Mako Shark Fishing in Redondo Beach

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Posted by on July 27, 2006 at 16:19:27:

Record-Breaking Mako Tops PCYC Tourney

Marylin Stephens from King Harbor Yacht Club caught the big one on July 15 - a 1,059.4-lb. mako shark measuring 10.9 feet in length. This is the largest recorded mako shark caught in California history by a male or female angler (the previous record was held by Tom Brooks of Redondo Beach, caught in 1999 at 986 lbs.) She caught the fish on the south side of Anacapa Island about 20 to 30 miles from Channel Islands Harbor.

Twenty-six boats competed in the 11th annual event, July 15 and 16, hosted by Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club (PCYC) and organized by Co-chairs Stewart Rose and C.G. Miller.

Stephens broke the world record for women, beating a mako catch of 911 lbs. The largest recorded mako ever weighed in at 1,221 lbs.

"It was a life turning event, beyond belief, and expectations - it's just awesome," commented Stephens. "I have the best team ever, without them I couldn't have done it."

Stephens, an avid angler, caught the big one from her and her husband's Mikelson 50 Sport Fisher Exta Sea using 130-lb. test, a Penn International reel and a Calstar rod. It took 2.25 hours to leader the fish. It was so big that the team gaffed it and tied it to the side of the boat to bring it in for weigh-in.

"She caught a 1,000-pound marlin last year," commented Bob Stephens. "She's got stamina."

The clubhouse and dock area were packed on Saturday as news of the big fish spread like wildfire. On Sunday, Bill's Bar at PCYC was teeming with folks waiting to see the prize money distributed and see the woman who caught the big one.

Stephens won a total of $18,100 (first prize purse plus pool money) for the largest fish caught over the two-day event.

Mike Schmidt from Marina Del Rey aboard Sea Wolf came in second with a 641.8-pounder and earned over $3,000. C.G. Miller and the team on board Ruckus came in third with a fish weighing 342.6 lbs. caught by Johnny Marks, earning $1,500.

The event went off without a hitch, with the able help of the tournament committee: Jim McComb, Larry Densel, John Koerner, Cal Miller and weigh master Captain Dave Willhite.

"What's great about mako fishing is that they are dangerous and hard to catch," Rose explained. "There is no advantage from a big boat over a smaller craft. You can't spot them from the bridge or even with the help of an aerial view."

According to Rose, most of the fish caught are released to swim again and those that are brought in for weighing get consumed. Marylin Stephens and her team cut up their big fish and donated it to the Oxnard Rescue Mission.

PCYC members get to enjoy the fruits of the anglers' labor. Club Chef Enrique Collazo will prepare tournament-caught mako for diners as long as it remains on the menu.

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