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Stories by Daniel Powell

Santee Lakes catfish opener April 1 and 2

Take the carp — we don’t want them

The seven small lakes called Santee Lakes began as part of a recycling plant. In 1960, the district started recycling wastewater for irrigation and commercial uses. The seven lakes were at the end of that ...

Bluefin tuna close to home

Get some sashimi-grade yellowtail and possibly get in on a good bluefin bite.

There were whisperings not long after the Excel and the Eclipse each picked up a bluefin tuna in mid-February. They were here again, and within a day or two of Point Loma. A few schools ...

Every wharf has a rat

Happenings on and off the water

The week held nice weather and decent seas for the most part, and the anglers showed up to fish. The landings sent out the largest number of boats and anglers aboard so far this year. ...

San Diego State hosts Marine Science Day at their Pt. Loma lab

Hear hourly lectures, get your hands on sea squirts on starfish

San Diego State’s Coastal and Marine Institute Laboratory is located on a strip between Lindbergh’s terminal 2 parking lot and the channel that separates the airport from Liberty Station. The acre-and-a-quarter property boasts outdoor aquaria, ...

Last week to hoop up some bugs

Lobster season ends March 22

A decent weather week brought more anglers to the landings and private boaters to the local spots, resulting in mixed counts depending on who was targeting what. The yellowtail bite along the coast of northern ...

Partially intoxicated, couple argues while boat circles

Harbor Patrol highlights from January and February

February 7 — HP responded to an adrift dinghy near the Shelter Island Launch Ramp. The dinghy was taken to the HPD impound dock. February 6 — HP issued a citation to a boater who ...

After Greenough

Who will claim the title of Kneeboard Surfing USA champ this year?

Kneeboard surfing has a devout but small fraction of the surfing population keeping the sport alive. The kneeboard came along in the early 1950s as post-war economic success made waterskiing popular. By the turn of ...

Hooker heaven

Good weather and rockfish opening equals higher passenger and fish count for San Diego fleet

As mostly decent weather and doable seas coincided with the week of the March 1 rockfish opener, the passenger numbers and fish counts nearly doubled over previous weeks, even though nobody got out the last ...

Dorms closest to the surf

Did you know colleges have surf teams?

In 1997, I returned to San Diego to work on a couple university projects; a new parking garage at USD and then the new Commons building at Point Loma Nazarene. The Point Loma job was ...

Yellowtail at Colonet still biting between storms

Groundfish season reopens March 1

As the weather continues to bounce, seemingly weekly, between warm and storm, the local boats have been getting out as they can between gales and scoring well on sand bass, sculpin and a decent halibut ...

Bass fishing not the same

Try your tricks at Lower Otay Reservoir this Saturday

Since the advent of the plastic sit-on-top kayak and the internet, anglers have posted shots of their catches, forgetting that the background might hold secrets. Plus, there’s the explosion of information on rigging, technique, and ...

Lucifer keeps them in the slips

Lowest weekly angler count in years

The strongest so far in a series of Pacific storms, aptly named Lucifer, slammed into southern California Friday, shutting down the sportfishing fleet and keeping local anglers on not-so-dry land. High winds built seas up ...

Outrigger canoes for newbies

This is a watersport.

That I haven’t been in an outrigger canoe doesn’t mean I haven’t wished for one. I remember when my first two-piece paddle snapped while “digging in” (paddling hard) a couple miles off La Jolla in ...

413-pound yellowfin tuna caught

Could world record be beaten this year?

A 413-pound yellowfin tuna was caught by angler Kevin Boyle of West Hills about 15 miles off Tres Marias Islands aboard the Constitution during a three-and-half-day trip out of Puerto Vallarta. Several other large fish ...

San Salvador for lovers

Sweetheart of a cruise

In 1542 from a 100-foot Spanish galleon carrying officers, crew, slaves, a priest, and the ship’s captain, explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, landed in San Diego Bay near Point Loma. They were the first Europeans to ...

First bluefin tuna of the season reported off Colonet

Fish are biting off the Baja coast.

On February 4, the first bluefin tuna of the year was landed aboard the Eclipse at Colonet. It was reported as a small 15-pounder though signs are good for another epic season for the hard-fighting ...

Check-box blacksmiths and the Black Smiths

Either way, rest assured, contemporary blacksmithing is a thing.

Dear Hipster: I was reading that column you did a while back about hipster baby names, and I had an idea. You know how some names are basically supergeneric white-guy names? I mean, here’s looking ...

