Brandon Hayward's Blog

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Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Interview: Mr. 68 pounds of respect
Friday, February 10, 2012
Friday's Challenge

Ten years ago today
There's a series of, let's call them bookcases, in the warehouse that house the archives of WON. The history, the stories, the just cracking open one of the bound books that have chunks of old newsprint inside--even the smell that comes from giving one some air to breath--gives me some inspirations from time to time. For a while now it's been my favorite way to kind of decompress for 20 minutes after writing a few thousand words before lunchtime. 

The biggest decision is whether to go super old school and dive into the seventies, or check out something from the turn of the century. Yesterday I was curious as to what was going on 10 years ago this week, so I grabbed the Jan to March 2002 archive. 

The seabass were biting and the overnight boats were running, even though rockfish were out of season. The Cat Special was getting them at Santa Rosa Island, and the Big Game 90 and the little charter boats were getting hits on the croaker and halibut at Catalina. There were lots of pictures of local halibut, especially from Laguna Beach to Dana Point. And long range boats were getting cows at Socorro and San Benedicto. No big hits, but cows nonetheless. 

Yeah, times have changed. Browse through this week's Private Boater's Spotlight and this month's seabass potential will stare right back at you. And it's not little Catalina fish, although that's available.  It's 60-plus-pounders along the beach in 2012. The local halibut fishing has been stellar, and the headlines from the long range fleet blows doors on what was going on 10 years ago, pre Revillas closure. 

A lot of people like to complain, saying that the fishing isn't that good, that things aren't like they used to be. They focus on negatives, but from local to long range, the potential is incredible. 

I didn't see any 60 pound seabass or 14-day trips returning with 3 yellowfin over 300 pounds and 27 over 200 pounds from 10 years ago. 

If you allow them to be, the good old days can be right now. 

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