CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Martin Strelneck's Blog

Opening day Sierra conditions continue to improve
With the exception of a few issues caused by low-water levels, high-country conditions are mixed going into two weeks before the opener. Daytime temperatures have been hitting in the high 60s, with nighttime running from the high to mid- 20s and any remaining snow from last year’s “no snow” winter rapidly disappearing.

As a reminder, WON will be again covering all major areas of the Eastern Sierra opening day from Bishop to Bridgeport, and will have full coverage the issue mailed right after the April 26 opener. The digital North and South edition full-color versions will be posted mid-week at wonews.com (click on Forum), and are still being offered free.

Here’s the latest on conditions:

BISHOP AREA — Bishop Creek drainage, Bishop Creek, Intake 2 ideal condition. Lake Sabrina extremely low down to original lake level. Around a 3/4-mile hike or 4-wheel drive required to reach trout population. Ice probably will be out by opener. Lake Sabrina Boat Landing will be in operation, serving meals.

South Lake basically same condition. Ice iffy after a little ­hiking to reach the lake. Rock Creek Lake road open, lake will be ice-free. Rock Creek Lake Resort closed.

CROWLEY-CONVICT LAKES — Both locations in prime condition. Crowley Lake Fish Camp and Convict Lake Resort in full operation.

MAMMOTH LAKES — Road to lakes basin (Twin Lakes, Mamie, Mary and George) open. Lakes are thawing fast with any ice fishing questionable.

JUNE LAKE LOOP — All four lakes in good condition with Grant Lake on the low side. Launching at Grant Lake Marina probable, but make a last-minute call. Shore launching possible near dam with a 4-wheel drive. Rental boats and campground at marina along with all other locations in full operation.

LEE VINING AREA — Tioga Pass Road (State Route 120) open from Hwy. 395 to closure at Yosemite National Park Gate. Tioga Lake very low. Ellery Lake medium level with ice rapidly thawing. No information regarding road to Saddlebag Lake. Lundy Lake extremely low. Lundy Lake Resort closed. Road to Virginia Lakes open. Little Virginia Lakes off the ice fishing menu. Possible ice fishing at Big Virginia Lake depending on last-minute conditions. Virginia Lake Resort closed.

BRIDGEPORT — Upper and Lower Twin Lakes in good condition. Mono Village and Twin Lakes resorts in full operation, Bridgeport Reservoir low. Launch ramps at Bridgeport Reservoir Marina and the county park high and dry. With the exception of the launch ramp, the marina will be in full operation. Shore launching is available just north of the “Bathtub” near the dam, However, parking is limited. Efforts are underway to provide additional parking at that location.

NORTH MONO COUNTY — West Walker River in excellent condition to the town of Walker — no problem with high water runoff. Topaz Lake low, with launching available at county park. Launching also available at Topaz RF Park, located at the California/Nevada State line. For information regarding Topaz Landing, call (775) 266-3550.

Snow conditions at the 9,500- to 10,000-foot level right around 2 feet and rapidly melting. The local bear population is active. Take care when storing food items in vehicles or at campsites.

Jim Niemiec's Blog

Waterfowl outlook has mixed reviews
Even though California is struggling to find enough water to fill refuges and private duck clubs across the state, conditions in many of the breeding grounds within the Pacific and Central flyways are offering ideal wetlands and good habitat for nesting ducks and geese.

Good reports have been coming in to this hunting editor's office about Canada geese already showing up in Saskatchewan and Alberta, while snow geese are still hung up below South Dakota. The pot holes of Canada should have plenty of water and the Columbia Basin should produce a bumper hatch of mallards to go along with gadwall and teal.

pintailsareprimeducks
PINTAILS ARE PRIME DUCKS TO HUNT ON MEXICAN MARSHES — Often duck hunters will ask to be dropped off at natural blinds on the vast marshes of the Los Mochis region to shoot pintails. Mary Robbins of the San Fernando Valley, teamed up with her husband Gary, to harvest these sprig while on a hunt with the Sinalo Pato Duck and Dove Club. WON PHOTO BY JIM NIEMIEC

Unfortunately, for those of us who hunt ducks in the southern portion of the flyway, it's not looking like there will be much in the way of a local hatch of mallards, gads, teal and even wood ducks due to low water levels at many southland lakes, ponds and our limited number of wetlands. The lack of water, and not much in the way of carryover adult birds from last year, could result in there being less locally hatched birds to mix with the first arrivals of ducks as they begin their southerly migration. For a number of years opening day has produced good hunting for mixed birds at Wister, San Jacinto, Kern, clubs in Prado basin and many private duck clubs between Mecca and Brawley.

