On Thursday October 18, 2018, Laguna Woods Rod and Gun Club members Jim Williams (Club President), Chuck Bretz (Chairman Ocean Fishing) and Fred Booth, along with Fred's fishing buddy Justin Han, went lobster hooping off of Dana Point on Jim's 23 ft Grady White fishing boat. The boat was launched at 5:00 pm with Jim, Fred, and Justin aboard. With 4 lobster hoops on the boat and frozen whole bonito, from our clubs last fishing trip on the SumFun, for bait we cruised out to a spot off Salt Creek Beach where we dropped the hoops right at dark.
The floats on the lobster hoop's ropes had attached to them reflective tape and glo in the dark cyclalume sticks so they could be easily located in the dark. Jim also marked the spot where we dropped the hoops on his GPS and we motored back to the harbor to pick up Chuck who was running late due to prior commitments. While docked at the boat launch ramp Chuck joined the crew and we all enjoyed a dinner of Fred's homemade Venison Pie.
When finished with dinner we headed out, in the dark, to find and pull our hoops. Fred's fishing buddy Justin provided most of the muscle as he is a good 20+ years younger than the rest of the crew. Attempting to to pull the first hoop resulted in us losing the hoop as it had become stuck in the rocks and the rope subsequently broke. The next three hoops were empty so we made the decision to move to another location closer to Dana Point Harbor.
Soon after relocating from the Salt Creek area to a rocky spot nearer to the Dana Point breakwater, we began picking up a few lobsters in each hoop net. Fred would pick up the lobster buoy with the gaff, Justin would start pulling up the rope, with Chuck's aide and Jim would shine a hand-held spotlight into the water to spot the hoop as it came up hopefully full of lobsters.
As the night progressed we checked the 3 remaining hoops 5 or 6 times (30 minute intervals) and rebaited and reset them as we also relocated the hoops from deeper (47 ft.) to shallower water (35 ft.). The tally for the night was 21 lobsters successfully boated. However, as is common, the vast majority (16) of the lobsters were “shorts” and had to be safely returned to the water. Shorts being defined by the CA Dept of Fish & Game as small lobsters that do not meet the legal-size limit of 3 1/4" across the caracarapace/bodyshell length.
Shortly after midnight, with 5 legal lobsters in the livewell, we headed back to the harbor to put the boat on the trailer and to wash it down with fresh water before we all headed back home.
Night time lobster fishing in CA is hard, cold, wet and dirty work but when eating our steamed or barbecued lobsters, I know that Capt. Jim and his crew are ready to go and do it again.
Checking size of the lobsters
The first annual LWV Rod & Gun Club Offshore Tuna Trip took place on October 7th, 8th and 9th. The limited load of 23 left the dock, on the Fury, out of Dana Warf Sportfishing on Sunday, October 10 at 10:00 PM. The Captain of the Fury and Chuck Bretz, our Charter Captain, had developed a plan for us to target Tuna in the offshore waters about 10 miles beyond San Clemente Island which was roughly a 70 mile trip from the harbor. We arrived at the fishing grounds in calm seas in the early morning hours of Monday October 8th.
Around 5 AM, the first anglers began fishing for Tuna which the Captain said were showing on his locator between 180 and 240 feet below the boat. Unfortunately, we did not entice any fish to bite during the night, but continued to fish until daylight when the Captain notified us that he was going to “look around” to see if he could find the Tuna. Fortunately, around 6:30 AM we stopped on a school of Bluefin Tuna, that showed on the sonar, and the crew began to chum the area with live sardines as we all put our lines in the water. Almost immediately, one of our Club members, Phil Pond, hooked a fish and the game was on.
Hooking the elusive Bluefin Tuna proved to be a challenge, because the fish were “line shy”, and the Captain and crew instructed us to use no more than 25 lb. test line and small hooks to increase our odds of hooking a fish. Their words rang true and line stronger than 25 lb test proved to significantly reduce the chances of getting a hookup. This proved to be both a blessing and a curse in that we hooked a lot of fish, but unfortunately had a number of the larger Tuna break-off the smaller line. Our catch to hookup ratio was about 1 fish on the deck to every 6 fish successfully hooked. That’s is why it is called fishing rather than catching!
During the day, we had two very exciting encounters with large schools of Tuna. The morning bite (4 hours), produced fish consistently in the 40lb class, and the afternoon bite, which lasted 3 hours, produced fish in the 60+ lb. class. The latter resulting in more lost fish and longer battles with the Tuna due to the much bigger size of the fish. With a great catch of Tuna, we elected to finish out the day with near limits of quality rockfish which we caught in 240 ft of water near the island.
