2009 PFIC/UPSAC Catalina Get Together (2)

James (GDude) and a nice bonito  from the Mole

Posted by Mahigeer — Date: April 30, 2009 — The following report is about the trip, rather than the fish count. The trip preparation for me actually started a month before the event. I usually get all of my fishing gear out and go through them. Then I decide what to take and what to leave. I had to get goodie bags from Marty Golden at NOAA, and get prizes from Bass Pro Shops etc. etc. Then over-pack as usual. This time I had to build a new cart as well, which worked fairly well. It needs some reinforcing for the next year.

Wednesday April 22nd — Pre-trip —I had my roommate to be, Santa, drop his gear at my house so we could pack the car. This way we were able to leave early on Thursday morning. He also helped me rebuild my Penn reel. After sharing a light supper with Santa, and the Jones’s it was on to bed for an early rise and departure on Thursday.

Thursday 23rd — The Trip — We (Santa and I) stopped at the Paul’s Bait and Tackle in San Pedro to pick up bait. They gave us $ 240.00 worth of bait free.

Next it was on to the Catalina Express Terminal where we found the Skipper and his wife Pat along with Rita and Kyle. Catalina was having a special “flying fish” season so I took a picture of everyone wearing their flying fish hats.

Mike (Santa)

We went to the line to get on the boat. I was first in line, and Santa saw the attendee, giving a dirty look to my “four wheel” cart. To his amazement I pulled a couple of pins out and it  met the requirement for a “two wheel” cart. On the way down the ramp to get on the boat, I did not see a protrusion, and the top heavy cart went flying. Fortunately Santa and Skipper helped me to upright the cart and Mrs. Jones took my clothing bag thus, reducing my load. We got on the boat and stored our gear at the stern of the boat. There was a clothing bag on top of this cart before the incident. I was proud of my cart and wondering if I looked liked a professional “pier rat”, but I was told by some visiting Floridians that I look like a homeless person with all of his possessions in tow!!

I was relaxed and happy to be on board. I decided to take a look at the dock to see what was going on. I suddenly see my jacket and the rod holder tubes still on the dock. When the cart went over, I had put them down to work on the cart. Then I forgot to take them. Fortunately the Captain was right there and he allowed me to go get my jacket and rods.

Derby Pics #1

Cabrillo Mole

The ride to the island was smooth for the most part. I took a pill and put on my wrist bands. This helped me recover, with no sea sickness. Upon arriving at the island, we decided to go to the Green Pleasure Pier (GPP). They had moved the floating dock and the ramp to one side, so there was plenty of railing space to fish from. One problem though, the entire back area was closed due to the construction going on. It happened that the man in charge was a “ham vatan” countryman in Farsi. Whether because I made friends with him or Skipper talking to him or to the Harbor Patrol, they provided us with a place to fish from for the duration of the weekend. Good thing, otherwise the Skipper would have been unbearable to be with. He looooves that pier.

The hotel was nice enough to let us check in early and after unpacking and a quick lunch, Skipper, Rita, and Kyle, went to the GPP. Santa and I went to check the Descanso Beach, for a possible surffishing site.

Derby Pics #2

SteveO and a barracuda

Rita with a bonito

Giant Kelpfish

After we returned to the hotel, I went to the GPP, and Santa went to the Casino jetty. Kyle got some good-size opaleye and sheephead, Skipper got his usual variety, and I got some short bass and medium-size opaleye.

We decided to meet later at Antonio’s with Gordo and Baitfish and family. I was the only one left at the pier when I saw the party of Gordo, and his guests arrive at the island. I used my small binoculars, and tried to wave at them. They waved back, but I am not sure if Gordo was waving one or five fingers!! After a nice dinner and conversation, everyone but me went to bed. I walked around with a powerful flashlight in hopes of seeing some thing, like a lobster, or flying fish.

Derby Pics #4

Eugene with a kelp (calico) bass

Rebecca (Roosterqueen( with an opaleye

Friday 24th — Pre-event —I wanted to meet Adam at the Mole around 5:30 AM, but did not set the alarm correct. Around 6:20, while I am washing up, my cell phone goes off and there is a picture send by Adam holding a 2-1/2 lb. bonito, and smiling. As though he is saying “see what you are missing by sleeping.” By the time I got to the Mole he had caught and released four bonito. We fished till it was time to meet others at the Jack’s for breakfast.

After breakfast, I had to take care of some organizing business and did not get to the Mole till afternoon. People started to show up and we fished the Mole. In the afternoon, some of the gang went to see the famous Tuna Club. I fished till it was time to clean up for the dinner at the Mia Casita’s. After dinner I again went for a walk at the GPP, where I saw Minnow magnet getting fish after fish.

Derby Pics #5

Scott and Steve waiting for bonito

Adam (Baitfish)  with a sheephead

Hashem (Mahigeer) with a bonito

Saturday 25th — the main event —I was at the Mole around 6:00 am, having set and worn my wristwatch, and having my cell phone next to my pillow in bed. The first bonito of this trip was landed around 6:30 or so. This time Adam was sleeping late. I fished till 9:00 am, at which time I went to the hotel to get all the necessary items for the “main event” By this time more and more people were arriving and setting up at the Mole.

After the derby, lunch, raffle, and distribution of the trophies, we took a group picture and then everybody went back to fishing or packed up to go home. It was dark when we left the Mole to clean up at the hotel and meet for one more dinner at the Antonio’s.

This time it was Baitfish and Rosterqueen, Santa, Gordo, SoCalNewb, and yours truly. We had a nice dinner and lots of laughs. After dinner I went for my after dinner walk, and checked the GPP. While there, Steve-O hooked in to something big. He will report on that I am sure.

Derby Pics #6

Mike (Santa)

Friends—Rita, Ross and Kyle

Adam (Baitfish) and James (GDude)

Day 4, Sunday 26th — The Saddest part of the trip! — After another breakfast at Jack’s we said good–by to each other, and went back to the hotel to pack and check out. Santa and I were on the 6:00 pm boat, so we went to the Mole, where we met Scooterfish and Steve-O. They were in their usual form of slaying bonito after bonito. We fished and had tourist fish with our gear, re-organized our stuff and cooler full of fish, etc. At one point while Santa was removing hook from a bonito, Scott, Steve, and I had a triple hook up on bonito.

The ride home was smooth as silk with no problems except the weight of the cart. We arrived at the Long Beach Terminal to find my wife waiting patiently for us. As with all good things in life, this event had to have an end. That is the sad part. Now I/we start to count the days to the next one.

Derby Pics #7

Jimbojack with a sheephead

James (GDude) with a bonito — background support Eugene and Adam


Here are some side notes: I mainly bought the “wave cast” reel for this trip. It did not disappoint me. I even had veteran casters such as baitfish and Scooterfish, cast some with it. They seemed to like it too. It is not the ultimate reel by any chance, but it will do for me. While cleaning the bonito at my house, two of them had hooks in their throats. The 1/0 hooks are still in pretty good shape, with no sign of rust.

In Conclusion, I would like to thank Scott, Adam and Rebecca for coming such a long way to fish and visit with us. Thank you Gdude and family for the food, and the prizes donated. Thank you Gordo for collecting donation instead of fishing, and putting up with my singing! Thank you everyone who endured long drives and perhaps some monetary hardship to come join us and making this one of the best gatherings yet. Thank you to all who attended from far and near. Without your participation it would have been just a fishing trip, rather than a Gathering.

Derby Pics #8

Rita with an ocean whitefish


Cole with smallest fish award (sheephead)

Posted by Scooterfish — Date: April 30, 2009

Another Catalina event comes and goes! As I expected, this was another spectacular year for fishing and for catching up with friends. This report contains no pictures because I was too busy fishing to take many… I will post the pics I did take later once I have processed them. Steve-O is having trouble logging on the board for some reason, so his pics will come later (including a couple of a real monster!)

I left my house Friday morning at 5:00am CST, and arrived at Long Beach Airport at 12:55 PST. Steve-O was waiting for me after flying down from San Jose, and we grabbed our shuttle to Long Beach Downtown Terminal for the Cat Express. Upon arrival we noticed a fellow fisherman already waiting, which turned out to be SoCalNewb and his lady friend. Took our seats up in the Commodore Lounge, had a beer or two, and before we knew it we had pulled into the harbor at Avalon.

Derby Pics #9

Adam with a bonito  

Cole with an opaleye


Upon disembarking, the usual suspects were fishing the Mole… Quite a few Bonito had been caught just before we arrived, so we high-tailed it to the room, checked in, loaded Bonito gear and headed back to the Mole. Fished for a couple of hours for nothing but jumbo mackerel before it was time to return to the room and then head over to the Mexican restaurant for dinner. Dinner was good, drank Raki in moderation washed down with a few beers, and then back to the hotel.

Rigged up a pole with a Big Hammer and headed for the GPP for some nighttime Calico action. I managed a couple of legals and several dinks on artificials before calling it a night.

Following morning (Saturday) I woke up at 4:45, loaded up and headed for the Mole to secure my favorite spot for the derby. Caught two nice bonito before the derby started at 10:30. Once the derby started, I got focused and really hammered the fish!! Most of the bonito were nice sized, with an occasional 5-6lb’r mixed in. Fish number 5 was a killer for me Sad I have fought and landed lots of fish on my G-Loomis, and this one was no different. I usually land these fish by reeling down until my rod is pointing straight down at the fish, then I pendulum swing the fish onto the Mole. This was a slightly larger than average bonito and I did my standard swing landing with very little load on the rod (mostly on the line) but when I reached the apex, the top half of my rod just snapped loudly in two! I was bummed for a minute, but since it was the middle of the derby, I went to my backup rod (8.5’ G-dude special) immediately and kept catching fish. I landed 11 bonito during the derby, officially counting 10 towards my score. (One fish that was caught near the end of the derby was returned to the water before I could find someone to record it.) The Loomis will cost $50 to replace with the lifetime warranty.

