Newspaper Archive of
The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
September 5, 2014     The Catalina Islander
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September 5, 2014

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up rare Club has roots in the formation of sport fishing's rod and reel COURTESY OF THE CATALINA ISLAND MUSEUM The Tuna Club of Avalon con- tains some of the most notable fish stories of all time. Starting with its founder, naturalist Dr. Charles Frederick Holder and his quest to give fish "a sporting chance." The club became known around the world for recording the first rod and reel catches of leaping tuna, marlin and broadbill swordfish. Before long, promi- nent figures of the early twenti- eth century, including Hollywood actors and directors, were counted among its membership. The Tuna Club's historic club- house opens its doors only one day each year, to benefit the Catalina Island Museum. This year's tour takes place on Saturday, September 13th. Holder, an experienced fisher- man from the East Coast, recog- nized the potential for sport fishing on the island and was determined to prove a tuna could be caught using a simple rod and reel. He spent more than two years fishing with the island's most knowledge- able boatman, a local character nicknamed "Mexican Joe." On June 1, 1898 Holder caught what he and his companions dubbed "the first very large tuna" hooked with only a rod and reel. The size~of the catch stunned "ocal fishermen. Almost immediately newspa- pers around the world published accounts of Holder's record catch. Catalina Island's popularity grew steadily and fishing for sport became the island's most exciting attraction. Holder wrote, "It was this cap- ture and the unsportsmanlike con- ditions of fishing on the island which caused me to suggest the organization of the Tuna Club. The splendid fishes of the region, yellowtail, white sea bass, and Clockwise from left: Mexican Joe and a giant black sea bass; The Tuna Club building built in Avalon in 1908; Charles Fredrick Holder and his fish- ing guide. Photos courtesy of the Catalina Island Museum floor of Avalon's historic Casino and are open 7 days a week, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, the museum may be reached by phone at 310-510-2414 others, were being slaughtered opportunity to view the interior or at its website: CatalinaMuseum. by the ton... It was a depressing of the historic clubhouse featur- org. sight, as most of these fishes were ing a number of artifacts, trophies fed to the sea lions and sharks, and photographs documenting the Rotary sets host bar will be available. How to stop it was the ques- birth of sport fishing. Prizes will be awarded for tion, and I conceived the idea of Tours will be offered on Halloween the most be-witching costumes. an appeal to the innate sense of Saturday, September 13 at 1 p.m., Musical entertainment and a mug- fair play found among all anglers. 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Longtime Tuna nificent magician will be on stage I suggested the Tuna Club 'for the Club member and Avalon resi- Bash and to cast a spell on guests. Doors protection of the game fishes of dent, Rock Gosselin, will conduct open at 6:30 p.m. southern California,' and a consti- the tours. All of the proceeds ben- tution that would permit the use of efit the Catalina Island Museum. A limited number of tickets lines up to twenty-four thread only Tickets are $30 for members of to the Bash are available for $45 and light rods, with the condition the museum and $35 for the gen- Don your scariest costume and per person at the Catalina Island that every angler must land his eral public, join the ghoulish gathering at the Chamber of Commerce's Visitor own fish." Tickets are selling fast! Only Rotary Halloween Costume Bash Center on the Green Pier in Avalon The club was open to any gen- 60 tickets are available, and this and Auction on Friday, October or by calling the Chamber at 310- tleman willing to follow the club's tour always sells out quickly! 31st at the M Restaurant. 510-1520. Be there or be scared. strict rules of engagement. Openly For more information or to pur- The Avalon Rotary Club is The Halloween Bash and discouraging the use of hand lines chase tickets, the museum may be presenting an adult Halloween Auction is sponsored by the Rotary and harpoons, the club honors reached by phone at 310-510-2414 Costume Bash at the M Restaurant Club of Avalon. to this day those anglers who or at its website: CatalinaMuseum. by Zest Catering and Events on The Avalon Rotary Club is just achieved the seemingly impos- org. Halloween night, one of more than 32,000 Rotary sible task of catching a tuna of The Catalina Island Museum is Decorate a pumpkin into a boo- Clubs around the world in over over 100 pounds, using only a rod Avalon's sole institution devoted tifuljack-o'lantern at the Pumpkin 200 countries and meets weekly and reel with a line no stronger to art, culture and history. The Decorating Contest. Bid on terror- on Wednesdays at 12:15 p.m. at than 24-thread. museum, its digital theater and ific silent and live auction items, the M Restaurant, catering by Don't miss this exclusive store are located on the ground Appetizers will be served and a no Zest Catalina Island Medical Center's state-of-the-art Siemens CT Scanner can provide the diagnostic images needed for nearly all medical conditions. Simply let your physician know you would prefer to have your diagnostic imaging completed on the island. Familiar places and familiar faces No appointment needed * Scans available immediately on CD * Images sent electronically to your physician * Please call for more information. Cataiina J --" IslandMedieal Center Tracey Norton, DO (3 o) 51o-o7oo Laura Ulibarri, MD Falls Canyon Road PO Box 1563, Avalon 90704 Monte Mellon, MD 6 i l~riclayi SeP:l-eml~ei51 ::;'0~.4 ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. ii!E eAIAUNAiSi~NDER