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FAIR GAME PETE THOMAS

November 25, 2003|PETE THOMAS

Big in Baja

The 91-pound, 9-ounce yellowtail caught Friday by Tom Lambert of San Diego, on a trip to Guadalupe Island off Baja California, has been submitted to the International Game Fish Assn. for all-tackle world-record consideration.

If approved, it will replace the 88-pound, 3-ounce yellowtail caught in June 2000 at Alijos Rocks, also off Baja. Lambert is a deckhand aboard the Qualifier 105 -- which returned to its San Diego port Monday -- and made the catch while on a break.

"My wife's a little mad," he said. "I told her I'd have to take down the wedding pictures so I'd have a place to hang the mount."

Yellow submarine

The American Angler will pull into port at Point Loma Sportfishing about 6:30 a.m. today with what is believed to be the first 300-pound yellowfin tuna of the young long-range fishing season.

Skipper Sam Patella radioed the landing last week saying that the brute, caught by Dave Fusco of San Pedro during a 10-day trip to Alijos Rocks, "taped out" at 303 pounds based on measurements of its length and girth. It will be weighed today.

Island action

These are exciting times along Oahu's wave-rich North Shore, where the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is in progress. Among the subplots: the national championship showdown between Kelly Slater and Andy Irons, which could come down to the final event next month at Pipeline; and 11-year-old Carissa Moore's impressive run through the quarterfinals of the Roxy Pro at Haleiwa.

On the not-so-exciting front, Surfline's Sean Collins is forecasting a "pretty dismal" late November and early December along north-facing Hawaiian beaches, thanks to a large high-pressure system in the North Pacific, which will also keep a lid on surf in California.

"Our upcoming stretch of poor waves will have nothing to do with La Nina, El Nino, global warming, or any of the other phenomena people will blame it on," the renowned surf forecaster said in his electronic newsletter. "It will be strictly caused by the location and strength of the North Pacific high. It's a bummer, but sometimes it happens."

Fat cats

There has been a run on big catfish lately, with a 60-pound blue hauled out of San Vicente Lake in the San Diego area, a 56-pound channel cat pulled from Lake Evans at Buena Vista Lakes near Bakersfield and a 55-pound flathead hooked in the lower Colorado River near Palo Verde.

B & B Bait spokesman Dave Diffenderfer described a snapshot of the flathead catch: "The fisherman is holding it at eye-level and the tail is between his foot and his knee. It's not pretty. The head is probably as wide as that guy's shoulders." The guy in the photo: Robert Brown of Banning.

Fatal attraction

Alaska wildlife experts and enthusiasts are upset about the death of "Old One-Eye," a full-curl Dall sheep that was discovered shot recently near a roadway south of Anchorage. The white ram, given its nickname by photographers, was discovered beneath the cliff from which it had apparently fallen, with a bullet wound in its rump.

"This was quite a favored monarch," Chugach State Park chief ranger Mike Godwin told the Anchorage Daily News. "The professional photographers are going to miss Old One-Eye."

Frisky business

Swimmers and snorkelers in the Makena area off Maui are finding a 300-pound Hawaiian monk seal a bit too friendly for comfort. The 3-year-old mammal, which had been relocated from the Big Island of Hawaii to Kahoolawe Island after repeated run-ins with swimmers, apparently is attracted to females of the human species.

Tracy Potter, a visitor from Phoenix, classified the nip to her thigh as a "love bite" in an interview with the Maui News, adding, "It would be a bit scary if you weren't a good swimmer, because he did kind of get on you."

Her husband, Gary, tried to rise above jealousy, theorizing, "He's just reached puberty, and he's trying to mate."

Marine mammal experts are planning another capture but haven't determined the fate of the animal. Monk seals are an endangered species.

Bird up

What do the Clovis Sierra Gateway Gobblers, Sanger Longspurs and High Sierra Yelpers have in common besides being nicknames that wouldn't make it in the NFL? They're National Wild Turkey Federation chapters that have banded together to offer 400 free holiday turkeys to the Community Food Bank in California's Central Valley.

It wasn't much of a hunt: The turkeys are of the Zacky Farms variety and are distributed to needy families. Last year, NWTF chapters donated 3,704 birds nationally, and the group hopes to exceed that number this year.

To e-mail Pete Thomas or read his previous Fair Game columns, go to www.latimes.com/petethomas.

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