"It was a thrilling and rewarding experience," said building contractor Clyde Rainwater, who recently caught a 29-pound, 7-ounce halibut aboard his boat, the Rain Dancer.
Rainwater, 63, said, "I have been fishing for halibut in these Santa Monica Bay waters more than 55 years, and it was the first halibut of this size I have caught in 32 years."
He credits the increase in halibut catches to cleaner water and the Torrance Edison plant's halibut hatchery program.
"Embedded in my memory dating back to the '30s is fishing with my brother on the Santa Monica pier. We used linen line and old thumbing-type reels. We caught barracuda, yellowtail, big halibut and some skipjack," Rainwater said.
"My father went out on the day boats, but my brother and I would prefer the pier and we would take home sacks of fish."
Rainwater said that when fishing from his boat, besides fishing Santa Monica Bay, he works Rocky Point and the outer islands.
He makes trips to Cabo San Lucas several times a year, and the largest fish he weighed in there was a 550-pound marlin.
Rainwater said he no longer keeps a fish that he doesn't plan to eat, even releasing sharks that in the past he kept.
Being a Redondo Beach resident, Rainwater has the fishing gear ready and gets out as often as he can.
Another recent halibut catch could be a candidate for an International Game Fish Assn. light tackle record.
Sydney Whitaker of Manhattan Beach, fishing from her boat the Hasta-La-Crotche of Torrance Beach and using two-pound test line and drifting for halibut, hooked up with one.
Reeling in slowly and not putting pressure on the light tackle, Whitaker brought the halibut to the surface and into the waiting net.
Whitaker had it officially weighed in at 6 pounds, 4 ounces and registered it with the IGFA as a possible two-pound test line women's class record.
Marlin continue to be weighed in at Catalina Island, with the season total reaching 145.
Catalina resident Jim Leahr, fishing near the Avalon Bank from his boat the Six-Pac, landed a 140-pound marlin.
South Bay Catches:
Mike Kaman of San Pedro, fishing aboard the First String at Cortez Bank, battled a yellowtail that headed to the rocky bottom. After 23 minutes, he brought to gaff the whopper of the week at 55 pounds.
Ann Searinge of Long Beach, aboard the Toronado at Catalina Island, caught a 28-pound yellowtail.
Stewart Tallez of Palos Verdes, on the Blackjack, won the jackpot with a 26-pound yellowtail.
Kim Doo Sook of West Los Angeles won the jackpot aboard the Matt Walsh with a 14-pound yellowtail.
San Gabriel Catches:
Ken Ruff of Alhambra, fishing aboard the Matt Walsh at the rigs, used a small anchovy and won the jackpot with his 16-pound halibut.
Lynn Sendussi of Monterey Park, fishing at Catalina on the Blackjack, caught a 21 1/2-pound yellowtail.
Brad Hagberry of Arcadia, at Catalina on the Toronado, caught a 18-pound yellowtail.
If the bait holds up over the three-day holiday weekend, anglers should find good fishing.
Yellowtail have started to bite at the rigs. Barracuda and bass at Rocky Point and Catalina catches remain steady.
At Marina Del Rey Sportfishing: The Spitfire fished the bay and anglers cranked up 150 sculpin, 20 sand bass, eight calico bass and one halibut.
The Happyman on two half-day trips returned with 301 sculpin, 19 sand bass and five halibut.
The Betty O rock cod special fished shallow and anglers caught 370 reds and one cow cod.
At Redondo Sportfishing: The Sea Spray fished Catalina and anglers chalked up 142 barracuda, 39 bonito and 36 calico bass.
The City of Redondo on a half-day trip to Rocky Point returned with 118 sand bass, 91 bonito and three barracuda.
The Isle of Redondo barge had a weekend mack attack, registering 2,255 mackerel plus 131 bonito, 125 sand dabs and 14 rockfish.
The Blackjack fished Farnsworth Bank and anglers sacked 14 yellowtail, 69 bonito, 39 calico bass and seven barracuda.
At 22nd Street Landing: The First String fished Catalina and anglers sacked a variety--108 bonito, 71 barracuda, 56 calico bass, 25 whitefish and six yellowtail.
The Monte Carlo found bonito action at the Rockpile with 95 bonito, 25 barracuda and 24 calico bass caught on a half-day trip.
At L.A. Harbor Sportfishing: The Sportking headed to Rocky Point and anglers caught up with 226 bonito, 41 barracuda and 36 calico bass.
The Matt Walsh half-day trip resulted in a catch of 128 bonito, four sole and three yellowtail, with seven lost to light tackle.
The Shogun fished Cortez Bank on a three-day trip and returned with 201 calico bass, 200 rockfish, 52 bonito and 26 yellowtail.
The Annie B barge had a weekend total of 717 mackerel, 256 croaker, four sand bass and two sculpin.
At Long Beach Sportfishing: The Victory targeted Catalina and anglers sacked 109 barracuda, 105 bonito, 63 calico bass and five whitefish.
The Southern Cal on a half-day trip to Horseshoe Kelp returned with 74 bonito and 46 calico bass.
The Toronado's Catalina trip rewarded anglers with 265 bonito, six yellowtail, five whitefish, two barracuda and two sheepshead.
The El Dorado on a twilight trip to the flats returned with 200 sand bass and 65 bonito.
Acquaye Badaod of Carson caught a whopper of a catfish at Santa Ana Lake. It weighed in at 25 1/2 pounds.
George Ikemoto of Torrance, using night crawler for bait at Santa Ana Lake, caught a 16 1/2-pound catfish.
Bradon Levrett of Inglewood caught a five-fish limit of catfish at Anaheim Lake.
Jay Johnson of San Pedro weighed in 33 pounds of catfish at Skinner Lake.