While nesting seems to be off a little from peak years there is enough ponded water behind Prado dam to allow for nesting of some mixed birds. According to Kevin Kollock, manager of Raahauge's Duck Club, birds paired up early with this year's hatch already started. The Orange County Water District will be doing major work on the settling ponds over the next few months to improve water flow, habitat, mow tules and improve the wetlands.

Over the past month Western Outdoor News has been watching the sky and flood ditches to try and monitor the local populations and what's happening in this part of the Pacific flyway. The huge flock of widgeon made a timely departure in March from the Tustin Ranch Golf Course, where they spent a leisurely winter only dodging golf balls and carts, the number of mallards appeared to be down from previous spring nesting months, but on the other hand there are a couple of Canada geese still winging over Tustin that might have a secret nesting spot close by. There is also a pair of honkers nesting at Irvine Lake and hopefully they will produce more than the single surviving chick hatched last year and word is that a small flock of local Canada geese at Wister are sitting on nests.

One highlight of the local nesting season occurred last week in La Habra. Seems that a pair of mallards have been using the gardens around WON subscriber Michael Christoforakis restaurant as a nesting place for a couple of years. Christoforakis is an avid waterfowler, upland game bird and big game hunter and tries to protect the ducklings. Last year a number of the ducklings didn't make it all the way to a local creek for safety with the hen. This past week Christoforakis saw the hen with chicks following ready to cross a busy intersection, and he took action. Wearing a white apron and carrying a broom he stopped traffic along the route until he was sure the family had made it safely to water. Now that's dedication!

southdakotaearly
SOUTH DAKOTA EARLY SEASON GIANT CANADA GEESE — Past Safari Club International president John Whipple of Laguna Niguel enjoyed great goose shooting in South Dakota last Sept. Whipple was hunting with Hecla South Dakota Hunting Farms in harvest grain fields and shows off a couple of the giant honkers he shot out of a layout blind. WON PHOTO BY JIM NIEMIEC

WON published a feature story on the early season September Canada goose season in South Dakota that offered up excellent gunning on giant honkers. Checking with Bill Mitchell, owner of Hecla Dakota Hunting Farms, this year's hunting should be a repeat of last year with a good carryover of geese that should mix well with this year's local hatch. There wasn't that much of a hard freeze to hurt nesting birds. The season runs through the entire month of Sept. with a daily bag limit of 15 honkers a day. Hunters are not likely to shoot a full limit, but if the right field is hunted anything could be possible as these birds fly low and decoy well.

The first report from Canada called into Western Outdoor News was from WON supporter Don McCrea of Saskatoon Waterfowl Outfitters, 1-887-HUNT SWO. McCrea said the pot hole region of Saskatchewan has plenty of water and there is a lot of grain on the ground. Nesting has just started and the outlook for this coming season should offer up very good gunning for ducks, Canada geese, snows and cranes. Most waterfowl outfitters get booked up pretty early on prime shoot periods from late Sept. to the end of Oct., but McCrea has added thousands of acres of ponds and fields for this season as his outfitting operation expands.

Duck and goose hunting properties that have been developed by Mike Franklin, owner of Pacific Wings based out of Yakima, WA. in the vast Columbia Basin, currently are looking very promising for this coming season on a newly developed wetlands property just outside of Othello. "There is a pretty good local hatch of mallards going on right now," said Franklin, who added "Our fields should be holding some 3,000 geese come opening day in October." This part of the great basin traditionally offers up very consistent mallard shooting with Canada geese shoots always an option.

