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Old 01-26-2021, 02:40 PM   #1
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Ice fishing Utah, 1/2-11/2021. Long w/lots of pic.

This is a report of my recent ice fishing trip to Utah. Fishing was slow, so the pictures of two fish that I landed are on the top of the post. It was a memorable trip and as usual I took a lot of pictures. If you care to read the post, consider it more as a travel log than a fishing report.
There is also information about ice fishing, should you be interested.
Hope the report is liked.


In October 2020, I made my hotel reservations for the upcoming ice fishing season in January of 2021.
I had two goals after watching a lot of YouTube videos about ice fishing that showed various reservoirs in Utah.
Goal number one was to catch a northern and/or tiger pike. Goal number two was to catch a small fish called Cisco at a lake called Bear Lake. Then fry it on the lake and eat them fresh.
More info. on that further down below.

There are several reservoirs in Utah (Pineview and Yuba Reservoirs) that have northern and tiger pike, so based on Pineview Reservoir’s location and proximity to some other reservoirs, I chose a hotel in a small town called Coalville. It was a nice hotel for the location and I was there for (7) seven days.

1-I chose the small town of Coalville, after deciding what reservoirs I wanted to fish.

2-Location of various reservoirs that I had planned to fish.

3-My first fish of the trip, a small yellow perch. The second one released itself at the ice hole.

I saw many perch on the camera, but they were not interested in the usual baits. It was frustrating to watch them ignore my various offerings.

4-This 17” trout had to be released due to slot limit of 15-22”. It took a big juicy night crawler on a 3/0 hook. The first fish that I have caught on “jigging Jaw Jacker” apparatus.

Unfortunately, it did not make it. The large hook I was using was lodged too deep. It was put back regardless.

It was about (65’) deep where I was fishing, thus, the underwater camera with (50’) of cable was not showing the bottom. Not much light neither at that depth.

Saturday January 2nd, 2021

5-I got stuck in the afternoon traffic getting out of Los Angeles in Cajon pass.

I stopped at the town of Baker, which has a giant thermometer and the Mad Greek’s Café. I was salivating for some Gyros, Kataife (desert) and Greek coffee. To my disappointment it was closed. Not even a take-out option. Got some expensive gas at about $4.00 a gallon. The highest price during my trip. In Utah, it was mostly $2.49 or so.

6-As it got dark, it was easier to tell how many vehicles, (a lot of them trucks) were going on the opposite way south to California perhaps.

Around 7:00 PM, I checked-in at the Silverton Hotel and Casino which happens to be next door to the local Bass Pro Shops!
After some rest and change of clothing, I was at the table. The room was comped (free), so I was obligated to play games. Mine was Black Jack. Lost a bit, so it will help toward the future trips and comped rooms.

Sunday January 3nd, 2021

After a hearty breakfast I was on my way on I-15 north freeway around 10:00 AM for Provo, Utah.

7-Some pictures of sin city, Las Vegas for those who have not been there for a while.

8-In the desert there were huge areas of solar panels on the ground.

9-First sighting of some ice and snow was in Utah, on the way

10-More serious snow covering started to show up later.

11-In order to go to Provo, Utah, via the I-15 freeway north, you have to go through Arizona after Nevada! If you are not aware of this, you may think you are on the wrong freeway.

I arrived at my motel for the night at Provo during the early night.

Monday January 4th, 2021

Next morning, I was out to go get the Can-Am track ATV.

12-The morning started as gloomy and cold, but it got sunny later. I was having a bagel with cream cheese and Lux with hot coffee in the parking lot of Einstein’s bagel.

13-Many temp. pictures were taken to remind me of the conditions.

I found the rental place with the help of GPS (God bless the people who make the use of GPS possible. Past and present). It took me a year before I used my first Garmin unit which was a gift, now I cannot go anywhere without GPS. 4Runner came with a factory installed one.

Now for the rest of the trip, I had a trailer to tow. After driving for a week with a trailer, I gained a new respect for the commercial drivers who tow trailers all the time.
I drove slower and was very mindful of ice roads. Parking and turning corners became an important issue with the trailer as well. The Extra weight also affected the driving.
The 4Runner engine did a great job. Although in high altitude, I think it was gasping for more oxygen in the air.

