Heading to Catalina for the first time

Discussion in 'Southern CA Private Boater Inshore Trip Planning' started by Greenbergler, May 8, 2016.

  1. Greenbergler

    Greenbergler Member

    Location:
    ORANGE COUNTY
    Name:
    Corey Greenberg
    Boat:
    Friend's boston whaler 210 montauk
    • Messages:
      (119)
    • Likes Received:
      (71)
    Me and a couple buddies are planning on going to Catalina next weekend overnight in my buddy's aunts boat. It's a Boston whaler montauk 210. It's our first time making the journey out there so we're planing on leaving early and maybe fishing a few spots on the way if we see anything. But since we've never been out there, where are good fishing spots? I've heard of a few of them but we want to try and get some yellowtail. Any help or info would be much appreciated!
     
  2. fly liner

    fly liner I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    hemet ca USA
    Name:
    Josh
    Boat:
    18.5 wahoo/21' crystaliner /15' prowler
    • Messages:
      (1,677)
    • Likes Received:
      (718)
    Be careful. Pay close attention to the weather.
     
  3. slydawg

    slydawg Always wishin' I was fishin'

    Location:
    Alta Loma/Dana Pt.
    Name:
    Billy
    Boat:
    WWW - 25’ Proline
    • Messages:
      (3,388)
    • Likes Received:
      (1,195)
    Just follow the sport boats. :D
     
  4. gved823

    gved823 Member

    Location:
    Lakewood
    Name:
    Gary
    Boat:
    Sold
    • Messages:
      (479)
    • Likes Received:
      (230)
    Empire landing, eagle rock, Farnsworth East end, salta Verde are popular spots. Have vessel assist. Troll xraps between spots. Hit spots on this side on way back. If at all. Do them another day. Hit the island early. Radio check channel 27 right after launching. Watch for NW winds in the report and swells closer than 10 seconds. Have fun and be safe.
     
    eMan likes this.
  5. OILAGER

    OILAGER Hecho en Estados Unidos

    Location:
    M Class Planet / Riverside
    Name:
    Wayne
    Boat:
    Grady White 228 Seafarer "GOTTA GET'M"
    • Messages:
      (2,175)
    • Likes Received:
      (624)
    Three guys on a 1st time trip overnight to Catalina on a 21 foot CC? I think I would be asking a whole lotta questions.
     
  6. Greenbergler

    Greenbergler Member

    Location:
    ORANGE COUNTY
    Name:
    Corey Greenberg
    Boat:
    Friend's boston whaler 210 montauk
    • Messages:
      (119)
    • Likes Received:
      (71)
    That's kind of why I'm posting this...
     
  7. slydawg

    slydawg Always wishin' I was fishin'

    Location:
    Alta Loma/Dana Pt.
    Name:
    Billy
    Boat:
    WWW - 25’ Proline
    • Messages:
      (3,388)
    • Likes Received:
      (1,195)
    Seal rocks is a good spot if the current os draining towards san clemente isl. good anchor spot too. Consider getting a mooring in avalon!
    Go ashore and get some good grub. There is a great mexican restaurant! Forgot name.
     
  8. af dreamer

    af dreamer I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    long beach,ca
    Name:
    tom
    Boat:
    44 luhrs dreamer
    • Messages:
      (3,805)
    • Likes Received:
      (1,338)
    Check Windalert and live by it for your size boat.The are referred as Catalia coffins.Tom
     
  9. SeaHawk IV

    SeaHawk IV Well-Known "Member"

    Location:
    SGV, United States of America
    Name:
    Al
    Boat:
    .....
    • Messages:
      (3,446)
    • Likes Received:
      (355)
    Learn how to use the VHF radio. Especially understanding the RED button is for CH16 for hailing an emergency broadcast. Use Ch72 or Ch68 to chat with others. Go to US Coast Guard website and look up all the necessary safety equipment that needs to be on the boat for inspection. Make sure you have the boat's current registration on the boat. If you get boarded by law enforcement, they can cite you for not having required equipment. Also make sure flares are up to date and fire extinguisher are fully charged. Also bring a flashlight since you will be there overnight. Be prepared for common "What If" situations if something were to happen. Mother nature can be cruel.
    Also go to wildlife.ca.gov and print out a map of MLPA closures. Ignorance will not get you out of a citation.
    Prepare a float plan and leave a copy with the boat owner and people who care to know your whereabouts.
    Lastly, ask if anybody can buddy boat with you.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2016
  10. charliecat

    charliecat on a fishin' mission

    Name:
    charlie cat
    Boat:
    14' -50' , bunch of boats
    • Messages:
      (539)
    • Likes Received:
      (322)
    not to harsh your mellow, but i would recommend doing a sea trial near home, dicking around for a day first. if it's your buddy's aunt's boat or whatever. who knows how long it's been since it's been run? could fire up great then meet a clog in a filter mid-channel and = bad news. practice dragging some rapalas, using rod holders, filling bait tank, etc. wind has been all over the place lately. the island looks close until you're part-way and dead in the water with a gigantic freighter headed towards you. be safe and good luck.
     
