Catalina Island

yellow slayer…

It was an early 3 o’clock alarm that began the day, Me and John Whitaker carpooled south to meet our good friend Rich Kanner at Newport Landing. A forty minute, 5 mph motor through Newport Harbor to the bait receiver, we loaded a mixed scoop of sardines and anchovies and off we went headed for an hour run straight to Catalina. Light wind and calm sea made the crossing a breeze. I never get tired of seeing that large rocky mountain appear out of the grey light as you get close to Catalina, a welcome sight. Rich had me pumped up since he got into some big yellowtail the prior week on bait and fly up to 17 pounds. On our first stop we had a party boat to the south, banging big yellows with many seals all around them, so they picked up the hook and left, we decided to do the same. The next stop we witnessed the same party boat doing a number on these nice grade fish, often four or more rods getting bent at once. We watch a couple of anglers handing these fish off to the mates to land, they were getting their asses kicked. We threw the hook. I threw long and sunk out my fly, immediately got picked up and the fish took off like a bat out of hell straight down, unbuttoning me on the fall. Good sign were were in the right place. We threw the hook, Rich flipped out a dine and got picked up, fought the fish like a pro and I gaffed it after a 10 minute battle. Fresh hamachi is a good thing. We steadily picked away at small calicos, bonita. The smaller fish around the boat often attract the larger fish, so patience is a virtue, and then after sinking out his fly, Rich got the right kind. The fish took off and ran right. I gave him the right of way, as he fought the fish towards the bow. I followed him with my camera. The fish went for the anchor line and Rich immediately made a great move by threading the rod under the anchor line and over as the fish stayed free. He was in for an epic battle, the rod bending straight to the butt section. He was using a 10 weight with forty pound tippet, not messing around with these bad ass fish. Fifteen minutes later we got color and she spiraled to the surface where John was waiting with the net, she barely fit. She weighed a solid fifteen pounds and was caught on a black/white clouser tied on a Gamakatsu heavy jig hook. Rich proved himself to be the yellow slayer…he didn’t give that yellowtail an inch, an awesome catch on a fly rod and a fun day spent with fishy friends…

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Rich’s first of two large yellowtail land on a fresh a fly-lined sardine. photo by AL Q

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Deep bend. Photo by Al Q

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A beautiful Island Yellowtail land by Rich Kanner. Photo by Al Q

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Nice grade bonita would come through every once in a while. Photo by Al Q

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Nice bone landed by John Whitaker. Photo by Al Q

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Doubling up. Photo by Al Q

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Photo by Al Q

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Photo by Al Q

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Categories: article, Catalina Island, offshore | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

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