14-Later I enjoyed the wide open roads that were on my way.

I made a quick stop and visited my kin in Park City. The Ski instructor that suffered a brain stroke. He is doing OK, but he never will be not 100% recovered. He is working part time at the information desk at the Ski resort. I have a full write up in the past reports about him.
In an unexpected way he is the reason I got into ice fishing passion, and making trips to Utah and beyond.

I arrived in the evening at my final destination for the trip. The hotel was nice with gussets mostly being hunters or truck drivers. I would be staying here for a week.

Tuesday January 5th, 2021

The hotel had what is known as “continental breakfast”. I enjoyed it every day and it saved a little money as well.
Most places have eliminated the breakfast offering due to Covid.

15-I got up to see about 4” of snow had come down during the night. I had the view of the 4Runner and the trailer from my room. I would check on it at night from time to time.

16-Later I discovered a small stream behind the hotel that one could fish artificial lures or flies.

Today I was going to fish the Echo Reservoir, which was 15 min. north of my hotel.
However, I took the highway on the west side of the reservoir and had to pass it completely.
As I was contemplating making a “U” turn at the next exit, I saw a sign stating “East Canyon Reservoir-10 miles”. Since this was one of the places that I had planned to fish, I decided to go ahead and fish it.

After a lot of uphill, downhill driving with sometimes icy and a lot of curves on the road, I finally arrived to a big surprise.
$30.00 entrance fee for non-residents. I could have just turned around, but after all the expense and trouble to get there, I figured I better pay. Although it looked like nobody around, the warden was around and checked my tag.

It was the only reservoir that I had to pay. At the Echo Reservoir, there was no fee for seniors.

17-This was East Canyon Reservoir

18-Looking down the boat ramp.

19-There was a store, but no one there now.

20-I set up where it looked like others had fished before.

I was packing up and after I took the above picture, I walked toward the Can-Am and suddenly I was in the water with my right leg up to my crotch. The surprise of the fall was worse than the ice cold water.

One of the concerns and fears of ice fishermen is falling in the icy water. Several safety equipment and procedures are recommended in case if it happens.
I carry in the 4Runner a complete change of clothing including my old ice fishing outfit in a separate “emergency” bag.

During the whole trip I was worried about weak ice and sinking the Can-Am.
As soon as I saw the trench, I moved the Can-Am to a different spot, before finishing packing the sled.

21-This is the illegal trach that was cut by some @#$$%^&* angler.

I could have completely fallen in the water, if I was not lucky enough to be at the end of the trench.
The only two anglers on the lake had already left, and I was all by myself.
Since I was done fishing, I did not change my socks and had the heater in the car on high heat and toward the foot.

The drive home was uneventful and a good meal at the local restaurant helped my mood.
It was dark as I arrived at the Hotel for a good night’s rest.

Wednesday January 6th, 2021

22-The next morning was cold as usual.

Today the plan was to fish for northern pike at the Pineview Reservoir. This would be the second farthest reservoir from my hotel. Bear Lake would be the farthest.

23-As once more passing by the Echo Reservoir, I saw fishermen on the ice.

24-Snow on the mountains are always nice to look at, don’t you agree?

After a long ride and a lot of uphill and downhill travel, I finally got to the gate.

25-What the ##$%. I could not believe what I was seeing.

26-Are you kidding me?

I was one unhappy camper. I guess it is part of being unfamiliar to the destination. Oh well.

As I started to drive away from the reservoir, I saw ice fishermen way down and far away. It occurred to me that there must be other ways to get to the hard water. Eventually I came to the end of the reservoir, and saw a highway going toward the other side. Sure enough, there was a parking lot with trucks (Utah residents love trucks) and a boat ramp. No fees either.
I set up and stayed until it got sunset. I packed and loved the fact that it was thickest ice so far.
I did not get any pikes, or fish for that matter, but I was happy to have found my way around.

As I was loading the 4Runner a friendly local started to talk to me. The ATV was a magnet. He later told me that the Bear Lake is not frozen and usually it does not freeze. Well the good news was that this information would save me 3-4 hours one way driving. The bad news was, no chance of catching Cisco fish. I did not have my waders, or proper gear for soft water fishing.