Scott and a bonito

After the derby and raffle concluded, we headed back to the hotel for some R&R. Napped for a couple of hours, grabbed some dinner at Antonio’s, then grabbed our heavier gear and headed for the GPP to soak some bait. Using whole fresh squid we landed a couple of 10-12lb horn sharks, which is something like fighting a wet blanket… Pretty boring fish to catch, although cool to look at! We jigged up some nice 8” Jack Mackerel and threw them in as live bait. I was first hit, on my Ugly 7’ Tiger with a Penn 965 spooled with 50lb PowerPro and a 50lb mono leader. The fish took two long smoking runs against max drag before breaking off the 50lb leader halfway up. Steve-O was up next on a Jack Mackerel he had just tossed out. Steve was rigged with a 10ft MedHvy Ugly Stik with a Shimano BR6500 loaded with 65lb braid. The fish took the bait slow, Steve set the hook, and the fish headed seaward at a steady rate. 5 minutes later and nearly spooled, Steve got the fish turned around, it came in very slowly, lots of pump and grind kept it moving in. Halfway back to the GPP, the fish broke off the 65lb mainline. Whatever it was, it was huge! We had a couple of small hits after that, before calling it quits and getting some much needed sleep at 1:30am.

Fish On! — SteveO and a big one on the line

Sunday was a mellow day… we fished the Mole all day, picking off bonito at a steady pace, with the occasional mega-mackerel thrown in. We were the only fishermen out there most of the day. Capped off the day with another dinner at Antonio’s and decided to save ourselves for Monday’s fishing.

SteveO with a nice-sized bonito

Monday we slept in a little, but still hit the Mole by around 8:00am. Bonito were sporadic early but still present in good size and numbers. Early afternoon was epic! At some point, seemingly out of nowhere, the entire Lover’s Cove area lit up with a huge school of giant mackerel chasing smaller bait up against the beaches, and all of the associated Seagulls and Pelicans taking advantage of the situation. I wish I had my camera with me at the time, as it was incredible to watch. This continued for quite some time before the macs headed offshore a bit and the birds followed. We caught more jumbo macs (16-19”) than we could count, with quite a few bonito mixed into the bunch.

Scott with a kelp (calico) bass

We also met a fisherman named Harold at the Mole Monday afternoon. He was on the island for a fishing day trip. This guy knew his stuff from top to bottom, and was an expert at fishing the Mole. He limited on big Opaleye, and caught two Calicos that were at least 4.5-5lbs (with a couple of other nice ones for a limit of Calico). He also had a heavy lever drag rig that was loaded with 150-lb braid. He threw a big 9” smelt on as live bait and threw it just past the kelp. 10 minutes later the smelt was picked up and the clicker started a slow deliberate crawl. Harold waited patiently for about 12 seconds before setting the hook hard on the fish. He was instantly pinned to the Mole railing by the fish surging out to sea!! After a very long, dogged battle though the kelp, this MONSTER ray appears… in the water it looked bigger than it was, but we taped it at 58” or 59” wide with a massive head and body… Steve-O has the pics, which will be put up later… I had never personally seen one this big, and certainly had never seen anything that size landed through kelp like that!! The two huge calicos were also very impressive fish!

Nice bat ray from the Mole

We fished Monday to the point of exhaustion, and headed back to the hotel. We stopped by the GPP and found it was closed off at the end again, so our plan for night fishing there was cancelled, and we decided on a good night’s sleep instead after a final dinner at Antonio’s.

Woke up, finished packing and checked out for our 8:00am departure. Arrived at the Mole and realized we had no time left to fish, so we snapped a couple of pics and jumped on the ferry home. 28 hours 4 shuttles and 4 flights later I arrived on my front doorstep… Long story short we had mechanical failure in Phoenix that kept us on the runway for 1.5 hours, causing me to miss my connection in Denver, resulting in a free hotel room in Aurora, Colorado, followed by two more flights (Denver–>Charlotte, Charlotte–>New Orleans), My luggage came in on the wrong airline so I had to go through hell to find and claim it…. Woo Hoo!! I was so exhausted when I got home yesterday, but I promised my wife I would take all the baby feedings, so STILL no sleep for me, and I’m back at work already….

The trip was awesome as usual… Great to see and catch up with all of you! I look forward to next year’s event. Thanks to all that helped organize, prepare food, prizes, etc… Now just counting the days until next year! Scooterfish

Derby Pics #10 — The Food

Posted by minnowmagnent — Date: April 30, 2009

My dad and I drove down Friday and arrived at the ferry terminal at about 5:00pm. I fished a while around the ferry terminal with jigs and missed two hits and saw a guy catch some undersized sand bass. We got on the ferry at 7:00pm and arrived at the island just after 8:00pm. To my surprise there were still many garibaldi under the docks. We stopped at the hotel and my dad went to bed and I came out to the Pleasure Pier at about 8:45 pm. I started catching calicos one after another using jigs as soon as I got there. within the first 45 minutes I caught at least 10-15 with two about 12″ and one at 14.” After that the calico bite slowed down a bit and a few others joined me. I ended up catching a total of 27 calicos and a scorpionfish. I also saw some big fish that started surfacing just after midnight. I stared getting these soft hits on my big rod and then around 1:30 am I finally hooked one, I took off running and I could feel head shakes. It was not a bat ray, it jumped a couple times a couple hundred yards out then broke off. I ended up leaving around 2:00.

I got up around 6:00am on Saturday and was at the Mole by 6:45 am. I set up on the corner and started catching calicos and small opaleye on peas, then around 8:00 the wind picked up and I moved down to another spot. There I started catching lots of fish on peas including opaleye, calicos, smelt, sheephead, mackerel, halfmoon, blacksmith and wrasse.

Minnow Magnet with a nice–sized opaleye

After the derby started I continued my method of fishing for opaleye with peas and caught a few opaleye in the derby along with many other fish all caught free-lining a single pea with 4-lb fluorocarbon. That method came through for me and I ended up getting second place overall and the award for the most fish. I moved back to the corner and continued catching macks and opaleye. Then I caught a nice garibaldi about a pound on free-line ghost shrimp.  A little while later I caught a nice opaleye about 2lbs.

Minnow Magnet with a garibaldi

I caught a few more fish before we caught are ferry at 7:30pm. We ended up driving all night to get to the Sierras to fish for trout. We stopped a few times and got to our first spot around 7:00am. We fished all day and I ended up; spending a lot of time stalking some suckerfish that were very difficult to catch. I ended up catching five of them up two about 2-lbs and eight trout all around 2-lbs. The suckerfish fought real hard and I could not get the to hit on 6-lb line and had to change to 4-lb fluorocarbon, they fought like carp and jumped when hooked.

Posted by santa — Date: April 28, 2009

FIRST Catalina Get Together, FIRST time fishing on island, many new FIRST time species caught, and the best FIRST was meeting many new friends/anglers, (as well as renewing ties to dear friends).

Some visiting Aussies!  

Highlight of my trip was having a dad and three young daughters work together and reel in a decent Bonito (near right knee of girl in middle of pic). I had just hooked off the Mole. They were visiting from Australia and were watching us fish while waiting for boat to mainland, gave him my UPSAC business card and told him to E-me and I’d send them a pic. Great food, great friends, great time. Kudos to Hashem for all his hard work in setting up and coordinating the overall event. Thanks to all the folks who, worked, donated time/food/prizes/money, made suggestions, shared a meal/drink/laugh/conversation, and just being there. Whew! Still unwinding from trip. Talk about your getting back to the REAL WORLD shock.

Mike (Santa) and a bonito

Mike (Santa) with an opaleye

Posted by SoCalNewb — Date: April 27, 2009

Alright, so my report: I played hooky from work so my girlfriend and I could catch the 2 pm ferry from Long Beach on Friday. While waiting I spotted the only other two people carrying rod cases, with a suspicion they were pier rats. Once we got in line, my suspicions were confirmed, and I met scooterfish and steve-o for the first time.

After a couple rum and cokes, (sorry, I’m bad with time…) the ferry reached the Mole. As tempting as it was to just start fishing, I decided to check in first (I didn’t want to have to unpack all my gear out on the pier) before heading down to Vons for some frozen shrimp and peas before going to check out the fishing. I’m guessing by then it was sometime around 5.. I settled into a spot near the corner where scooterfish and steve-o had set up casting for bonito and met Mahigeer who wasn’t too far away, and soon after met Gordo and Santa, and later Mr. Ken Jones himself. I met a few more forum members that night, but at the moment I can’t recall who I met on Friday and who I met at the derby. (hint: too many margaritas that night) but I’m pretty sure I met everyone there before it was over.

Derby Pics #11 — The Raffle

Ross (GordoGrande)  aka “Raffle Master”

The water quality was incredible — my photos can’t do it justice. There was only a mild swell and so I decided to set up a high-low and drop straight down between the pilings. My bait was stripped many times until I figured out just the right size to cut it for it not to be stripped — the peas were just hit or miss. My first catch was a seniorita — unfortunately it had somehow been foul hooked deeply through the side… Not a nice way to start the trip. A few minutes later I picked up a decent-sized (about 6 inches) blacksmith perch, followed by another seniorita and a nice sized garibaldi (6-7 inches, but fat.), which was promptly returned to the water. I was using an 8′ ugly stick 8-20-lb. for those hookups, with spinning reel outfitted with 20-lb. braid, and 8-lb.-15-lb. leader, varying between high-low and single surgeons loop.

My bait continued to be stripped for some time before I hooked up with another garibaldi — again it was promptly returned. For a change, I was busy spending more time talking with the people around me than paying attention to my rod, and so I lost a few hook ups after. I decided to switch to my Sabiki rig while the others were getting their gear packed up to get ready for the dinner. I was using a 20 dollar 5′ Ugly Stik kit with 6-lb braid, and a size 12 circle hook Sabiki. Jigging produced nothing, so I switched to a 1 oz weight and tried my luck casting. Immediately I began to hook up with small jack mackerel and a few good-sized Pacific mackerel, keeping a handful of them for bait. Once it got dark, I packed it up to go to dinner myself.

