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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wonder how many folks are still around who made their first trip before WW II.

I took my first trips starting at about age 7 on Billy Rice's Sunshine II and with Buster Hyder on the Sportfisher running out of San Pedro.

When the War started the harbor was closed, submarine nets were put in place, and sportsfishing out of Pedro ground to a halt. MOst of the boats were pressed into various wartime duties.

Luckily in the summer of 1945 before VJ Day, while in high school, I was able to do some fishing again working on a commercial Albacore trolling boat, the Rio Rita that had been a sportfishing boat before the war.

Are there any of you out there go back that far and remember those wonderful old boats?
 

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Hi Oldhand,

Not me but ...... I love to see old pictures of fishing here in SoCal .... especially the Long Beach/San Pedro area. There are some really cool old pictures in the Fremont Investment Bank on Ocean with these 15x20 feet photos with anglers in 3-piece suits and ladies in huge hats and cumberbuns holding yellowtail and tuna!! trippy

The first thing I look at when I get my Pacfic Coast Sportfishing magazine is read and check out the pictures in Ed Ries's 'Looking Astern' column at the back of the magazine.



tsurikichi
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I believe those photos pre-date even me. At least I never saw anyone dressed that way on either the Sunshine II or the Sportsfisher during my outings. I believe the photos may be of the fishing clubs of the 1920's.

The pre-war boats running out of San Pedro were, in the main, 45 to 65 foot wooden hulled boats designed not to differently than the larger boats we fish on today. They all were day boats depating from 2 am to 6 am and we fished most of the same "hot spots" as today: Catalina, Horseshoe, the Flats, and Rocky Point.

Targeted species for local and island fishing also has not changed: Yellowtail, WSB, Barracuda, Bonito, and Calicos (a very occasional tuna too) made up most of the sacked fish.

I do not remember any local Albacore that we caught until I worked on the Rio Rita in 1945.

Fishing in the "good old days" can not compare with today's long range trips out of San Diego--at least in my opinion.
 

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Diamond Jim In 1943 I was living in San Pedro. on 19th Street. I was at the beach daily and started working for Capt. Anderson, He was an old time fish boat owner.
His boat was run over out side off the San Pedro breakwater by one of the last Jap boats leaving the US. I can not recall the name of his boat now, but he had some great story's. It may of been anchored off a ways and people went out to fish.
He was able to recover the Pilot House off the boat, It was set up on the north side of the beach and we sold bait and rented row boats and paddle boards. I would set and talk to Cap. for hours. One of the first things he taught me was to Box the Compass.
I have no idea how old he was but he must of been 65 or better then, He had spent his life at sea,
What a great experience it was to know him.
We would walk out on the break water and fish in the late afternoon.
Just a good time in my early years. Diamond Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Jim,

You must also remember up until the war there wwer 4 or 5 fishing "barges" tethered to the San Pedro breakwater along the inside. They had live bait and generally folks would come down from "inland" (LA) and fish on them, mainly for mackeral, halibut, and occasionally bonito (they took home a lot of tom cod and herring).

Also pre-war there was a large fishing barge Olympic II (converted ship hull) on the Horseshoe with fishing for all species. It was struck by a merchant ship and sunk and several lives lost.

Here is a story about the sinking. The owner was a Capt. Anderson.

On the morning of September 4, 1940, the Olympic II quietly sat in the fog over the Horseshoe Kelp Bed. Early morning fishermen dropped their hooks over the side, as Louie Ohiser, the barge's night watchman, rang the barge's bell at regular intervals to alert any nearby boat traffic. All seemed normal. At 7 A.M., 13 fishermen climbed off the water taxi and onto the barge' s loading platform. At the same time, the 9,500 Japanese freighter, Sakito Maru, was heading on a collision course with the Olympic II. Louie Ohiser saw the freighter loom out of the fog, and rang the bell to alert the others. Having no idea of what was about to happen, many of the fishermen leisurely reeled in their lines. Aboard the Sakito Maru, a lookout spotted the barge, and Captain Sato ordered hard to starboard and the engines reversed. But it was too late. The momentum carried the freighter right into the portside of the Olympic II, its bow slicing 23GÇÖ through the hull near the main mast and forcing the Olympic II sideways 300 feet, creating a 5GÇÖ high wave. Jack Greenwood, the proud caretaker of the barge, ordered everyone on the starboard side to put on lifejackets. The barge's tender was lowered, and the water taxi, Lilian L. operated by Pinky Stiles, immediately pulled alongside the barge to take on some of the 25 people on board. Joe Karsh, who operated the small cafeteria in the cabin of the barge, ran back to get something--it was the last time anyone saw him alive. The impact with the barge stopped the Japanese freighter, but its reversed engines continued to churn the water, eventually pulling its bow out of the barge. The Olympic II only had one small collision bulkhead forward. When the Sakito Maru backed its bow out of the side of the Olympic II, it literally pulled the cork on the barge, allowing the ocean to fill the large void within the barge's hull, sucking at least 3 people below the deck. Due to the large hole and heavy gravel ballast, the Olympic II sank within two minutes. The sinking took the lives of eight people, five of which were teenagers.
 