I had seen videos of ice that had to be cut in a rectangular shape in order to use net there. Perhaps it was not every year.
It is the only place that any size hole can be cut to put a net in the water to catch the Cisco fish.
Other places for ice fishing has a limit of 18” hole maximum.

The drive home always seemed easier somehow. I was home mid-evening.

Thursday January 6th, 2021

Today I was planning to rest my back. Fishing have been non-cooperative, and I did not want to really hurt my back. In the past trips, I usually use one day for recuperation and being new to the area, sightseeing. Although I could not fish the Bear Lake, I decided that I would visit it anyways. The sightseeing would be on the way.

Thus, I got on the way. I did not feel comfortable to leave the trailer and ATV at hotel. It may have been ok, but I rather prevent problems than try to solve them later.

So with the trailer I was on my way.

27-Scenery of Utah.

28-In order to go to the Bear Lake, I had to first travel to Wyoming, then turn west to Utah.

29-It is legal to buy and sell fireworks in Wyoming. At least where I traveled.

30-Suddenly a very nice house pops out---out of nowhere.

31-Vast areas of land with nothing on it.

32-One of many small towns that seem to be isolated, yet livable.

33-A collage in the middle of nowhere?

34-The road going to the Bear Lake was up and down with many tight curves. Especially when towing a trailer.

35-Finnaly I arrived at the lake. Isn’t this a lovely scenery. Too bad my ATV could not be useful there.

36-Lots of beautiful homes on the lakeside.

37-A good place to take a motorhome.

38-Lots of campsites to be enjoyed by the Utah residents and others.

39-There were plenty of cows roaming freely on the open fields eating and socializing.

40-Now that is what I call a wide load.

41-I love to see the long trains.

When I got close to the Echo Reservoir and the hotel, I decided to figure out the east highway of the Echo Reservoir for the next day outing.

42-The back side of the dam at the Echo Reservoir.

43-The Echo Reservoir with a lonely ice fisherman in his tent.

While driving at night or even day time, I had seen some deer, but could not take picture of them.

44-As I was leaving the marina at Echo Reservoir, suddenly I saw bunch of deer coming out of the woods and moving toward the highway!

45-They were not too shy and let me take some pictures. This was with the zoom setting.

Once more I visited one of the three restaurants in town. This one had an easy street parking that I could park with the trailer. It became my hang out for when I was out.

Friday January 8nd, 2021

Today I knew my way around the Echo Reservoir, so it was time to go there.

46-This morning started at (9) degrees temp. outside.

47-From now on, I have to rent this ATV to help me with getting around the reservoirs.

Especially going back to the parking lot, up the hill from the ice level, being tired of loading up the sled.
Once at the 4Runner, then loading the 4Runner was the task. The power auger alone is near 28 lbs.

The outfit that rented me the Can-Am was called Trax Power Sports, in Provo. They were very helpful with my many questions and gave me a good rate. I will do business with them again.

48-Add another 240 lbs. to the sled weight (yours truly), and you can see the need for the ATV.

49-This is the Echo Reservoir, looking toward the dam. No matter what day I went to various reservoirs, there were hard water (ice) fisherman there fishing.

The clear spot indicates a tent was there. The heater in the tent melts the snow on top and leaves an exposed ice. May be a good spot to fish.

50-There is a Vista Point on the highway above the reservoir for taking pictures.

51-Some of the items that I carry for my outings.

For those who have never been ice fishing:
Green rod holder,
A modified ice fishing rod with added a more sensitive wire tip for perch fishing,
An underwater camera sitting on top a flasher. Flasher is the fish finder of the ice fishing,
A Colman cooler for water, orange juice and if fish is taken home. Doubles as stand for heater and as working surface. The worms could freeze if not protected in insulated containers. Called bait pucks.
A heater, paint roller screen and Stanly metal container,
A mat to keep the foot off of the ice while sitting for long periods on the sled seat,
A second round cooler for scent tubes, bait related tools,
A 4” (black one) auger for flasher and camera ice holes,
A propane operated 10” power auger,
And the yellow, waterproof bag contains various items that I may and do need.

52-The sliding seat of the sled made more comfortable with an additional cushion.