Derby Pics #12 — The raffle

Hashem (Mahigeer) wins a  prize

SoCalNewb wins the “Grand Prize” — GDude hand wrapped Rod and a Reel

I came down to the mole later, with some glow sticks and bait hoping to hit some more mackerel, but, no takers for two hours before I gave up and went back to my room at the Hermosa Hotel.

Saturday morning I hit the Mole a couple hours before the derby was to begin, and took up the same spot near the bait board between where Hashem had taken up residence, and the corner that Scott and Steve-O were sharing… which happened to end up directly in front of the lunch/raffle table.

My luck before the derby was just decent — a couple jack mackerel, my first calico, a little 4-5 inch thing, and a garibaldi. During the derby I didn’t do much better — a seniorita, a jack mackerel, and another, smaller calico if I remember right. Scooterfish and Steve-O were slaying the Bonito, and I spent more time just enjoying watching their battles over paying attention to my own line, making for some good photos. I remember seeing a massive sheephead pulled up, and a nice barracuda being landed, and watching G-Dude wrestle in some nice bonito of his own. Some kid and his dad were trolling in a boat, and everyone enjoyed the show as a kid landed a 32-inch or so barracuda out in the area where the bonito were being caught from.

Derby Pics #13 — Awards




Lunch was great, and Gyozadude’s potstickers were incredibly good. After the derby, the winners received their trophies, and a few goody bags were handed out. I won a few small prizes at the raffle — a couple towel clips, some tackle, some nice lead-free split shot that I later put to good use.. After all the other prizes had been awarded, the big draw came up; most of the numbers pulled had been much higher than mine, and the competition was pretty fierce. it must have just been beginners luck, because the final ticket just barely fell into the low end of my spread… I’ll post a couple close ups of the details on the rod, it’s a piece of art. yet another thanks to G-dude for donating it, and the Daiwa Excel reel he paired it with.

I had gotten pretty sunburned after my girlfriend had borrowed my jacket against the wind (the swells were like a washing machine, snags were unavoidable, though I only lost 6 hooks and 3 sinkers including a “snag free” sinker) so I decided to head back to my room to rest and recover, as well as to safely stow the new rod, despite the temptation to use my spooled light reel on it for the time being. (after watching and hearing Scotts rod break, I had bad visions in my head…) After a late second lunch with my girlfriend, I returned to the mole for some late afternoon fishing with Scott, Steve-O, Hashem, and Ross, and got to chatting with Adam and Rebecca. Towards sunset as everyone began to pack up, I decided to toy around with my cheapo 5′ rod again, and sure enough began picking up mackerel. I had decided because of the time I was only going to cast as long as they were biting, or until I caught a dozen… that only took me 7 casts, and so I managed to catch up with everyone else on the way back to the hotel.

My girlfriend had received some tough news regarding a family emergency and wanted some alone time so I tagged along to dinner at Antonio’s with Hashem, Ross, Mike, Adam and Rebecca, for some good food and better conversations. The dinner was a blast, and lasted til long after they had stopped seating customers.

Derby Pics #14 — Awards

Minnow Magnet and Kyle

Adam (Baitfish)

Award Winners

I decided to call it a night and rest my back and legs rather than night fishing  and on the way back Hashem received a text regarding horn sharks at the Green Pleasure Pier if I recall correctly, which tempted me, but with my sunburn sleep beckoned.

I woke up early, and went down to the Green Pleasure Pier Sunday morning around 6:30 to get some photos, where I found Mr. Jones in the corner with his lines out. After getting some photos of the casino and the harbor, I retreated to let him fish in the morning peace. The crowds were still in their hotel rooms, and the bay was still and quiet, perfect for photos and fishing. I made my way out to the Mole to get more photos before returning to my room. My girlfriend and I decided to pack early to get it done with, and so I only left my 5′ rod out, with one of my mini-trays with artificial baits and that Sabiki that had been working wonders.

Leaving our gear in the room, I took the rod with just a 2-inch pumpkin seed grub on a 1/16th oz jig head, and my girlfriend and I walked down to the pier. I tried jigging it a couple times, nothing, so I cast out as far as I could underhand with such a light jig, not far. I let it sink for a couple minutes until I guessed it had reached bottom, and began a slow retrieve. I got a couple nibbles the first couple casts, then nothing. I promise my girlfriend one last cast and of course then I catch my first fish from Green Pleasure Pier, a 7 inch or so calico. After returning to the room to store my gear, we ran into Mr. Jones on the way out and I heard about some bat rays he’d hooked up with that morning.

Derby Pics #15 — Group Pic

United Pier and Shore Anglers of California (UPSAC) Banner

The 2009 Catalina get Together Pier Rats

My girlfriend wanted some food, but it was still a couple hours before the breakfast the others had invited me to, and so I indulged her, deciding that I would go to the other breakfast at 9 am anyways… I got back to my room around 8, and returned to the Green Pleasure Pier thinking I’d just get a couple casts in. After a couple more small calicos I realized it was already well past 9 and that I’d likely missed the breakfast.

We got our gear and decided to head to the mole, just in time to see Adam, Rebecca and Ross about to get on the ferry before I could exchange any words—unfortunately. I set up beside scooterfish, steve-o, mahigeer and santa and proceeded to get skunked at the Mole while waiting for the ferry. A big thanks to Mike for rigging up a strap for my wide brimmed hat , without it I would have had to retreat to the benches in the shade, rather than being able to enjoy everyone’s great company while waiting for the ferry, even if I did get skunked.

I sure hope I can make it to the get together next year, whatever happens I know the next time I head to Catalina, I’m arming myself with those launcher floats and heavier gear so I can target those Bonito myself!

Posted by gyozadude — Date: April 25. 2009

So much to report, but sooooo Tired … with a capital T. Smile It was a great time to fish with all of you and what fishing it was! Perhaps the best bonito fishing of any year I’ve attended was Scooterfish’s opinion and I have to agree. We really hooked up this year and my arms, back, legs are slow, cramped and burning as proof. More to come as I process the images.

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2009 PFIC/UPSAC Catalina Get Together (1)

Date: May 3, 2009 — To: PFIC Message Board — From: Ken Jones — Subject: Another Catalina Report—‘09

I always find the journey over to Catalina to be one of intense anticipation and this trip would be no different. Riding the gentle waves, watching an occasional pod of dolphin, sipping on a hot cup of Joe, and recalling past visits to the storied isle: all part of the short, one-hour ferry ride. Then the island and its hills come into focus. Sometimes the canvas is a brightly lit, sun-shined mural, but this day will see low clouds surrounding the island.

I find the cloudy days much more appealing. Why? Well, I guess I still retain that ‘60s belief in fantasy and am thinking I’ll see King Arthur’s Castle poking out amidst the hills that line the island’s coast. This trip those hills still showed the effects of the winter rain—a swath of green along the arroyos that crease the normally brown hills, like veins dropping down to kiss the salty waters of the Pacific. Of course you then see the harbor of Avalon and the fairly new condos that have disfigured the hillsides to the right of the city. Tis a bit sad to this romantic mind.

But there’s still a second anticipation, that of seeing what now seem old friends, and once again partaking of the fishing in this magical isle, will more than make up for a non-existent castle, or even a round table for that matter. We will have our own knights and conquer our own foes; at least that is what we thought at the start of the trip.

Day 1, Thursday — After arriving at the Catalina Express office in Long Beach and checking in, we were soon joined by Rita and her son Kyle. A short time later Hashem (Mahigeer) and Mike (Santa) arrived with about a thousand pounds of equipment and we were wondering if his cart would survive the trip. Boarding the ferry Hashem had a little trouble with the cart but he made a couple of McGiver fixes and everything was soon safely stored at the rear of the ferry.

Apparently Avalon was celebrating flying fish during the year and the landing supplied us all with “flying fish hats) which were hidden away until Hashem said we needed a picture. Amidst considerable enthusiasm (not), we took a group picture.

KJ, Pat, Mike (Santa), Kyle, Rita and Hashem (Mahigeer)

Soon the ferry was in the open ocean waters where we enjoyed a smooth and fast trip to Santa Catalina Island and Avalon.

As we entered the Avalon Bay Hashem mentioned that the front of the Green Pleasure Pier (GPP) seemed to be open, the dock normally anchored out front seemed to be missing, and we wondered what was up. Then, as we traversed the walk around the bay, we got a better look at the pier. Sure enough the GGP was open but it was also obvious that some sort of construction was going on. What would we find?

We soon arrived at the foot of the pier and Rita and I decided to walk out to the end. Sure enough workers were working, construction supplies blocked the end, and roping sealed off the end. #*##***##*! Rita and I both said this is BAD, why hadn’t they let us know it would be closed?

The group then headed on to the hotel with several people in a very FOUL mood. After unpacking the bags, and a quick lunch at Antonio’s, it was time to fish. I was at the pier at 2 P.M. and would find a spot to fish. Soon I ran into the Harbor Master and explained our predicament. He said the end was supposed to be closed until June but he would see what he could do. Still in a foul mood I found a small corner next to the dive shop that was fairly open to the water and soon after began to catch fish. Rita and Kyle arrived soon after and located on a spot just a little bit down the pier. Neither spot was perfect but if you knew how to cast the areas were fishable—and still full of fish. Rita and Kyle also began to catch fish.

I soon managed a couple of nice-sized opaleye on ghost shrimp, a garibaldi on the same, an unending number of bass (on cut bait and ghost shrimp), rock wrasse (whenever I used the lug worms I had brought from Big Fish), and senorita (on whatever).

