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CIVR Blog: Catalina Fishing

Photo credit: CatalinaIslandVacation.org

Photo credit: CatalinaIslandVacation.org

Drop in on the Catalina Island angling scene

Whether you’re looking to drop a drop line off the end of the pier or charter a fully equipped sportsfisher in pursuit of mighty marlin, Catalina Island fishing offers something for everyone.

Most Catalina Island anglers pursue their prey from above the surface, but Catalina, CA, also has a very active spearfishing scene.

For the recreational angler, several Catalina Island species offer a delicious return on the investment of angling time. Halibut, a flat fish found on the sandy seafloor from Mexico to Alaska, cannot be beat in terms of sheer delectability. White sea bass, brought back from the brink of extinction thanks to the dedication of thousands of anglers and several hard-working organizations, can now be caught on rod and reel as well as spear. Yellowtail are often caught around the island and can be prepared many ways. Calico bass are frequently caught near Avalon and, although smaller, make a tasty dinner for the fish fan.  The island’s most iconic fish, the garibaldi, are completely protected and cannot be caught or collected. Also protected are another local icon now making a comeback, the giant black sea bass.

Catalina Island’s big game fish, marlin and swordfish, are best pursued with the help of a knowledgeable sports-fishing captain at the helm of a vessel big enough to pursue these mighty creatures. Several charter boats operate from Avalon and can be booked in advance.

No matter what your quarry, best check with the Department of Fish and Game for current size and bag limits. Many areas around Avalon are restricted by either the city or the state, including Lover’s Cove Marine Preserve and the Casino Dive Park. With careful management and respectful harvesting, Catalina Island’s marine bounty will be thrilling generations to come.

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