Video: Angler Hooks, Drags Pelican

An angler on the Redondo Beach Pier accidentally hooks a pelican. Also, a fisherman in Puerta Vallerta catches a gigantic yellowfin tuna, and local fishing stays steady.

A YouTube video (see attached) posted Monday by user AchromaticCosmos showing a man swinging his fishing rod at several pelicans on the is inciting anger among some anglers.

During the encounter, one of the pelicans swallows the man’s bait, and the hook—which was still attached to his rod and reel—gets stuck in the bird’s throat pouch. The man looks at his catch for several moments before dragging the helpless bird across the pier.

This whole incident could have been avoided if the man in question never started swinging his rod and bait in front of the hungry fowl. Fishermen have to remember that they have entered these creatures’ world—a world that needs to be revered and respected. 

Nevertheless, accidents do happen. If a pelican is hooked, don’t cut the line—the bird might get tangled in the line, causing further injury or death.

Cover the bird’s head with a towel or blanket. This will calm the pelican, making it easier to remove the hook.

Locate the hook and push it through the pelican’s skin until you can clearly see the barb. Cut the barb off and back the rest of the hook out of the bird. If the barb is not removed, taking the hook out can cause major injury.

If the bird is not seriously wounded, release it immediately. If it is, or you don’t know what to do, contact your local humane society. South Bay locals can call the International Bird Rescue in Palos Verdes at 310-514-2573.

While waiting for help to arrive, keep try to get the bird in to a large box with a towel at the bottom and holes on the top. Keep the bird calm by putting the box in a dark, quiet place away from people.

One big fish

An angler fishing in Puerto Vallarta on Tuesday caught what could be the largest yellowfin tuna ever recorded. Brandon Hayward from Western Outdoor News received a photo on Wednesday of the monster tuna from Eric Huff, the owner of Eric’s Tackle Shop in Ventura. The giant tuna was taken by angler Ron Tegland on his yacht Tenacious.

Using a mathematical formula that squares the length times the girth and then divides that figure by 800 to arrive at an estimated weight, the fish taped out at 432.4 pounds. If the weight is confirmed, it would officially be the largest yellowfin tuna ever caught, and only the second yellowfin to exceed 400 pounds.

Puerta Vallarta is well known for its abundance of big yellowfin tuna and has not disappointed big game anglers this year.

The Tenacious is said to be traveling to San Jose del Cabo in Baja California so the fish can be weighed on a certified scale. Of course, we will keep you up to date here on Patch as soon as we know something.

Local fishing update

Surf fishing has been quite good lately with a variety of species being taken. Around San Clemente, Newport Beach and Long Beach, there has been some good barred-perch fishing, with a few legal halibut thrown into the mix. Lots of guitarfish have also been putting up a good tussle on light tackle.

In addition, anglers are seeing good bass and sculpin fishing along the California coast. Corona del Mar resident Scott Buchert caught several 2- to 3-pound sand bass while he was out on the Thunderbird from Davey’s Locker in Newport Beach. Fifteen anglers on the Enterprise out of Marina Sportfishing in Long Beach caught a combined total of 94 calico bass, four sand bass, 70 sculpin and 114 perch.

The Native Sun out of Long Beach Sportfishing caught three halibut on Wednesday as part of the Pot of Gold Halibut Derby. Walt Carver hooked a 11.7-pound flattie, while Bill Dick nailed a 7.9-pound halibut. Red-hot angler Tom Pae—who already has the second biggest halibut of the derby with a 25.5-pound fish—caught a 17.2-pound flatfish.

The Slammer out of caught limits of mixed calico and sand bass and hoop-netted three lobster, two spider crabs and 46 rock crabs. Twenty-eight anglers on the half-day New del Mar out of Marina del Rey Sportfishing on Wednesday caught a combined total of 21 sand bass, three calico bass, 72 sculpin and a single triggerfish.

Quick bites

  • Yours truly will host another “Fishing with Phil” out of Long Beach Sportfishing aboard the Westerly on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with hundreds of dollars in raffle prizes, great instruction and lots of fun. It’s your chance to star in a new Patch video, too, as we will be shooting on all three days. The trips depart at 9 a.m. and will return after 4 p.m. We will be targeting bass, halibut, white sea bass and sculpin. Call 562-432-8993 to book.
  • The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium will host its 42nd annual Whale Fiesta on Sunday. Co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Cetacean Society, the festival will feature booths from multiple marine-life organizations, a life-sized sand sculpture, the “Great Duct Tape Whale Contest,” face painting and arts and crafts. The festival will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the aquarium, which is located at 3720 Stephen M. White Drive in San Pedro.


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