Mission Bay marsh opens the chain-link fence — for a day

Love your wetlands on February 4

What is now the Kendall-Frost marsh reserve at the northeast corner of Mission Bay Park was acquired by the city and set aside in 1965. Since then, the De Anza Cove trailer park, Campland on ...

January Harbor Patrol highlights

Fishy fisherman arrested, hostage situation at Kona Kai

January 1 HP responded to a subject who had a dizzy spell and crashed his bicycle into the bay next to the Star of India Ship. A HP diver and vessel unit retrieved him from ...

A tough day of bass fishing

"It was murder trying to get a biter over fourteen inches long."

Dock Totals January 25-28: 293 anglers aboard 19 boats out of San Diego landings this past week caught 36 yellowtail, 39 calico bass, 73 sand bass, 145 rockfish, 122 sanddab, 2 halfmoon, 3 halibut, 43 ...

Where surfing pros come from

The next Rachel Tilly could emerge from Scholastic Surf Series

Southern California’s Scholastic Surf league is divided into three areas: San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles to Santa Barbara. Each high school team consists of six to nine shortboard men, three longboard men, two ...

Weather puts a damper on fishing

See the top boats of the week

Dock Totals 1/15 -1/21 675 anglers aboard31 boats out of San Diego landings this past week caught 72 yellowtail, 22 calico bass, 65 sand bass, 10 bonito, 1 barracuda, 1,779 rockfish, 1 sheephead, 3 sanddab, ...

Children's Pool was just for kids

Seals' Occupy Children’s Pool movement holding strong

Ask an adult who grew up in the San Diego area about his hometown and he’ll say something akin to, “It’s a great place to be a kid.” Our weather, beaches, and the ocean provide ...

Colinet producing decent yellowtail and lingcod

Weekly fishing report for Baja and So Cal

Inshore: The half-day boats have been fishing the midcolumn off the kelp for sculpin and calico bass, and the flats for sand bass and halibut with mixed success. The closure on rockfishing and the weather ...

Lord of the wind

Windsurfers and kitesurfers head south for annual competition

Los Barriles sits on the Sea of Cortez halfway between La Paz and Cabo San Lucas. Known mostly for its fishery, this area enjoys wintertime winds that funnel down the Gulf of California from the ...

One of those fish that would not give up

It's hard to land a big tuna

Inshore: With the water temp just below 60 degrees and rockfishing closed in U.S. waters until March 1, the local boats have been concentrating their efforts toward sculpin and sand bass. A few flurries of ...

Allegedly drunk sailor collides with several moored vessels on Christmas Day

How the Harbor Patrol spent the holidays

December 26 HP was contacted regarding two vessels that were not permitted and illegally anchored in the A-5 Anchorage, Glorietta Bay. Both owners were contacted and issued citations. December 25 HP were dispatched to the ...

Beach volleyball — a San Diego thing

Find a 2x2 or 4x4 game at Mission Bay Park

One gray winter morning in 1997, about this time of year, I was working on the old Federal Building in Balboa Park. We were beginning the demo for the new Hall of Champions project. As ...

Plane down in La Jolla Cove? What plane?

December's emergency calls — or lack thereof

December 18 10:40 Swimmer: Sunset Cliffs Call Box Call, check the welfare on a surfer possibly tired and cold at Osprey. Lifeguard, Jet unit and a lifeguard rescue vessel respond, surfer clear lifeguards clear. 14:38 ...

Last week of rockfishing

Full gunnysacks for the holidays

Inshore: The local boats took advantage of some decent weather between fronts and found some decent bottom fishing for the anglers aboard. Entering into the last few days of rockfishing before that fishery closes on ...

A New Year without El Niño

Recreational groundfish season comes to an end

On New Year’s Eve, local groundfish might have a reason to celebrate. In the angling community over the past couple winters, our lucky New Year’s baby has been the El Niño conditions that kept yellowtail ...

Back to normal winter fishing

Bottom fish until March, or head south

: Back to the normal (wintertime) method of operation Inshore: Looks like it’s back to the normal M.O. for San Diego inshore fishing; Bottom fish until the bell at New Year’s and then scratch for ...

Last year's emergencies

The best of Lifeguard and Harbor Patrol reports from over the 2015 holidays

January 2, 2016 Subject broke into a 85’ Hornblower vessel shortly after midnight and was able to start the vessel and remove it from the dock. The vessel was later discovered missing by employees and ...