KJ and a garibaldi

Then I pulled in a blackperch, the first I had seen at the pier after 32 trips. All right, a new species for the pier! Kyle was also pulling in fish, especially after he decide to bait up a Sabiki with peas. He managed two opaleye and a keeper sheephead on the vegetables. This trip was starting to look interesting even if the pier was a mess. Eventually Hashem also joined us and he too managed to catch fish (including an opaleye) so we were a semi-happy troop catching fish (including some jack mackerel that decided to join in the fun) but still wondering what we would be catching if we were out at the deeper waters at the end.

Hashem (Mahigeer) and an opaleye

Soon after, the Harbor Master walked over and explained that he had talked to the construction crew and that they were going to open the end for us Friday afternoon. They would move their supplies back and allow us to fish the area during the weekend. Hallelujah! We fished until 6:15 and then headed back to the rooms before once again heading down to Antonio’s where we typically have dinner the first night

Dinner at Antonio’s — clockwise from left — Mike (Santa), Hashem (Mahigeer), Adam (Baitfish), Rebecca (Roosterqueen), Pat, KJ, Ross (GordoGrande), and Rita

The results the first day showed the fish were still there but the number of halfmoon and sheephead seemed a little down. I was hoping that they would be more evident out at the end of the pier when it opened (and they were, but both would indeed turn out to be in lesser numbers than the prior two years).

Day 2, Friday—Most of the day would see fishing at the Mole but I managed a 6-8 AM visit to the GPP, a visit that yielded kelp bass, rock wrasse, sheephead, Pacific mackerel and yet one more blackperch.

The breakfast group — clockwise — KJ, Adam, Rebecca, Ross, Mike, Pat and Hashem

A short breakfast at Jacks ensued before heading out to the Mole where I fished from 10:50-3:05 PM. I was targeting new species, and still trying to find a moray eel, but only had luck with the former when I caught a small spotted kelpfish. People (including Scott and GDude) were catching bonito right and left but I wanted variety and I did find it getting 12 different species—kelp bass, garibaldi, giant kelpfish, opaleye, halfmoon, spotted kelpfish, scorpionfish, sheephead, treefish, senorita, jacksmelt and kelp bass.

By now people were arriving from a variety of spots and it was time to prepare for our Friday night “Get Together.” However, before dinner we had one more place to visit. I had arranged a private visit to the hallowed grounds of the Avalon Tuna Club, a normally inaccessible spot. A group of us including Pat and myself, GDude, Adam and Rebecca, Mike (Santa), and Rita trekked down to the club where we were amazed by the pictures, equipment, and historical fishing artifacts that we found. We only stayed one hour but it was amazing. [BTW, the Tuna Club was the world's first marine conservation organization when it was founded in 1898. And interesting was the comment we heard while we were there. Members are not allowed to fish in any tournaments for money; if a member breaks that rule they lose their membership.]

Mike (Santa), Adam (Baitfish), Rebecca (Roosterqueen), Rita, KJ, James (GDude)

That night would see our annual group dinner this time at the Mi Casita restaurant. As always there was good cheer and fun and everyone had a good time.   At the conclusion, a couple of people talked of heading back down to the pier (or mole) for a little night fishing; I headed back to the hotel for some sleep.

Ross (center) and Rebecca (right)

Rita (left) and Mike (right)


Hashem, Scott and Steve

Warren Li

Amanda Liu

Dora and Elaine Liu

Ross (left) and Robert (right)


Group shot #1 — clockwise from ed on table — Hashem, Rita, Mike, Eugene, ?, Ross, Rebecca, Adam, KJ

Group shot #2 — From left clockwise — Scott, Steve, Kyle, James, Dora, ?

Day 3, Saturday—This would be the day of the derby so once again most of the day would be spent at the Mole. But, once again I slipped out to the GPP for a 6-8 AM visit. This visit would produce kelp bass, senorita, rock wrasse, salema (a first for the pier), jack mackerel and two more big opaleye. Not a bad start to the day

Back to the room, pick up Pat, and head out to the Mole for the festivities. The fishing itself would now take a back seat to the other activities even though I did have a pole in the water part of the time at the Mole and managed a decent amount of fish including kelp bass, senorita, garibaldi, blacksmith and an ocean whitefish. Only problem was that Pat and I were both feeling a little under the weather (and a cold wind didn’t help) which made the day a little funky.

As mentioned in several earlier reports the bonito were the highlight of the day and provided most of the big fish. However, just before the derby started Redfish pulled in a nice barracuda just one inch short of being legal.

Robert (Redfish) with a barracuda

He then followed that up with a 6+ pound sheephead during the derby that won the big fish award. And, shortly after the derby was over a legal barracuda was caught.

Robert with an 8-pound sheephead

Without repeating the reports of Hashem, GDude, JimboJack, Scott and others, just let me say the time together was great, the food (as always) was plentiful and delicious, and the drawings for gifts were a lot of fun (as well as making a few needed bucks for UPSAC).

The official prizewinners (based on a point scale for different types of fish) were:

1st Place: Scott; 2nd Place: Minnow Magnet; 3rd Place: SteveO; Awesome Angler Awards: Kyle, Adam, Rita and JimboJack; Big Fish Award: Redfish; Smallest Fish Award: JimboJack; Most Species Award: Minnow Magnet

Derby Winners

Group Picture

After the derby, the festivities, and a final group picture, many chose to stay and fish the Mole. I decided to head back to the GPP which was now open at the end and which is always a little warmer and less windy than the Mole (did I mention the windy conditions that confronted us off and on at the Mole?). A 5:30-8:45 P.M. visit produced kelp bass, jack mackerel, Pacific mackerel, senorita, blacksmith and rock wrasse.

However, I was on a mission. One of my goals was to catch a flying fish, interesting creatures that inhabit Catalina’s inshore waters (including Avalon Bay). I figured a Sabiki baited with lugworms, and fished under a float, just might yield a flying fish (since they so closely resemble jacksmelt). I might have been right except that jack mackerel kept hitting the rigging (darn them!).

Not only did I not catch a flying fish but I also missed what had to be a really nice fish when I baited up my heavier outfit with a lively jack mackerel. I had a hard hit, struck hard—and missed the fish. I pulled in a mackerel devoid of much of its skin on both of its sides.

Day 4, Sunday—Again I was up early for one final visit to the pier, this time from 5:25-7:55 AM. The visit would yield kelp bass, jack mackerel, Pacific mackerel, senorita and rock wrasse but the news was the fish I lost.

Looking toward the Mole at Sunrise

I baited up my heavy pole with squid and cast out to the deeper waters while I fished my light pole by the pier. I managed to lose what had to be three big fish. The first was within ten minutes of baiting up when something hit my heavy pole, started to peel off line at a tremendous rate, and then saw the line go dead. When I reeled in it appeared the 30-pound braid had simply been cut in half. Never saw the fish but assume it was a big shark (big threshers, makos and blues are fund in these waters).

A half hour or so later another big fish hit the squid. This time the fish took the line but I was able to hook it and play it for about fifteen minutes before it tangled in something on the bottom and eventually managed to break free. The fight was that of a typical bat ray, a big one, but not as big as the bat ray that kept showing up in the waters next to the GPP. That ray seemed at least six foot across (so probably was only five) but kept swimming around the pier for over an hour. I did try some squid by the pier but the ray ignored it.

I did however manage to farm one more fish—on my light line. After baiting up some cut mackerel for some mac action, something simply inhaled my bait and took off on a steady journey headed out of the harbor. It wasn’t at a spectacular speed but just a steady speed that did not even slow as I tightened up the drag. As I neared the end of a spool of brand new 8-pound P Line, Halo line, I decided enough was enough and finally cranked it down and the line broke. If I have ever hooked a black sea bass this might have been the time but I don’t know what a large fish like that would have been doing grabbing my fairly small bait. Whatever it was though was big and strong and not a bat ray.

Later, after talking to Scott and SteveO about their battle with a huge fish from the GPP, I wondered if that huge bat ray that was visiting the pier Sunday morning might also have been what they hooked? It was certainly the largest bat ray I have ever seen but they felt their fish wasn’t a bat ray. Whatever the fish we all hooked, it proved there are some really big fish to be had in these waters and the need for some heavier gear next visit.

I hated to stop fishing but had to get ready for the ferry, check out of the hotel, and visit friends for a final breakfast. But I wished I could have stayed and had a chance to hook another big fish.

Some stats—new species for the piers—GPP/blackperch and salema—Cabrillo Mole/spotted kelpfish. I’ve now caught 18 different species from the GPP, 24 species from the Mole. Total fish for the trip = 234 fish (my fifth lowest total for the 8-year history of the “Get Togethers”). Most of the fish were returned excepting a few sheephead and opaleye that made it to my dinner table.


• Return of the mackerel. This was the first time we saw large numbers of jack mackerel and Pacific mackerel at the “Get Togethers” since 2003 (and that year saw Pacific mackerel, jack mackerel and Pacific sardines). Both were in evidence in large numbers during this trip and may help explain the number of large fish that were seen and/or hooked.

• Big fish—2007/2008 saw several huge fish swimming around the Green Pleasure Pier and the Mole. The biggest was a black sea bass that easily exceeded one hundred pounds that placidly came swimming along mid-water by the GPP. Another large fish was what looked like a large angel shark. As noted, this year on Sunday morning a huge bat ray was swimming back and forth around the GPP. A similar huge bat ray was seen Saturday at the Mole and a huge bat ray was caught Sunday from the Mole (and seen by Scooterfish and SteveO). Given the number of large fish seen, and lost, during 2009, it would seem wise to bring along a heavy duty reel loaded with 100+ pound braid next trip. There out there, can we catch them?

