striped marlinI do have to say these SST shots we are getting are looking a lot like fall pictures. That just makes it that much easier to find the marlin. All the water is compressed into very definitive pieces that are usually well-formed and pretty small (as compared to the entire bight).

I wish I could have done just one three-day trip. I saw so many pieces of good water in So Cal that I wanted to explore and I know nobody got on any of it.

I always fish the best when I can spend time looking everything over, put it all together and stomp ‘em. I'm not so good at this radio, telephone stuff. It makes me appreciate what many of you guys are up against with limited days and limited time on the water.

If I was fishing the Catalina tournaments this year I would find out where one fish was seen then go look at the break. Plot it out on your plotter or write it down on a piece of paper. Mark where the top, bottom, inside and outside edges were and then I would grind it up until there was no water left. Then I would walk home.marlin tournament

I just about guarantee you if you are patient and don't wander off you're gonna get a shot or two. To up your odds you might want to have two, three or even four places plotted out. If somebody is getting bites and you aren't seeing anything I would run to one of the other edges. If they don't pay off you might have to do a little poaching and get into the zone that's biting. I can't believe I just wrote that. I HATE when guys do that!

Another thing this early season fishing made me appreciate is how nice it is to be able to outfit these boats pretty much how I want. You take one thing away from our design and it costs you a fish. It is nice fishing with the same guys on the same boat as well. I have been so fortunate all these years to be able to surround myself with guys that are friends and good fishermen — owners and crew alike.

Writing this I am even more acutely aware that I SURE DO MISS fishing against you guys. Good luck out there.

To find out more about the upcoming California Billfish Series, including the Zane Grey Invitational, Catalina Classic and Avalon Billfish Classic, visit



Capt. Steve Lassley grew up fishing swordfish, rock cod and albacore commercially. He bought his first fishing boat at age 17 and has made a living fishing ever since. He has more than 20 first-place tournament wins to his credit, and is approaching $7 million in winnings.

"Most of us guys spent our whole lives trying to be as undercover as we could about where we were and what we were catching," he says. "It's time people heard about not just what I did but what some of the best fishermen did, captains whose work ethic and accomplishments I respect — people that most guys have never even heard of." 

He's logged thousands and thousands of days fishing California and Mexico waters, and is now fishing Hawaii as well. He was one of the first captains operating out of Mag Bay, exploring this fertile area for months at a time. In his “As I See It” column, a BD Outdoors exclusive, he shares many of the things he has learned over the years. Steve heads up Team Bad Company, one of the West Coast's top tournament crews.