Catalina Bones & Bugs 12/11 to 12/13

PENN

mhanson59hb

Fear No Fish
  • Apr 22, 2013
    2,188
    3,515
    Huntington Beach
    Name
    Mike
    Boat
    2008 Trophy 1802 "Mako My Day"
    The weather window I was waiting for finally arrived this week, so my friend Don Elm and I headed over to Catalina for a few days of fishing and hooping. We launched from Huntington Harbor Wednesday morning and picked a full scoop of cured medium ‘dines from Nacho.

    The ride across was smooth until about 5 miles out from Long Point, where the wind picked up a bit for some chop – but it laid down nicely about 9:30 for the rest of the day! We put out some small bright green rapalas and trolled down to the East End, where we found breaking fish hammering small bait.

    These turned out to be 3 to 8-pound bonito running some sauries in 62.5-degree deep blue water, and they were pulling some serious drag! Don landed the big boy – a solid 8-pounder – after a pretty epic fight. We had a blast catching these bruisers and they were all caught on the rapalas. They did not seem to want our fly-lined ‘dines. We had the whole area to ourselves, not a single other boat in sight! Even the locals at the “bark park” (AKA Seal Rocks) did not bother us!

    It was getting late, so we headed over to our hooping spot. I installed an Ace Line Hauler Brutus Max last week and was eager to give it a try. Let me tell you – for us old guys, this thing is the bomb! It pulls the hoop just as fast as we can do it by hand, maybe even faster. It’s a back saver.

    Bugging was a bit slower due to the full moon and the crawl was about over by 9 PM when the moon got overhead, but we managed 8 nice legals and released 35 shorts. DFW officers from the vessel COHO boarded us and were thorough but very nice while checking our licenses, coolers and measuring the bugs. They sent on our way wishing us good luck. It must have been a slow night for them, because we saw ‘em a bit later and they asked us if we caught any more bugs – I told them about how they jinxed us, and they left with a chuckle.

    Thursday morning was a bit windy early, so we fought our way up to the Isthmus to try for some rockfish. There was nothing biting except white fish, so it was back down to Avalon to get some ice and then off to the bone-yard for some more fun. It was about as perfect a day as can be - warm, flat calm and willing fish – all to ourselves. Gotta savor these moments.

    That night was perfect too. Clear with no wind. We topped off our lobster limits early, including 2 big boys. We picked up a mooring and had a few drinks to celebrate. Friday morning the ride back to the barn was calm with a west swell following us home. It was a December Island trip to remember!

    Good luck and stay safe out there!

    Typical bonito
    DSCN1715.JPG


    Don's 8 pounder!
    DSCN1719.JPG


    Me with a lit up bone
    DSCN1716.JPG


    One of the bigger bugs
    DSCN1723.JPG


    Lobsters in their natural habitat - my bait tank!
    DSCN1721.JPG


    The line up....
    DSCN1728.JPG
     
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    FloMar

    Hired Gun!
    Apr 28, 2004
    1,016
    810
    66
    CA.
    Name
    John Collar
    Boat
    Parker 2320
    The weather window I was waiting for finally arrived this week, so my friend Don Elm and I headed over to Catalina for a few days of fishing and hooping. We launched from Huntington Harbor Wednesday morning and picked a full scoop of cured medium ‘dines from Nacho.

    The ride across was smooth until about 5 miles out from Long Point, where the wind picked up a bit for some chop – but it laid down nicely about 9:30 for the rest of the day! We put out some small bright green rapalas and trolled down to the East End, where we found breaking fish hammering small bait.

    These turned out to be 3 to 8-pound bonito running some sauries in 62.5-degree deep blue water, and they were pulling some serious drag! Don landed the big boy – a solid 8-pounder – after a pretty epic fight. We had a blast catching these bruisers and they were all caught on the rapalas. They did not seem to want our fly-lined ‘dines. We had the whole area to ourselves, not a single other boat in sight! Even the locals at the “bark park” (AKA Seal Rocks) did not bother us!

    It was getting late, so we headed over to our hooping spot. I installed an Ace Line Hauler Brutus Max last week and was eager to give it a try. Let me tell you – for us old guys, this thing is the bomb! It pulls the hoop just as fast as we can do it by hand, maybe even faster. It’s a back saver.

    Bugging was a bit slower due to the full moon and the crawl was about over by 9 PM when the moon got overhead, but we managed 8 nice legals and released 35 shorts. DFW officers from the vessel COHO boarded us and were thorough but very nice while checking our licenses, coolers and measuring the bugs. They sent on our way wishing us good luck. It must have been a slow night for them, because we saw ‘em a bit later and they asked us if we caught any more bugs – I told them about how they jinxed us, and they left with a chuckle.

    Thursday morning was a bit windy early, so we fought our way up to the Isthmus to try for some rockfish. There was nothing biting except white fish, so it was back down to Avalon to get some ice and then off to the bone-yard for some more fun. It was about as perfect a day as can be - warm, flat calm and willing fish – all to ourselves. Gotta savor these moments.

