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OUTDOORS / PETE THOMAS

Cooler Weather Dampens Fishing

September 16, 1993|PETE THOMAS

Kids are in school, cool and cloudy weather has prevailed and fishing boats have had trouble putting customers on board and fish in the sacks.

So is the summer surface fishing season at an end?

Not quite, according to South Bay landing operators.

"This happens every year," Phil Campanella of Malibu Pier Sportfishing said. "We get this kind of weather and then in late September and early October we get what I call an Indian summer and then we get banzai fishing on the bass again."

Perhaps, but local fishing has slowed significantly in recent days, business has dropped between 20% and 60%, landings have canceled their twilight operations and most are or soon will be sending only one half-day boat out instead of two, except for weekends.

The good news is that there are schools of bonito and small barracuda breezing about, and it's not hard to find calico bass lurking in the kelp.

"And we're seeing the yellowtail, but they're just not biting," Campanella says.

*

South Bay anglers making the most of a late-summer bite: Jaeias Chunton of West Los Angeles, four yellowtail, the largest a 32-pounder, and one bluefin tuna aboard the First String at Cortez Bank; Danny Montgomery of Long Beach, four yellowtail, the largest a 25-pounder and two tuna, also aboard the First String; Russell Livingstone of Redondo Beach, a 22 1/2-pound yellowtail caught aboard the Redondo Special at Rocky Point; Jack Maiki of Gardena, a 10-pound yellowtail on the City of Redondo at Rocky Point.

Getting an early start on the bottom fishing so popular in winter was Eric Landsfield of Long Beach, who caught a 20-pound lingcod aboard the Southern Cal.

*

Anglers looking for a change of pace in the South Bay might want to rent a skiff and fish inside King Harbor, where a decent bonito bite is in progress.

Skiff fishing used to be popular inside the small-boat harbor until the previous business closed a few years ago. Now 14-foot skiffs, with or without motors, are available at Rocky Point Marine Fuels and business is booming, according to Andy Peck at the fuel dock.

"People are pretty excited about it," Peck said. "Right now there are a lot of bonito, a lot of mackerel, some spotted bay bass, and in the last month there have even been a few yellowtail."

There is a catch to fishing in the harbor: The sea lions have learned that a hooked fish is much easier to catch than a free-swimming fish and they will get their share of your fish whether you like it or not.

"It can be a problem," Peck said. "But most people like to toy with them."

*

Marlin clubs from King Harbor and Marina del Rey competed against each other in a tournament offshore Friday and Saturday with the Marina del Rey club winning.

Each club caught three marlin, King Harbor releasing all three and Marina del Rey releasing two and weighing one. Redondo got more points for releasing all three marlin, but Marina del Rey was awarded the victory because it had fewer anglers competing.

High angler was Mike Wincen, 48, of Hermosa Beach. Wincen caught and released two marlin. High boat was Wincen's partner Dave Fay's 22-foot Pursuit, on which both marlin were landed.

Perhaps the most excitement generated in the tournament was caused by a 200-pound mako shark that struck a marlin lure and was eventually landed--and later turned into steaks--by Redondo Beach angler Wolfgang Nachsel.

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