For the last five years. A handful of ,my fishing buddies up in Eastern Los Angeles County have been telling me about their “secret halibut grounds”—where my pristine San Gabriel River, born of virgin snow in the Angeles National Forest north of Azusa, empties into the Pacific as a brown fetid flow. The confluence of the San Gabriel Riverand the Pacific Ocean is a filthy piece of mud with occasional 20-foot flat deep water in (depending on how bad your land navigation skills are) Long Beach or Seal Beach.
I chalk up their stories of halibut “so big that they break 40-pound test like a kite string” to foul hooking debris moving in the current along the floor of the waterway. The only problem with my theory is that two of my buddies are serious as a heart attack guys who spend as much money for the line and terminal gear as I spend on lures. These are YBA (Young Buddhist Association) fishing-trip indoctrinated Japanese American men of my age who know as much about catching finned animals as anyone featured on Discovery Channel fishing shows.
These guys don’tembellish fishing exploits and they most often can tell the difference between a halibut bite and a fun loving seal.
So, I grudgingly admit that big halibut are a “definite possible maybe “ down at the confluence of the San Gabriel River and the Pacific Ocean and ask my buddies “how’s the fishing?” when I see them on the weekends.
And for the last year my buds keep telling me “there are enormous things down there stealing bait and straightening hooks.”
Turns out they were dead on (read this).
Oh My, a forgotten colony of Giant green sea turtles?
If I see even one of these suckers clambering up the faces of Morris or San Gabriel Dam to go gnaw some trout, I’m hanging up my fly outfit for good and talking up golf.
A river might run through it amid boulders as old as time, but 200- or 300-pound giant green sea turtles perched on top of those ageless boulders makes me laugh. Hai!—Jim Forbes 08/30/2008