• Kudos to: (1) Brian Bray, the Avalon Harbor Master who made it possible to fish the end of the GGP most of the weekend; (2) Hashem who coordinated the event this year and did his usual excellent job; (3) GDude who once again provided much of the delicious food at the derby; (4) My friend Gary Graham who set it up so that we could visit the Avalon Tuna Club. Gary runs Baja on the Fly and is a great guy (and very knowledgeable). If you ever want to go fly fishing for sailfish, dorado, roosterfish or other fish in Baja visit bajafly.com; (5) The good folks at the Hermosa Hotel who provided a 10% discount for UPSAC members and provided their usual friendly and efficient service; (6) Paul’s Bait and Tackle in San Pedro who supplied live ghost shrimp, frozen anchovies and frozen squid for the anglers in the derby; (7) Big Fish Bait and Tackle in Seal Beach that supplied some live lugworms for the event.

(Cool All who traveled to Catalina during these hard times. It was especially good to see Scott (all the way from Louisiana) and Adam and Rebecca (all the way from Florida) but given today’s economic conditions it was a real commitment from everyone who made it over to Catalina. Thanks!

End of Part 1 — Main derby pictures and other Reports in Part 2 — 8th Annual PFIC/UPSAC Catalina Get Together — 2009 (2)


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2007 PFIC/UPSAC Catalina Get Together

The official 2007 Catalina Get Together Logo

This proposed logo finished second among PFIC voters

This proposed logo was considered just a tad bit too risqué

Another Catalina Report—by Ken Jones — More Than You Probably Wanted To Know About The Sixth Annual Catalina Get Together

KJ and Friend

Scene 1A:  It is somewhere around 1 PM on April 20, 2007. An aging, out-of-shape angler stands at the railing of the Cabrillo Mole at Avalon on Catalina Island. The angler is soaked to the skin/bone—and cold. He has a hat, and a hood from his jacket covering his head, but drops of rainfall steadily from the puddle crowning the cap. The Thought-O-Meter LE200 records his thoughts —“Maybe Algore and his Goebell Warning is responsible for this rain? Or perhaps it’s Adam and Rebecca? After all, we never had rain until they gave up their title as hosts and moved to sunny Florida. But wait, I’m one of the ones hosting the event this year; maybe it’s partly my fault! God I hope we don’t have rain tomorrow when we have the tables and food and raffle items and kids and wives and the banner and whatever! No, come on, snap out of it, quit worrying about the rain and be ready for the fish. An opaleye is starting to inhale that shrimp; should I strike now or give it a couple of more milli-seconds? Strike—and fish on! Be cool little fish; come this way instead of heading down into that kelp. A really nice day on the opaleye, just wish I wasn’t so dad blasted cold.”

Scene 1B—Alternative version:  It is somewhere around 1 PM on April 20, 2007.  An angler wearing a semi-transparent, yellow rain poncho over stylized fishing apparel is singing (and dancing?) next to the railing of the Cabrillo Mole at Avalon on Catalina Island.

I’m fishing in the rain — Just fishing at the pier — What a glorious feelin’ — I’m happy again

I’m laughing at clouds — So dark up above — The sun’s in my heart — And I’m ready to fish

Let the stormy clouds chase — Everyone from the Mole — Come on with the rain — I’ve a smile on my face

I stroll down the rail  — With my rod and my reel  — Just fishin’, — Fishin’ in the rain

Why am I smiling — And why do I fish? —Why does Catalina — Seem sunny as spring?

Why do I get up — So early each morn’? — Happy and head up — With joy in my heart

Why is each task — A mere trifle to do? — Because I am living —A life full of you.

Fade to large fish (opaleye or male sheephead) on surface of the water

With apologies to Don Lockwood, lyricist for Singin’ In The Rain.

Yes, Catalina Get Together Number 6 has come and gone once again and, as most years, it reflected a personality all its own.

Quick thoughts: (1) The heavy rain Friday morning didn’t stop anyone from fishing but eventually took its toll. Most were ill prepared as far as “real” raincoats and eventually the coats and layered clothing were wet to the core. In time people were not only watching the water drop in rivulets from brow but were experiencing a cold to the bone feeling that was unexpected on Catalina. Too heavy to be popsicles (with the exception perhaps of JimboJack initially and Scott and Steve later) we looked more like frozen stout bars. However, the slightly more murky water provided some top-notch fishing and that fact, along with the refusal of anyone to cry uncle, led most to brave out the conditions. If Mola Joe can survive snow and ice, we can survive a little wind and rain. However, most were glad (even if they didn’t admit it) when the time came to return to the hotel and change clothing and equipment for the surf derby (which was rain and fish free).

(2) Several of the long-distance, partygoers drove all-nighters this year and, as a result, were really tired out upon arrival. Whereas most years there is a straight line to the motel followed by a straight line to the pier, this year people actually got some sleep and rested before starting their fishing adventure. People were asking where’s GDude, where’s Ben, where’s Minnow Magnet? Little did they know they were enjoying some peaceful bliss before renewing the quest.

(3) The group itself was smaller this year but also very cohesive and seemed to have a really friendly and helpful karma, a somewhat unusual trait for such a disparate group. And while the numbers of fish were down slightly (at least during the actual derby), the number of larger fish like opaleye, legal sheephead and bonito were up, reflections of improved bait—ghost shrimp, and improved technique. A logical extension provided by anglers who had given thought to past experiences.

(4) The only thing that didn’t seem to change was the events designation as the highlight of the year and a call for additional visits—where and when possible. Perhaps unsaid was a little envy by those who had traveled down from the Bay Area, the home of a vast bay that seems at times like an inland sea. Drives of 30-40-50 miles to fish are common. Why, given the short one-hour ferry ride from Long Beach, are there not more southern PFIC members present at Catalina? Even more, why would those who live close not travel over the Catalina Channel several times a year? Would more frequent visits make the experience less special?

KJ and opaleye

The Prelims — There are many things involved in setting up such an event. Luckily the three caballeros—KJ, Ben and Mahigheer —were able to take the past work of Adam and Rebecca, and the lessons they learned, to give us guidance this year. Early on I posted the general specifications—with only a few modifications from what Adam and Rebecca had originally done. Notification and permission to use the Mole was then gained from the Harbormaster. Once that was done we needed to figure out the Friday night “Surf Get Together” and the Saturday “Derby—Food—Raffle.”

We decided to do the Friday dinner at the Buffalo Nickel different this year—pre-pay for dinner, use their menu, etc. (Good thing because we didn’t catch a single fish at Pebble Beach.) Ben was assigned the task of talking to the restaurant manager and events went as planned even though we wound up walking over earlier than expected. Due to a road closure we were even able to get the restaurant to provide transportation to and from the restaurant. For Saturday’s event we needed UPSAC materials stored in San Diego—which Mahigheer drove down and retrieved. With materials on hand and some additional prizes I was able to scrounge up from different sources (including a Beachmaster Rod Holder), we felt we had a decent list of raffle prizes even before seeing GDude’s beautiful rod and reel.

Where’s the banner, where’s the raffle tickets, do we have bags for the fish fillets, do we have cards for the derby and pens to mark them? What about tables and chairs and certificates for the winners? Ben spent part of Wednesday making certificates in his classroom.  Mahigheer and KJ spent part of Wednesday night going through the various materials and figuring out how to carry it to Catalina. Thursday—nothing to do other than the trip itself.

Thursday — A 6:30 journey to Mahigheer’s house resulted in a free breakfast, free storage space for my truck for the next four days, and a loaded van full of the various accouterments needed for the trip. I of course had my pier cart together with a duffel bag and one of Pablo’s rod bags. Mahigheer had his normal equipment plus a cooler filled with prizes for the raffle drawing and extra rods/reels.

Once on our way we headed to San Pedro and Paul’s Bait and Tackle. There we met up with Matt who graciously filled 30 of the large Styrofoam containers full of ghost shrimp—30 per cup. Normally selling for $8.00 a large cup (he also has two smaller sizes) this represented a retail value of $240. I had actually tried to talk Bill the owner into less shrimp but he said no, one cup per person per day and better to be as little over than a little short. This would be free bait for participants for Thursday and Friday. Another load of free live shrimp, 36 containers, was to be picked up by Eugene on Saturday (or a value of $288). All told, Bill and the bait shop donated $528 worth of bait to the Get Together. Everyone at the gathering  (PFIC and UPSAC members alike) should appreciate the donation and I sincerely hope that local anglers who need bait remember this largess and give Bill their business.

Next it was on to the Catalina Landing in Long Beach for the 10 AM boat and one-hour trip over to the island. Unfortunately, at the boarding, Mahigheer was given grief and told his four-wheel cart, heavily loaded with items, would not be allowed to be pushed onto the boat. Instead he would have to hand-carry the items onto the boat and then return for more items. Only problem: a catch 22 situation in which once he carried an item onto the boat he would not be allowed to leave the boat for another trip. What to do? Luckily Gordo Grande was taking the same boat. A couple of additional items were tied down on top of my cart, a couple of additional items were tied down to the top of Gordo’s cart, and Mahigheer has several items piled on top of his big cooler (thankfully one with wheels) while hand carrying his four wheel cart. Once on the boat we all sighed in relief. On the trip back the deckhands jumped right in to help carry everything off of the ship; no such help on the way over. But we made it and didn’t lose a single bag.

Immediately upon arrival we (KJ, Mahigheer and Gordo) headed toward the Hermosa Hotel but on the way we saw Harry (Graybeard) eating breakfast and told him to join us in fishing when he finished. We then checked in at the hotel, unpacked our fishing equipment, and headed down to the pier.

Green Pleasure Pier

While Gordo and Mahigheer grabbed a bite to eat, I headed out to the end of the Green Pleasure Pier where I found myself alone with all the fish. The fishing was fast and furious with a nice mixture of fish. A short time later Harry joined in the fun while Mahigheer and Gordo arrived a little later. Everyone was catching fish and once again the Catalina experience was taking place.

