For several years we regularly made the 150 mile drive from north San Fernando Valley to Harbor Island. We still went on the "Searcher" charters and, while some of the trips produced limited catches, every so often we hit it big. One day we even hit the "hump" (100 fish and I managed to take 10 that day. Here is a picture of Jan Flamer lounging on one of our better catches with Carolyn standing in the background.


One of our regulars on the Albacore trips was an old timer, Bud Perkins, a Lederle Drug Salesman. Here is a picture of a nice day for Bud, Carolyn and myself - about 35 fish for the day. That's Bud's daughter who slept along for the trip.


Other "regulars" on those trips were Sanbo Skaguchi, Bob Solinski, Yoshi Nagagawa, Geoff Halpern, etc. We often did well returning with 30-40 fish per trip. Our greatest trip was to come on the new K-D (more, much more to follow) with Bud, Sanbo, Jan Flamer and Joan Freeman (now Mrs. Bruce Kessler) with 112 fish. We had a night bite and got about 13 fish, trolled for about 10 minutes more, got bit and never moved the rest  of the day ending up with 88 Albies and 24 Skippies. I have no idea where we put all those fish on that 38' boat. Those were the days when there was a truck at Cortez, we traded for cases of cans and often got a slip used to get payment for the fish. The boat had to have a Fish & Game number to allow you to sell the fish. Helped pay the fuel bills. And those were the days of the lift poles - talk about putting fish on board in a hurry. And, of course, before the (ugh) Mexican limits.

1984 - It was one of those "routine" Albacore trips with Ken, Geoff and I taking Bud Perkins and a little glamour, Jan Flamer, for one of our regular Wednesday (Doctor's day off) trips. Out there we had, first a double on Bigeye and later a single. Bud and I were able to get the double. Kenneth was letting out a wimpy albacore lure on an 80 pound trolling line when it got bit by a nice tuna and on that heavy drag he took a beating, but got the fish.

1997 -  The 10 years of no Albacore was wearing thin, but there was always the thought of Marlin. In mid-May one of the sportboats had picked up an Albacore and everyone had high hopes. Thus, on May 20th Harry Okuda, Al Epstein and I went out looking. At the "390" we found a couple of sport boats working, trolled between them, saw breaking fish, trolled over them and got bit with three jig fish and 2 bait fish. The drought was over. I believe this was the 1st Albacore of the Year caught by a yacht.

1998 -  The "43" and the 60 mile bank have been some of the better spots. And so it was we headed out in a westerly direction. The weather wasn't that great and so we put out a couple of small jigs and a cedar plug. For reasons I can't remember I was checking the bilge and found that the forward bilge bump was not working and we had built up quite a load. So there I was in the forward stateroom with the hatch up and working on pumping the water out. We pumped into pails and then dumped them overboard. While sitting there I heard a familiar sound - that of a reel clicker zipping off line. I went up to the cockpit and there was Kenneth cranking away on a bent rod. No, it wasn't kelp but turned out to be a tuna-looking kind of fish with rather long pectoral fins. Nah, it couldn't be an al - - - - - - -! This was mid January, but there it was - a nice 12 pound Albacore. Mid January! We caught the first fish the year before and here we did it again.

Sorry that was it until the regular season got under way. And July brought a new "pro" from Lake of the Ozarks - my brother Alan, from St. Louis. It was time to introduce him to the joys of Albacoring and this we did - with a bonus.

September 25 - Not too much to report for the year. But Kenneth supplied a nice day's report. He had entered the private boater's realm with a 20' Grady White, DEEP COLOR, which he had rigged for fishing. Every so often he would solo out to the "9" (i.e. 9 mile bank) or in and around the Coronado Islands.  On September. 25th while trolling "out there" he hung a Bigeye double and managed to bring in both fish by himself.


On October 1, Kenneth went out again on his 20' Grady, DEEP COLOR - this time with friends. They had a triple - one on a Rapala fell off and a second on a Marlin jig came off early in the struggle. The third one was a classic Bigeye "gorilla" on 30# line and spent 3 hours and 55 minutes bringing in a 142-1/2 pounder. Both Ken and Steve Dern fought the fish.


January 2, 2002 - First Albacore of the year


July 16, 2003 - Less than an hour later we concluded a 24 fish bait stop (i.e. limits plus). We drove 83 miles, fish for only one hour, and done for the day. But what an hour. Once again super anchovy 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 pound. line. Interestingly, the sport boats - 8 or 9 - were all packed in a less than 2 mile radius.

December 17, 2003 - Last Albacore of the year. We reached the tip of the elephant bank at 2:00pm and made our turn back to the east, crossing the worm bank at 3:30pm and at 4:00pm we got a single jig strike on a tuna feather. We used 150 gallons and went over 250 miles for one Albacore.