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I have been fishing party boats in So. Ca. for many years. Last year I purchased my first boat and keep her in Dana Point Harbor. My family was really excited about the thought of fishing the local waters and catching lots of fish. Well, dad has been struggling to put us on the right spots. We enjoy everything from the three B's to the occasional yellowtail or halibut. At this point we will take anything that will bend the rod.

I have purchased both of Mark's books and subscribe to a few saltwater magazines. Aside of putting as much time on the water as I can afford too, what do you think about investing in the 976-Tuna service? I went on to the website and saw their fee structure, I am not sure what that entails. Is it a recording for the general areas or how specific can it get? Also, do they have a message board similar to this or what? I noticed you could log on and see individual names but did not notice much else.

I appreciate your feedback and so will my thirteen year old son. He is looking at me like he is ready to abandon ship...

Thanks.
 

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Honestly Chris, You seem to be putting in the time and homework. Before long you will find yourself on the fish. Probably sooner rather than later. This is a great place to make friends and share info. Sounds like you are on the right track and who knows, you may just get that little bit of help you need to get you on the fish. If had any thing that would help in your area I would gladly give it up but I'm with you brother. I need to spend more time on the water. Save your money and do more networking. This is a great place to start.
 

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Chris, This is the age old debate about fisherman and what their talents represent. I've said all along that fishing on a cattleboat has it's share of good fisherman, however put them in a PB like your self, to find the fish, keep the boat in shape and operational, keep the crew safe, and keep the anglers on the fish all day.....as well as being a good angler, is another level of fishing IMHO! It seems that you are understanding the Nuances that this represents and the homework and preparation that is involved! I wish you well and safety! As for 976, there are many internet services available, but time on the water, and a network is your best bet! The internet services may help you choose which way to point the bow at the jaws, but the latter will put you on the fish all day every day!
 

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It's 4 Reels! - Parker 23
www.its4reels.com

I have to agree with most of the replies here. The internet is really the best place to gather info. Folks on this site are pretty good at passing on up to date info. The Reel Time Reports are pretty good as well. I'm always checking the PB Boards and post my share of reports (See Memorial Day Barracuda....). Regarding 976 I've heard good and bad (mostly bad) that for the price you really are not going to get much more info than you would by just working the internet and developing a network of contacts. I have links to all the local sites and this is where I spend the most time. I also have no problem fishing around the sportboats when my favorite spots are slow. Theyr'e out there everyday. Just make sure not to come in to close and try and steer clear of thier chum line. Also learn to use your fishfinder and trust the readings it gives you. It can be your best friend.

I also subscribe to Pacific Coast Sportfishing as they have some pretty good how to and where to fish articles. There is also a real good book called "Fishing Spot Locator". It has more GPS #'s than you could probably ever use along with some cool maps of most the artificial reefs sitting off our coast. The orange colored cover I believe is the last version in print.

Your time will come very soon. It's been a late developing spring bite but with all this good weather wev'e been having it's ready to bust open.
 

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Well, I'd first say that you are an awesome Dad for getting your family into this sport and taking on the responsibilities and expense of owning a boat.

You are doing the right things in general. Mark's books are invaluable. Time on the water in even more invaluable. A couple of other things to do are to invite some experienced guests on your boat and learn as much as you can by taking guidance from them. Hopefully they will return the favor on their boat and you can learn some more. There is no substitute for time on the water. Also, don't be fooled or intimidated by the reports on this board. Remember that some of these posters are extremely experienced fisherman and have spent many many years running their own boats to get to this point. Also remember that many of us only report on our more successful trips which is understandable but also can make things a bit tough for a newer guy who assumes these guys always nail'em every trip out. It's not true for all but a very few of the best...who do actually nail'em virtually every time out...and I ain't one of them :).

You can also do some six-pack or small boat charters with operators such as John King aka Afishinado in Avalon, Mark Wisch at Pacific Edge, The Dreamer, The Old No 7, The Tonnage etc. All of these operators are outstanding fisherman and you can learn alot more about fishing on a small boat charter than you can on a large sport boat. Alot of good fisherman won't admit to it...but they've done these kinds of charters along the way (or found other ways to bum rides like deckhanding etc.) with these boats to learn. As a paying customer, it's not a cheap way to learn...but it's effective.

976 tuna is an expensive proposition at first blush...although not as expensive as it seems when you consider what your other costs of ownership are. Many many people trash the service and say the dope is old/dated/rehashed/misleading/secondhand blah blah. I can't say much about it except probably for Catalina which I know fairly well in terms of where the bite is at any given time. You know what...the 976 dope ain't too bad. In fact...it's on point quite a bit albeit it can be little dated sometimes. They've got some charter guys who are clearly giving them straight reports whether they want to admit it or not. Whether it's worth the money of not, only you can say. And I can't begin to speak to the quality of their other info i.e. offshore etc. In terms of the specificity of the info, they post #'s so it's quite specific. If the subscription got you one good trip a year that you otherwise might not have, then maybe it's worth it to you.