Duck hunting was slow for most of this flyway after mid-December last season, as the bulk of the puddle ducks headed south and not much in the way of big diving ducks showed up either. According to a release from Ducks Unlimited, Mexico's Pacific coast typically winters about 38 percent of the nation's waterfowl, the reason being, Mexico contains 1.86 million acres of mangrove wetlands, more than any other North or Central American nation. The vast marshes of Los Mochis, hunted by the Sinalo Pato Duck and Dove Club, sinalopato.net, and down into the Santa Maria marshes of Culiacan are wintering grounds for huge numbers of ducks, including the Mexican duck, the largest of all puddle ducks in the Pacific flyway.

WISTER UPDATE — The future of Sportsmen's Catering Service, located on Davis Road at the entrance to Wister Wildlife Refuge, is under review by the Department of Fish and Wildlife. This sports hut provides needed services to all waterfowl hunters and visitors to this refuge. The department is currently exploring options, evaluating and taking a better look at the issue at hand for this very unique business that has been servicing sportsmen for decades.

Catalina White Sea Bass

First Catalina Seabass caught Monday
The bite is on, and squid is around



the group

Details are limited, of course, but on  Monday the six-pack charterboat Monday Morning, captained by Jeff Jones, reported to 976tuna.com it scored 1-fish limits for all aboard, six people including Jones. The fish were brought to the Avalon Tuna Club. 




Pictured is Joe Davis, a Berkley rep


The fish looked to be in the 15- to 25-pound class, and were caught on live squid that was made either at Catalina or SCI. Sorry if there are no more details right now, but the great news is the fish are at the island. Reports all week indicated a growing bite on yellowtail at San Clemente Island on the live squid. The pictures were  posted from the report Monday evening at 976TUNA.com.


Of course, congratulations to Capt. Jones and the guys, and it's great news for the season and the upcoming tournament.

Pat McDonell, director of Catalina WSB Championship
Editor, Western Outdoor News



here's some new info on the tourney



WAYS TO WIN AT CATALINA

 

Drawings, special awards, optionals, overall paydowns

 

 

TWO HARBORS -- The ways to win at the WON/Yamaha  Catalina White Seabass Championship kick in the first time you arrive for check-in at Two Harbors on Saturday, May 17   7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and it just keeps getting better the longer the event goes on.

 

The Catalina event boasts an all-islands format, more fishing time, earlier check-in, exciting flare gun starts on both sides of the Ithsmus, a $1,000 Yamaha drawing and paydowns to fifth place plus nine optionals for WSB, yellows and halibut. It’s a great venue at Two Harbors.

 

So, here’s the ways to win!

 

-Be the champ! Overall paydowns from first place to fifth for biggest single WSB, yellowtail or halibut.

 

-The champions will do some serious damage. They will, walk away with first place money, a $500 Reactor watch for each team member, and a $300 value Cousins rod for each team member.   

 

-Nine optionals, all three eligible species of yellowtail, WSB and halibut, $100, $200 and $300 with a 90 percent payback.

 

-$1,000 Yamaha outboards owners drawing. Yamaha is the title sponsor, and they are rewarding their customers and providing a little incentive to bring a Yamaha powered boat. All teams that are fishing on a Yamaha outboard powered machine are eligible for the drawings at the Sunday awards and BBQ that starts right after weigh-in ends at noon.

 

Grand Prize Drawing: In addition to regular drawings for Avet reels, Seaguar products, Costa Sunglasses, Reactor watches, Promar nets, Cousins rods and much more, there is the Grand Prize drawing for Furuno's new Chart Plotter/Fish Finder   

 GP1670 F unit worth $900.

 

-- PIER Institute is a sponsor of the tourney once again, and will offering not only free event t-shirts, but a $5,000 award to the first tourney team during the event that brings in a fish that has one of their electronic tags.

 

- Avet/Cousins Casting Contest. The champ wins the rod/reel combo with about $700 retail. 7 to 9:45 Saturday on the beach, and finals end at 10 a.m. (no exceptions because we are on a tight schedule, so cast early). 

 

 - Kevin Kelly of West Coast Marine is offering a $250- Service Voucher for the heaviest fish caught on a Yamaha-powered Parker boat at the May 17-18 Yamaha/Catalina White Seabass Championship. If you have one of those, fish on it, and bring in a fish and be sure to let the weighmaster know who are eligible. 