Surprisingly we didn’t see anyone else that day except for GDude and family at Antonio’s, the spot where we traditionally have our first night’s dinner. That scene was repeated and I, for one, was rewarded with a delicious calamari dinner. Should we go fishing after dinner? No, we were all too tired.

Friday — This day we’re scheduled to fish the Mole in the morning and do the surf fish derby at Pebble Beach late afternoon. Unfortunately when I make my bi-hourly pee run at 4 A.M. I notice an additional little pitter-patter, this time coming from the roof. A look out the door reveals rivulets of rain tracing their mercurial way down the vines of the bougainvillea on the deck. Great!

Instead of a 6:30 journey to the Green Pleasure Pier (normal routine) Mahigheer and I do breakfast. The Mole can wait until 8 when we join Gordo. Luckily even though the rain is steady so is the fishing—including numbers of good-sized opaleye who seem to like the ghost shrimp.

Eventually the cast of the Get Together begins to arrive—Ben and Brandy, Jimbojack, Scott and Ben, Redfish and Sylva, Ark and his wife, and of course Minnow Magnet, Robin and friends from the north, Dylan and Dave. By late morning the Mole is filling up and fishermen, rods, pier carts, bait and assorted fish are littering the deck. Early afternoon the sun arrives along with some bonito and GDude limits out in fairly quick fashion with his Buzz Bomb. Things are looking up and it even appears a dry surf derby is on tap. Most people head back to their cabins around two o’clock to change into dry clothes and drop off excess equipment. Then it’s back to the Mole and a hopeful pick up by the restaurant’s shuttle vans.

GDude and a bonito

Everything seems to go smooth at first, although somehow we lost Scooter and Steve, but then the surf derby is a bust.  We had been told the whitefish were late this year and hadn’t made a showing but we hoped some would still show up. Nope, they wouldn’t cooperate and none of the other species would fill in for them (maybe it’s a union thing?). Anyway, after two hours, only a few nibbles, no fish, and increasing winds, we decided to walk over to the restaurant for dinner.

The Buffalo Nickel provided good food and with an encouragement from Mahigheer’s Raki (Lion’s Milk) everyone opened up and really seemed to have a good time. We talked the van driver into taking us back to our hotel where most went to bed. Ben and Jimbojack headed back to the Mole where Ben got a nice-sized rubberlip perch.

Saturday—Everyone was at the Mole bright and early but the sun was out and the fishing had slowed. It seems to always be the case that the fishing during the Saturday event is somewhat slow and as soon as the event is over the fish pick up the bite. It happened again.  Of course about 9 A.M. the three caballeros are discussing final plans for the food.

What additional food is needed to supplement the items GDude is bringing? KFC has closed so we’ll do the chips and salsa routine to match his Mexican food along with soft drinks and a few sweets. People pitch in money while Ben and Brandy (since they’re younger and stronger) are stuck making the actual run to Von’s Express (and they come back with a big honking cart of stuff). We’re well on our way to once again having more than enough food.  Then it’s time for the derby and raffle. Cards are passed out and people fish; some even catch fish.

Although several additional people fished and watched, only twenty-two people actually signed up for the event: GordoGrande, JimboJack, Gray Beard, Mahigheer, Eugene & Mina, Scooterfish, SteveO, Dompha Ben, Pop, Mom and bro. Johnny, Ark, Redfish and Sylva, Robin & Minnow Magnet, Dylan & Dave, Lee, Warren and Amanda.

The derby was catch and release using a point scale: and as seems usual, the fishing during the derby was slower than that before or after the event. Ten to two are not the best hours for fishing, especially when you have the crystal clear purity of water that you find at the Mole, and action seemed somewhat desultory. One difference this year was less small fish, reflecting the use of ghost shrimp by many contestants. Less small fish and thus less fish in the total count but more big fish than at most derbies. MinnowMagnet though was able to use small bait and hooks to snare enough jacksmelt to win the junior division. James (Gdude), who had a limit of bonito and would have won the derby, was strictly catch and keep so ineligible for the derby.

Then the announcement of the winners:

Adult Category: 1st Place — SteveO; 2nd Place — Scooterfish; 3rd Place — Lee Smgley

Junior Category: 1st Place — Minnow Magnet; 2nd Place — Dylan; 3rd Place — Warren Liu.

The raffle followed with Amanda picking out the tickets. Lastly it was time for a group shot of this year’s participants to finish off the festivities. Finally, back to more fishing.  The events had gone as planned and everyone seemed to have a good time. Around 6 PM the group starts to break up and people head off to various haunts for dinner. Several of us go to Antonio’s one more time for an excellent dinner. Ben says he wants to do a little late night fishing at the Mole and I agree to meet him. But I could barely make the walk back up to the hotel and with sore back and legs am forced to forgo the search for my moray eel (for the first time at a derby I felt my age). Ben heads down with Mahigheer, Scott and Steve. But after fifteen or so minutes, and not much action, they head back.

Pier Rats — 2007

Sunday — Last day and I am up early and out to the Green Pleasure Pier at 6:30. I know there are some good fish there so I’m casting bigger baits and have the pier to myself. I don’t get a lot of fish but in two hours manage three keeper-size sheephead along with another large opaleye in a mix of a dozen and a half fish. Then it’s back to the cabin where I meet Mahigheer for breakfast prior to checking out. From there we haul all of various bags down to the Mole to fish until our 3:45 ferry departs to Long Beach. Good-by Catalina — for now!

Personal fishing: As always the fishing was superb but there was a slight drop-off in overall numbers for myself partly because I fished fewer hours and partly because I chose to fish with the “Pier Rats” at the Mole rather than at the too congested Green Pleasure Pier. Thursday, the first day, I did fish the pier and averaged more than 20 fish an hour but it was potpourri fishing, anything goes . However, with its various ropes, cables, boats and docks interfering with space only a few people can now fish the pier at a time. Thus most people drift over to the Mole where the fishing space is more open. The Mole is also home to some of bigger species such as bonito, barracuda and an occasional yellowtail. However, it’s my firm belief that you can catch as many, if not more, BIG opaleye and BIG Sheephead at the pier; it’s just harder to hook and land them. The time at the Mole did give me a chance to check out the rocky inshore section a little more and I managed a couple of new rockfish species that I had not caught previously at the Mole—a kelp rockfish and two brown rockfish. The time also gave me a chance to land a new pier species for myself, a Mexican scad, an uncommon species rarely caught in California (which makes up for the eel I wanted to catch)* The variety was good as were the number of big opaleye that were caught and the legal-size sheephead. Both figures were undoubtedly up because of the ghost shrimp.

The variety: Cabrillo Mole (16 species) — opaleye, halfmoon, garibaldi, blacksmith, rubberlip seaperch, sheephead, rock wrasse, senorita, California scorpionfish, giant kelpfish, treefish, kelp rockfish, brown rockfish, kelp bass, jacksmelt and one new species—Mexican scad (looks similar to a jack mackerel).Green Pleasure Pier (8 species) —  opaleye, blacksmith, sheephead, rock wrasse, senorita, kelp bass, jacksmelt, island surfperch

Graybeard and a friend

Date: April 20, 2007 — From: gyozadude — Subject: Catalina; Prelude to PFGT 2007

The family and I arrived Thursday. Gordo, Graybeard, Mahigeer and the Skipper had arrived already and were fishing. I didn’t fish much and had dinner with the family, opting to get up earlier today to fish.

Well, we didn’t wake up that early, but Ken and Mahigeer were already on the Mole in the morning, and we bumped into Gordo on the way out. Ken and Hashem had picked up a whole bunch (hundreds of dollars worth) of Ghost Shrimp live bait from Paul’s Bait in San Pedro on Thursday. Most of it was in Gordo’s fridge and the bugs were still mostly moving except for a few of the ones that froze by accident on the top level of the fridge.


The weather was wet -— raining cats and dogs during the morning, but finally stopping after lunch time. I saw Minnow Magnet and Rockin’ Robin’s pier cart early in the morning next to a breakfast restaurant in the heart of Avalon’s main strip, but couldn’t find them inside or out, but I was sure that was their equipment.

I was skeptical about ghost shrimp, but Wow! They work. Just ask my kids. My daughter’s new fishing rod with pink wraps and she got her first Opaleye. Big one too. My son had lots of lost fish too. All on ghost shrimp. and no need for hyper-thin leader. They  crave these shrimp and hit hard. Ken cleaned out a lot of great opaleye at the Mole. And all the while the rain was coming down, sometimes, hard. Not a bonito in sight, and I was getting disappointed that all the rushed work to build a 10-ft spinning rod for underhand casts would be wasted.

Mahigeer helped out lots with his net, and we used it a lot. It was small, compact, and the new weights on the base really gave it great support. The rain stopped after lunch some time, and the calm surface beckoned me to cast again for more bonito.

Meanwhile, DOMPFA, Red, Scooterfish, Jimbojack, Ark and others showed up on the ferries as they took turns to dock. Minnow and his friend showed up just as the bonito started to bite. Scooterfish dropped by as well and we started casting bobber and golf ball rigs. I got a limit of these in a fairly short time and decided to go back to the cottage and clean the fish and rest up for tonight’s dinner. Not a bad day so far. And if the weather holds, it looks like tomorrow will be even better.

Date: April 21, 2007 — From: gyozadude —  Subject: PFGT Catalina 2007

A great day and great weather for this 6th Annual PFGT. I met a lot of old fishing friends and some new ones as well. Fishing was pretty good through most of the day, and for my kids as other familiar pier rats, there were some “first evers.”

Watching the kids watch the water

Again, I limited out on bonito today — 2nd day in a row! They were a bit deeper today and not always on the surface. But they fell victim to a blue-pearl size 4W Buzz Bomb. I am impressed with the performance of the Cabela’s Fish Eagle II 10 ft. steelhead spinning blank and the Daiwa Exceler 3500 reel. They let me toss 1.75 oz. of metal underhand more than 60 yds. — more than far enough. I’m looking forward to ordering a few more FEII blanks while they’re still on sale. More stories from others to come, I certainly hope, and at this hour, some folks are night fishing and still making more stories.

