Catalina Island Visitor Information
Fishing on Catalina
Of course there is fishing on Catalina! Whether you are fishing for sport or because you enjoy a good marlin fillet with your Napa Valley Riesling, you'll find many suppliers of bait and tackle as well as boat services that are more than happy to take you out on the water for a challenging and enjoyable day of trying to land the big fish.
Deep sea fishing can also be most profitable, if you are interesting in competitive angling; there are a number of fishing tournaments held on Catalina Island during the latter half of the year.
Competition deep-sea fishing starts in mid-August with the Annual Church Mouse Marlin Invitational. This is a non-profit tournament that is actually a fundraiser for the young people living on the island. Since the tournament started back in the 1990, nearly $630,000 has been raised for the educational and recreational needs of Catalina's youth.
Church Mouse Invitational is followed up with the Avalon Billfish Classic. This is a "catch and release" tournament, in which only circle hooks are allowed. For those seeking a real prize however, the September Zane Grey Invitational Marlin Tournament offers of cash purse of $350,000. Participation in the Zane Grey Invitational is limited to 45 teams, and is a four-day event.
Fishing for Pleasure
Of course, Catalina is nothing if not diverse - and this diversity extends to fishing. In addition to deep-sea fishing, there are many colorful and tasty fish to be caught right off of one of Catalina's piers, including calico bass, sand bass and mackerel. Going out a bit further from shore will yield halibut, barracuda, yellowtail and sea bass weighing in at as much as 50 pounds. Going out even further (and there are many charter services available on Catalina for this purpose), and the adventurous fisherman can try for marlin, tuna, mako shark and even the great Sea-King himself, the swordfish.