|A simple city boy from the mid-west fishing hub of Chicago I finished
my training in Orthopedic Surgery and followed Horace Greeley's advise and
went west. My first ventures into the sport of fishing had come as a gill
netter on the shores of Lake Michigan fishing for smelt during their
annual Spring run. This did not really prepare me for what was to come and
salt water angling was not a list of priorities. Actually, I did have one
brief exposure. At the end of my 2 year hitch in the Air Force (March AFB,
Riverside, CA) in June, 1959 my brother, Alan, had come out to help me
drive back to the mid-west to complete my training. We spent a memorable
day in San Diego on a half day trip to the Islands on one of Bill Poole's
early Polaris boats (catching Barracuda, Yellowtail and Bonita and not
having the slightest idea what we were doing), dashing from the dock
across the border to see the last two of the afternoon slate of Bull
fights, and then finishing the day at the Jai-Alai Fronton Palacio. (How we managed
to stay awake on the drive back to Riverside I will never know.)
Down the hall from my first office was a Dentist, Dr. Bob Flamer, who had trained in Chicago and married an NJG from my old neighborhood, Janice. They kind of adopted me and made sure that I was well fed. Later, they introduced me and my newly acquired wife, Carolyn, to the joys of fishing aboard their 'PETTY CA$H" and (attempted) Marlin fishing. Meanwhile, in 1963, my first year of practice in California, one of the doctors (Al Figliozzi) invited me to go Albacoring. I thought it was a joke and the trip almost was. We caught one (1) fish on a boat line and when it was raffled off my sack number was the winner. This obviously meant that I was destined to be a deep sea angler and not getting seasick clinched it.
Eventually, Carolyn, Janice and I become regulars on the doctor-sponsored charters on the "SEARCHER" (now the "CONQUEST") and learned about albacoring from the likes of Don Sansome and that starting out Italian, Frank LoPreste. Bob and Jan Flamer had become involved with the boating world and introduced me to the Del Rey Marlin Club and Harvey Small of the Seafarin' Boat Sales on Lincoln Blvd in Marina Del Rey. Thus, we made the move in 1969 purchased our first boat from Harvey, a 28' single gas Luhrs. The boat was named with both a nautical and orthopedic reference - "CAST OFF." For the next two years I found out how much I didn't know about boating and was not foolish enough to try taking the vessel to San Diego for the albacoring.
Meanwhile, the Del Rey Marlin Club organized a 3 day trip to Rancho Buena Vista in April, 1969. This was to be Carolyn and mine first trip south of the border and, never having done battle with a marlin, I took a 50 and an 80 pound rigs for the trip not believing that it was possible to catch a 150 pound fish on 20 - or even 30- pound line.