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First trip, 1954

So, it wasn't preWWII. I'm a baby boomer I guess.

My aunt and uncle took me out on a half day boat. I was 6.
I'm almost certain it was from Santa Monica pier.

I've wondered about that for all these years. I can remember parts of that trip, even today.

Were there boats running off the SM pier in '54?
What boats?

I remember we fished bait--anchovies, and I enjoyed watching the chovies swim in the bait tank. I think I caught a small calico with the help of my aunt, but I'm just not sure any more.......memories too long ago. It wasn't a great fishing day, THAT I do remember.

I remember my aunt and uncle being worried that I would be seasick, and trying to make me drink a coke (which in their view, helped seasickness). But I didn't like coke, and I didn't get seasick. I remember wanting to catch fish....it must be genetic. I can remember being upset that we didn't catch many fish much that day. And being upset that the boat went in before we did.

I think that some of us are hunter/fisher/gatherers and some of are not. I think a lot of it is indeed intrinsic. I know I wanted to pull in fish on that first party boat, and I wanted to go fishing again. My uncle got a job out of town, and I didn't get to fish from a 1/2 day boat until 1962.

In the interim I discovered fishing from the surf and jetties, and got pretty good at it. Using a Penquin spinning reel and a Blue chip Stamp roddy 9'rod. Bonito were the trophy fish. Bass occassionally, and opaleye and buttermouth in close, mud marlin and skakes on bait. But before that, smelt (on pieces of shrimp) and perch were the stuff I started on at age 8-9-10. caught on fresh water trout type tackle bought at a discount store. Washed with fresh water and treated with "3in1" oil after every use.

When I got old enough to fish on "boats" again, it was on the barges...which were cheaper than the half day boats.

What I would have given for someone to teach me and show me how to fish. What little I learned, I did on my own. I think the late 50's and early 60's were a down time for sportfishing. Except for bones, there were few YT, no WSB, and no albies except for out of SD. Yet I still loved it.
 

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I can't tell pre WWII stories but can come pretty close. We moved to Costa Mesa in 1946. I would take the bus that ran to Balboa from Santa Ana with a gunny sack and my long rod and old Pen reel. I would walk to the pier...load up on mackeral and sometimes bonito...then haul everything back on the bus and home. The bus driver let me do it until there were too many complaints. After that my folks let me ride my bike down to the pier.
 

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Diamond Jim
Thanks for the Information on the sinking of the Olympic ll. That brings back the story that Capt.Anderson talked about. It left him a very angry man. His wife would say to just calm down. But at that time in history there was a lot of anger.
I also fished off the barges there was one off Huntington Beach we caught some nice Halibuts on. Good times.
 

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I remember the seal pool at Ports O Call Landing.Riding the ferry to TI.No bridge back then.I remember being able to go down to Point Fermin and not see anybody all day.On a weekend.I remember the canneries and the old busline in Pedro that would carry the cannery ladies in white with the hariy legs under their nylons.Man they would stink the bus up and the canneries would stink up Pedro when the wind was right.Those were the days
 

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Diamond Jim
OH the Ferry to TI. I would work at the cannery on weekends. Ride the Ferry over for 5 or 10 can't remember, but it was free coming back across. Could ride the bus all over town for .05 get a transfer slip and get on another.
Not all the girls that worked at the cannery was old.There was this one girl,no my wife may read this LOL.
Man this makes me feel older then dirt.
Remember Becon Street and the Bar Shing Hi Reds? Got my first Tattoo on beacon street. I Know BIG DEAL.
D-J
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes but----Ports O Call is a modern development. It did not come along until 1963.

