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Anglers Get a Line on Run of Dorado

July 29, 1993|PETE THOMAS

What began as a goof-off trip for a small group aboard the Reel Special on Monday turned out to be one of the most productive trips of the year.

One of the most colorful, too.

Having arrived at a large floating kelp paddy just after dawn, the crew of the Long Beach Sportfishing-based vessel tossed a few anchovies over the rail and the ocean came alive as thousands of dolphinfish, with their dazzling colors of blue, green and yellow, went on a feeding frenzy that would last for hours.

"The area was solid with dorado," skipper Pat Whitaker said. "There were 30 to 40 fish coming out of the water (leaping after bait fish) the whole time."

Whitaker said nine people caught 90 dorado--averaging about eight pounds apiece--in a little more than three hours before they ran out of bait.

Whitaker wouldn't say exactly where the kelp paddy was, only that it was somewhere beyond Santa Catalina Island.

"There's plenty more fish, though. Thousands," he said. "We're going back out there Monday."


Whitaker's was not the only boat patrolling the outer banks the past week, nor was he the only skipper to include dorado in his count.

The Islander returned to 22nd Street Landing in San Pedro on Tuesday morning from a 2 1/2-day trip with 104 dorado, but the 25 anglers also won successful battles with 17 bluefin tuna, 32 yellowfin tuna, 14 yellowtail and 150 skipjack. L.A. Harbor Sportfishing and Redondo Sportfishing turned in similar counts.

Frank Hall, owner of 22nd Street Landing, said that commercial purse seiners told him Wednesday afternoon that the skipjack at the 60-mile bank "were like mush" they were so thick.

But skipjack are considered a trash fish by most sportfishermen because of their poor taste and Hall said the Islander would be trying a new area on a trip that began late Wednesday night.


With this the year of yet another El Nino, reports of the unusual continue to filter in.

Last week there was the story of dorado swimming beneath the Isle of Redondo Barge. This week there comes word that a needlefish--a sub-tropical species--was caught off Malibu Sportfishing's Aqaurius and apparently a wayward skipjack tuna--a pelagic species--has found a home around the docks in Marina del Rey.

"We're talking in the harbor ," said Theo Booker, a crew member aboard a bait boat that supplies Marina del Rey Sportfishing. "We almost gaffed it the other day. And there have been some yellowtail swimming around the docks, too."


Local fishing remains unchanged, with passengers aboard South Bay vessels frequently returning with limits of sand bass, calico bass and barracuda. The bite dropped slightly with the water temperature late last week, but by Sunday the counts were back up. Sand bass remain the prevalent species.

Local catches: Garth Mildner, Carson, 36-pound bluefin tuna at outer banks; Stan Germain, Harbor City, 35-0 halibut at Santa Monica Canyon; Christina Salkedo, Lomita, 33-0 bluefin at outer banks and Wayne Manning, Long Beach, 26-0 yellowtail at Horseshoe Kelp.

Trip of the week: Four days out of La Paz aboard a 50-foot boat that produced a 350-pound blue marlin for Dennis McLaughlin, a 190-pound yellowfin tuna for Bill Hogentogler and 75-pound dorado--caught during a double hook-up--for Dave Roy and Joe Jaconi.

The fishermen are from Palos Verdes.


CAMPING--Doug Bombard Enterprises is the new operator of Little Harbor and Blackjack campgrounds on Santa Catalina Island. Bombard also operates campgrounds at Parson's Landing and Two Harbors. Reservations and a calendar of events: (310) 510-2800.

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