Davey's Locker adds new sportfisher

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

Catalina Island.

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

Dana Point.

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