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Old 02-06-2021, 11:30 AM   #1
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Catalina trip 2/1/2021. Long W/pic.

Catalina trip 2/12/021

Sometime in December 2020, I got a picture of the Cabrillo Mole (Mole for short by the locals) sent by my friend on the island who is the lead man of the Catalina Express crew.
It showed the fencing is removed and the rework on the Mole was over after almost two years.

I notified Ken Jones (Skipper) and we made plans to go fish the Mole. However, I had made hotel reservations since past November to go ice fishing in the beginning of January, 2021.

When I came back from my ice fishing trip, my wife developed a health issue, so that delayed our going even further. In the meantime, there were reports of great fishing at the Mole.

Well, as soon as my wife was feeling good enough to go visit my daughter, I called the Skipper and within two days we were fishing on the Mole.

Below is the report about that outing. Skipper will have his own report.

Monday January 1, 2021

Skipper and I met at the Catalina Express Terminal in Long Beach, at 6:30 for the 7:05 AM departure for the island.

The boat was fairly full, since it was the first one of the two boats that were going to Catalina all day. Next boat would be at 4:30 PM.
Also, Monday is when a lot of contractors and employees go for the week to the island.

1-Skipper taking notes of something for his post.

2-Lots of ships waiting to dock in Long Beach or San Pedro terminals.

The ride was very smooth. I had not taken my seasickness pill, or even used my Relifband.

3-The island in the distance. The dip in the straight shot is the Two Harbors.
Isthmus Cove on the front side and the Catalina Harbor on the backside.

The city of Avalon is on the left out of this picture.

4-This picture with owner’s permission is for my wife. She loves Bulldogs.

I guess it was faster to get off the boat being carried than with short legs.

5-My first view of the Mole rework. I was really happy to see the great job they did.

6-In no time, Skipper was at the corner that he likes to fish.

7-I was so pleased to see that the fishing regulation boards that I had installed years ago, were still there.

8-The new grids look like galvanized steel which should last for many years.

9-The Entire Mole was redone. No more traffic cones and yellow tapes.

Although being a Monday, there were still other anglers which shared our boat and fished the Mole.
Unfortuneatly, they (or some others) left a lot of hooks and fishing lines on the ground. I even saw them feed a pelican which is against the law.

10-There was no Giant kelp on the surface yet. That made landing bonitos easier.

I Setup two rods. One with a single hook for bait fishing on a conventional reel with clicker. Other my favorite four piece, travel rod for bonito. Instead of My Usual Cast-A-bubble, I used a “launcher casting float” this time.
The bait was market shrimp.

11-Yours truly with the first bonito. It was caught about 11:00 AM.

For me, these days, there is not much that competes with the joy of seeing a bonito hit my top water offering.
For those who have not had the pleasure of witnessing such action, I will try to put it in the words.

After casting as far as I can, I start to retrieve the launcher float. With the rod tip up, I pump and reel in the line. My purpose is to make the launcher bonce on the surface and cause a splash.
This will get the bonitos attention as simulating a fleeting bait fish. Then it sees the fly about 6-7 feet behind the splash. Thus, as I retrieve, I look past the float to where the hook maybe.

If I am lucky, suddenly the texture of the water changes where the hook is. Then fish either gets hooked or misses the fly. If hooked, the float sinks and a short drag is pulled and the reel whines.
If the fish misses the hook, I do not stop, I just slowdown my retrieve. Many a times the fish is persistent in hitting the hook and finally gets hooked. Sometimes, it goes away.

In one occasion, the first cast after a break was rewarded with many of hits, yet no hookup. Then about 4-5 casts later, the fish got hooked about 20 feet from the pier.

Here is a link for a YouTube recording I did in 2016. At 0:32 look at the distance and you will see the water texture change.

12-This is the fly that the bonito hit.

13-It is fly version called tube fly.

When the fish is hooked, the hook pulls off the fly, thus protecting the fly. Also different size hook can be used with the same fly.

14-These are planned to be given to my Turkish friends. They know how to fix them right.