53-I learned from YouTube videos that a simple paint screen can be used to hold various items to heat up food using the heater. This Buddy unit seems to be favorite of ice fishermen. It can be used in an enclosed area like a tent.

The fuel is propane which is what I also need for my ice auger. No danger of carrying gasoline and oil mixture in the 4Runner.

54-A Campbell’s Chunky soup heated on the heater provides a moral boosting shot, even if the fishing is slow.

55-The sled has a cover that collapses during transportation.

56-It flips over as a tent.

I stayed until dark and then packed. No fish on the flasher, or camera either.
Tonight the restaurant was closed! I bought some groceries and used the room microwave to make dinner.

Saturday January 9th, 2021

57-On the way to a new reservoir, I passed by the Echo Reservoir. Being a Saturday, it had more anglers on it compare to weekdays.

I was planning to go back on Sunday, but I could not. In fact, it was the last day that I fished. See side note one further below.

Picture taken from Vista Point on the highway.

59-Next destination was Lost Creek Reservoir. The road was clear, but as usual a lot of curves and uphill, downhill passage.

60-These pictures are from the top of the dam at the Lost Creek Reservoir.

61-This portion of the road was not maintained. Lots of up/down curves. There was no cell signal either.

62-This is where I fished.

63-My room was a good size and comfortable.

64-I had a good view of the 4Runner and trailer and actually passes my gear through the window on arrival to avoid going through two doors.

Side note one:
After a day of fishing, while coming back from the reservoir, twice I missed the off-ramp and ended going on the freeway and making a “U” turns. First one for 6 miles total, and the second for 12 miles.
By the time I was at the backdoor to the hallway of my room, I really had to use the bathroom. However, once more the room card would not work on the back entrance door lock. I then had to run to the bathroom of the lobby. I did not make it, and ended up soiling myself. The ice fishing bib I was wearing has a belt, magnetic flap and a zipper. Plus, underwear.
What made the incident unacceptable was that I could not go fishing next day. It was my last day (chance) to go fishing and use the track ATV. I ended up watching three football games in my room.
Somewhat prisoned in my room the last day of the trip.
At home I filed a complaint with Booking.com, where I had made my reservation. They notified the hotel and I was given credit for one-night stay. I decided to close the case.

Dinner was again at the hotel, in my room.

Sunday, January 10th, 2021

Side note two:

Since my ice fishing outfit was soiled the night before, I had to stay home today. Well that did not mean that it was a boring day. Well, I had a miss-adventure, or better yet an incident.

Normally I had used the available toaster at the breakfast area to warm up provided, pre-packed waffle.
This time, I decided to warm it in the microwave in the room. Not too long after I pushed the start button, suddenly I noticed smoke pouring out of the door of microwave.

Holly (you know what). What to do now? I had shut the unit already, but the smoke kept coming out.
If I open the door and enough smoke comes out, the hotel fire alarm would go off with my room smoke detector.
My heart is in my throat and I am picturing the entire hotel guests in the cold parking lot cursing at me. The guy from California.
Some are hunters and have guns.
I quickly opened the only window in the room wide open. I used a towel to fan the smoke away from the smoke detector that was in the ceiling.
Fortunately, the alarm did not go off and I opened the microwave door and blew more smoke toward the window.
To make sure the management does not panic, I called the front desk to notify them. I was rattled enough that I could not remember the word waffle. The lady who answered the call realized that I was not coherent, and tried to calm me down.
When I finally remembered the word waffle, she told me that the concentration of sugar, can cause the smoke. She was right. The center of the waffle was dark black.

One for the memory book.

I Spent the rest of the day watching three football games and packing for early departure next day.

The original plan was to hit a couple of reservoirs south of Provo which are on the way home. I would drop-off the ATV and go to fishing half a day then a new hotel for two nights for more fishing before heading to Las Vegas.
One lake was known for tiger pike and perch.
While I was resting it occurred to me; that once I return the Can-Am and go fishing at the other two reservoirs, it may be very hard to pull the sled. My back has been hurting from loading and unloading the sled all week.
I decided to cut the trip short and after returning the ATV and go directly to Las Vegas.

It turns out it was very good decision. See side note three further below.

Monday January 11th, 2021

Today was going home day. First dropping off the Can-Am and the trailer in Provo, then driving for a night’s stay in Las Vegas.

