1990 Season

      In addition to Melody's "contribution" Daniel had several friends who doubted the fact that Marlin could be caught in local waters. On September 8, he and I took his friends Ray Hsieh and "Uncle Mike" Wapner for a trip to Catalina. We were trolling on the outside of Cat harbor when there was a barely heard zip on one of the lines. The other two were standing in the cockpit and it didn't faze them one bit. But Daniel dashed down from the fly bridge, dropped a bait back and promptly hooked a fish. It took a little doing, but we finally got it - 146-1/2 pounds - proving that Marlin could be caught within 30 miles (or less) of Los Angeles.

 The following week it was my turn to deposit Melody at the skating rink for her Saturday morning lessons. Deposit her at 4:30am, that is. Having to get up that early this gave me the opportunity to go down to the Marina and possibly take the boat out for a little "hunting." It is the dream of boat owners to one day try the "solo" routine. I have attempted that on several occasions in the past without luck. Actually, I had a couple of bites, but the chaos of having 4 lines in the water was too much. Therefore, I resolved to only pull two lines at a time.

    I was able to clear the Marina by 6:00am and head for the West End (Catalina). Staying 3-4 miles off the island I started trolling at about Ribbon Rock, just short of Cat Harbor. The BAC Masters Angler Tournament (MABT) was going on that week-end and they always had a mid morning "round-up" with a report of activities. As I was passing Ben Weston Point it was time for the report. The radio at that time was on a ledge in the lower compartment off to the right. Therefore, I sat on the right hand seat listening to the report and glancing back from time to time.

    As I looked up I was startled to see a jumping Marlin back there and my mind said: "Ooh, a jumper." As I watched it was obvious that this fish was trailing a green and white lure as it jumped. My mind said: "Oops, that fish is hooked up." I looked around and realized that there were no other boats in the area. My mind said: "Maybe that's ours." (I say "ours even though I was the only one there - force of habit, I guess). So I got up looked down at the cockpit and saw that the rod in the port rod holder was bent over and line screaming out in the direction of the fish. My mind said: "Shit! I'm hooked up." Yes, the clicker was on, but being bent down at the radio and getting older ears I simply couldn't hear it.

 So it was turn off the auto-pilot, run down, pick up the rod, handle the cock-pit controls, crank in the other line, and eventually try to put a butt-belt on with one hand. That didn't work too well so I had to put the rod down, strap up and back to work. 25 minutes later I was able to reach out with a long fixed gaff (no thank you for a flying gaff) and nailed it. Holding on I was able to put a tail rope on, but couldn't slide it onto the swim step because of the presence of the two bait bags. So I tied it off to a cleat, got rid of the bag and pulled it up.

 On the way I passed Al and Betsy Epstein on their "SANCTUARY" and got photographed. And then to Avalon for the weigh-in - 126 on 30.

No tournament reports this year, but on Nov. 14 Daniel released one at the "181."