 

At Check-in:

 

- Gift Cards: Sport Chalet is kicking in  $250 in gift cards for raffle prizes

With $5 gift card for each tournament angler AND

15 percent off coupon for any one regularly priced item in the camping or fishing department for each tournament angler.

 

- Hats and beanies from Yamaha and other manufacturers to pick from plus sunglass holders and wipes from Costa.

 

- Gamakatsu hook packs for each team.

 

- A great event T-shirt from PIER Institute.

 

- A coil of Seaguar fluorocarbon for each team.

 

 

Teams will have more options with three hours more fishing time and the islands all eligible for fishing. Get the details in the color Preview Supplement, or go to  wonews.com (click on WON  Events) for online signups. Call Pat McDonell at (949) 366-0030 ext. 33 or pat@wonews.com for details.


 


2014 White Seabass Championship Schedule

 

 

Saturday, May 17: Check-in 7 a.m. to 10:30: That is a major schedule change. Teams receive welcome bags with product, drawing tickets, team numbers and food vouchers for Two Harbors. Avet/Costa Casting Contest 7 a.m, to 10. Finals begin at 9:45. No exceptions, so cast early. 

Captains meeting, rules and four high-end drawings starts at 10 a.m, (NOTE: BBQ lunch is served  SUNDAY (not Saturday) at noon or right after weigh-in). 

 

Team’s are released by 10:30 to go to boats for the 11 a.m. to 11:15 shotgun (flare) start on both sides of the isthmus.  Teams must check in by boat number at the piers or the “marked” release boats  at both harbors. This is a 2014 rule change.  Also, unlike last year, ALL ISLANDS are open to fishing, but the coast is off-limits.

 

Sunday. May 18: Weigh-in on the beach at 10 to 12 noon. BBQ lunch at noon, followed by awards ceremony and drawings to follow at 12:30 p.m.

 

Note: 90 percent of the drawings and all awards will be conducted on Sunday.

 

 

 

GET THE DETAILS IN THE COLOR Preview Supplement, or go to wonews.com (click on WON  Events) for online signups. The online all-color 24-page event preview supplement can be easily accessed by going to the link on the most recent WSB event blog at www.wonews.com or you to the Forum page for the link. The basic event information is also available on the Catalina WSB event blog (got to “see all blogs” list  if not on home page) as well as a signup sheet.  

 


 

WAYS TO WIN AT CATALINA

 

Drawings, special awards, optionals, overall paydowns

 

 

TWO HARBORS -- The ways to win at the WON/Yamaha  Catalina White Seabass Championship kick in the first time you arrive for check-in at Two Harbors on Saturday, May 17   7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and it just keeps getting better the longer the event goes on.

 

The Catalina event boasts an all-islands format, more fishing time, earlier check-in, exciting flare gun starts on both sides of the Ithsmus, a $1,000 Yamaha drawing and paydowns to fifth place plus nine optionals for WSB, yellows and halibut. It’s a great venue at Two Harbors.

 

So, here’s the ways to win!

 

-Be the champ! Overall paydowns from first place to fifth for biggest single WSB, yellowtail or halibut.

 

-The champions will do some serious damage. They will, walk away with first place money, a $500 Reactor watch for each team member, and a $300 value Cousins rod for each team member.   

 

-Nine optionals, all three eligible species of yellowtail, WSB and halibut, $100, $200 and $300 with a 90 percent payback.

 

-$1,000 Yamaha outboards owners drawing. Yamaha is the title sponsor, and they are rewarding their customers and providing a little incentive to bring a Yamaha powered boat. All teams that are fishing on a Yamaha outboard powered machine are eligible for the drawings at the Sunday awards and BBQ that starts right after weigh-in ends at noon.

 

Grand Prize Drawing: In addition to regular drawings for Avet reels, Seaguar products, Costa Sunglasses, Reactor watches, Promar nets, Cousins rods and much more, there is the Grand Prize drawing for Furuno's new Chart Plotter/Fish Finder   

 GP1670 F unit worth $900.

 

-- PIER Institute is a sponsor of the tourney once again, and will offering not only free event t-shirts, but a $5,000 award to the first tourney team during the event that brings in a fish that has one of their electronic tags.

