ON THE WATERFRONT: When the fish are biting, they’re making for some big hauls
by Johnny McDonald
Oct 10, 2012 | 2712 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Around Seafair’s docks they’re calling this an epic season for big tuna catches — about 100 percent better than the last two years.  

Multi-day trips have produced an outstanding mix of yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna, dorado, yellowtail and even some albacore, according to Mark Larson.       

“The water around the kelps is warm and clear, which remains excellent for fishing ... there appears no end in sight,” said Larson, who books the overnight trips. “What’s so outstanding to me is that they (tuna) have been here so long ... for several months. They range in size from 15 to 80 pounds and all the way up to 100 pounds. I remember one year they were catching bluefins up until Christmas.” 

It could happen again.

Larson said another plus is a plentiful number of small squid along the shore.  

“I call them shore gum drops,” he said.

The last few weeks the major catch has turned to yellowfin tuna.  

“Today  the Legend [boat] is on a half-day trip and she already is at 100-plus on yellowtin tuna .... an excellent trip,” Larson said. “It’s a matter of finding the right kelp.”  

The 18 boats sail anywhere from 60 to 100 miles to southwestern waters. Trips range from a half-day to six days. Some may go as far as Guadeloupe.



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Bayfair crowds up 15 percent  

It took a few hours extra to crown rookie Jimmy Shane winner of the Air National Guard hydroplane races but that was the only hitch to Bayfair’s most successful three-day multi-boat racing show in years. 

Race officials disqualified initial race winner Steve David because of a fuel-flow violation. Shane also was aided when all-time series victor Dave Villwock had turbine troubles.          

Despite the fact that both the Chargers and Padres were in town and those soaring temperatures, said Jeff Thomas, president of  the board of governors for the Bayfair event, reported a 15 percent increase in attendance.  “This was far more successful than recent years because the economy is turning around,” he said. “The crowds were enthusiastic and they want to come back again. Part of that (success) was due to the bands performing three days from a stage near the entrance. It’s like any business. It’s just a matter of cutting your costs and putting on a superior show”   

He credited support from fans for the Air National Guard Hydroplane Series and the Lucas Oil Drag Boats. 

“They got to see an incredible weekend of racing,” Thomas said. “The crowds on Mission Bay were some of the largest we’ve seen in years.” 

Thunderboats Inc. is a nonprofit organization to promote powerboat racing in San Diego and tourism in the beach area. Profits from the three-day festival go to several charities.

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Ready for Christmas

SeaWorld is more than fish, seals, orcas, penguins and turtles. It’s broad entertainment. The highly successful Manta roller coaster is proof of that.

Now, they’re auditioning for key roles in their elaborate Christmas celebration.

Casting has been for strolling characters like the Sugar Plum Fairy, Clara, Peppermint Princess, the Nutcracker, Mrs. Claus, elves, doll and a Jack-in-the Box, plus several vocalists.

Hirees will be asked to take a positive interactive approach with park guests of all ages, different ethnic/cultural backgrounds and individuals with special needs. Previous experience in dance, theater, athletics or other performance arts is required.

— Johnny McDonald is a longtime writer and columnist for the San Diego Community Newspaper Group.
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