65-Got up to a temperature of (1) degree F.

66-On the road out of Heber City, there were some beautiful scenery.

67-Then suddenly I hit a thick fog for not too long of a duration.

68-The icicles on the side of the mountain must be frozen water falls.

69-Thanks to the people in charge, the highway was clear of ice and snow.

70-Suddenly I am in a thick fog once more for a short while.

71-No more snow, just greenery in Nevada.

72-Back to sin city, Las Vegas. Going south on I-15.

Once more I checked-in at the Silverton Hotel and Casino. This time I had to pay, but it was great rate.
Again I enjoyed some Black Jack, but lost even more. Which apparently has elevated me to higher level on my rewards status.

Tuesday January 12th, 2021

In the morning had room service send me some breakfast, and I was on my way home around 8:00 AM.

73-In California, there was a very nice rest stop that becoming important to me these days when traveling.

74-The nice restroom entrance was decorated.

75-In order to keep the graffiti to minimum, the entire place was tiled. However, the @#$$%%^^&s still marked the mirrors.

76-While checking if the flash works, this picture was the result. Oh well.

77-The road at times became very boring. Hard to keep my eyes open, but I made sure they were.

78-I had seen some notes about a McDonald in Barstow that was made of train cars.

79-Just happens that a long train was passing by as I pulled in the parking lot.

80-In addition to McDonalds, there are other food venders, various touristic and novelty shops.

I got a Route (66) bag for my wife’s Birthday.

I arrived at home around 3:00 PM and joined my recliner for a relaxing nap.

81-This was a temp. in Los Angeles at my driveway.

Side note three:
Around (5) PM My wife developed a very high blood pressure and pulse. Being retired registered nurse, she knew something was not right. She called Kaiser and spoke to a specialized nurse. She was told to go to the emergency room ASAP. So we did. After few hours and some tests, they told her they do not see anything wrong. A monitor was ordered for her to wear for two weeks and later be analyzed by appropriate physicians.
On Friday at (7) AM my wife had another episode and told me to call 911. The paramedics showed up and did their normal testing. Then per advise of an emergency nurse at UCLA they transported her to Kaiser again. She was admitted for a week and now she is home.
She is better, but not 100%. we are waiting for the arrival of the monitor.
God knows what would have happened if I was fishing and she was home alone. Somehow my early return may have been planned by a higher power.

One reason for delay in submitting this report.

Ice fishing seems to be the hardest type of fishing. I have cancelled my second trip for this year.
I may have one or two more trips left for me at (71) years old then and out of shape now.

Be well and safe,


Last edited by Mahigeer; 01-31-2021 at 07:06 AM.
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Old 01-26-2021, 04:00 PM   #2
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Looks like fishing was slow but you know what they say about that, a bad day of fishing beats a good day of work.

Glad you enjoyed and made the most of your trip. Bummer to hear about the incident causing you to miss a couple of days, but it sounds like that was for the better after all. Hopefully your wife makes a full recovery and is back to 100% soon.

Those little towns in the middle of "no where" are kind of appealing, wonder what the people who live there are like. Interesting style of life especially in todays world.

You do a great job of detailing your adventures. Ice fishing has always intrigued me but it sure does look like a giant amount of work especially to do it alone.

Thanks for sharing!
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Old 01-26-2021, 04:57 PM   #3
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Nice job of detailing your trip. Sorry it was not more productive for you. In the end, nice that you were able to be there for your wife. I hope she gets well fast. It's activities like these that keep us active which in turn keeps us healthy. Good luck on your next adventure.
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Old 01-26-2021, 10:07 PM   #4
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What a wonderful write up, thank you for allowing us to once again join you on your journey.

All the best for your wife on her recovery. Both my mother and my mother in law had something similar within a few weeks just before and after Christmas. Both were admitted and then sent home a day later being told the hospital found nothing wrong. So far, so good since then.
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Old 01-27-2021, 07:39 AM   #5
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Thank you guys for your kind comments and well wishes for my wife. She is on a holding pattern, but not 100% yet.

I am sorta getting my bucket list done.

I have not been kayak fishing in a long time, but I do like this site for its information and classy members.

I will post my fishing adventures here, no matter what kind, since it seems to be liked.