 

- Avet/Cousins Casting Contest. The champ wins the rod/reel combo with about $700 retail. 7 to 9:45 Saturday on the beach, and finals end at 10 a.m. (no exceptions because we are on a tight schedule, so cast early). 

 

 - Kevin Kelly of West Coast Marine is offering a $250- Service Voucher for the heaviest fish caught on a Yamaha-powered Parker boat at the May 17-18 Yamaha/Catalina White Seabass Championship. If you have one of those, fish on it, and bring in a fish and be sure to let the weighmaster know who are eligible. 

 

At Check-in:

 

- Gift Cards: Sport Chalet is kicking in  $250 in gift cards for raffle prizes

With $5 gift card for each tournament angler AND

15 percent off coupon for any one regularly priced item in the camping or fishing department for each tournament angler.

 

- Hats and beanies from Yamaha and other manufacturers to pick from plus sunglass holders and wipes from Costa.

 

- Gamakatsu hook packs for each team.

 

- A great event T-shirt from PIER Institute.

 

- A coil of Seaguar fluorocarbon for each team.

 

 

 

Teams will have more options with three hours more fishing time and the islands all eligible for fishing. Get the details in the color Preview Supplement, or go to  wonews.com (click on WON  Events) for online signups. Call Pat McDonell at (949) 366-0030 ext. 33 or pat@wonews.com for details.

 

2014 White Seabass Championship Schedule

 

 

Saturday, May 17: Check-in 7 a.m. to 10:30: That is a major schedule change. Teams receive welcome bags with product, drawing tickets, team numbers and food vouchers for Two Harbors. Avet/Costa Casting Contest 7 a.m, to 10. Finals begin at 9:45. No exceptions, so cast early. 

Captains meeting, rules and four high-end drawings starts at 10 a.m, (NOTE: BBQ lunch is served  SUNDAY (not Saturday) at noon or right after weigh-in). 

 

Team’s are released by 10:30 to go to boats for the 11 a.m. to 11:15 shotgun (flare) start on both sides of the isthmus.  Teams must check in by boat number at the piers or the “marked” release boats  at both harbors. This is a 2014 rule change.  Also, unlike last year, ALL ISLANDS are open to fishing, but the coast is off-limits.

 

Sunday. May 18: Weigh-in on the beach at 10 to 12 noon. BBQ lunch at noon, followed by awards ceremony and drawings to follow at 12:30 p.m.

 

Note: 90 percent of the drawings and all awards will be conducted on Sunday.

 

 

 

 

GET THE DETAILS IN THE COLOR Preview Supplement, or go to wonews.com (click on WON  Events) for online signups. The online all-color 24-page event preview supplement can be easily accessed by going to the link on the most recent WSB event blog at www.wonews.com or you to the Forum page for the link. The basic event information is also available on the Catalina WSB event blog (got to “see all blogs” list  if not on home page) as well as a signup sheet.  

 



Details on event, all-color, flip page format




Please click on this link and you can read all the of the special preview supplement for the tournament. Rules, schedule, sponsors prizes, changes in the format (Flare gun start on both sides, all-islands eligible for fishing, earlier/faster check-in for more fishing time, new Yamaha $1000 drawing)


Also, more good news as more sponsors are being added the closer we get.

gp1670f_1870f_4dcharts

FURUNO JOINS WSB CHAMPIONSHIP!

Furuno is the official electronics sponsor, and they are kicking in a $900 GP1870F with a larger 7" wide-format screen.

The unit includes hi-sensitivity internal GPS, lightning-fast chart redraw, super-simple operation with Furuno’s RotoKey, C-Map’s latest 4D cartography and easy-routing capability.

What makesthe combo product different is their unique and powerful Fish Finder features. The GP1670F and GP1870F not only incorporate Furuno’s unparalleled, multi awardwinning Fish Finder functionality, but also feature ground-breaking Bottom Discrimination, Accu-Fish, and Post-Processing Gain technology. Both units feature a 600W or 1kW Fish Finder, depending on your transducer. They are dual-frequency 50/200kHz and utilize Furuno’s Digital Signal Processing. Until now, the tremendous benefits of these proprietary fish finding technologies were only available in Furuno’s dedicated Fish Finder products. For the first time, fishermen seeking a single display solution that delivers top-notch charting capability, without compromising performance or skimping on fish finding features, now have an answer from Furuno.

