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Brandon Hayward's Blog

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Tuesday, February 07, 2012
Local yellows
Thursday, February 09, 2012
Ten years ago today


Interview: Mr. 68 pounds of respect
The backstory to great local catches are pretty inspirational, especially when that underlining theme to my private boat writing--try, create your own reports that you can do what you please with, don't crowd and disrespect those who kick off bites--comes out and someone makes a great catch on their own. 


There are guys that I've never met that I have a lot of respect for. Yup, 'cause they try and don't let a username and a password or an article dictate where, when, how and why they fish. Dan Fultz is one of them. The day after I put up my Monday blog with Fultz's 68-pound new BAC record he gave me a call. We talked local seabass for a while and he gave me an interview on what has to be the most worthy local January catch since I've worked at WON. After all, the seabass probably went over 70 when it was still in the water. 


"Well, I've been trying since December 17," said Fultz, who is a mason and lives by a mantra that his dad taught him: you can't catch them if you are not on the water, and if you are not doing anything on the beach, you might as well go try. 


Fultz works and has a life and is a busy dude like the rest of us, but he still always tries to fit in at least two days a week trying for local seabass. He, like most, likes to fish structure spots, especially from Newport to call it San Mateo. 


He tried a bunch of different spots in December and January, but he decided to fish one of the many bait grounds that have sprouted up along the Orange County coast over the last two moon phases to kick off his month. 


His first fish earlier in the week was 35-inch seabass that scored him the first flag of the year for the Balboa Angling Club (BAC). Then a few days later he was out with a buddy and slept through the bite window and woke up with all his lines tangled. (Standard seabass nightmare.) His buddy got a 37 incher, then on the next trip Fultz scored the 68 pounder on a jig and squid fished on 20-pound mono. 


He was almost going to bail out and make the long haul to go get squid at Nacho's bait receiver since the squid wasn't floating, but it was too late. "It was after midnight and they close at 12, so we just stuck it out and kept working at it," said Fultz. 


The squid ended up building up around the light, and at 7 a.m. he got bit on the fish of a lifetime. Or was it? Fultz has caught a lot of big croakers pre and post being a BAC member. Some of the pre fish looked every bit as big as his 68, that, by the way wasn't iced down and got rinsed with salt water while he kept fishing. 


"So far this year it was try, try, try, keep trying," laughed Fultz, who digs the underlining trying theme. And he'll be out trying some more. After all, in the end, local seabass are all we have for anyone who wants big fish and big bites and glory. The past few seasons have shown that you can't hang your keys on the tuna biting. The cycle of huge seabass that has been around the last few seasons has been nothing short of incredible. No nets within 3 miles and this cold water, squid rich cycle has certainly helped, but in the end the only thing constant is that everything goes in cycles. 


As long as this seabass cycle is going, it should be enjoyed. It requires little fuel, and not as much time as some might think. It really just comes down to the desire to try. Fultz is proof of that. 


Here's another look at the new BAC record white seabass:


Reader Comments
If anyone deserves recognition for an awesome catch like this...It's Dan the MAN !!! A true die hard WSB fisherman. My personal best of 42 lbs was because of his knowledge & expertise. Lots of sleepless nights and many empty kill bag days were had before this trophy was caught. CONGRATULATIONS bruddah !!! Oh and mahaloz for sharing a chunk, Tacos were bomb last night. Sugi aka Pineapple Express
Sugi
Great catch dude! That is a great story and reminder to the rest of us that getting out and trying is going to put more fish in the boat than is sitting at home watching television. It's crazy how we all wait for someone else to be the hero and make headlines, or even worse is we don't even hear about it and never even get in on it. This is motivation for me to get my boat projects done and get out there again! Can you do a basic article soon on making squid, best equipment and lights, fresh versus frozen squid, crowder versus net, squid jigs, what to look for on sonar, etc.. I have some basic equipment but I am probably a few years behind what you guys use and know these days.
Jamie
Jamie, Sure, although I've done that article like 12 times now over the last few years, lol. Do you read WON? A lot of it is in my second book, Getting Bit. I sent you an e mail. I can send you some stuff. Brandon
Brandon
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