Next big one is back to Alaska in July (maybe with Stoked on Fishing crew) for giant halibut and other fish. Perhaps this time lingcod, since it was not allowed last time.

The last trip has not been on TV yet. I post here when it is shown.
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Old 01-27-2021, 08:10 AM   #6
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Thanks for sharing your adventure!
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Old 01-27-2021, 05:37 PM   #7
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You are welcome.
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Old 01-29-2021, 06:21 PM   #8
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Hello Arkadash,

Wishing your wife all the best for a speedy recovery.
I hope she is well and pulls through with flying colors.

I absolutely love reading about your adventures.
I am living vicariously through your write ups.
So amazing to see how people adapt to different landscapes and conditions to pursue what they love to do.

I am glad to hear your kin is doing OK.
Haven't been to Park City in over 3 decades.
Beautiful place.

Thank you, again, for sharing your adventure in such a great way.
And, by the way, I call BU!!$h!t on all that getting old stuff.
Take good care of yourself and keep doing what you love.

Cheers and tight lines.

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Old 01-30-2021, 01:51 PM   #9
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Merhaba JJ,

You are very kind with your nice post. Sag ol arkadsh.

My wife is doing much better. The monitor arrived yesterday and she is wearing it for the next two weeks. I hope it shows something to help the Dr.s with their diagnosis.

The best news is that, she felt good enough to go visit my daughter and grandson for a week.

That means this Monday-Wednesday, I will be fishing the newly opened Mole with my friend Ken Jones.

In case readers here are not aware, the Cabrillo Mole "Mole" for short in the city of Avalon is California public pier. It had been closed for construction for about a year.

Which meant no fishing. But now it is open and reports are fishing is good.

My friend has been waiting for me since first of the year to go. I could not (more like, would not) postpone my ice fishing trip. Now we can not wait to hit both piers on Avalon.

A report to follow.

Be well.
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Old 01-31-2021, 12:30 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Mahigeer View Post
The best news is that, she felt good enough to go visit my daughter and grandson for a week.

That means this Monday-Wednesday, I will be fishing the newly opened Mole with my friend Ken Jones.

In case readers here are not aware, the Cabrillo Mole "Mole" for short in the city of Avalon is California public pier. It had been closed for construction for about a year.

Which meant no fishing. But now it is open and reports are fishing is good.

My friend has been waiting for me since first of the year to go. I could not (more like, would not) postpone my ice fishing trip. Now we can not wait to hit both piers on Avalon.

A report to follow.

Be well.
So you will be making a trip to Catalina Island! I did not think they allowed fishing on that mole due to its proximity to Lover's cove which was a sanctuary. They would feed the fish for the glass bottom boat in lover's cove, and there was a healthy stock of Perch, Opaleye and Calico Bass the last time I was there(LOL back in the 90's). Light tackle would be fun off there, too bad you can't bring your kayak -- leave it at your daughter's place.
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Old 01-31-2021, 07:53 AM   #11
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Some clarification is indicated here;
My daughter lives in Claremont off of 210 freeways. Not Catalina. I wish she did.

I have been fishing the Mole since 2006. The MLPA regulation allows “fin fish with hook and line”. Only from the pier (Mole). Thus, the boats cannot fish in front of the Mole from the flag pole to the Lover’s Cove border.
No hoop netting either anymore. Thanks to Arnold.

There is a crane at the separation line between Mole and the Lover’s Cove.
If the picture is enlarged, in the distance there is a white building. Behind it is a “T” shape blue metal unit. That is a part of the crane. Beyond the crane is the Lover’s Cove.

The work was done to replace the rusted beams/girders and the surface grids. The concrete floor is also looks like was replaced. This an old picture.

Note about Love’s Cove: Due to its location in the past, no one from the town could see the Cove, so lovers would use it to be romantic. Thus, the name.

Caught a lot of lobster before MLPA at the Cabrillo Mole (Mole for short). Being a California public pier, no license for fishing is required. Lobster card was required before MLPA.

Was there a lobster card before MLPA? Now I can’t remember.

As to kayak fishing, there are rentals on the island but not available for night fishing. I bought a Hobie 11’ inflatable and was allowed to take it on Catalina Express.
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