For this incredible day of fishing, the 23 anglers produced catches of 29 Bluefin Tuna, 1 Yellowfin Tuna and mostly limits of rockfish. We celebrated the day with a steak dinner aboard the Fury, and catching a few hours of sleep before returning, in flat seas, to the dock in Dana Point very early on Tuesday, October 9, 2018.
Special thanks goes out to the Captain and crew of the Fury and to our own Chuck Bretz who put together a trip that created many great memories for all involved.
Plans are already underway for our next Club sponsored Offshore Tuna Trip which will be scheduled for late August or early September, 2019…
Members of the Rod & Gun Club traveled to the Pala Shooting Range, last Friday, September 21st. http://range.palatribe.com/
Fred Booth, Jim Southworth, and Neil Wedehase travelled together and arrived at the range by 8 AM. Leaving from Laguna Nigel, it took 90 minutes to arrive at Pala. The range fee was $35.00 per person, and NO steel bullets were allowed. Since hunting season is soon, many shooters were present and trying out many different types and calibers of firearms.
We were lucky to be able to locate and share a single shooting table, which worked out well, as we could then watch each other with our different calibers. Not to mentioned the teasing of not being able to always find the target. A combination of 30-06, .243, 22LR, and even Fred shooting his .50 caliber black powder rifle was shot during the next 3 hours.
We were able to sight-in three different scopes, on three different rifles. The resident range masters were more than helpful in setting new scopes. The range does a cease-fire and allows everyone to check targets every hour on the hour, and the range masters monitored the shooting.
The location was a well-controlled and safe range. After the rifle range, went next-door and shot handguns for a short period at a separate pistol shooting bay. After, we went to one of Fred’s favorite burger dives, The Nessy Burger for a great lunch, as we made Jim wait in line for 20 minutes to buy our lunch.
Over all, this trip, my first, was a great success, and we would like to open discussions and invitations to all members to attend similar events. Having said that, Jim and I have already scheduled a day trip to Burro Canyon Shooting Park, http://level6.burrocanyon.com/.
Thursday, October 4th. Jim spent a day shooting at Burro couple months ago and enjoyed the location and layout. For this trip we’ll be shooting rifle and pistol. Bring targets. Jim is working up hunting loads for his .30 caliber wildcat rifle cartridge and will bring a chronograph for recording velocities.
Burro Canyon Shooting Park is 1.75 hours from Laguna Woods, Hiway 57 north, crossover I210, and then head up into the mountains. Range fees are advertised as $15.00 per day/per person. I expect to leave Laguna Woods by 6:00 AM to deal with commuter traffic and be early for a good shooting tables. The range is open from 9 AM-5 PM . Hope to hear from anyone interested. Future events can be arranged for weekends with plenty of pre-scheduling.
The Laguna Woods Village Rod & Gun Club is an environmentally focused, non-profit organization dedicated to providing fellowship to members who enjoy fishing, target shooting, hunting, and other forms of outdoor recreation.
Our membership is co-ed and is open to all residents of Laguna Woods Village. Non-residents can also join the Club within the percentage guidelines defined by the Village's Board of Directors. Our annual Membership Fee is $25, and all members are encouraged to invite guests to participate in Club events and outings.
Club activities are scheduled to maximize the value the club brings to its members without competing with major holidays. The Clubs web site is continually updated with upcoming events, but as a general rule the major activities are scheduled as follows:
Our members actively pursue their passion for fishing in lakes, rivers and our ocean. Fresh water excursions are generally ad-hock in nature and organized on a small scale by individual members. Semi-monthly, limited-load ocean charters are scheduled on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month thru our nearly 50 year relationship with Dana Wharf Sportfishing in Dana Point Harbor.
Whether an expert or a novice gun owner, come join us twice a month at OnTarget http://ontargetrange.com/ontargetrange/ Orange County's premier 25 yd indoor range.
Club's Social Happy-Hour get together at the 19 Restaurant and Lounge 5:00 to 7:00 PM on Wednesday, November 14, 2018. Hors d'oeuvres for $5 per person. This is a popular event so pleas RSVP to Jim Southworth @ 760-709-0149, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign up to hear from us about Club activities and events.
We hope you will accept our offer to learn more about our Club by joining us for lunch at one of our meetings. Please contact Jim Williams at email@example.com (949-933-1684) or complete the "contact us" section and one of our officers will respond.
2144 Ronda Granada Unit G Laguna Woods, CA 92637