Whether fishing, diving, navigating or anchoring, knowing bottom type is a major advantage for virtually any boater. The advanced signal processing of these Fish Finders provides a graphical display of the water column and objects in the water, in addition to showing composition of the seafloor, which Furuno dubbed "Aquarium" mode. When connected to an appropriate transducer, the Bottom Discrimination feature provides a graphical display showing the characteristics of the seafloor as either mud, sand, gravel or rock.

Amazingly, these Fish Finders can also show a bottom type probability curve when boating in an area with mixed bottom composition.

Furuno’s Accu-Fish feature is a revolutionary fish size assessment function that can tell you the approximate size of the fish below your boat. Fish symbols appear on the screen, along with the size of the fish or the depth where it found the fish. It can detect fish size from 4 inches up to about 6 feet long, in depths of 7 feet to well over 300 feet of water. Accu-Fish signal processing blends the high and low frequencies to depict fish targets of all types simply, clearly and distinctly. Now, fishermen can clearly and easily distinguish big billfish around a bait ball, or see through bait and trash fish on the surface to target "the big one" below.

These units also offer Furuno’s Post-Processing Gain feature that was previously only found on their larger, commercial-grade Fish Finders. Post-Processing Gain adjusts the gain throughout the entire screen, allowing you to really “dial-in” the Fish Finder’s history, and then come back to get the fish that others may have missed.

These units utilize the very latest Jeppesen C-MAP 4D cartography. C-MAP 4D allows you to choose your digital navigation charts from MAX data to full 4D content. Full 4D content gives you the added ability to view charts in 3D, overlay satellite images, overlay raster charts, and automatically create a route with Easy Routing. You can also unlock other Value-Added- Data, such as high-resolution bathymetry.

A new feature in these small Chart Plotters is a dual-range display. This gives you the ability to view both short and long ranges of your chart simultaneously in a split-screen presentation. The units sport an ergonomic and easy-to-use keyboard layout, featuring a directional pad with a center enter button, four dedicated buttons and Furuno’s RotoKey with a revolving menu with familiar point-and-click operation. This clean and intuitive layout allows you to get up and running quickly.

Furuno has been awarded the Best Navigation System Award the last eight out of nine years and Best Fish Finder the last 42 consecutive years. These new value-priced Chart Plotter/Fish Finders from Furuno are sure to find a spot in their impressive hall of fame. If you have been looking to upgrade or purchase a new combination unit for your boat, now is a great time to dive in to the world of Furuno marine electronics.

For more information on Furuno’s new GPS/Chart Plotters, or their full line of products, visit: Furuno U.S.A., www.FurunoUSA.com.

WESTERN OUTDOOR NEWS Events

Annual Lake Havasu Striper Derby

32nd Annual Lake Havasu / WON Striper Derby

Fishing on May 17th & 18th 2014 - Check-in Friday May 16th,

SIGN UP ONLINE NOW By going to the EVENTS tab of by clicking this direct link to the  STRIPER DERBY ONLINE SIGN-UP PAGE.

You can also call the Striper Derby tournament director, Billy Egan at 949-366-0030 ext 40 or Lori at ext 26.


Western Outdoor News is very excited to announce that the Lake Havasu Striper Derby is back at the London Bridge Resort this year. We will have docks for the boats weighing in their bags of stripers and plenty of parking for cars and boat trailers near the hotel's convention center for our awards and check-in functions. So get signed up now and get ready to fish in the sun at the Lake Havasu Striper Derby.



WON will be hitting the Havasu heat in May to dole out the prizes, cash and fun in the sun, to the hundreds of participants certain to make the annual trip.


The Striper Derby festivities kick off on Friday afternoon at the team check-in held at the London Bridge Resort, located at 1477 Queens Bay in Lake Havasu City. When teams check-in they may purchase event t-shirts, make partner changes and enter options if not already entered. Late sign-ups will also be taken at this time, but to make sure your are signed up it's always best to do so in advance, either online or by calling the WON offices. After check-in, a brief Captain's Meeting will take place to go over event rules and weekend activities.



