MLPA? What MLPA? Yeah, I’m trying to forget about it this year and my goal is to fish as much as possible this year as a personal “protest,” Until my wife protests, anyway. But you can’t really forget about 2010, the worst year ever for saltwater fishing, unless rockfishing midsummer turns you on.
I have great faith we’ll have a good tuna and yellowtail year and the reports from Ensenada off Punta Banda are encouraging, plus a flurry of forkies at Catalina. And maybe we’ll have another snap on the huge white seabass. This past week we saw some big 43 and 49 ones caught “locally” by Jim Kingsmill. In my unscientific opinion, our cold water debacle of 2010 is past. Now we wait. For a lot of things. For me, I can’t sit still. Local lakes beckon, with huge rainbows, and the S.D. Bay tourney the end of the month is my excuse to “prefish” the bay in my boat. I went out this past Sunday, and I have to hope the fishing gets better. It was in a word, slooooow.
But even if we are out fishing, we are in a waiting game, of sorts. Word now on MLPA is this: The new SoCal Region maps are being created with the changes adopted by F&G Commission Dec. 15. There’s been a lot of confusion over specific boundaries of the MPAs.
Just to refresh, 21 coastal and 26 island restricted marine protected areas (MPAs) are in our future. Most of us thought enactment and enforcement would come December of this year, but there is a push by the Fish and Game Commission to assemble the regulatory package, soon to be shipped off to the California Administrative Law office, and when they get done in a few months, we could see the MPAs enforced as early as this summer.
But, I also heard that DFG and the commission staff might not get the reg packet in time for summer and would hold off until the fall. Then there is the pending lawsuit by the angling community, and one has to wonder if there is a mad rush to get the reg package done and enforce the MPAs before the lawsuit is heard.
My goal is keep readers informed, and WON will have the specific SoCal region maps as soon as they are completed next week (I heard), and we will print them all in color. Or, if that is not feasible with space restriction in the paper, we will post them on our website.
Here’s the million dollar question: How will we know where the MPA borders are, and the specific restrictions? You can’t mark them all with buoys. How much you wanna bet “someone” will develop a state-side MPA navigation phone app? I was discussing that with fellow staffer Gary Graham the other day, and he said the lat/longs for each MPA now available on the DFG website (8 printed pages worth!) would be not to difficult to overlay onto Google maps. If you enter or come near a restricted area, the MPA boundaries and restrictions for that area would appear on your phone.
Then there is that question of enforcement, one that cities and coastal communities will have to grapple with. For example, waters from Swami’s to Cardiff Reef and a little farther south will be closed to all recreational and commercial fishing from boats, but not recreational fishing from the beach and jettys. Enforcement will be difficult, if not impossible. It will be interesting to see how it plays out in 2011.
For more information on the WON trips, call Pat McDonell at (949) 366-0030, ext 33 (email@example.com). For any of the Sitka trips, call Flynn or stop by the Kingfisher Charters booth, call (800) 727-6136, or go to kingfishercharters.com.
Hall show season, and with it a lot of promotion by all things outdoors, is on the way for the two shows in Long Beach, March 9-13, and Del Mar, March 24-27. This year, after much discussion, Del Mar will have one fewer day and longer hours to deal with the burdensome weekday I-5 traffic patterns, said producer extraordinaire Bart Hall. The monster 5-day Long Beach show will have some new looks. More camping and hunting, a new kids fishing pond (release or keep), an on-the-water show across the bridge at Shoreline Village, and a move toward recreational boating displays and accessories with monster displays by Sun Country, Sea Ray, Nordic and Nautique in the Sports Arena. The hard core guys looking for deals will have tackle rows, the seminars, all the travel booths. It will be a monster, but the shows continue to evolve and improve.
“It will be a different look at the show,” said show producer Hall. “The recreational boats will bring new customers for the fishing guys, and give the show a different flavor. Besides having the same amount of travel and tackle and more hunting, we will also be the largest boat show in the state this year.”
WON will at the shows, of course, selling subs and promoting our many saltwater trips and fresh and salt tournaments. By my count, we have five U.S. and Baja tournaments, 18 saltwater charters and travel trips and a WON BASS pro and regional circuit, this newspaper 52 weeks a year with a north and south editions, 30 supplements and a website. Whew! And there are other events on the drawing board. My lips are sealed.
Aside from the two tournaments I run at Cabo and Catalina, I will be hosting four charters this year, a Pacific Star Catalina 2-day trip June 14-16, the 3-day Searcher run from San Diego June 23-26 and a 2-day Legend trip Sept. 21-23. And then there is the grand daddy, a five-day Kingfisher Charters trip to Sitka, Aug, 23-27. Cost of our trip at $1,995 is discounted $100 from the normal rate, and it will be in prime silver salmon time (mooching, downrigging), with bigger kings in the mix, and our focus after limiting out on salmon will be on big halibut over 100 pounds. This is trip is top of the line, with prime weather and prime dates. In addition to our WON charter sponsors (Sufix, Lazer Sharp hooks, Costa sunglasses and Turner’s) lodge Seth Bone is throwing in a Kingfisher hat and embroidered jacket to all who sign up. And I’ll be working on getting more freebies.
“For the 20th consecutive year, we will have a booth at the Fred Hall show in Long Beach,” said owner Seth Bone, who with manager Robert Suarez will be on hand to answer questions and book trips. “The fishing forecast for the 2011 season is strong across the board for both salmon and halibut.”
• THE SOCAL REGION Map of MPA’s, all 47 of ‘em. Due up in a week or two are updated maps for specific areas, being created by the commission that will reflect changes adopted Dec. 15.
JOIN WON FOR a trip Aug. 23-27 to Sitka, with plenty of free sponsors
gifts and discounts, at Kingfisher Lodge, which will be at its usual
spot in the main Hall of the Fred Hall show.
• THE HALL SHOW is on the way, with the first one March 9-13. All the luminaries and buddies will be there. Here, show pr in Long Beach, followed by Del Mar’s four-day run. Show producer Bart Hall right, Jack Nilsen, middle, of Accurate and Hotel Rancho Leonero owner John Ireland at left.