Master Angler Billfish Tournament

Hard Chargin'

Fischjäger
Aug 11, 2019
413
264
31
PNW
Name
Andre
Boat
Stabicraft 459 Fish'r
In Balboa CA. I'm busting my balls to make it to this. Is anyone here going or have you fished it in the past?

This will be my first time fishing for the big boys and I'm super excited.

I know I don't have any of the gear I need but I'm gonna show up and have a good time.
 
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DavyJones

Well-Known "Member"
May 2, 2012
54
19
Southern Cal. USA
Name
Mike.
Boat
-------
I've never fished in the tournament as a contestant but I have been fishing out among all the boats during the tournament.

Very fun to listen in on the radio.

If your hoping to pick up some pointers from the contestants I think that you will find that the tricks and tactics you may receive will be geared more toward the big battle wagons with 4 or more crew members.

PM me and we'll see if we can get together while your down here and I can give you some pointers geared more for the small boater.

DavyJones.
 

Hard Chargin'

Fischjäger
Aug 11, 2019
413
264
31
PNW
Name
Andre
Boat
Stabicraft 459 Fish'r
Thanks man I appreciate it!! Ill PM you right now.

And I wasn't just looking for tips and tactics. I've never fished the area and was curious about the customs of socal fishing and hazards that I should look out for.

How far do you have to go out down there to get Billfish? I've only got around 250 miles range round trip. Do I need to pack more fuel?
 

makairaa

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 1, 2005
4,383
3,537
Tustin CA
Name
Philip Hunkins
Boat
17 starcraft
In Balboa CA. I'm busting my balls to make it to this. Is anyone here going or have you fished it in the past?

This will be my first time fishing for the big boys and I'm super excited.

I know I don't have any of the gear I need but I'm gonna show up and have a good time.
You might be surprised on the gear. The MABT is a light line tourney. Nothing heavier than 30 on the trollers, most use 16 or 20 lb. Dropback and casting rods are usually 12 or 16 lb for the winners.
 

pacificscout

Hey! You got any frozen ice?
Jul 28, 2012
3,492
2,679
Fullerton
Name
Wally
Boat
16ft Scout EMBUSTERO
DD5DAEC8-14C8-44A7-A407-FAE52E6FA9F5.jpeg
If you need lures or feathers let me know.
I have a few rods that might help.
Old school but that's all I have.
Good luck. 1F41F643-E7C3-48E0-96BA-06206CE8DCD6.jpeg 446C8DCF-8AA4-48B9-A48F-CF099708F45A.jpeg 493CF1D5-81BC-41F4-83F0-63E5F38EF5D2.jpeg 5A4846FE-18D3-44DC-B886-D349D1536015.jpeg
 
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makairaa

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 1, 2005
4,383
3,537
Tustin CA
Name
Philip Hunkins
Boat
17 starcraft
I would also check jdsbiggametackle.com out. He puts up a fish report and will put up locations he hears of for where fish are being caught. Each year is different. Some years the marlin are up at the channel islands or santa barbara island. Some years at catalina or san clemente island areas. Some years towards san diego and the border areas. It is a release tournament so you do not have to leave out of newport. So far most of the marlin caught have been around catalina, but marlin move around a lot and the tourney is still a week or two away.
 

Hard Chargin'

Fischjäger
Aug 11, 2019
413
264
31
PNW
Name
Andre
Boat
Stabicraft 459 Fish'r
You might be surprised on the gear. The MABT is a light line tourney. Nothing heavier than 30 on the trollers, most use 16 or 20 lb. Dropback and casting rods are usually 12 or 16 lb for the winners.
I'm sure this is a silly question. But why is that? As they just not big fish? Youll have to excuse me because I've literally never done it and I have no idea what's going on
 

Hard Chargin'

Fischjäger
Aug 11, 2019
413
264
31
PNW
Name
Andre
Boat
Stabicraft 459 Fish'r
View attachment 1063004 If you need lures or feathers let me know.
I have a few rods that might help.
Old school but that's all I have.
Good luck. View attachment 1063005 View attachment 1063006 View attachment 1063007 View attachment 1063008
Thanks Wally. I think a few lures might be good. I only have 1 Marlin rig and a really big plug. I really only run 2 poles out the back.

Is that a True Temper pole though???!!! That's really cool. I didn't know they made gear like that. I've only seen their shovels and axes and things like that. Where do you live? Will I pass your way on my way to Newport??
 