Unfortunately, the #'s are only one part of the equation...and are really the easiest part. The harder part is figuring out when the conditions dictate that you fish one spot versus another. After all, you have hundreds of spots to choose from at Catalina alone...thousands actually. Why one versus another on a given day? How do you know when to fish a spot? It's conditions (current, tide, moon, water temp, etc. etc. etc.) that tell you that. And that's what the pro's are really really good at...reading the conditions at the spots to know which one to pick. And no internet site or subscription board will give you that. By the time you see dope on 976 and get to it, the conditions are totally different and so will be the fishing... So, you have to learn how to read conditions and I can tell you from personal experience that only time will help you learn that...I've got a lifetime to go.

Time, experience, building your own library of stock spots that have worked, keeping a detailed log-book to refer to in the future as to what conditions prevailed when a spot produced (I'm way too lazy at this one), building a small network of friends you can rely on to help...and be helped, going to seminars to hear people like Mark speak or Freddie Hollander (Fish the Tides Freddie), watching the internet boards...it's all pieces in a puzzle which will add up to you getting fish on a more consistent basis over time. Be patient as it takes years and years.

As an example...Mark has been doing this for only about 46-48 years or so! Sorry to date you Mark.

Best of luck to you!
 

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the 976 membership is pretty good. i just bought a boat earlier this month and got the 976 membership about 2 weeks ago. the 976 service gives you some waypoints to where the hot bite is at and it is updated daily. last night i got some numbers from the site and headed out this morining for the cuda. my cousin and i went 30+ on the cuda with a few bonito, so i guess you can say it really works.
 

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Iam not going to talk bad about 976 tuna. But Iam a member to that web site and its OKAY. They do give you waypoints and up to date info but its more for the sportboat fishing. Allcoasts website is great and there are a few more websites out there that you can scrounge the same info that 976 gives you. Good luck out there, and take in as much info as you can. The people on this website really know there stuff
 

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It takes time to learn a new area. Look for birds and cattle boats and talk to other boaters. I hear that the 976 tuna's gold membership is great.
 

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23 Striper, I read your post and the responses that followed and had to chime in... You are not alone!! Fishing our local waters has been a challenge for new boat owners, and everyone else, over the last year or so. I got my boat in December of '05. The fishing season that followed was abysmal - one of the worst in recent memory. I have two young boys who I have resisted taking fishing very often on account of the bite being so slow last season. This season looks promising, however, with the water warming up and no red tide thus far. The sand bass spawn should start up real soon, which should provide great opportunity for local fishing fun, especially for the kids. I have only posted on this site a couple of times myself, but value reading all of the information exchanged by the regulars who do (many of whom responded to your current post). Thanks guys for the words of wisdom. I hope to begin to post some positive fishing reports myself in the very near future!
David B.
Parker 2320 - "Tunatango"
 

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Aloha Rob was nice to mention Afishinado Charters in the same breath as Mark W and others, thanks Rob! It is not my fishing skill that puts me in league with the other guys Rob mentioned. They are all way better fishermen. My strength is teaching. I built a training business and sold it to pursue fishing full time so it is natural that I tend to provide a lot of extra value to my customers in terms of training. I am among the best at understanding how to make the information fit the needs of the learner. If you want to learn a lot in a short amount of time here is my proposition to you and any others interested. Get yourself to Catalina during a weekday (preferably not peak season) and book a charter with me fishing on your boat. I will take you through the hard part and make it easier to understand how to set up and fish the island. Check my website, www.afishinados.com, then give me a call if you are interested.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Guys,

Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to my question. I really do appreciate all the great feedback. I have been reading the post on this sight for almost eight months and am really impressed with the knowledge and comraderie displayed. I will continue to read all of your posts and will be sure to chime in when I have something worthy of sharing. I plan to go out this weekend and will let you know if I find the mother load...

Someone said to check my PM? Is this private message and if so, how do I do that?


Thanks again. Chris
 

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Click the link below.
http://www.allcoastsportfishing.com/forum/dcboard.php
Then click the login icon.
Enter your board name and password.
Your screen will return to the same one you clicked on with the link originally.
Look right above the smiley face in the top left hand corner.
Next to the smiley face it says 'welcome to our newest member so-n-so.
If you have something in your inbox it will display right there.

Once you click the link I posted . .
If you click on the USER MENU icon you can also get to your INBOX that way.
Just login on that screen first.

John.
Parker 2320 'FloMar'.
 

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My dad has a membership to 976-tuna and it does have info such as GPS #'s of recent bites & weather info. But you can find that info elsewhere too. It is also an advertisement website for sport boats. It seems fusturating to through all the advertising (with what you pay for the membership) to find the info.
Take it for what is worth.
 
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