designated wild-trout streams. The town and the Big Bear Municipal Water District have offered to release three-tenths of a cubic foot per second, which CalTrout’s Jim Edmondson calls “about five garden hoses’ worth.” Big Bear claims CalTrout’s proposal for 2 c.f.s. would cost the lake 5 1/2 feet of water a year, an estimate Edmondson rejects. . . . About 1,500 volunteers organized by the California Department of Fish and Game and Orange County are expected to remove 50,000 pounds of trash from the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Details: (714) 640-6746.

FRESHWATER FISHING--Don’t look for any TV highlights of the Goodyear/Bassin’ Big Bass World Championship at Nashville last weekend. There weren’t any. The biggest bass taken by any of the qualifiers from 49 states was six pounds by John Jardin of Kalaheo, Hawaii, who collected $200,000, a boat and a truck. California’s Bob Crupi, along with 25 others, was skunked. Six pounds? They don’t even list those at Casitas and Castaic. . . . Charlie Davis will teach ocean fishing classes at Golden West College Oct. 6 and 13, 7-10 p.m. Fee: $30. Details: (714) 891-3991.

SALTWATER FISHING--A free seminar on offshore fishing Thursday night at the Sport Chalet in West Hills will feature Eagle Claw school director Ronnie Kovach, Luhr-Jensen’s Carl Riccardi and Braid Products’ Dennis Braid. Details: (818) 710-0999.


MEXICAN FISHING--Cabo San Lucas: Dorado stole the show, despite a 612-pound blue marlin landed by Rocky Roberts of Houston. The dorado and tuna were thick only a mile from the arch, and Brian Coty of Los Angeles led the catch with a dorado weighing 80 pounds. San Jose del Cabo: Pangas used abundant mackerel bait to take wahoo to 60 pounds and 15-20 dorado. Conditions generally calm. Larry Remy, Santa Ana, 60-pound wahoo. East Cape: Ralph Schwabbe, son Carl and Ron Marlbrough in three days at Playa del Sol caught one 300-pound blue marlin (Carl’s), seven sailfish to 88 pounds, 51 yellowfin tuna to 51 pounds and 40 dorado to 40 pounds, releasing half of the yellowfin and dorado. At Buena Vista, Togo Hazard, San Diego, and three friends hooked up 42 sailfish in four days. San Diego long-range: Capt. Jack Slatert’s Red Rooster III, six days south with 30 anglers, took 450 yellowfin, 63 wahoo and 164 yellowtail, among other species. Two three-day trips by Mike Lackey’s Vagabond netted 112 and 375 yellowfin to 25 pounds. Bill Lang’s American Angler got 345 yellowfin for 22 anglers on a five-day trip to San Pablo.

NOTEWORTHY--The Offshore Outrigger Canoe Club of California regained the championship of the Bankoh Na Wahine O Ke Kai race by winning the 15th annual 41-mile event from Molokai to Oahu for the seventh time Sunday. The 12 women defeated 36 canoes in 5 hours 47 minutes 53 seconds.

ARCHERY--The Southern California Archery Assn. will have its 32nd annual City of Hope “Shoot for Life” benefit tournament Sunday, 9 a.m., at the Conejo Valley Archers’ range in Camarillo. Instruction available. Details: (805) 256-0208 or (805) 492-0859.

JURISPRUDENCE--A team of 20 DFG wardens in the San Joaquin Valley and 10 in San Francisco have cracked an illegal frog ring, according to the department. More than 960 frogs with a value of $2,750 were seized from alleged poachers and fish markets after a six-month investigation of the activities of 12 suspects. It’s illegal to sell harvested frogs in California.