Dompfabryan lands a kelp bass

Date: April 22, 2007 — From: gyozadude — Subject: Buffalo Nickel

The crew had headed out yesterday to fish the Pebbly Beach from 3pm until dinner, which was scheduled at 7:30 pm. I headed back to our room to rest up and clean my fish instead and start the freezing process.

Then my son got a hunkerin’ for more fishing, so around 6pm, we headed out and walked to the Mole and saw no one there. We kept walking toward the Buffalo Nickel and about halfway, there was a sign warning against Pedestrians walking further due to rock slides. I realized that this was going to be a problem and decided to call the restaurant to see if they had a shuttle/van that could pick us up out there. The line was busy for quite a while, but just as I made my 4th attempt to call, their new van drove by and I was able to flag the driver down and the two of us got a ride, which saved my already aching feet.

When I got off at the restaurant, I poked my head inside, even though it was only 6:30. But behold! The skipper, Dompfa and his better half, Ross, Rockn Robin, Minnow, Mahigeer (with Lion’s Milk Liqueur!) and others were already having dinner. The story was that they all fished for two hours and didn’t have a single bite, so they came in from the now colder breeze and had dinner early.

My wife and daughter were still on the old schedule of 7:30pm so I tried to call her on the mobile phone — but they had no service on that side of the island. But my son and I got into conversations so much that we just decided to start and place our orders and before we knew it, my wife and daughter showed up via Shuttle.

The service was pretty good at the Buffalo Nickel. I had the chicken/ribs combo with fries and even my son liked the ribs and had his fill. They also drove us back all the way to the Hermosa, and we paid to rent a couple of tables and chairs from them for the Mole for the PFGT event the next day, which they’d deliver, set-up, and then come back to pick up. Yes, they’re out of the way, but the food is reasonably priced, tastes good, and their service is great.

And yes, I gotta give kudos to Mahigeer for the “Lion’s Milk.” It’s a potent drink with strong licorice flavour that perks you up, even served just on the rocks. I think Mrs. Dompfa like the stuff as much as I did.

The junior division — Warren, ?, and Minnow Magnet

Date; April 22, 2007 — From: gordo grande — Subject: Catalina GT 2007

First and foremost… Adam and Rebecca…We missed you! The fact that we even had a Catalina GT without you guys is a tribute to how hard you worked through the years organizing all the previous events. You better be there next year! I’m writing this on Sunday evening, so I hope I get all the facts right. Please forgive me if I don’t.

Graybeard, Jimbojack and Gordo at the railing

I went out early this year, hoping to get as much fishing out of my system as I could before the big event. It’s a good thing, too, since the only luck that I had seemed to come on Thursday. I happened to run into Ken and Mahigeer on the 10:00 boat, and we found Graybeard already on the island when we got there.

Our first stop, after checking into the Hermosa, was the Green Pleasure Pier. I got immediately slammed on my very first cast with a double—a calico bass and an opaleye! The bite there was pretty consistent, thanks to the ample supply of ghost shrimp that had been generously donated to our group. After a while I wandered over to the Mole  by myself, where I connected with another few calicos, an opal-eye, a rock wrasse, and an almost legal sheephead. Dinner that night was at Antonios, and then off to bed for an early rise and another trip to the Mole.

Friday morning was wet, wet, wet!!!!!! The rain started as a drizzle, but it built and ebbed as the morning wore on. At times we were standing there in a deluge, but it didn’t seem to slow us down much. The bonito hadn’t really showed yet, but we were getting a slow pick on most of the other typical Catalina species.

Jimbojack with a halfmoon

We were joined by G-dude and family, who had come in the evening before, and by Jimbojack who arrived on one of the morning boats. By about noon I was chilled to the bone, and was the first to throw in the towel. All I can say is that most of my clothes were still wet when we packed up to leave Sunday morning.

Friday afternoon we made our trip out to the Buffalo Nickel. The road had been closed due to rockslides, so the restaurant agreed to shuttle us out there. Last year we caught a ton of fish out there at Pebbly Beach, and had them cook it up for us. This year we changed the game plan. We were still going to fish, but we would just order regular dinners at the restaurant, e.g. prime-rib, chicken and ribs, etc.

Good thing, because we were out there for two hours and never got a solid hit! We would have starved if we had been relying on our catch. It was still pretty darn cold as well, so we packed it in early and headed in to eat.

Unfortunately, I think Scooterfish and Steve0 got left behind at the Molee  due to some confusion over the transportation arrangements. Sorry about that guys. G-dude and family came at the scheduled time, but we quickly made room for them, and continued to enjoy some fine spirits and good conversation while they ate. Dinner was good, and we all survived the Raki that Mahigeer provided for us.

Put it back Scooterfish!

Saturday promised better weather, and the whole group slowly assembled. It was great to see Rockin Robin and Minnow Magnet, and their friends Dave and Dylan, Jimbojack, Scooterfish and SteveO (nice to meet you guys), Graybeard, Dompfa Ben, Brandy, Dompfa Pops and Dompfa Mom and other assorted Ackers, Redfish and Sylvana, Ark, Eugene and Mina, and of course the wonderful G-dude Clan, James, Dora, Warren and Amanda. Forgive me if I’ve forgotten anyone.

SteveO with a bonito

A pleasant surprise was the addition to our group of a gentleman from Long Beach by the name of Lee. He happened to start talking with my wife on boat trip out to the island Saturday morning, and she told him about our get-together which was already in progress. He stopped by as he got off the boat, and started chatting. I offered him the use of a spare rod, and that was all he needed. He stayed all afternoon, and ended up taking third place in the derby. He’s promised to stop by the website and post a few messages.

A special thanks to Paul’s Bait and Tackle in San Pedro, (I hope I got the name right), who generously donated several hundred dollars worth of ghost shrimp. We can’t thank you enough, and I can tell you that it worked wonders. They got bit on almost every cast, and really made the difference for us. I’m sure that Ken will correct me if I didn’t get the name right, but I couldn’t post this report without thanking you.

Finally, the best part for me was the fact that Mrs. Grande finally made it to her first Catalina GT, and she had a great time. She even managed to catch her first fish! She asked me to thank everyone for being so kind to her, and she promises to be at the next one as well.

Date: April 22, 2007 — From: Jimbojack — Subject: More Catalina

I left my house on a rainy Friday morning. I got a few miles down the freeway when I remembered that I forgot to grab the bait. I was having visions of my wife finding the plain, innocent looking Styrofoam boxes in the fridge and opening them up to discover the writhing masses of multi-legged lugworms inside, screaming, and throwing the contents all over the kitchen. So, I turned around and got the bait to continue on my way.

Because of the little delay, I arrived at the Catalina Express ticket counter just in time to see my 6:15 AM boat pulling out. Next ride wasn’t until 10:00 and I had the entire terminal to myself. A few minutes later, two guys with fishing gear show up. I had to inquire, and was finally fortunate enough to meet Scooterfish and SteveO. We talked a bit, and since we had three plus hours to kill went to check out the little finger pier near the terminal. Absolutely no bites, so we went back just in time to avoid the heavy rain.

It was pouring rain when we arrived at Avalon, but several of the guys were out at the Mole fishing anyway. I stowed my gear, put on my rain suit and joined in the craziness. Fish were plentiful as usual, and were very much liking the generous supply of ghost shrimp from Paul’s Bait & Tackle. After awhile, the rain stopped, and eventually, the sun broke through for a beautiful afternoon.

We met up at 3:00 for the shuttle over to Pebbly Beach. I was so looking forward to this since we had such heavy action there last year. What a disappointment! Not one fish was caught. I had a few weak nibbles. We left a little early and hung out at the Buffalo Nickel restaurant for a pretty good dinner and excellent company and conversation.

Dompfaben with a bonito

After dinner, Dompfa Ben and I fished th Mole for about an hour. It was pretty slow. Ben caught a pretty big rubberlip.

The derby on Saturday had some pretty good fishing for us, but it always has its slow times too. As usual, I always catch my best fishes before or after the tournament. I got a keeper sheephead, a huge halfmoon, rubberlip, blacksmith, and a few big opaleye. I avoided the usual plethora of smaller fish by sticking with bigger baits and bigger hooks.

Jimbojack and a small sheephead

The fishing on Catalina is nothing short of amazing. The whole PFIC group there every year are just good people that are good to hang out with. They welcome old friends and newcomers alike. I always leave wondering how soon I can come back to fish again. A huge heartfelt thanks to Ken, Dompfa Ben and Brandy for all their hard work. Thank you to Gdude and Dora for all the food and the absolutely beautiful spinning rod I won. Already looking forward to next year. Jim
PFGT cont’d

Date: April 23, 2007 — From: v6v6v6 — Subject: Catalina

Mina and I enjoyed our first PFGT which was also our first trip to Catalina. Just wanted to thank Hashem and Leslie for being sweet to Mina–she had a rough morning (throwing up twice on the boat, nipped by the pelican, admonished by Hashem–haha, just kidding). Also, a very special thanks to Dora and Amanda for taking Mina to the playground and treating her to ice cream! She mentioned Amanda several times to my wife when we got home.


The fishing was all too brief (ended up with two short calicos and two  bonito in four hours) but it was nice to be fishing amongst friends. My only regret is that I didn’t spend more time greeting everyone. Gyozadude, jimbojack, greybeard, and ark, it was nice to meet you. Also good to see Ross, Ben and his wife, and Ken again. Congrats to all the winners and hope to see you next year (or sooner)! Boarding the boat… nasty runoff from the LA River after the

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2006 PFIC/UPSAC Catalina Get Together (1)

Stuck in Catalina With the Bonito Blues Again — Written for and dedicated to Mahigeer (Hashem Nahid) when he was seeking out his first bonito at Catalina in 2006. Although the rest of the UPSAC/PFIC gang were pulling in the boneheads, poor old Hashem just couldn‘t seem to hook one. However, that has now been happily rectified.

