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Sportsman's Event


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  • Don't miss this event on: 05/16/2009

  • At these times: 9:30 A.M. - NOON



Marine Research Institute asks WON/Yamaha tournament
anglers for help with white seabass and halibut ‘live’ fish collection

Avet, Costa Del Mar casting contest
part of the fun this year


TWO HARBORS, Catalina Island - For the past 25 years the Aquaculture Program at Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute (HSWRI) has been developing sustainable aquaculture and fisheries enhancement programs to restore wild fish populations and to meet rising seafood demand. Since 1983, HSWRI has released more than 1.4 million juvenile white seabass, California halibut, and cabezon into California's coastal waters.

Six years ago Hubbs-Sea World gave WON its blessing the Catalina tournament because of it’s one-fish kill format, it’s relationship to the Two Harbors/CatHarbor growout faciiity and that annually it’s biologists collect tissue and scale samples of fish from anglers during weigh-in. They also scan the cheeks of white seabass, searching for binary (wire) coded tags indicating they are hatchery fish.

In order to continue their success and expand upon their research, HSWRI is soliciting anglers competing in the upcoming WON/Yamaha 2009 Catalina White Seabass Championship May 16 and 17 to help collect "live" adult fish to supplement their current broodstock.

“ HSWRI will have a boat with a large holding tank available to accept live fish donated by contestants during the daylight hours of the tournament,” said Mike Shane of Hubbs-Sea World who annually attends the event at Two Harbors. White seabass donated need to be a minimum size of 28 inches and halibut 22 inches which insures that they are sexually mature. The closer the fish are to these sizes the easier they are to handle which will assure their survival and eventual introduction into the broodstock at the facility.”

Shane said detailed information about where the HSWRI boat will be located and how the transfer process will work will be provided at the team meeting on Saturday, May 16. Every fish that is donated will receive one entry into a drawing for prizes to be given away at the awards presentation on Sunday. Prizes include two night stays at hotels in Avalon and others to be named at the event.

The entry fees remain the same, $85 a person for 2 to 6 anglers, with the cost rising to $100 per person within two weeks of the event. There will be $100, $200 and $300 cash jackpots white seabass, halibut and yellowtail. Yellowtail will, for the second year, be weighed in and count the same as seabass and halibut in addition to qualifying for the jackpot.

There will be check-in on Saturday morning starting at 10 a.m. with welcome bags for anglers with sponsors gifts including ¼-pound spools of Berkley Big Game 30-pound mono, Yamaha hats, Big Hammer baits, Woody Wax samples, Berkley Gulp! Squid baits and Berkley will be handing our something else, a FREE t-shirt.

The bar will be open for business, and after check-in, each angler can try out the new MC Cast Reels by Avet in a casting contest at the beach for Avet reel prizes. And, if you make your cast while wearing one of six models of Costa Del Mar sunglasses and hit the target, the first 10 anglers to hit the target will win a pair of Costa sunglasses.

Also, Berkley’s folks will be there, with Bob Hoose hosting a Berkley knot-tying contest, and individual seminars for those who want to learn a few new knots. Then comes the festive Captains’ Meeting on the beach at 12:30 with Director Kit McNear and Harbormaster Doug Oudin providing details of the event, going over the rules (always a fun tradition with Kit McNear), Oudin giving entrants the details on fishing around the island and availability of live squid, either for sale or for catching.

By that time a free barbecue will have started and will continue into the Captains’ Meeting. Immediately after the meeting and great sponsors drawings -- sometime after 2 p.m. -- teams will be released to fish until noon Sunday. A few teams will be randomly picked for inspection. Those will be announced just before teams are released.

“It will only take a few minutes, and teams that are checked will get priority over others for the shuttle (if they need one from the pier) so they don’t lose a chance at a favorite spot,” said McNear. “Each randomly picked team will accompany a staffer to the pier for a quick inspection. Teams might actually benefit from being chosen because of the shuttle priority.”

Weigh-in begins on the beach Sunday at 10 a.m. and ends at noon. The biggest single fish counts, and all three species (halibut, white seabass and yellowtail) count the same. The awards will be conducted around 1 p.m. and will end as soon as the top three teams and any winners of jackpot money are rewarded for their finishes, and the free drawing for the prizes is conducted.

“It seems like we move through the awards quickly, and it’s true, but 95 percent of the teams are there for the drawings and they want to get headed back to the mainland before any wind pops up, and safety is our No. 1 concern, “ said McNear. “This year we expect a big field because fuel is much, much cheaper than last year when we had around 100 teams. This event does not seem to be affected by the economy. There’s only one white seabass event of this type, and it comes at a time when people are just fired up to get going on the season. And, white seabass anglers are dedicated.”

One venue change will be the weigh scale. It will be moved to the beach area.

“Two years ago we used the beach and it worked pretty well, but last year we moved to the pier, but we now know the area is too crowded because of weekend camp kids coming and going off the ferry, and the pier itself moves,” said McNear. “We need a less crowded environment and a stable weigh area for the digital scales, and people in the tourney and visitors at Two Harbors like to see the fish weighed in anyway.”

Also, a leader board will be used at the scale area on the beach so anglers can see the results as they are posted.

For information, call Kit McNear at (949) 366-0030, ext. 27 or e-mail him at See more about services and camping at Two Harbors online at This week’s issue contains a signup sheet, as does the website.




Saturday, May 16

Check-in: Teams must check-in at Two Harbors, Catalina between 9:30 a.m. and noon p.m. on Saturday. New signups cost $100 a person, as do any additional team members added after May 3. You’ll be getting your goodie bags with sponsors gifts and an embroidered event hat. Long-sleeved shirts will be available for sale at $15. Most important, you will update/finalize your team roster and your team members will fill out the waiver at the check-in table AND index card that will serve as a ticket for all drawings. We also will take in optional jackpot money — cash only, at $100, $200 and $300 for white seabass, yellowtail and halibut (six optionals total). We prefer teams to pay optionals in advance.

Barbecue/drawings: Lunch starts at noon and activities will include a barbeque lunch, a short team meeting, a drawing for prizes, and “around” 2 p.m. you will be released to fish.

Sunday, May 19

Weigh-in and awards: The scale area at the pier will open at 10 a.m. and close at noon. Don’t be late. Teams must decide which single seabass, yellowtail or halibut to weigh prior to reaching the weigh-in area, and teams can weigh-in one fish of each species only.

Awards presentation: Will start at approximately 1 p.m. and be completed by 2:30 p.m. Don’t miss the awards presentation even if your team doesn’t catch a seabass, yellowtail or halibut that qualifies for prizes or cash. There’s a wad of prizes from sponsors to be given in away in a drawing, so stick around.

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