HARBOUR ROD AND REEL CLUB HISTORY – 1994
1994 was the first year for the (Huntington) Harbour Rod and Reel Club. For several years, local fishermen felt the need for a fishing club that was family oriented, sensitive to the fishery, educational in nature and competitive in local and international fishing tournaments.
As organizational meetings began in November 1993, it became obvious how each person could contribute both in terms of expertise, enthusiasm and energy. Ed Martin headed a large committee that wrote the constitution and bylaws, Cal Droege handled legal matters, Doug Bannister – insurance, Punky Langston – fishing events, Linda Moss kept an eye on finance, and Bill Woodard and Marky Paugh emerged as hard working, “keep it all moving together,” leaders.
Bill Woodard conducted all of the organizational meetings and by January 16, 1994 we were ready for an “open house” membership drive. The response was incredible and we were off and running with over 40 families signed up.
By-laws for the organization were presented by Ed Martin and adopted in February. Christie Bannister designed three logos and the membership voted. Pres King decided we all needed to be better dressed and ordered hats and shirts with logos for those who were interested. They sold like “hotcakes.”
By February 24th, educational seminars were under way with Mark Wisch putting on a White Sea Bass seminar and Cal Droege a trout fishing seminar a couple of weeks later.
In March Ed and Betty Martin along with their good friend John Younan were fishing in the Australian Billfish Classic. They won “first marlin taken in the tournament” and the Harbour Rod and Reel Club received international recognition for the first time.
By Easter we entered our second international tournament, the prestigious Sydney International Gamefishing Tournament. Ed and Betty Martin, Jon Fults and a temporary member, John Younan represented HRRC in the three-day Marlin, Tuna, Shark tournament. The team won three trophies in the international portion of the tournament. They were: Champion visiting team – capture (460 lb. Blue Marlin), Champion visiting team – runner up – tag and release (for an approximately 250 lb. Black Marlin). Also a trophy was awarded to John Younan for largest Marlin – visiting team.
Club Handbooks were printed and distributed to the membership.
On Saturday, March 12,23 members of the club headed for Irvine Lake. The wind blew us right off the lake, but a number of trout were caught in spite of the weather. The club enjoyed a raft-up in Cat Harbor in April and in Mayan in-club tournament produced fish that could have won many inter-club tournaments. Mark Wisch’s seminar really paid off as nine large white sea bass were taken. Eight boats and 28 anglers participated. In June the “Twi Light Sand Bass Fishing Trip” took place.
In June, the Club’s first major social event was held at the home of John and Marky Paugh.
Fifty-six people attended and the casting contest (conventional reel) was won by Paul LePore and (spinning reel) was won by Chris Lester. Christy Ulrich took the prize for the worst backlash.
In late June, Ed Martin put on a two-night seminar on marlin fishing.
In July, Thursday morning breakfasts began and proved to be incredibly successful as members got to know each other better, fishing tips were shared, entries in tournaments organized and the list goes on. This turned out to be a great idea for keeping things moving within the organization.
By August, membership in the Club had grown to 48 family memberships (which include 29 children), 8 individual memberships and 2 junior memberships.
In keeping with the family orientation of the Club, seven boats entered the Kids Fish II Tournament in August. We had the largest number of boats for anyone club and Bill Woodard’s grandson won the tournament for his age group.
Mark Wisch was the first member to catch a Marlin in local waters.
Ed Martin and Bill Woodard put on a seminar on “Taking a boat to Baja California by water” in September in preparation for several members taking boats to “Mag” Bay.
The HRRC entered eight boats and 30 anglers in the MABT and made a clean sweep of the top awards this year with a total of nine marlin and three yellowfin tuna. The tournament took place in September and 41 boats participated. Chris Hull tagged and released three marlin to take the master angler award. Chris fished with Bill Woodard and George Rostron and they took high boat honors with four marlin tagged and released. Team I, with anglers aboard Moonshine, Little Angler, Double Hookup and Fish-NiFun, took first place high club. Second place high club went to HRRC Team II, with anglers aboard Reel Time II, Que Pasa, Tight Lines and Sparkler. Preston King took the award for the largest tuna of the tournament. Fishermen catching marlin were: Paul Lepore, Bob Ross, Preston King, George Rostron, Bill Frederick, and Brad Thompson. Dave King captured HRRC’s first tuna trophy. Reel Time 11 took the first tuna flag.
The HRRC team, consisting of Bill Woodard, Chris Hull. and George Rostron, fishing aboard Bill’s boat Fish-NiFun took the 1994 award as high boat in the southern California billfish championship. This championship combines the results of the Master Angler, North-South, and San Diego tournaments. Although the Fish-NiFun fished only in the MABT, it accumulated enough points during that effort to win the entire championship.
In mid-November, HRRC members gathered at the Harbour View Clubhouse for a trade mart, auction and potluck dinner. It was a good opportunity for members to exchange items no longer needed for things they couldn’t live without. Cal Droege organized this very successful event.
December found many HRRC members fishing Irvine Lake. They were trying to corner the trophy for the largest trout. Cal Droege, who had earlier held a seminar on trout fishing, caught the largest trout (11 pounds on 4 lb. test line). We could only conclude he kept a few secrets for himself.
HRRC entered Dan Coonis’ boat in Huntington Harbour’s annual Christmas boat parade. The first HRRC awards banquet brought almost 90 members and their families together at SeaCliff CC for a most delightful and memorable event. The membership thanked the 1994 board and committee chairmen. The 1995 board was introduced.
The following awards were given: