2003 PFIC Catalina Get Together

Two logos were available for the 2nd annual Get Together

May 1, 2003; Memo To: PFIC Message Board; From: Ken Jones; Subject: Catalina Get Together #2

Green Pleasure Pier (Avalon, Catalina Island) – It was pretty much non-stop action for the pier rats who invaded the pier last Friday-Sunday. An assortment of fish on the bottom together with a mixture of mackerel, jacks and sardines on top if you got bored with bottom action. Personally, I fished the pier for 17.5 hours between noon on Friday and 9 a.m. on Sunday (had to take a few hours off to fish over on the Mole on Saturday). Results: 91 Pacific mackerel, 69 jack mackerel, 48 kelp bass, 32 Pacific sardines, 14 senorita, 7 blacksmith, 6 rock wrasse, 5 California sheephead, and 3 California scorpionfish. Also caught 2 lobsters and I lost I BIG spider crab that broke my light line as I tried to lift it up to the pier. Surprisingly, didn’t catch a single halfmoon or an opaleye although Sunday morning there were about a half dozen BIG opaleye teasing the anglers (me). They were down midway to the bottom and refused to bite anything I threw at them – ghost shrimp, bloodworms, cut shrimp, or even peas. They would swim up and eyeball the bait in the crystal clear water but refused to even take a quick nibble. Just a little frustrating to sit and watch them refuse my humble offerings. But what a great weekend. A highlight on the pier was Friday night when Rich and I saw a large sea lion speeding after something in the water. All of a sudden we see a large flying fish take off in the spotlights from the pier and it must have sailed 30-40 feet out in front of that sea lion. I’m sure the sea lion must have wondered what happened. The pier is a special place at night!

 Posted by Rich Reano — Sitting on the Catalina Express waiting to depart. The get together was awesome. Many thanks to Baitfish, the people and companies that donated gifts, and for the pier rats who came. Fishing was stellar. Complete reports will come I’m sure. Last night, saw a sea lion start chasing something then all of a sudden, a flying fish took off and glided a few hundred feet to safety. Pretty cool. I said to myself, you don’t see that every day. Well I did. Today, another flying fish took flight for safety but ended up flying right into a stack of Cobra Kayaks. His fate is unknown.

Pierhead (Boyd Grant) and a sheephead from the Green Pleasure Pier

Josh and a rock wrasse

Baitfish (Adam) and a sheephead

Roosterqueen (Rebecca) and a sheephead

Posted by gyozadude —I  arrived back home about 3 hours ago; it had been a long drive back from Long Beach and I’m now resting; a little sun burnt on the neck, face and tips of my ears, and happy to have made the trip and met all those Pier Rats. This second annual Catalina Get-Together was great. Lots of old faces and some new ones too. Met with Ken and some of his family, Rich, Josh and Family, Pierhead, Catfish and crew, Joromaca, Jimbojack, Baitfish and RoosterQueen and quite a few others. We arrived around 1:15 pm and unpacked our things and did some grocery shopping at the local Von’s supermarket. I didn’t bring any bait, and just to be sure I bought a half pound of prawns at Armstrong’s Seafood market and restaurant. But I later found that was simply a waste of money because bait was plentiful everywhere.

Fishing started for me around 5:30 pm. I met some Pier Rats already fishing the end of the Green Pleasure Pier. A glance down below showed swarms of thousands upon thousands of schooling mackerel. Some bigger macks were caught on spoons and lures. Smaller ones on small bits of bait, usually cut mackerel. I established a personal best of 6 consecutive macks the same piece of skin on the hook.

The The whole party met at Antonio’s Pizzeria and Caberet where we dined al fresco next to the water. After dinner, most of the folks walked back to the rooms to grab their gear to meet up for some night fishing. I missed out on most of the earlier action because I had to put my kids to bed, and my son wouldn’t sleep until midnight. By the time I headed out, Ken and Rich were heading back in. Some diehard anglers like Josh, Adam, and Jimbojack were still fishing though, pulling up lots of macks, some calicos, a couple of horn sharks, and quite a few lobsters, where were out of season and illegally caught on hook and line. There seemed to be a few poachers of the south east Asian/Filipino kind who occupied the corner and were pulling up many bugs and keeping them. Ken apparently had told them these were illegal, but they decide to keep them anyway. After I arrived and talked it over with Adam, the two of us confronted these folks and after a brief lecture from the two of us, they seemed to have thrown their lobsters back. I managed to hook into my first bug that night, which was fairly large, Adam tells me. It was tossed back after Adam took a photo. I hope to get it to prove it to my wife, who was sound asleep back at our rental cottage. Adam and I called it a night and headed back sometime around 1:30 am. It was a bit chilly, but most of all, I needed to get ready to wake up and cook  for the Get-Together in the morning.

The Cabrillo Mole

Posted by joromaca — I arrived early Friday morning and by 8 o’clock was busy fishing the pier only to be humbled by one of the locals (he must of been all of 12 or 13 years old) who proceeded to catch 4 or 5 legal calicos using cut swordfish. I tried using his method of a big hook and big bait but all mine were still short. Fishing at Catalina was like fishing in a huge overstuffed aquarium…many species and superb water clarity. I was later joined by baitfish and the skipper and throughout the day many other pier rats made their way to the pier. The fishing was excellent as was the company. Many thanks to all who participated and helped to make this a truly enjoyable experience…Oh yeah…as for the winner of the smallest fish at the derby…thank goodness I lost the coin flip!`

Joramaca and a sheephead at the Cabrilo Mole

My daughter Kim and a garibaldi

My son-in-law Dave and a garibaldi

My Danish “son” Martin with a giant kelpfish

Posted by jimbojack —I arrived at Catalina late afternoon on Friday. Went directly to the hotel, rigged up my gear and headed out to the Green Pleasure Pier before finally taking a breath. Rounded up all the usual suspects: Ken Jones, Baitfish, Roosterqueen, Rich, Josh and his family, and Joromaca. Later joined by Gyozadude. Lots of mackerel. Huge schools that would just hang out and wait for you to drop a hook. Shortly afterwards, we split up and got ready for dinner at Antonio’s. We sat outside right on the water, and of course thought it was a shame that we couldn’t fish while dining. Ken went over his outline for UPSAC. It was nice to sit and get to know people, but I could tell towards the end of dinner that I wasn’t the only one anxious to get back to fishing. Catfish (Tom) showed up with his GF and made the rounds before we adjourned to get back to fishing. Back out to the pier and it was crowded at the end. Same old macks. I fished in shallow for awhile until some people cleared out. I was dropping a bare Sabiki over the rail and picking up baby macks for bait. Caught one smaller calico and got constant hits from smaller fish trying to steal the bait. Later on, I moved out to the end where a group of poachers were keeping lobsters. I think we all caught plenty of macks as well as occasional calicos. Caught my first lobster as well as a horned shark. Fish are pretty much nonstop and you are hard pressed to keep two rods rigged and in the water. Gdude showed up later and sternly but diplomatically told the poachers about their illegal lobsters. They thought about it, discussed it and then threw them back! Way to go James! One by one, everybody made their exits for the night. I left at about 2:00 AM and left Josh to claim the title of The Most Hardcore.

Jimbojack fighting a fish

A collage of the Green Pleasure Pier and Cabrillo Mole by gyozadude

Marcus with a kelp (calico) bass

Grreenrag (Martin) with the winning derby fish — a moray weighing just over three pounds

Catfish (Tom) waiting for a bite

Baitfish (Adam) with a barracuda

Pierhead (Boyd) telling a story

An ocean whitefish

Baitfish (Adam) and a nice calico

The “Pier Rats” at the Mole

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