  11. Arima-bob

    Arima-bob pescadore n jäger

    Location:
    Too far from water
    Name:
    Beeulzebob
    Boat:
    uh....
    • Messages:
      (3,958)
    • Likes Received:
      (2,446)
    I agree that you should know the boat before making a channel crossing. The wind plus swell can make for a really shitty day. I would look at fish weather, or buoyweather. Look for light winds, and big space between swells. If you can run with a buddy boat, that would be helpful. Preferably someone with experience.
     
  12. OILAGER

    OILAGER Hecho en Estados Unidos

    Location:
    M Class Planet / Riverside
    Name:
    Wayne
    Boat:
    Grady White 228 Seafarer "GOTTA GET'M"
    • Messages:
      (2,175)
    • Likes Received:
      (624)
    I knew when I responded to your initial question that I didn't have time to flesh out a complete answer, but others have chimed in with excellent advice.

    My first question would be when you say going over "early" does that mean in the morning, fishing all day, staying the night on the boat and fishing the next day? That's a lot of hours on a small boat open to the elements, or are you going early evening across the usually nasty afternoon channel crossing?
    Where do you plan on anchoring for the night?

    Are you buying bait or making your own, going with artificials? Live bait means running your pump day and night, do you have enough battery power without having to start the motor to keep them from being completely discharged or will you be using a bait cage to feed the seals.

    Boiler rocks: Sometimes they're 3-4 feet under water, sometimes those same rocks are 3-4 inches underwater depending on the tide. There are plenty of fishing spots around Cat, there are also plenty of "fishy looking" restricted areas that'll land you a fat ticket if you get caught fishing there.

    I would go to the West End as early as I could get there with live bait, fish all the spots I could (weather permitting),and get a camping spot somewhere on the Isthmus for the night. Bring frozen squid (unless there are squid boats in front of Avalon) for the next day in case your bait doesn't make the entire trip and then fish spots around the East End.

    Avoid fishing close to shore at night/low light in areas unfamiliar to you.

    Vessel Assist is a must (and cheap) in case of an mechanical emergency.
    Verify you have all the proper safety equipment and know how to use it. An after-dark emergency in an unfamiliar boat is not a good feeling to have.

    Good Luck. Stay safe.
     
  13. Greenbergler

    Greenbergler Member

    Location:
    ORANGE COUNTY
    Name:
    Corey Greenberg
    Boat:
    Friend's boston whaler 210 montauk
    • Messages:
      (119)
    • Likes Received:
      (71)
    She just bought the boat last year brand new and it has all the necessary safety equipment and it has vessel assist. We've taken the boat out numerous times within a few miles of shore. We want to get out and catch better fish than just bass and we thought Catalina would be a good place to go. I know it's not as easy as it sounds but just kind of seeing how hard it is to make the trip out there. We'd Probly just anchor in one of the harbors and sleep on the boat and head back Sunday morning. Leaving Saturday early morning like 430/5
     
  14. whammy

    whammy Hook Up!

    Location:
    Huntington Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Boat:
    2200 XL Pathfinder
    • Messages:
      (1,383)
    • Likes Received:
      (301)
    you guys should be fine, just look at the weather and plan on leaving the island by noon as that channel gets nasty in the afternoon.
     
    Shimano Fishing Fans likes this.
  15. surfgoose

    surfgoose active geezer

    Location:
    Long Beach, CA, USA
    Name:
    Gary
    Boat:
    whichever has the longest bunk
    • Messages:
      (2,445)
    • Likes Received:
      (3,189)
    You are getting good advice. Have a great trip! I started running over to Catalina in the early 60's in the family 16 footer during summer vacations from high school, and looking back we were completely unequipped to do things like that, but what is youth for? Weather is critical, you don't want to be caught coming back in a windy afternoon. But from dawn to about 9 am it is often a smooth, glassy crossing and a joy to be speeding in a small craft, especially an excellent boat like your Whaler.

    For your first trip, I suggest that you try hard not to get distracted by looking for fish on your way over. The chances are very small at this time of year that you will find a kelp holding fish in the channel. Just rocket over to the island and then get within about fifty yards of the shoreline and start trolling along (smaller versions of Rapalas, small Zukers, etc) and look to see if there is any current moving the kelp strands. Current movement equals fish in a munching mood. But your slow trolling will give you a gorgeous view of the beachline and you can make marks of interesting places to check out further, and you will almost certainly pick up bonito and maybe small yellowtail. If there is current moving the kelp then you can slowly move into position so that two of you can fish and see if there is some action. I strongly suggest that you rotate, two fishing and one just driving the boat, keeping constantly aware of position, and everyone will have some fun and you will be much safer than if you try to anchor and all fish.