The future of fishing and their cute Plano tackle boxes


Whether you are a serious Open Division fishing team, fish the with your non-fishing wife, or are fishing with your kids, the Lake Havasu Striper Derby gives everyone a chance to win. There are cash prizes for random weights in the blind bogey, random drawings for tackle prizes,  and trophies and awards for cash and great prizes for the biggest stringers and biggest stripers caught during the two day tournament. And anyone can win the new boat and motor just by entering the tournament.


Bob Jones, from Riverside, with Tournament Director Billy Egan, has been to every Striper Derby for the past 30 years!


The entry fee at $175 per team and it includes your basic entry and chance to win the boat, trophies and many other tackle prizes, including your Striper Derby hat and t-shirts for both team members. But most people enter the great options which are $40.00 each day for the the blind bogeys. And this year $20 per team will also go into pool and will be paid to the five biggest stripers caught during the tournament based on 1st ( 40%), 2nd (30%) 3rd (15%), 4th (10%) and 5th (5%).  So for only $275 your team is "all in."


The Husband-Wife team of Bill and Patti Darling found themselves at the top of that Division's standing fishing their first tournament ever


We will once again have the ever popular “BLIND BOGEY” contest running on both Saturday and Sunday. The $40 entry cost for each day goes into the blind bogey fund and gives the team a chance at winning a share of the random blind bogey weights. So whatever sized striper you catch, bring it in and weigh it and you might just be a cash winner, too.



As always, we will have prizes and trophies for the top 15 teams in "Open" division, and top prizes in each of the other 2 categories: "Husband / Wife" and "Adult / Child."


Rob Chor Jr. with his 6.13 pound fish


Mark the above date on your calendar and plan to attend the largest, most lucrative striped bass fishing event in the United States. The sun, fun, and festivities await you and your family. Please feel free to give me a call at (949) 366-0030 ext. 40 if you have any questions regarding this event.


Blind Bogie winners Kevin King and Randy West


You can sign up for this event now by clicking on the links at the upper right top of this page, or call Striper Derby Director Billy Egan at (949) 366-0030, ext. 40.

See you at Lake Havasu in May!


To see the digital version of the WON 2014 Lake Havasu Striper Derby Supplement CLICK HERE.

lake havasu tourism logo


For more information on Lake Havasu, CLICK HERE or above logo to the Convention and Visitors Bureau web site.

Bob Vanian's 976-Bite Hot Bite

Yellowtail bite continues to improve
The past week of fishing at the Coronado Islands has seen some gradually improving yellowtail fishing. The yellowtail bite continues to improve since taking a hit from a storm system that passed through about 10 days ago. It was a strong storm system which brought high winds and rain and resulted in a 3 to 4 degree drop in the water temperature. The good news coming out of the storm was that some yellowtail stayed in the area despite the drop in the water temperature. The better news is that there have been some yellowtail biting each day and that the bite has gradually been improving throughout the week.



The water temperature remains on the cool side and is at around 60 degrees in the zone where the yellowtail have been biting between the 27 Fathom Spot and the Finger Bank. The water temperature up around the Islands proper remains cold and is running around 58 degrees. This is compared to water temperatures that were in the 61 to 64 degree range around and about the Islands prior to the storm.

The San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing was out on a three-quarter day trip on Wednesday and had one of the better catches since the storm moved through and posted a catch of 25 anglers on a three-quarter day trip catching 27 yellowtail.

A trusted source who is an angler that wished to remain anonymous was fishing aboard the San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing on Wednesday and he reported that their first couple of stops produced yellowtail that were in the 15 pound class. The size of the fish that were biting improved after those first couple of stops and he reported that all their other stops produced mostly what were the larger grade yellowtail that were in the 20 to 30 pound class.

The angler reporting said that he caught a yellowtail of 25 pounds that bit on surface iron. It sounded like a good amount of action throughout much of the day as he said they usually would not go longer than 20 minutes or so before finding another group of yellowtail to stop on. His observation was that most if not all of the yellowtail they caught on Wednesday were caught on yo-yo iron and surface iron.

