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OUTDOOR NOTES / PETE THOMAS

This Fish Story Has Twist--It's for Real

November 16, 1994|PETE THOMAS

Dan Sansome has seen a lot in his 10 years as a long-range skipper out of San Diego but his latest trip down the Baja California coast was one for the books.

Sansome, 49, said he had never seen anything like it.

Twenty-five fishermen aboard the American Angler accounted for 311 yellowfin tuna, 150 dorado, 140 wahoo, 71 yellowtail, nine marlin, one sailfish and a short-bill spearfish.

That so many tuna and dorado were caught was no surprise, but to catch so many wahoo on a 10-day trip is unusual, and to have so many marlin around the boat is practically unheard of.

"We released at least 40 marlin," Sansome said. "I've never seen that many in one area. We probably had a dozen on (people's lines) at one time."

*

The changing of the guard is under way off Cabo San Lucas, where striped marlin are moving in and the bigger blues and blacks are slowly moving out.

Not that the change in seasons has affected their appetites.

A 490-pound blue was caught aboard the yacht Reel Affair after it had swallowed a 40-pound tuna at the end of an angler's line.

When the marlin was hung on the scale, a 30-pound dorado fell from its mouth.

Striper fishing is on the rise, though, with some skippers reporting as many as three a day, an indication that this season might be as productive as last--one of the best ever.

For those who prefer smaller and more edible game, this has been one of the best dorado seasons anyone can remember.

How easy are they to catch?

One was reportedly taken on a banana peel.

*

Backpacker magazine, in its December Issue, sheds some light on some of the more popular outdoor activities and which ones might help shed the pounds this holiday season.

One of the best is cross-country skiing, an activity during which the magazine says it would take a person 4.2 hours to shed one pound.

Backpacking and cross-country walking are also good, the magazine adds, in that one can lose a pound in 8.3 and 9.7 hours, respectively.

*

Responding to what the Department of Fish and Game is calling rumors, a spokesman said the department had not trapped and transported thousands of chukars out of state and blamed this year's disappointing season--on the heels of one of the best in years--on Mother Nature.

"I've heard rumors we trapped 9,000 chukars," said Sam Blankenship, a DFG upland game biologist. "In fact, we've trapped 433 chukars over the past summer. They were all taken from the China Lake Naval Weapons Station, which is closed to hunting."

Some of the birds were given to Oregon, which supplied much of the equipment and manpower, while the rest were distributed elsewhere in California, Blankenship said.

The poor hunting, he added, is because "below normal winter and spring rains in 1993-94 led to reduced seed production" and caused populations to plummet.

*

The DFG is looking for ways to improve black bass--largemouth and smallmouth--fisheries management and fishing opportunities throughout the state and has scheduled a series of public meetings on the subject.

"Every bass angler has ideas on how to improve fishing," said Dennis Lee, senior fishery biologist. "The meetings will give bass anglers a chance to become familiar with our regulations, review documents and to have a say in how we should manage California's black bass."

In the Southland the meetings are Dec. 3 from 7-10 p.m. at Castaic Lake Visitors Center, (818) 366-7913, and Dec. 10-11 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Angler's Marine in Anaheim, (714) 538-8307.

Briefly

FLY FISHING--Montana guide and author Gary LaFontaine will speak to the Sierra Pacific Flyfishers and the general public Thursday at the Encino Glen, with a dinner meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m. . . . Fly-tier and author-illustrator Dave Whitlock will present a program entitled "Midging" for the Fly Fishers Club of Orange County on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Ramada Airport Hotel in Santa Ana. Details: (714) 373-2721.

PHOTOGRAPHY--Winning images in the Los Angeles Underwater International Photographic Competition are on display through December at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro. Admission is free.

* FISHING REPORT C7

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