Later I cut the heads off and removed the guts and kept them in my “sea lion proof” bucket to bleed them.
As recommended by a local, I used the guts as bait and landed the only calico bass of the trip!

15-Skipper too got into bonito action.

16-Around 2:00 PM, the wind had calm down and the water surface was like a glass.

The best condition to enjoy surface action for catching bonito. In the right corner of the picture is the launcher float. I used it instead of the Cast-A-Bubble float.
It floats and does not crack when it hits the side of the pier or ground.

After fishing the Mole into early dark, we moved to Green Pleasure Pier (GPP). I setup my two hoop nets for lobster and Skipper got to fishing.

I got skunked. Skipper left a couple of hours earlier than me, and I was in bed by 10:00 PM.

On this trip we stayed at a new place. It was the Catalina Courtyard Suites. The rooms were very nice with very comfortable beds.

17-The new hotel was a bit uphill which made it hard after a long walk and pushing the loaded cart from the Mole.
It however, was closer to street than the Hermosa Hotel.

18-This mural was on the hotel wall.

19-Our hotel had a lot of old Catalina pictures in the hallway and some in the rooms. This one was in my room.

Tuesday January 2, 2021

We were at the Mole before 8:15 AM, when the first boat arrived. Thus, we had the Mole to ourselves.
Today much fewer anglers were fishing the Mole.

20-Today for the most part Skipper and I were the only anglers on the Mole.

21-During the three days, we had all kind of weather. From calm to windy, a slight drizzle and beautiful sunny, or cloudy skies.

22-Again a great time for surface action.

23-This lonely jellyfish went by.

24-There were three of these pesky birds along with some seagulls, who were harassing us.

25-Whether due to Covid, or just the season and perhaps both, there were few boats in the harbor.

The town of Avalon was very quiet with most shops and restaurants closed. No Cruise ships either.

26-Skipper in his happy pose. Leaning over the railing.

We stayed until it got dark again, but not as late as last night.

Wednesday January 3, 2021

As usual we were both up at around 6:30 AM and ready to go fishing.

We had planned to spend today at the GPP, but due to lack of fish the first night, we decided to go back to the Mole.

setup for both of us. To rest my arm from casting I was bait fishing. The result was the usual catches.
Calico bass, blacksmith, halfmoon (Catalina blue perch).

27-The next planned project is/should be resurfacing the other half of the Mole.

28-At one point a thick fog came over, but it did not last long.

When I go to Catalina, I prepare to face various weather conditions. Thus, I take layered clothing.

29-We had severe winds to no wind at all. Like I said before, weather changes rapidly.

30-I discovered this item on the menu of the local café on the Mole. The best item yet.

I like to help them, so I order from them instead of going to the market. It saves me time and walking.
They are a bit more expensive than the market.

31-Red sunset at the Mole is what I call this picture.

We took the 6:30 PM boat which was the only one besides the 9:00 AM one going to Long Beach.
The sea was slightly choppy, but no one was sick that I saw.

We hurly said goodbye at the elevator. I headed to my house, and Skipper to his Motel.
We were both beaten up from so much standing, but happy that we could go.

My next big trip is June 28th -July 3rd to Alaska. Like last year with the crew of Stoked On fishing.
I will have some more trips to Catalina before then. I

Report of all to follow.


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Old 02-10-2021, 08:05 AM   #2
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Lots of nostalgia for me on this post. Probably too many photos, but Thanks.
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Old 02-10-2021, 06:38 PM   #3
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Glad to take you back in time.

My posts are more of a travel log than "look what I caught".

I post on a couple of fishing websites. It used to be three, but one is off line now.
It seems to be liked by many members.

Last edited by Mahigeer; 02-10-2021 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 02-10-2021, 07:33 PM   #4
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nice fishing trip recount. I always enjoy these photo essays.
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Old 02-11-2021, 05:40 AM   #5
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Nice report, thanks for sharing.

No ice for those striped tuna?
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Old 02-11-2021, 06:26 AM   #6
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Thank gents.

No ice on bonito, but so much fun on top action.
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