The area where yellowtail are being caught has been spread out with most of the action coming from between the 27 Fathom Spot (located below the Rockpile) on down to the Finger Bank. Most of the yellowtail action has come by locating sonar marks, meter marks via a traditional fathometer or spots of fish found under working birds. Locating areas with bird life and porpoise has been helpful in putting yourself into an area where you are likely to find a meter mark, sonar mark or spot of breaking fish under working birds.

The yellowtail have been mostly 15 to 30 pound fish and have been biting on yo-yoed iron, surface iron, mackerel and sardines. Try yo-yo iron if you locate deep cruising fish and try the surface iron or flylined live baits if you find fish working on the surface or if you have the deep cruising fish respond to your chum and come up to the surface.

A reminder is that the Mexican authorities have regularly been inspecting boats fishing the region of the Coronado Islands and other areas within the 12 mile limit. Be sure to have all your paperwork in order for the boat and for the people aboard the boat when boating or fishing in Mexico.

In addition to the yellowtail biting at the Coronado Islands, there have also been some yellowtail holding in the La Jolla region out in 18 to 25 fathoms of water. The yellows have been picky biters but they have been large 30 pound class fish and every once in a while someone is at the right spot at the right time and gets one to go on surface iron, yo-yo iron or a slow trolled mackerel or sardine.

The rest of the fishing along the San Diego County coast has been productive for a mix of sand bass, calico bass, sculpin, rockfish and an occasional halibut. Boats fishing out of San Diego Bay have been doing well on rockfish while fishing hard bottom spots in the area outside of the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma. The Imperial Beach Pipeline and the Point Loma Pipeline have also been productive areas for rockfish.

Private boater Captain Bob Woodard of the Christina Lynn reported about fishing Imperial Beach and the International Reef on Monday. He said that they had cold 57 to 58.5 degree off color water and slow fishing while drifting for halibut off Imperial Beach. Their next move was out to the International Reef where they picked up a couple of 10 pound lingcod and a few reds. They made one more try for halibut in San Diego Bay and found poor wind and current conditions that resulted in more slow halibut fishing. Woodard said there was an incoming tide combined with a strong westerly cross wind that made it difficult to set up a good drift and fish for the halibut the way they would have liked.

In the La Jolla region, boats fishing hard bottom areas out westerly from Mission Bay have been catching rockfish and there have also been rockfish biting for boats fishing outside of the upper end of La Jolla. In the northern San Diego County region, there have been rockfish biting for boats fishing outside of Del Mar, Solana Beach, Leucadia, and Box Canyon.

Captain Joe Cacciola of the Sea Star out of Helgren’s Sportfishing reports that they have been doing well on an assortment of quality sized rockfish. Cacciola said they had good fishing on his most recent trip and caught a mix of salmon grouper, reds, bank perch and starries while fishing spots outside of South Cardiff and Solana Beach. Cacciola reports that they have been doing best while using fresh frozen cut squid strips for bait and reported that they averaged a bit over 7 fish per angler on their most recent trip.

The Yellowtail Kelp above Oceanside produced some excitement on white seabass early in the week as there was a boat that hooked two 40 pound class white seabass and caught one of the two fish. The seabass were reported to have been found with anchovy schools a short way outside the edges of Yellowtail Kelp.

A reminder is that the Everingham Brothers bait receivers in San Diego Bay have been moved to a temporary new location outside of Harbor Island. The bait receivers are currently located off to the side of the main channel of San Diego Bay and are located about two-thirds of the way down Harbor Island toward Downtown San Diego. They will be at this location for at least through May 15, 2014. You can see a map of their current location that includes GPS numbers and check their location on an ongoing basis at the Everingham Brothers web site at www.baitbarge.com.

It is my goal to provide you timely and accurate information in these reports containing news from right off the water. If you require more details that include the specific location of where catches have been made, I refer you to the Member’s Reports at www.976bite.com . Those Member’s Reports contain additional specifics that include latitude and longitude coordinates and other descriptive references about where and how fish are being caught. Make the most efficient use of your precious time on the water with the use of timely and accurate information.

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