Catalina lobsters before the storm 12/20


Fear No Fish
  • Apr 22, 2013
    Huntington Beach
    2008 Trophy 1802 "Mako My Day"
    I took my son Sean over to Catalina for some lobster hooping on Tuesday 12/20/2016. We picked up a scoop of nice sardines from Mario (Nacho was off for a few days) and crossed the channel with a north (north??) swell following us. Quite unusual!

    As we approached the island, a group of pilot whales and common dolphins greeted us, along with plenty of sunshine and light winds. Trolling small magnum x-raps in green and blue between Hen Rock and Gallagher’s produced 10 bonito up to 4 pounds for cage stuffers in about 30 minutes. We spent the rest of the day hitting beaches to check the local halibut population – but they must be on vacation for the holidays.

    That evening we dropped a set of 5 hoops on our spot - hopeful - but expecting it to be slow as there was not much tidal movement. After a 90-minute soak, we pulled the first and shallowest net (60 feet) with 2 solid legal bugs. Nice - we are on the board early. The rest of the set only had 2 more legals – but they are the larger size: big males.

    The second set produced only 1 legal, another large male. We pulled the 3rd set at the low slack tide around 10 PM. We got 4 more legals – including 3 big males – one of which is probably the biggest bug I have ever caught. Quality over quantity! We even threw one just-legal back to get bigger. Figuring we had time the next night to top off our limits, I made the call to go get some sleep. Bad call.

    It rained a little bit over night, and it was calm but cloudy in the morning when we headed over to the Isthmus to try a few rockfish spots. The Rizzo’s dolphins and sea lions were having a predator party, and the mackerel were so thick we could not get a bait to the bottom! So much for rock fishing…

    The weather radio channel was saying possible thunder storms from the Channel Islands south with periods of heavy rain that afternoon and overnight – so thinking that discretion is the better part of valor, we headed back to the barn. This was a good call! Wishing I would have dropped one more set of hoops last night, we crossed back in flat calm conditions – until we were about 3 miles out, when it started getting windy, then raining.

    It rained almost the whole time while cleaning the boat and preparing the bugs, but at this point I am glad we are not still at the island! Anyway, we did manage 9 larger than average lobsters and limits of fun – at least on Tuesday. Water temps at the island were 58 to 60.

    Here is a picture of the big lobster. The fifth of JD Fire is strictly for perspective purposes only!

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