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Westside Digest

Santa Monica Bay : Halibut Catch Hits Bottom

April 29, 1993

Rough seas and the wrong bait combined to disappoint many fishermen in Sunday's Santa Monica Bay Halibut Derby, according to organizer John J. Bourget.

With 1,140 anglers registered, only 143 catches exceeded the 24-inch tournament minimum, a record low for the annual event. The biggest catch was a 32.9-pounder landed by Glenn Smith of Marina del Rey.

The anglers tagged 90 smaller fish for scientific purposes, Bourget said. But with only big sardines available for bait--some as long as 12 inches--smaller halibut were not biting, Bourget said. Smaller halibut are much more likely to go after anchovies, he said.

"That bait was huge," Bourget said. "You could have saddled it."

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