July 16, 2003

Wednesday fish report:
Those of you who follow the fishing reports from one site or another or simply look at the fish counts should be aware of some excellent fishing going on this past week south of San Diego below and inside of the "Inner" Bank in the 72 to 85 mile range. The sport boats have registered some great counts and the season is truly in full swing. Scattered reports of dorado and YFT keep filtering in and, of course, the reports of the Gorilla-sized BFT keep us on all edge. And now, of course, the reports of the 1st Marlin catch - or was it a release - or were there 2 fish? But several fish have been seen down there in the albacore grounds and a few bites also reported. Also, "lots" of swordfish are being seen in the green water closer to the beach. (P.S. a spotter plane working for the swordfish boats reports seeing many marlin off Colnett.)

With all this going on we of the Ken-Dan decided to try the Albacore fishing, limit out early, and check out the "Worm" (aka "Peanut") and Banda Banks with marlin lures adragging.
Using the always accurate reports from our guru, Bob Vanian, we headed for the 72 spot with good reports from Tuesday as well as reports that the sporties were working in the 85 mile range that day.

We (Geoff Halpern, Dennis Albert, the Marlin Club website master, and Mel Appell, one of the hotshot standouts from that center of hard core angling out of Marina Del Rey, the Del Rey Yacht Club Anglers) put the jigs in about 0515 and just kept going south along with several of the sport-boat fleet. An hour later we had enjoyed a hot breakfast, were well relaxed, and still going south. Not too much bird life and only a few scattered bait marks. By 0630 we could see several of the sport fleet up ahead showing signs of dead in the water, birds began to show and at 17/50 at 0640 we got a double. That was about 83 miles 153 - give or take.

Less than an hour later we concluded a 24 fish bait stop (i.e. limits plus). 83 miles, fish for only one hour, and done for the day. But what an hour. Once again super anchovey bait. We took three scoops and probably used less than a half. The fish were from the high "teens" to the mid 20's. Great fishing, mostly taken on 20 pd. line. Interestingly, the sport boats - 8 or 9 - were all packed in a less than 2 mile radius.

So out came the marlin lures, prepare the drop-back bait, and off towards the Worm Bank we went. We found lots and lots of bird life just outside and on the bank, but also found very ominous weather pushing out from land with many lightning bolts hitting the water much to close for comfort. As a result, we didn't stay there long, for we pulled in the lines and ran back to the south west watching the rain squalls on the radar. We made a big circle around and headed back up the line. We headed up to the Banda Bank where the water was like 66.2, but green, lots of kelp, no life and hw finally headed north for the comforts of home.

Keeping this part short the Customs department is trying to tell us that EVERYONE returning to US waters from Mexican waters, even tho not picking up anyone or anything, not going ashore, etc, etc, etc, MUST clear customs upon entering US waters, even if you are from Washington, Marina del Rey, Newport, etc. There are some very stiff fines for being caught not doing this!

They claim that they will have personnel to handle week-end and even tournament times. We stopped last week and were in and out in about 10 minutes. We stopped today and wasted 90 minutes (i.e. an hour and a half) before they showed up and let us go. They took all the information over the phone and still had to pick up the filled out form. We will be pursuing this further.