    That night was perfect too. Clear with no wind. We topped off our lobster limits early, including 2 big boys. We picked up a mooring and had a few drinks to celebrate. Friday morning the ride back to the barn was calm with a west swell following us home. It was a December Island trip to remember!

    Good luck and stay safe out there!

    Typical bonito
    View attachment 1098751

    Don's 8 pounder!
    View attachment 1098753

    Me with a lit up bone
    View attachment 1098752

    One of the bigger bugs
    View attachment 1098755

    Lobsters in their natural habitat - my bait tank!
    View attachment 1098754

    The line up....
    View attachment 1098756
    Love the details, love the pictures, quality Bonito and Lobster fishing, thank you for taking the time to put it together and post your report!!!!!
     
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    Workplacesafety

    Reducing workplace injuries and illnesses
    Feb 20, 2010
    3,530
    2,932
    Long Beach Ca.
    Name
    Jeff Bruner
    Boat
    14ft Valco, San Diego Long Range Boats
    There you go Mike. Great pics, as usual. I loved (and still do) those big bones when I was a kid. Hooked me on fishing for life. If they stick around, and show up closer this winter I'm going to smoke a few up.
     
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    mhanson59hb

    Fear No Fish
  • Apr 22, 2013
    2,188
    3,515
    Huntington Beach
    Name
    Mike
    Boat
    2008 Trophy 1802 "Mako My Day"
    Thanks for the report, good job! Can the bonies heads be used for bait?

    Contrary to popular belief, bonito can be used for lobster bait. I have asked the DFW several times and they confirm this, and we do use them.

    The problem is since they have limits of 5 under 24 inches plus 5 more if over 24 inches and if you start chunking them officers cant really determine how many in your possession. They can consider each chunk a fish under 24 inches.

    So what we do is put one large piece in each tube and top it off with sardines. I have 6 hoops so we can keep 4 whole bones on board as well and still be at limits!

    Good luck!
     
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    FloMar

    Hired Gun!
    Apr 28, 2004
    1,016
    810
    66
    CA.
    Name
    John Collar
    Boat
    Parker 2320
    Contrary to popular belief, bonito can be used for lobster bait. I have asked the DFW several times and they confirm this, and we do use them.

    The problem is since they have limits of 5 under 24 inches plus 5 more if over 24 inches and if you start chunking them officers cant really determine how many in your possession. They can consider each chunk a fish under 24 inches.

    So what we do is put one large piece in each tube and top it off with sardines. I have 6 hoops so we can keep 4 whole bones on board as well and still be at limits!

    Good luck!
    I'm glad I didn't miss this in your original report Mike. If I had, I'd be beating myself up accordingly. Your feedback above I bolded, you just can't put a price on it. Someone will remember this down the road and spare themselves an FN ticket. You've laid out the rules per what you were told, truly appreciated. . . . . . . . . I have become comfortably numb! John.
     
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    mhanson59hb

    Fear No Fish
  • Apr 22, 2013
    2,188
    3,515
    Huntington Beach
    Name
    Mike
    Boat
    2008 Trophy 1802 "Mako My Day"
    I'm glad I didn't miss this in your original report Mike. If I had, I'd be beating myself up accordingly. Your feedback above I bolded, you just can't put a price on it. Someone will remember this down the road and spare themselves an FN ticket. You've laid out the rules per what you were told, truly appreciated. . . . . . . . . I have become comfortably numb! John.

    Thanks and I hope it helps someone out. As a hooping newb years ago, I once got a ticket for not filling out the lobster card with the date, location and gear code before dropping. It even says to do that right on the card, if I had bothered to read it! Just dumb on my part. So I read up on the regulations every year, just in case anything new gets added.

    Here is a link to a recent DFW article that even advises anglers to use bonito. It just does not say anything about chunking them!

    https://cdfgnews.wordpress.com/2019/09/24/recreational-spiny-lobster-season-to-open-sept-28-2/

    The DFW also confirmed that the Ace Line Haulers are legal to use for recreational anglers, at least in our area. Northern CA and Southern CA sometimes have different regs.

    Be safe out there and good luck!
     
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    FloMar

    Hired Gun!
    Apr 28, 2004
    1,016
    810
    66
    CA.
    Name
    John Collar
    Boat
    Parker 2320
    Thanks and I hope it helps someone out. As a hooping newb years ago, I once got a ticket for not filling out the lobster card with the date, location and gear code before dropping. It even says to do that right on the card, if I had bothered to read it! Just dumb on my part. So I read up on the regulations every year, just in case anything new gets added.

    Here is a link to a recent DFW article that even advises anglers to use bonito. It just does not say anything about chunking them!

    https://cdfgnews.wordpress.com/2019/09/24/recreational-spiny-lobster-season-to-open-sept-28-2/

    The DFW also confirmed that the Ace Line Haulers are legal to use for recreational anglers, at least in our area. Northern CA and Southern CA sometimes have different regs.

    Be safe out there and good luck!
    That was a lengthy read on my iPhone, but well worth it, thank you for the article.
     
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