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ArticlesFeatured Columnist : Georges Corner

CATALINA 1910

Other Jed Welsh Stories - Tobakeyed Breath | Catalina 1910  
  Legend of Jed Welsh |  Old Avalon Story 

Jed Welsh tells this story. When he was a boy, 90 years ago, he lived in Avalon on Catalina island. His dad owned a fishing boat and of course did lots of fishing. One day Jed's dad had a friend fishing, that definitely had to catch the 4:00pm steamer for the mainland . There wasn't another for several days. His friend hooks a 100 pound bluefin that snatched a trolled flying fish. 400 yards of line ripped off the spool before they could gain back any line and catch up with the tuna. Remember in those days a fast boat was one that blazed through the water at 7 knots. So off into the horizon raced the 7 knot boat. 2 hours later at 3:00 pm the fish finally slowed down. They could still make out Avalon in the distance and probably make it.  Barely. But as they started to gaff the belly up tuna another bluefin much bigger inhaled the flying fish that had slid up the line and was hanging on the swivel. As the new tuna sped past, the hook fell out of the dead tuna and snagged the fresh tuna in the side. Off they went again chasing the hot tuna. The friend wanted to cut the fish off, but Jed's dad wouldn't do it and of course he missed the steamer. The good news was that eventually they were so close to the mainland that the friend ended up on a San Pedro dock with 200 pounds of tuna at his feet while Jed's dad took the 5 hour boat ride back to Avalon.

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