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"Four Mackerel Caught at Catalina, June 27, 1895
Weight 100 Pounds" San Francisco Call. July 13, 1895.
Image provided by: University of California, Riverside; Riverside, CA

In the News~

December 1, 1869 [SFDEB]: “Mackerel on the California Coast — opening for a new industry. Few persons are aware of the fact that mackerel of a good quality can be caught, in very large quantities, in the waters surrounding the islands of the Santa Barbara channel. There are four of these islands. They are naed San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz and Anacapa. Of these, Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa are the largest, containing about 5000 [sic] acres of land each. They are covered by Spanish grants. Anacapa and San Miguel are owned by the government. They have never been surveyed, and are open to settlement. Each of these four islands is about 20 miles from the mainland… The mackerel can be caught and are good at all seasons, but they are most abundant in the months of June, July, August and September. In 1868 Captain Matthew Furlong caught 100 barrels whyle lying at Prisoners’ Harbor, in the island of Santa Cruz…”

August 6, 1874 [SBIW]: “Mackerel are now plenty near Prisoners’ Harbor on Santa Cruz Island. This choice fish has been scarce for the past five years. Formerly it was very plentiful here, and caught by the schooner load. Those now caught are large and fat, and the most delicious eating.”

September 6, 1875 [SBDP]: “Santa Cruz Island is a good place for fishing. A party of four caught two hundred mackerel in a few hours.”

September 19, 1877 [SBDP]: “It is reported that mackerel, almost equal to the mackerel of the Atlantic coast, exist in large numbers off the Channel Islands.”

June 29, 1883 [SBDP]: “The mackerel season which is always brief and irregular, opened during the present week with a lively run… But it is upon the shoals off the island of Santa Cruz, where the mackerel do most abound…”

August 3, 1883 [SBDP] “The fishing grounds off the islands in the Santa Barbara Channel will sometime make the fortunes of several businessmen who engage in canning or salting the immense quantities of mackerel and other fish which swim in these waters.”

August 16, 1884 [SBDI]: “Mackerel fishing is good at present.”

January 10, 1885 [SBDI]: “Mackerel are beginning to bite.”

October 15, 1885 [SBDP]: “The surf fishermen had a big catch of mackerel today, the water being fairly alive with a school of these fish. They were hauled from the water by amateurs as fast as the hooks could be manipulated. Larco, in his catch from the channel today, had several kit mackerel.”

June 9, 1889 [SBMP]: “Captain Larco and George Gourley made a fine catch of Eastern mackerel on the other side of the Channel yesterday. This fish is but rarely caught here and is the best flavored fish of these waters.”

July 6, 1890 [CDT]: “Mackerel from the Pacific. A new and important industry developing on the West Coast. A new industry which is springing up in Southern California, which promises to develop into great proportions, is mackerel fishing. Last year, W. H. Maurice, an enterprising produce jobber of this city [Los Angeles], saw the fine opening which existed, and started some men to catch mackerel off Catalina Island… This season’s pack will be from 500 to 1000 barrels of fish…”

October 11, 1893 [SBDI]: “The gasoline fishing boat Alpha of San Pedro has been in this vicinity for several days. The boat was here in July last, at which time she had some 180 barrels of mackerel aboard. The Alpha will visit the islands before returning south on another fishing trip.”

June 30, 1896 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The power fishing boat Alpha caught over three tons of mackerel at 2 o’clock today.”

July 24, 1896 [LAT/SB]: “…The fishermen say the roar of an approaching school of mackerel can be distinctly heard half a mile away, and their position accurately located. The noise is caused by vast schools of mackerel chasing and jumping after the myriads of sardines and anchovies now in the channel waters…”

July 27, 1896 [SBDI]: “The mackerel season is now at its best and the Channel is dotted every morning with all manner of fishing craft…”

June 26, 1898 [SBMP]: “Mackerel are becoming more plentiful in the channel.”

August 28, 1898 [LAT/SB]: “Local fishermen are busy hauling in mackerel at present, the channel is so full of them.”

November 6, 1899 [SBDI]: “Fishermen report that Spanish mackerel fishing in the channel is very good. Some large catches have been made.”

August 24, 1900 [SBMP]: “The biggest fish stories of the season are related by the Van Denbergh-Hixenbaugh party who have been spending their vacation on Santa Cruz Island... They landed 954 mackerel, 40 halibut, 20 yellowtail, and 3 each sea bass, rock fish and bonita...”

June 22, 1906 [SBMP]: “Herring and mackerel have been running recently and some of the fishermen are had good luck at surf fishing.”

August 24, 1914 [SBDNI]: “The phorphorus on the channel waters continues to grow in brilliance; large schools of anchovies and mackerel make the whole waterfront sparkle at night. Sunday afternoon a large school of mackerel was seen off Miramar. Today the schools of anchovies tempted the larger fish in near to shore.”

August 27, 1914 [SBDNI]: “The mackerel, which came into the channel the latter part of last week, continues to run, and the local fishermen are making good catches of mackerel and barracuda.”

August 18, 1916 [SBMP]: “Yesterday Captain Bay Webster brought over from Anacapa Island in his powerboat, the Anacapa, 1,000 pounds of mackerel.”

August 18, 1916 [SBDN]: “The daily crowds to the favorite fishing grounds are growing, and the anglers practically all appear to be meeting with success. Halibut and rock bass have been the best catches. The fishing schooner Anacapa from Anacapa Island came in last night with 100 pounds of fine mackerel.”

August 6, 1917 [SBDNI]: “Fishermen, both wharf and deep-sea, place Sunday as one of the best fishing days this year. The catches made were unusually large and of the finest fish. This morning the fishing boat Veritas Unitas came in with 2500 green-backed mackerel...”