Local fleet targeting rockfish

It's freezer-filling time

Inshore: It’s been a bit slow for the local fleet with only just under 340 anglers for the week. The catch is mainly rockfish with a few other seasonal bottom fish mixed in. After two ...

Intruding sea lion gets illegally nailed

Ordered set free

December 9 — HP were dispatched to a dinghy that was a hazard to navigation near Shelter Island. HP located the halfway-submerged dingy and transported it to the impound dock. December 5 — HP responded ...

Wintertime blues? No yellows? Try ocean whitefish

Weekly fish report

Inshore: I think this is the first weekly report I’ve done in two years that doesn’t have a yellowtail in the local counts. Still, a few were caught off La Jolla by kayakers and private ...

The grays return

Within a decade and a half of the first gray whale killing in Laguna Ojo de Liebre, it was fished out.

Early whale hunters saw spouts over the dunes before they found the bay entrance, but in early winter of 1857, Charles Melville Scammons led the first two whaling ships into Laguna Ojo de Liebre on ...

Las Gaviotas is for kneeboarders

Others stay ashore

San Diegans, at least a good number of them, have had a long-standing love for the 800-mile-long Baja Peninsula. Until the north-south Highway 1 was completely paved in the mid 1970s, it was an arduous ...

Lake Wohlford to receive 6,000 pounds of trout

First plant of the season

Inshore: A little rough weather kept a lot of anglers ashore this past week as only 37 boats got out with well under 1000 passengers total. Even so, the bottom fishing for reds, lingcod and ...

Couple tips on how to pull in corbina

Corbina are a spooky fish

I have done my share of surf-fishing in the waves of Santa Maria Bay in front of Cielito Lindo and along the beach south of the camp at Fidel’s Pabellon. Santa Maria Bay begins at ...

Why the lunkers

No license required to fish Dixon Lake

Trout fishing in Southern California has been a put-and-take fishery. The trout caught in our lakes and rivers have been farm-raised and planted (put) for anglers (to take.) Instead of the rainbow trout stocked during ...

Long-range boats score on larger yellowfin tuna

A few cows weigh in at 290 pounds

Inshore: Rockfish, rockfish, rockfish. Lobster. That’s the story for the local half and ¾ day boats in the San Diego area. The surface fishing and summer pelagic aren’t all gone, but it feels that way ...

Can the San Diego River change course?

A return to a more natural state

The San Diego River begins as a trickle in the Cuyamaca Mountains northwest of the town of Julian. It then flows to the southwest until it reaches the El Capitan Reservoir and continues west through ...

Fishing 200 miles south of San Diego

Success at the boca

The peaks of the volcanoes emerge from the fog that blankets the shallow upper San Quintín Bay outside my window. I hear the geese, the first of the brants that spend winters here, honking in ...

It’s not all fun in the sun

Summer's quirkiest lifeguard and harbor patrol news of 2016

July 15 — LG requests medics for a combative 42 Y/O male bleeding from the mouth at Oliver ct. Medics transport PT to UCSD. July 14 — HP caught a male subject that was smoking ...

Big bluefin tuna still the main offshore draw

This week's fishing report

Inshore: The inshore fishing for rockfish has been very good for those getting out to the near-shore bumps on out to the 9 Mile Bank. Lots of sheephead, starrys, vermillions and even an occasional decent ...

Why club fishing?

Experience, community, conservation

Fishing is my life away from the hassle of making a living. Wherever I’ve found myself I’ve found a fishery, whether it was the Colorado or Montana high country, the lakes of north-central Texas, or ...

Wrong pedal sends vehicle into the drink at the Cays

A day in the life of the Harbor Patrol

November 12 — Harbor Patrol responded to the area of Zuniga Jetty for a dinghy that was adrift. The dinghy was located and stored at the HP impound dock. The owner soon contacted HP and ...

Big bluefin tuna off Cortez and Tanner

Longer ride necessary to get the blues

Inshore: Calico bass, rockfish, sheephead and a scratch of yellowtail have been the main targets in San Diego inshore waters this past week. When the current is midflow to slack and you can see the ...

Sleepwalker takes a dip in the bay

Selections from the October Harbor Patrol blotter

October 29 — HP responded to a vessel collision in the Kona Kai Marina. The collision occurred between a small fishing vessel that was attempting to leave the marina. During this process, the vessel struck ...

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