Hard Chargin'

Fischjäger
Aug 11, 2019
413
264
31
PNW
Name
Andre
Boat
Stabicraft 459 Fish'r
I would also check jdsbiggametackle.com out. He puts up a fish report and will put up locations he hears of for where fish are being caught. Each year is different. Some years the marlin are up at the channel islands or santa barbara island. Some years at catalina or san clemente island areas. Some years towards san diego and the border areas. It is a release tournament so you do not have to leave out of newport. So far most of the marlin caught have been around catalina, but marlin move around a lot and the tourney is still a week or two away.
I didn't realize I could launch from anywhere. Is there a better place than Newport? I was going there because the captains meeting and stuff. But I have no reason to launch there as opposed to anywhere else. I'm just coming to fish.
 

makairaa

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 1, 2005
4,383
3,537
Tustin CA
Name
Philip Hunkins
Boat
17 starcraft
I'm sure this is a silly question. But why is that? As they just not big fish? Youll have to excuse me because I've literally never done it and I have no idea what's going on
Since it is mostly a release tournament everything is point based. The lighter the line class the more points you recieve. In case of a tie the fish caught first is the tie breaker.
 

makairaa

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 1, 2005
4,383
3,537
Tustin CA
Name
Philip Hunkins
Boat
17 starcraft
I didn't realize I could launch from anywhere. Is there a better place than Newport? I was going there because the captains meeting and stuff. But I have no reason to launch there as opposed to anywhere else. I'm just coming to fish.
I prefer huntington harbor or dana point, but it depends on where the fish are located.
 

Hard Chargin'

Fischjäger
Aug 11, 2019
413
264
31
PNW
Name
Andre
Boat
Stabicraft 459 Fish'r
Since it is mostly a release tournament everything is point based. The lighter the line class the more points you recieve. In case of a tie the fish caught first is the tie breaker.
Ohh. I've seen tournament rules like this before. I can't seem to find the rules for this one anywhere. Maybe I'll have access after I sign up tomorrow but it'd sure be nice to know what I'm getting myself into before signing up haha.

I prefer huntington harbor or dana point, but it depends on where the fish are located.
Are either of these places cheaper? Haha. Slip fees at Newport are insane. I can't seem to find a place that operates similarly to the northwest. We pay by the foot up here. The places I've called have a flat rate for a slip and it's like $80 a night!

I need to make friends with someone who has a private dock haha. My 15 footer doesn't take up too much space :)
 

DavyJones

Well-Known "Member"
May 2, 2012
54
19
Southern Cal. USA
Name
Mike.
Boat
-------
I would launch out of Davy's launch ramp in east Long Beach. It's the closest ramp to Catalina island.

Go to google maps and look at the Los Angeles/San Pedro harbor area. Then look offshore for Catalina.
At the east end of the Breakwater look at the beach shoreline close to it and you will see two rock jetties. That's where you will exit form when you launch from Davy's.

The east end of Catalina is about 26 miles from the east end of the breakwater.

The side of the island facing Long Beach is the protected and calmer side. And it offers several places where you can get out of the afternoon wends and drop anchor and sleep right on the boat.

Do you have bunks on your boat?

General weather pattern is calmer mornings and windier afternoons.

The east end front side will offer you the longest period of calmer water. The big landmark on the island in that area is a huge area of bare rock and island known as the quarry and fish are caught there every year.

The fish will come right in close to the island in the mornings like only 250 feet deep.

Go to google maps and turn it to Arial photographs and you will see the bottom structure. there is a finger of underwater bottom stretching from the east end out about 13 miles known as the ridge and fish have been caught there for several weeks now.

Check back with you later.

DavyJones.
 

makairaa

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 1, 2005
4,383
3,537
Tustin CA
Name
Philip Hunkins
Boat
17 starcraft
Huntington harbor would be cheaper. Not 100% sure about slips. Launch ramp is sunset aquatic and you would probably contact harbor patrol for slips. Harbor patrol in newport has some also, but they are first come, first serve and the boat must be there in the water.
 

Hard Chargin'

Fischjäger
Aug 11, 2019
413
264
31
PNW
Name
Andre
Boat
Stabicraft 459 Fish'r
I would launch out of Davy's launch ramp in east Long Beach. It's the closest ramp to Catalina island.