How about the PE train to LA or Long Beach to go to the Pike.

How about the dancing at the music of the Tommy Dorsey,Glenn Miller, or Charley Barnett at he Casino Gardens or the Paladium.

How about selling the LA Examiner or the Times on a street corner.

How about them Pedro Pirates!!!!!
 

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Diamond Jim
Hey Old Hand. Did you go the SPHS? I was there for one year. Dropped out and went to work on a Purse Seiner.
Remember the Zoot Suit War?
I had a cool roadster AV fun times.
As Far as the LB Pike I was on the LBPD and walked a beat on the Pike from 1952 to 1955. That would be a book in it's self. D-J
 

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How

bout the Hollywood Stars. That's the baseball team I remember going to see when I was a kid. If memory serves me correctly, that PCL league also had a Los Angeles Angels and a San Diego Padres team, both of them minor league PCL teams. (The later major league teams just used the same names.)

C&P:
[font size=1]The last game was played at Gilmore Field on September 5, 1957, before a crowd of 6,354 diehard fans. They cheered the Stars on to a 6-0 victory over the San Francisco Seals. Jayne Mansfield presented Bob Cobb with a new car before the game as fans gave him a standing ovation. "These years with the Stars have been the best of my life," he said as he held back tears.

Mexico City and Long Beach, California, made offers to buy the team, but on December 5, 1957, Utah businessman Nick Morgan finally purchased the Stars franchise for an estimated $175,000 and moved it to Salt Lake City -- the city which had relocated its franchise to Hollywood in 1926. After 19 years, the original stockholders all made a handsome profit from the sale, but nobody was happy about it. Baseball was still more of a pastime in 1957 than a business investment.

"Friendly Gilmore Field" was torn down in 1958 (the soundstages of CBS Television City now stand in its place). The only evidence of its existence are a few palm trees from the parking lot and a plaque attached to the front wall of CBS Studio 46, where the front entrance of the park was located. The plaque offers two photographic views of the field and commemorates the 1700 games of professional baseball played there (Bobby Bragan himself attended the dedication ceremony in 1997. There were no fights). The field lights were sold to the Dodgers' AAA farm team and are still being used at Avista Stadium in Spokane, Washington. [/font]

 

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Any of ya remember this baby?



She was one of the places I fished from about '59 to the summer of '68.
Now divers who can go deep like her.

Caught a lot of bonito off her during those years.
 

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Herb Gale

Man, I was in heaven. It was not last September, but the September before, (and I guess he goes every year on the Yo's 6 or 7 day September trip), but Herb Gale was on with us. We would be hooking tuna at the Lupe, but I would opt for sitting on the bench with Herb, as he told me story after story of how commercial fishing used to be. He repaired all the loading brailes, crowders, scoops, anything needed repaired on the Royal Polaris, he sat there and fixed it while telling tall fishing tales.
I will treasure those stories for the rest of my life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
My dad took me to see the Hollywood Stars of the AAA Pacific League many times. We drove up from Pedro to see the games and the were major league to me. Great stuff. I can still remember one of their big stars called the "Mad Russian" Lou Novikoff, a big home run hitter.

Re: The Pedro Pirates. Yes, I went to Dana and then to Pedro graduating in January 1946. If you went to SPHS you remembered some of the legendary teachers incuding the wonderful one-armed Mary Jane O'Rourke, Catherine Lockett, Van Guider Waring and the great wartime coaches John Vorhees (who just died about 2 years ago), Bob Tabing, Gene Leebrock, and Charlie Quack-Quack Beaver. Vorhees and Tabing were at our 50th HS reunion in 1996

It is amazing that back then despite the "Zoot Suit" wars, there was virtually no racial tension at SPHS. It was an amzing place.

During the war we used paint thinner from San Pedro Hardware in the model A Fords. (I wonder if that would help with the energy crisis now?)

The gentrification of the waterfront has changed San Pedro probably for the better--but the old atmosphere was certainly "interesting" to say the least.
 

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Thanks for the background on the Olympic. I have had many a fine day of calico bass fishing on the Wreck of the Olympic over the last 10 years. Sorry to know that 8 people lost their lives when she went down.
 
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