Anglers find invisible touch for bluefin tuna bite


Mar 11, 2001
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Anglers find invisible touch

August 22, 2002

By DAVE STREGE, The Orange County Register

Anglers enjoyed the best bluefin tuna bite of the season earlier this week and two Orange County anglers were prepared with a secret (or not-so-secret) weapon.

Fluorocarbon leader.

Steve Crooke and his son Bryan of Irvine were fishing aboard the Cortez out of Seaforth Sportfishing on Monday and each caught five-fish limits of bluefin and albacore.

Steve Crooke said he and his son increased their odds on the bluefin by using fluorocarbon leader, which features low-light refraction properties that make the line virtually disappear underwater.

"The skipper said it doesn't make much difference with albacore or other fish, but he feels it does make a difference with bluefin," Crooke said. "It makes sense because everybody says they (bluefin) tend to be line shy.

"There was one other angler who caught his limit of bluefin. Guess what he was using?"

A fluorocarbon leader, of course.

The 18 anglers on the 11/2-day charter wound up with 62 albacore and 58 bluefin, a score typical of catches earlier in the week.

Perhaps the most impressive catch of the day was produced by Dave Parker of Los Alamitos. He caught a 40-pound bluefin and on the next cast landed a 35-pound albacore.


By the numbers: Anglers enjoyed the best albacore season of all-time last year with catches of 263,626 reported by the landings. This season's catches, according to, are at 162,537 through Tuesday. That ranks as the seventh-best season all time.

Award winner: When Marlon Meade of Anaheim was 18, he joined the Kingfishers Fishing Club of Orange County and started a kids' fishing derby, the kind he enjoyed as a youngster.

He walked into the old Fish N Tackle store in Anaheim and asked for a donation of prizes. It refused, saying he looked young enough to be in the derby.

"I went home and got my dad," Meade said.

The store then became a yearly sponsor until going out of business.

Meade, 43, continued putting on kids' events, organizing the Kingfishers derby, the Easter Seals Disabled Fishing Program and the Izaak Walton's Pathways to Fishing event.

In 25 years, he has been responsible for giving fishing rods to 3,500 kids and introducing some 13,000 children to the sport of fishing.

The Izaak Walton League has recognized Meade for this service. It honored him with its national Conservation Award "for his steadfast commitment to the field of conservation and education and outreach activities that introduce thousands of California children to the outdoors."

Meade said he feels a part of the community by teaching kids something positive that they can use the rest of their lives.

Forbidden Zone update: Anglers were allowed to fish behind the buoy line by the dam at Irvine Lake last weekend but didn't find spectacular results.

A lake spokesman reported that fishing in the main lake actually was better.

Some anglers did get catfish limits in the Zone, but the best spots were Santiago Flats and the lake middle.

Meade said he caught six bass to 3.5 pounds on topwater plugs along the dam face and lost a huge catfish in the Zone.

They're back: The giant squid, disappearing from the fish counts for three days, reappeared in the counts last Tuesday and have bitten steady since, though counts were down Tuesday night.

Ventura landings even got into some Sunday.

Squid have been sighted inside Dana Point Harbor and Newport Harbor, and anglers fishing off Newport and Balboa piers in Newport have caught them.

Through Tuesday's fish counts, the squid bite that began in earnest July 20 has produced 222,240 for the party boats, including 113,005 by Orange County boats.

From the wild file: A fisherman confessed to drowning his friend after his friend told him he wasn't ready to go home from the pond they were fishing, the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday.

Saturday morning, the two friends were fishing a local one-third-acre pond that is stocked with bluegill. Lorenzo Barrios and Odon Sanchez walked to the park pond about a mile from their homes in Highwood, Ill., to fish the pond.

Barrios told Sanchez he was ready to leave but Sanchez didn't want to go. The two reportedly started calling each other names and a fight started, ending when Barrios allegedly held Sanchez's head under water until he stopped moving.

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