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CIVR Blog: Big Fish

Photo credit: www.marlinnut.com

Photo credit: www.marlinnut.com

Catalina’s big game fish attract anglers from around the world

Catalina Island’s waters abound with delicious marine life. Lobster and halibut, scallops and seabass, yellowtail and calamari are just some of the many Catalina species that are delectable when served up on a plate.

All of those species are regularly caught by recreational anglers and spearfishers and, in the case of lobster, from hoop nets off the end of the green Pleasure Pier. One of Catalina’s tastiest fish is also much harder to catch. Pacific swordfish are regularly caught in season by professional crews using harpoons aboard specially outfitted vessels known as stick boats. Their catches show up on the menus of the some of the best fish restaurants in Southern California. But every once in a while one of these massive fighting fish is landed by a recreational angler aboard a sports-fishing vessel. Weighing in at around 200 pounds or more, landing a swordfish can be thrill of a lifetime for an angler and will provide a fish story to tell for years to come.

While swordfish are the tastiest big game fish in Catalina waters, they are definitely not the usual prey. Striped marlin are known for their fighting spirit and acrobatic leaps and are the preferred quarry of big game anglers. Widely considered an acquired taste, marlin has a strong flavor and is best served smoked. Dinner is generally not the goal when fishing for marlin, so most anglers choose catch and release to ensure that generations to come will be able to match skills against these finned fighters.

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