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Offshore happenings spark Labor Day

September 05, 2004

JIM NIEMIEC

Labor Day weekenders should be able to find plenty to do outdoors.

Fair weather is predicted for the beaches and fishing might be the

perfect type of recreation to end the summer season. Marlin showed

again between Catalina and San Clemente islands after becoming nearly

a no-show during the full moon. Yellowtail and Dorado are being found

under some of the floating kelp patties in the channel, white seabass

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and calicos are biting at San Clemente Island and off shore waters

are still producing some pretty good scores on albacore and tuna. The

water along the coast is warm and full of small bonito and mackerel

while the surf line has been pretty consistent for barred perch,

yellowfin croaker and small leopard sharks.

This writer teamed up with Drew Lawler of Bay Shores and local

angler Bill DePriest aboard Lawler's deluxe sportfisher, Escape, to

compete in the Church Mouse Marlin tournament earlier in the week.

Even though we didn't get a spikebill to jump on any of the five

marlin lures trolled off the stern of the 38-footer, we covered a lot

of good looking water that should produce pretty fair marlin fishing

over the holiday period. There were at least a dozen fish released

during the tournament and that's not a very high number for the 89

boats that competed, but the event did raise money for the kids of

Catalina Island.

The EAL sonic lure, manufactured by Sevenstrand, has been the

hottest marlin lure of the season. The new lure gives off actual

acoustical sounds that are emitted by frightened baitfish and

Sevenstrand engineers incorporated this same resonance into a

computer chip and designed a big fishing lure around the unit.

According to the specs the lure attracts billfish from meters around

when trolled off the stern of a sportfisher. The cost of an EAL No. 7

is $249, a smaller version lists for $199 and batteries, lasting for

six to eight hours, sell for $10. Many local anglers are hearing

about the lure, so J.D. at J.D.'s Big Game Tackle on Balboa Island is

renting EAL lures by the day. For more details on this lure or for an

update on fishing conditions in the channel call J.D. at (949)

723-0883.

Offshore fishing has been good for big albacore and schooled up

yellowfin tuna between the 43 Fathom spot and Airplane Bank for boats

making runs to the outer waters. There is still a ton of fish holding

off Baja Norte, which only means good things for Newport's fleet of

overnight sportfishers. The Bongos II, captained by Skip Driggers,

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