Go to google maps and look at the Los Angeles/San Pedro harbor area. Then look offshore for Catalina.
At the east end of the Breakwater look at the beach shoreline close to it and you will see two rock jetties. That's where you will exit form when you launch from Davy's.

The east end of Catalina is about 26 miles from the east end of the breakwater.

The side of the island facing Long Beach is the protected and calmer side. And it offers several places where you can get out of the afternoon wends and drop anchor and sleep right on the boat.

Do you have bunks on your boat?

General weather pattern is calmer mornings and windier afternoons.

The east end front side will offer you the longest period of calmer water. The big landmark on the island in that area is a huge area of bare rock and island known as the quarry and fish are caught there every year.

The fish will come right in close to the island in the mornings like only 250 feet deep.

Go to google maps and turn it to Arial photographs and you will see the bottom structure. there is a finger of underwater bottom stretching from the east end out about 13 miles known as the ridge and fish have been caught there for several weeks now.

Check back with you later.

DavyJones.
I have no bunks on my boat haha. Here she is in all her glory.

Good info. I'll look on Google and try and locate what you're talking about. Sounds easy enough.

IMG_20190826_170326_01.jpg
 

makairaa

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 1, 2005
4,383
3,537
Tustin CA
Name
Philip Hunkins
Boat
17 starcraft
For what it is worth, newport and dana are a little farther than hb or long beach. But, they have a much better angle on the usual wind and swells in our area. Typically the wind is the slowest in the morning in our area and builds in the afternoon till dark. Then fades shortly after dark. Unless a storm or other weather anomaly is passing through. Difference in distance from any of these harbors is no more than 3 or 4 miles to catalina. So take your pick.
 

pacificscout

Hey! You got any frozen ice?
Jul 28, 2012
3,492
2,679
Fullerton
Name
Wally
Boat
16ft Scout EMBUSTERO
Sunset aquatic park has possibly what you are looking for.

I'm in Fullerton.
 

Hard Chargin'

Fischjäger
Aug 11, 2019
413
264
31
PNW
Name
Andre
Boat
Stabicraft 459 Fish'r
For what it is worth, newport and dana are a little farther than hb or long beach. But, they have a much better angle on the usual wind and swells in our area. Typically the wind is the slowest in the morning in our area and builds in the afternoon till dark. Then fades shortly after dark. Unless a storm or other weather anomaly is passing through. Difference in distance from any of these harbors is no more than 3 or 4 miles to catalina. So take your pick.
So I take it that's where most people fish, around the islands? I literally have no concept of this so how many boats will be out there? Is it possible to be fishing alone? Most of the time up here there isn't another boat in sight.
 

makairaa

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 1, 2005
4,383
3,537
Tustin CA
Name
Philip Hunkins
Boat
17 starcraft
So far this year most of the marlin I have heard of have been off the avalon bank to the slide area off the east end of catalina and then up the drop off along the backside. Each year is different. Their are high spots and banks all over the place. There are 8 different islands in socal so using them as a reference point is easier than telling someone new to the area go to the 277 or some other bank. I would pick up a fishing chart that has the local banks on it as well.
 

miaf

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 14, 2013
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871
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With the boat you have, I would pick a calm morning before the tournament and do the crossing to Avalon or Two Harbors. Get a mooring for the weekend. Stay on the boat. Fish the island for the tournament. The fish have been pretty tight to the island. Then pick a calm morning to run back to the main land. Your not going to want to be out in that channel in your boat in the late afternoon, if the weather is up. Stop by JD’ Tackle and have him pick you out a jig or two that’s been working the year.
 
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Hard Chargin'

Fischjäger
Aug 11, 2019
413
264
31
PNW
Name
Andre
Boat
Stabicraft 459 Fish'r
With the boat you have, I would pick a calm morning before the tournament and do the crossing to Avalon or Two Harbors. Get a mooring for the weekend. Stay on the boat. Fish the island for the tournament. The fish have been pretty tight to the island. Then pick a calm morning to run back to the main land. Your not going to want to be out in that channel in your boat in the late afternoon, if the weather is up. Stop by JD’ Tackle and have him pick you out a jig or two that’s been working the year.
There are Marina's with slips on the islands?
 

Hard Chargin'

Fischjäger
Aug 11, 2019
413
264
31
PNW
Name
Andre
Boat
Stabicraft 459 Fish'r
Just called Avalon. That was a good call, moorage is only $39 a night and that will save me an hour cruising time each day of fishing. Only problem is that I just have to sleep on the boat .