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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
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October 31, 2014     The Catalina Islander
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October 31, 2014
 

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With Capt. John King Flying Gaff on the Avalon Bank I am assembling some of my stories into a book which I have titled From Board- room to Bridge. It is a col- lection of the stories I have written in my transition from the corporate world to the charter business. I'll have it ready published in time for Christmas. In sorting through my old stories for the book came across one I wrote about Scotty Costa about eight years ago. Scotty is a competitor, a friend, a teacher and a great fisherman. Enjoy. I had been fishing pretty hard for a couple of days so I decided to give the Afishinado a rest and sleep in. I lay in bed enjoying the fact that it was 8:30 in the morning and I had nowhere to go. I could hear the urgent ring of my cell phone in the charging cradle downstairs, but I knew that I would never make the dash from the bed to the phone in time, so I just let it ring. The urge for coffee finally put my feet to the floor so I sauntered on down to see if the caller had left a mes- sage. "John, this is Scotty Costa, we are wired to a huge Thresher on the Avalon Bank and we need a flying gaff. Call me." Now that is a message that would get any true fisherman moving The unwritten rule is that when a fellow fisherman calls for a gaff, you get him one. Believe me, the day will come when you need one and it is good to have some Kharma points in the John King flying gaff depart- ment. I told my wife Columnist Karen to bring the coffee and a muffin to Float 5, "We have an adventure in store for us today," I said as I went out the door with my boat keys in hand. I chose to take our brand new dingy since the weather looked good and the bank was close. Karen agreed that the skiff was the best option so we zoomed out of the harbor and right into a freshening breeze that made the run pretty bumpy. I knew Scotty was on the Avalon Bank which is located about 6 miles off-shore, however, I was in the skiff with no GPS and, as I soon discovered, no working VHF. I made out a boat on the horizon and headed for it. FISH & TOURTHE ISLE IN STYLI 'I want my bacon on Beacon!' Support your new Von's ALMUERZO DE VERANO GRATIS PARA LOS NII IOS de la escuela Avalon Escuela Avalon Habra ayuda del personal escolar que habla Espa5ol para Ilenar las aplicaciones del almuerzo, en la cafeteria. La escuela Avalon ayudar6 a cumplir la solicitud de su estudi- ante el mi6rcoles, 27 de agosto del 2014, de 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. Es irnportante que todos los hogares Ilenen una solicitud. El porcentaje de aplicaciones aprobado para las escuela Ava- lon, se utilizara para calificar nuestra escuela para fondos y ayudat en la educacibn de nuestros estudiantes". Meal Application Assistance Meal application packets will be mailed the first week of August. English and Spanish speaking staff will be at the Avalon School cafeteria Wednesday, August 27, 2014 from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm to assist parents in completing their student's application for free and reduced priced school meals. It is important that every household, with a student attending, complete an application. The percent of free and reduced-price meal applications approved for Avalon schools will be used to qualify the school for funds to help in the education of our students. Gene, Capt. John and Scotty with a 418-pound Thresher. Courtesy photo. Wrong boat; but one with a work- on the ice chest in the bow with ing VHE the rod fully bent. He had been A quick VHF call revealed that there for about 5 hours by the time Scotty was a bit to the West of our we arrived and it was another hour position and Gene was still fight- before the fish was ready to be ing the fish. Soon we came upon taken. the duo locked in battle with a fish Scotty took the first gaff shot that Scotty described as "big as and we could hear him grunt as he a cow." We handed off the flying pulled up to stick the gaff. The fish gaff and decided to stick around to simply rolled out of the gaff shot take some pictures and to assist if like a running back roils out of a needed. The fish was circling deep tackle. Scotty could not believe it. and the small 19-foot Parker cen- "It didn't even penetrate her skin!" ter console, appropriately named he yelled. Gene had backed off 'Rip Some Lip' was spinning from the drag, so the fight was still on. the pull of the big fish. Gene was Another 15 minutes and the fish i I was in position again. This time the gaff got stuck and the fish was pulled close to the boat. Gene dropped the rod into the holder and picked up a puny little hand gaff. "No wonder they needed a flyer," I thought. The two had trouble getting the big fish into their little boat, so I jumped on board to lend some girth. We pulled, but the fish would not budge. We finally agreed to use the swell to help lift the fish into the boaL A risky maneuver. We timed the swell and as the gunnel dropped to sea level we managed to get a good portion of the fish onto the boat. With some effort, she finally dropped in, but that was looking to be a bigger prob- lem as we were taking on water. I ran to the bow and Scotty fired up the outboard. The boat was On the Water, Page 5 and Lasik 310-510-0500 or 714-504-9437 Call 714-546-2020 For a Saturdaycl!nic appointment at CIMC. tb ORANGE COAST center 4 1 Friday, October 31, 2014 THE CATALINA ISLANDER