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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
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September 30, 2011     The Catalina Islander
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Opah Fish Caught in Channel Waters BY THERESA CUMMINGS Eleven-year old Joe Guion caught a 56-pound opah fish in channel waters off the coast of Catalina Sunday, Sept. 25. He and his father J.J. went to catch bait for the upcoming lobster season. They came across one of their rental boats with a bent rod and found a Humboldt squid on the line. Hum- boldt are known as jumbo squid, so they quickly switched their plan and began fishing for squid. J.J. called their friend, Bob Marquez, to join them. When he arrived they started dropping lead iron sinkers and every drop pro- duced a 2-3 foot Humboldt squid. After Marquez had caught three, he hooked onto something quite big. J.J. passed Joe over to Bob's boat to help him and Bob de- cided to pass the rod on to young Joe. Joe fought about 15 minutes with the unknown prize. He then hopped back into J.J.'s boat for an- other 10 minutes of wrestling with the catch. They chatted excitedly about what it could be: A shark? Huge squid? Yellowtail? Or may- be a rock cod? As Joe finally got the fish to the side of the boat, J.J. gaffed it and they began to haul it aboard. They were all shocked and amazed to see this strange fish: "It was amazing," J.J. stated. "As it was coming out of the water, it was a bright orange color so at first it looked like a giant Garibaldi." As it came into the boat, the mul- tiple colors were striking. It was iridescent with bright red, orange and blue. Silver spots were all over it. They had never seen a fish like this one. According to Wikipedia docu- mentation, these fish are not likely to be found up in Channel waters. In 1788, they were recorded to be located from the Grand Banks to Argentina and the West Atlantic. In 1904 it was reported that they only swam as far north as the 34th parallel to the South Antarctic Pole. This parallel crosses Africa, the Mediterranean Sea, Asia, and the Southern tip of California's Pacific Ocean. It is also rare for opah to be caught on a line since they swim from 50-500 feet under the ocean's surface. They are prized trophies for deep-water anglers. However, since the bulk of their diet is made up of squid and krill, this would explain what the opah was af- ter. How it made its way into the Channel will remain a mystery. Opah, also called moonfish, sunfish and kingfish, are a delicacy in Hawaii where they are plentiful and bring $12 per pound. This was a prize catch indeed. . Seen below to the left are the lucky fisher- men JJ. Guion and his son Joe, who hap- pened upon a large school of Humboldt squid, which quickly became their bait for the next prized catch Below is proud angler Joe Guion posing with his younger sister and theincredible "catch of the day," a rare 56- poun d Opah fish. Mystery From page 1 On a number of occasions, the employees watched as this vision walked by the front windows of the store only to disappear behind the separation in the store's front windows or behind advertising posters. The employees---clearly aware that what they were seeing was not a normal, living soul--im- mediately ran to the front door into the corridor only to find nothing-- and no one--there. On one frightening occasion about two years ago, the employ- ees were preparing to open the store in the morning when they noticed a young man inside near the back of the store between some merchandise displays. Disturbed by the thought of someone in the store before operating hours, they both walked over to the area. The man was nowhere to be found until one of the employees looked back at the cash register area only to see the man crouch- ing behind the counter. When they ran over to the counter and looked down, the man was gone. Those who know the layout of the store know that even David Copperfield couldn't have pulled off an escape without being seen. A few months later there was another sighting in the outside cor- ridor, but since then the employees have told me they have had no other experiences. Who could this intrud- er from "beyond" be? The employ- " ees claim that nothing was unusual about the man's attir" e or hair styles. In other words, he didn't appear to be flom any particular era. Unfortunately for the ghost hunting crowd, the history of the property doesn't shed much light on our mystery. The building sur- rounding Cricket Alley dates back "to the late 1800s--not unusual for Avalon and having been primarily a hotel over that past century was certain to have seen a great deal of human drama. Roger Upton, who owned the property for the better part of 15 years, is probably the number one authority on the history of the property, yet he doesn't recall any unusual events or any sordid his- tories that might account for our ethereal visitor. Upton actually bought the building from the original owner, Harold Stamford "years and years ago" and oversaw not only the Hotel Stamford which occupied the building's upper floors, but the ground floor-based Catalina Hard- ware Store, a Catalina fixture (pun intended) for many decades. One of the more interesting his- torical tidbits of the building con- Cerns the bullet it dodged in 1915. "It's one of the few buildings that lived through the fire of 1915," said Upton. "Harold (Stamford) was up on the roof all day keeping it from burning down." But Upton doesn't recall any ac- counts of paranormal activity and eventually sold the building for more earthly reasons. "The reason I sold it is because I got tired of listening to all the noise and the operation of the hotel," he said. "That business was an old, old hotel without any bath- rooms in the rooms." It's been over a year now since any reported sightings of the Ghost of Cricket Alley. It remains a mys- tery who our visitor was and just exactly what he was up to--or when he might return. Got a weird story about Catalina? Send it to us at dan@cinews, us or mail it to Mysterious Island, c/o Catalina Islander, PO Box 428, Avalon, CA 90704. Even Is,00J00ders ,will be amazed... From early settlers Wrigley Family h What a patriotic to current  legacy told throug time for the island. attractions, the  memoirs & photos. Very rare photos! best histo et  . , S,,-m ryy Soft Co.e. .,, SoftCo,,o, '25" S 9s ; 7s Soft Cover S 39  mrdCov 47 SOLD ON CATALINA ISLAND AT Catalina Museum Sugadoaf Books The Steetnm Trunk Catarma  Gifts * Two Harbors General Stores Buoys & Gulb El P.Esconddo   DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES WILL BE ON ISLAND OCTOBER 10,11 &12, 2011 NOW RENEWING VEHICLE REGISTRATION** Sign-ups at City Hall. Appointments must be made in person. Must bring Ca. D.L. or I.D. *All applicants taking the behind the wheel drive test will have their license restricted to Island onlyl regardlessof the type of vehicle used. *Personal Checks and Money Orders will only be accepted for Regis- tration. PHONE: 626.292.1095 ca a nah s or .com THE CATALINA ISLANDER ................ FridaY, SeP:[ember 30, 20i:i 19