DompfaBen and a bonito

Oh, the Dompha, he draws circles
Up and down the mole.
I’d ask him what the matter was
But I know that he don’t talk.
And the anglers treat me kindly
And furnish me with line,
But deep inside my heart
I know I can’t escape.
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck in Catalina
With the bonito blues again.

KJ and a bonito

Well, Ken, he’s in the alley
With his pointed shoes and his bells,
Speaking to some French girl,
Who says she knows me well.
And I would send a message
To find out if she’s talked,
But the tackle store’s been stolen
And the tackle box is locked.
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck in Catalina
With the bonito blues again.

GordoGrande and a treefish

Gordo tried to tell me
To stay away from that Catalina mole
He said that all those older fishermen
Just drink up your blood like wine.
An’ I said, “Oh, I didn’t know that,
But then again, there’s only one I’ve met
An’ he just smoked my eyelids
An’ punched my cigarette.”
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck in Catalina
With the bonito blues again.

Kelp at the Mole

Grandpa died last week
And now he’s buried in the kelp,
But everybody still talks about
How badly they were shocked.
But me, I expected it to happen,
I knew he’d lost control
When he built a fire on the mole
And shot it full of holes.
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck in Catalina
With the bonito blues again.

GDude and a bonito

Now the GDude came down here
Showing ev’ryone his rod,
Handing out free tickets
To the gathering on the mole.
An’ me, I nearly got busted
An’ wouldn’t it be my luck
To get caught without a license
And be discovered beneath a trunk.
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck in Catalina
With the bonito blues again.

Baitfish and a bonito

Now Baitfish looked so baffled
When I asked him why he dressed
With twenty pounds of feathers
Stapled to his chest.
But he cursed me when I proved it to him,
Then I whispered, “Not even you can hide.
You see, you’re just like me,
I hope you’re satisfied.”
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck in Catalina
With the bonito blues again.

Mahigeer waitin’ for a bonito

Now Mahigeer gave me two cures,
Then he said, “Jump right in.”
The one was Persian medicine,
The other was just plain Raki gin.
An’ like a fool I mixed them
An’ it strangled up my mind,
An’ now people just get uglier
An’ I have no sense of time.
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck in Catalina
With the bonito blues again.

Rita and a bonito

When Rita says come see her
In her honky-tonk lagoon,
Where I can watch her waltz for free
‘Neath her Avalonian moon.
An’ I say, “Aw come on now,
You must know about my debutante.”
An’ she says, “Your debutante just knows what you need
But I know what you want.”
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck in Catalina
With the bonito blues again.


Now the bricks lay on Metropole
Where the neon madmen climb.
They all fall there so perfectly,
It all seems so well timed.
An’ here I sit so patiently
Waiting to find out what price
You have to pay to get new balls and feathers
After losing them more than twice.
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck in Catalina
With the bonito blues again.


(With apologies to Bob Dylan and “Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again)

Posted by Mahigeer (Hashem Nahid) — I would like to start with thanking the Mr. and Mrs. Baitfish for their hard work. I would also like to thank all of the better halves, i.e. Mrs. Jones and my wife and others, who allowed us to go. I have been given the great news that this get-together is to be my yearly birthday present. (Though mine is in March).
Since I got the great news, I have already started shopping. (Golf balls, Bonita feathers, Megabait, and anything that!@#$%^& Bonita my hit.)
Now that you have tasted the Turkish national drink called RAKI, (pronounced like lucky), I will have plenty to go around next time. Also the kadayief will be plentiful. I am also thinking of bringing Persian and Turkish food to the potluck if I get a room with frig. And the logistic works out.
It was great meeting everyone, from Chris and Joey, to John and all of the nice people who made it possible to make this event such a fun time. I had such a good time that I talked my head off, and maybe bothered some people, for that I apologize. Since this was my first time (too bad I did not know about PFIC, before), I had too much of tackle that really was not useful and not enough of useful stuff. So I will be making a detail list of everything I needed and will share it if anybody who wants it.
I will also be working on setups to reduce loss of tackle to the kelp. Thank you all for allowing me to share this great time with you and thanks to the shutter bugs who made it possible to record forever this momentous Occasion.

Fish caught: Garibaldi on peas; White fish on squid; Sheephead on squid; Calico bass on anchovies; Smelt on Sabiki; Bonita Lost one due to line break, one due to mishandling of drag, several to perhaps not very sharp single hook. There is a Bonita somewhere with a hook in his mouth and a cast-a-bubble in tow.

Hope to see you sooner, if not, see you next year. Hashem — CHEERS English —  BE-SALAMATI Farsi — (to your health) SHARAFINIZE Turkish (to your honor) — LAKHAIM Hebrew — KOMPI Japanese — PROST German

Posted by orkspace — t was a pleasure to meet and fish with you Hashem. Thank you for your generosity and patience. We hope to fish with you again.

Orkspace (Dan) fighting a bonito

Posted by baitfish —Hey Hashem, I’m really glad you could make it to the PFGT, I will never forget your Bonito rant or your friendly conversation. You definitely fit right into the whole Catalina crew and I hope we can hook up before next years event, maybe do some fly fishing.

Posted by baitchucker — He gave me the chance to steal his BONITA!!! He came over to our side of the Mole, complaining about how he hadn’t caught a bonito, looking left and right… yakkity, yakkity, yak… “Oh, I haven’t caught a bonito,” blah, blah, blah…. AND not paying attention to his feather during his retrieve. While out in the deep blue yonder, I saw several flashes just behind his offerings. This happened with several of his casts. Twice, I was able to make out the fish smacking his feather without subsequent hook set. Twice, I alerted him that he had a bony on! Enough was enough… I couldn’t take it any longer. Mahigeer made yet another, long, cast. I waited to see the flash. I let the chase happen until his feather got near the weed line. I shot my spoon just past his feather…. did a lil’ dance and BINGO! Baitchucker 1… Mahigeer 0…  Sorry mang, just couldn’t handle it any longer! (hehehe)

Posted by mahigeer — Baitchucker; I remember meeting you, but cannot recall the face. Can you tell me where you are in the group picture? As to the incident you are describing, I remember talking too much and the hit and miss of bonies, but don’t recall anybody telling me where they were. I did see some flashes, but they disappeared too quickly. Maybe it’s the old man syndrome. Will get stronger contacts next time.

Posted by baitchucker — Mahigeer! We were on the other side of the gated-off portion of the Mole, next to the sheriff’s truck. Dompfa, Baitfish, Orkspace and I were all in the same area. It was later in the day, close to when we took the group picture. Our Ferry came to dock @ 4:00, so we didn’t get to talk much. I remember a flap on your baitcaster would come up every so often. Anyway, it was good meeting you. You’re a funny guy; I hope to hook up with you when we come back to SoCal this summer. As for the bonies…. I predict you’ll get’em before summer officially hits.

Posted by socaljerry — You sure made the trip for Jacob and me a whole lot of fun! We sure enjoyed your friendly open demeanor, and you kept us laughing the whole time we were there! Thank you!

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Although there were many stories that emerged from the 2006 Catalina Get Together, one was the fishing highlighted by a large number of bonito — for most. However, many other species were also present and everyone was able to enjoy the derby, the food, the prizes and the good companionship.

Arrival from Long Beach

A cruise ship was sitting just offshore from the Mole when we arrived.

A plethora of “Pier Rats”

Kyle and Minnow Magnet arriving

Green Pleasure Pier

GordoGrande and his mini-pole (with a mini-bass)

A young Kyle Pease with a sheephead

Cabrillo Mole

Ark and a sheephead

Baitfish (Adam) with another bonito

Ark and a variety of fish

Boys will be boys — Adam and Kyle

Kyle and a bonito

The Mole and xpostman

Warren Liu with a sheephead

Additional pictures — 5th Annual PFIC/UPSAC Catalina Get Together — 2006 (2)

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2006 PFIC/UPSAC Catalina Get Together (2)

Cabrillo Mole — Pictures continued from 5th Annual PFIC/UPSAC Catalina Get Together — 2006 (1)

SteveO and a bonito

Jimbojack with an opaleye

Here’s looking at you!

The Mole and UPSAC Banner

Omar, his son and a sheephead

Baitfish helping Orkspace land a fish

Ark and a bonito

Rita waiting for a bite

Another sheephead

The railing was crowded at times

How about some food?

As always, some delicious treats!

Next up was the raffle followed by the announcement of derby winners

Roosterqueen (Rebecca), Baitfish (Adam) and Warren Liu with mother Dora and sister Amanda in the background.

Rockin’ Robin and Minnow Magnet checking out the prizes

Adam calling out a raffle number

And the winner is…

Derby Results

Joramaca was the 1st Place Winner

Orkspace was the 2nd Place Winner

Minnow Magnet was the Jr. Division Winner

Last but not least — the Group Photo

The “Pier Rats” at the 2006 Catalina Get Together

But wait, many were not satisfied just to fish the Green Pleasure Pier or the Cabrillo Mole, many decided to also do a little surf fishing at — Pebbly Beach.

Rita and Kyle Pease with ocean whitefish

Mahigeer (Hashem) after an encounter with a whitefish. Be careful out there! 

After the fish were caught, they were cleaned, and then we went up the beach to the Buffalo Nickle Restaurant which agreed to cook our fresh fish and combine them with their food  to make our  dinners. Good food and decent prices (since we supplied the fish). Only problem, no one knew if he or she was getting the fish they had caught. Bummer!

But the conclusion to a fun filled day, one where people were able to match up faces with the names they had seen on the PFIC Message Board. New friends were made, the fishing was top notch, GDude and family provided their usual excellent food, and everyone seemed to walk away pleased with the event. On to 2007! 

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