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Old 10-18-2019, 12:11 AM   #1
Bob Ballew
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Catalina Report: 10/17/19

...After a late start Wednesday, the Kid and I made the island by 4 p.m. under moderately rough conditions with wind and cross chop. Vis out by Ship Rock was about 20'. No sign of the 17' GW.... Moved inside and had most of the inside lobster spots to ourselves. It was too rough up west, so, we turned back and ended up in the middle of the island where the wind died down somewhat by dusk. By 9:30, we had 14 nice bugs and ran into the Isthmus for a mooring and a decent nights sleep..
...As we motored up to the west side cliff moorings, F&W officers suddenly appeared next us in an inflatable to check paperwork and look for shorts...The three officers were very professional and quickly finished checking our lobster logs, licenses and a couple of the smaller bugs. Commended them for being out there protecting our resources and they were off into the dark and windy nite..
...Our plan for Thursday (today) was to hit West Cove and the jumbo yellows in the cove feeding on squid. Early a.m., there was an eerie flat calm with weird cloud patterns...Didn't like the look of it but, headed toward West Cove, anyway. Fortunately, we keep the vhf on Ch. 16, where an alert was being put out to all boats. "Gale force winds being forecast for the channel islands out to San Clemente island".
...With increasing southwest swells coming up from Mexico due to a Baja hurricane, we both had the same exact thought: Time to bail and head for home!. Cranked the Parker up to 25 mph and headed northeast on a 35 heading, hoping to outrace the incoming wind....
Ten miles from Long Beach, the wind suddenly increased and the cross chop became nasty. One huge wave slammed into the port side and threw me off the captain's chair into the doorway frame...Only minor damage done to my wrist and off we went again.
...Had to drop our speed down to 18 mph as we ploughed thru the slop. The full cabin enclosure and auto pilot steering sure made a difference in comfort. Aside from lobster limits, the highlight of the trip was seeing multiple pelicans in groups of 6 and 8, a large increase over the singles and doubles seen most years..And, I was able to talk the kid into cleaning and vacuum sealing all the lobster.... Now, that is a real accomplishment, considering the kid is a master at disappearing when it is fish fileting and boat clean up time....Even before the boat cleaning was started, he suddenly had "calls" asking him to join buddies to go night lobstering in the harbor and off he went...again...Well, at least, he isn't out robbing banks for boat money...yet..

My next try may be for some of the yellowfin running 14 miles off the coast from Dana Point up to Newport Beach...10/20 Update: Bluefin reported just west of the 14 Bank at 25/04 and 23/05 degrees. Some big yellowtail above the oil rigs off Long Beach. Some Bluefin at the Avalon Bank...

Last edited by Bob Ballew; 10-20-2019 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 10-18-2019, 02:34 AM   #2
Desert Fish in da Pacific
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Re: Catalina Report: 10/17/19

Thanks for the report, Bob. Always enjoy reading them. My buddy and I encountered 3 DFW officers in an inflatable over Labor Day Weekend just outside of the Isthmus. They were courteous and professional - I applaud you for showing them respect & gratitude.

Glad you both made it home (mostly) unscathed!
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Old 10-19-2019, 01:55 PM   #3
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Re: Catalina Report: 10/17/19

Hi Bob, Thanks for the report. It is always nice to hear what is happening at the island. We were boarded by F&W on Sunday of the Opener. Very courteous and efficient. One officer was in a wetsuit ready to jump in the water looking for violators. They appreciate it when all your paper work is in order and there are no squeakers in your game bag. Cheers, Joe

Last edited by Kadman; 10-19-2019 at 01:55 PM. Reason: spelling error
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