    Check with Avalon or wherever you plan to overnight, get your plans in order before you go. Get ashore by early afternoon, have a great evening, and fish again the next morning from dawn to about 11 am, then head back home. You do NOT want to be slowly pounding through the sea after 2 pm, and it will take you twice as long at least to come home as it did to go over if you wait to start home until the early afternoon.

    Please take a few pictures, and post a report for us when you return!
     
  16. smazza123

    smazza123 1997 Spectrum great riding skiff

    Location:
    Oceanside
    Name:
    steve mazza
    Boat:
    19' spectrum
    • Messages:
      (146)
    • Likes Received:
      (63)
    My boat is smaller than yours and if the weather is reasonable I would make the trip launching out of Huntington or Redondo Areas.(I have a radio, tow insurance safety equipment and a backup GPS My phone did work close to the island) I would start at the Isthmus. Right outside of the Isthmus harbor is a large rock just off shore. There is a big reef located around there. In addition there is a marker weather station as well. Close to the south side of the harbor you should find a lot of huge perch to get you started . Small hooks and squid is the key on those. From there I would head towards Avalon. You will notice a sheer rock wall area and to the left a sand beach. This is just south of the Isthmus. Look for sonar marks then chum em up. They should boil if you are lucky. During Lobster season this is a great area as well. There where lots of Bonita small bass and some Yellow Tail mixed in on Wes. Hopefully there will be bait. I have been told its kinda scarce. When we went out the bait boat was off Huntington pier. Good Luck. I am no expert on Catalina but the little I know I share. Let us know how it goes.
     
  17. Northeastfshman

    Northeastfshman Moderator

    Location:
    San Clemente
    Name:
    Brett Weinberg
    Boat:
    Parker 2120SCDV
    • Messages:
      (2,098)
    • Likes Received:
      (1,320)

    NE Is even worse
     
    gved823 and crabdancer like this.
  18. Greenbergler

    Greenbergler Member

    Location:
    ORANGE COUNTY
    Name:
    Corey Greenberg
    Boat:
    Friend's boston whaler 210 montauk
    • Messages:
      (119)
    • Likes Received:
      (71)
    So looks like Catalina is a no go this weekend in the boat. We were gonna go on a cattle boat out there but all the counts are really low so we're gonna just take the smaller 15' whaler out closer to shore in Dana point
     
  19. seadancer

    seadancer Member

    Location:
    Westminster, CA
    Name:
    Craig Gilbert
    Boat:
    none
    • Messages:
      (177)
    • Likes Received:
      (143)
    I have been fishing Catalina and many offshore islands since 60's. I have run boats to and from Cabo. Was stranded for a week on Tiburon Island. Have fished most islands in Gulf of Ca and down to Socorro and San Benedicto. Many overnight trips to Cat. All on private boats from 18' to 60', most on 30' or smaller. The back side can get really tough compared to the front, but often has the best fishing. The channel can at times become treacherous in small boat if wind and waves are up. Usually better in AM and worse in PM in Spring-Summer-Fall. Make first trip a day trip. Not overnight. Launch small vessel in Huntington Harbor or Davies. Early. Say 4:30 am. Leave harbor entrance at early light. Not in dark unless you have radar. Head to Nachos for live bait. Head straight to island. Fish front side primarily in the lee. If you go around to back side be sure to get back to front side as wind or swell picks up. Plan on returning to port and being there before dark. Give yourself 2 hours for return trip if wind and swells are up which is every afternoon. Start back from island as far west as you can for better and safer ride back to port. Run bow up a little and keep hand on throttle to slow down as necessary when running down swell coming back. Throttle up and down as necessary for comfort and primarily safety. When you do your first over nighter first choice us to get a mooring in either Avalon or Isthmus. Don't anchor. If you want to stay on the back side your only real option without more experience is to get a mooring in Cat Harbour. Staying alive and nobody getting hurt is what matters most. Fishing and catching fish are further down the list. Returning home safely is how I define a successful trip. Catching some fish is just a bonus. Craig
     
  20. af dreamer

    af dreamer I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    long beach,ca
    Name:
    tom
    Boat:
    44 luhrs dreamer
    • Messages:
      (3,805)
    • Likes Received:
      (1,338)
    Go east and work up west.Going home to LB HB area from the east end is usually not fun.Try to come home west of at least Long Point.Tom
     
    Hooops likes this.

Share This Page