Balboa Pavilion ... The '65 deluxe sportfisher, Cat Special, made its
maiden trip out of Davey's Locker this Sunday and Captain Kenny Wager
of Newport Beach rewarded the limited load of local anglers with a
fantastic fishing trip to Catalina Island. The 19-year veteran
skipper set a course for the east end of the island to net live squid
in an area where the squid had been floating under strong lights in
the darkness of night. It took the crew almost two hours to fill the
main bait tank with "candy" bait.
It was only a short move to an area on the back side of the island
known as the "V's" where the anchor was dropped just before sunrise
and the fishing day began. Second captain, Greg Obymako of Costa
Mesa, metered seabass on the sonar and ordered 20 more feet of scope
to be let out on the anchor. It didn't take more than a couple of
minutes before the first rod went bendo and excitement exploded all
around the wide beamed sport boat.
Chris Madaloni of Newport Beach decked his 24-pound croaker, Jerry
Lovesee of Balboa set the hook on a 22.5 pound seabass and Steve Ward
of Balboa put a 20-pounder in his gunny sack. The bite was wide open
with every squid getting bit as soon as it hit the bottom. Dan
Frazier of Newport fought his seabass around the boat a couple of
times before deckhand Mike Hail got a gaff into its side, it scaled a
chunky 23 pounds.
Other harbor area anglers that scored on this trip included Jill
Richards who lives in Newport Shores and fished for the Newport
Harbor Lady Anglers for years. Richards' white seabass scaled 21
pounds and was gaffed by first deck, Sunny Jones, and also catching
her first ever fish was Valerie Muller who did a fine job in landing
a 17 pounder.
Fishing continued strong and from the bridge Captain Wager watched
closely so that no one exceeded the one fish limit on white seabass.
Captains try to share a good bite with other local boats and the
veteran skipper called other charter boats from Newport Harbor in to
take his spot and limits of seabass were put on board the Bongos II,
HiCount and Caliber.
The Cat Special will be running limited party day trips to the
islands to fish white seabass as long as there is squid available. As
the season progresses Wager plans on fishing outer waters for
albacore and bluefin tuna and may even add a couple of two-day trips
to the schedule. Among the sport fleet the Cat Special has the most
spacious and comfortable bunks complete with curtains, a huge bait
capacity and chef, Steve Lamb, can grill up a bacon cheeseburger that
would rival any other served along the coast. With a cruising speed
of 11.5 knots the sportfisher is sure to become very popular with
harbor area deep sea fishermen. For booking information call Davey's
Locker at (949) 673-1434.
Water temps in outer waters continue to warm and it looks like
albacore are just about ready to come within one day range of the
local sport fleet and private yachts. Schools of longfins were
reported on the edges of the Dumping Grounds and appeared to be
moving to the northwest. With the full moon due this weekend the
albies might make a migration up and in and be fishable inside San
Clemente Island within a couple of days.
Another indication of warmer water was the Mako shark caught on
the charter boat Bongos II, running out of the Pavilion docks this
past week, and the increasing number of big yellowtail showing around
Locally, half day, three-quarters day and twilight trips out of
Newport Harbor have produced a mix of bass, barracuda, halibut, sand
dabs, sheepshead and a few seabass. The water temp along the coast
has finally moved up a couple of degrees according to Captain Norris
Tapp at Davey's Locker and this is a good sign for boats fishing kelp
and reefs between the Huntington Beach flats all the way south to