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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
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September 19, 2014     The Catalina Islander
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September 19, 2014
 

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With Capt. John King Tuna Virgin CAPT. JOHN KING AFISHINADOS CHARTERS It's hard to believe that our Capt. Lance has never caught a tuna. He has been fishing for a good period of time, he has even taken a vacation to Cabo and fished a day while there, still, the tuna has eluded him. Charlie calls him a 'Tuna Virgin'. Catalina Island is the birthplace for modern day sport fishing. The sports- man's ethic that we fish by today was written right here over 115 years ago. Dr. Frederick Hold- er was appalled as he observed so many people catching and wast- ing the 'leaping tuna' that were in abundance around the island. The techniques were crude and unsophisticated, but the fish were so numerous that anybody with a handline and some bait could cast out and catch a tuna while visiting Catalina. The bloodthirst was ap- parently so heavy that men would catch one after another and toss them up the beach, never tending to the quality of their catch. Dr. Holder's code of gentle- manly fishing would become the impetus for establishing the Tuna Club in Avalon and this code would later become the back- bone for the Inter- national Game Fish Association. All of this started because of the abundance of tuna right here on our island...and yet Lance remained a John King Tuna Virgin. Columnist It is not because of a lack of effort. On many occasions, Lance would try to get me to go long for tuna so that he could achieve his goal. I never got very serious about the opportunities, since the bite never really got close enough to the is- land to make the odds favorable. Until this year. As I predicted in earlier col- umns, we have had a series of hur- ricanes push warm water and thus tropical pelagic fish into our area. We have seen the bite move ever closer to Catalina over the last two weeks until we finally started get- FISH & TOURTHE ISLE IN STYLI ting really serious about getting in on the action. We planned a trip and left Monday morning. The word was that the tuna were chewing mostly on smaller baits such as Anchovies and Sar- dines. These baits are difficult to accumulate here so we made the run to the mainland for fuel and bait before we started fishing. We did not get to our 'numbers' until around 11 am. By 1 p.m. we had hit a few emp- ty paddys and were seeing some signs of life, then I spotted a jump- ing tuna and we stopped and got some baits into the water. I got bit within a few minutes and brought in a very nice qualjty 35 lb. Yellow Fin Tuna. Game on! Quite a few minutes later, my rod goes off again. Lance and I sprint toward the rod, but I was closer and it was my gear that got bit. This tuna felt odd from the start and as we finally got the fish near the boat we realized it was hooked in its side. We were lucky to get the gaff in and get the fish on board. We never got another bite on that stop and soon moved on. We caught a bunch of Yellowtail, a Blue Shark, Jon speared a Dorado and we even hooked a Mako, but no more tuna. Lance would re- main a Tuna Virgin. Last Friday we had another opening in the schedule and went fishing again. The weather was not so great, making it difficult to use binoculars. We felt like we were in a good zone, however the signs were not right. Two hours later we troll by a paddy and get a double jig strike. I was surprised that Lance was not holding both of the rods ! Finally, after many years of ef- fort, Lance got his tuna; A very fat Yellowfin. There is an odd tradition within the fishing world that you must eat the heart of the fish that had for so long eluded Free Shipping For Catalina Island Residents Web Ordering Available! Check in-store pickup For free shipping! The Vape Store For The Rest of Us! Everything you need! Beginners to Advanced Users Friendly Service, No Snobbery! www.thevapedepot.com 2139 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach Ca 90815 562-494-1442 Call 714-546-2020 For a Saturday clinic appointment at ClMC. ORANGE COAST center Lance got his. you or you might never catch one caught a few more tuna that same again. It is a gruesome tradition day. More importantly, Lance that is enthusiastically carried on took a charter off-shore the next by everybody but the angler on the day and hooked the first two Blue- side. fin Tuna ever to be caught aboard Lance good naturedly gagged an Afishinado Charter as well as down the heart of the beast. We four Yellowfin. A Tuna Virgin no all had a good laugh, and we more, game on! ....................................................................... : ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... ~:,.~::..=,~ 4 i Friday, September 19, 2014 THE CATAUNA ISLANDER