On May 23, Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute (HSWRI) will hold its 1st Annual White Seabass Tournament to benefit its replenishment program. The tournament will feature a wide range of trophy categories including the biggest white seabass, halibut and yellowtail. There also will be a special trophy for the angler who releases the most fish. Special prizes will be given for any white seabass captured alive and donated to HSWRI's brood stock program. All white seabass heads will be scanned for tags as part of HSWRI's program to identify and study hatchery-reared fish.
Once seemingly extinct to Southern California anglers in the 70s and 80s, the removal of coastal gillnets and this landmark hatchery/grow-out operation has helped these noble croaker rebound. Today, Southern Californians are enjoying a robust fishery and catches of seabass in the 40-50 pound range are not uncommon.
Tournament categories include: Open Division (private boaters), Party Boat Division, Kayak Division, Spearfishing Division, and Fly Fishing Division. All of the categories offer junior angler awards. The tournament will begin with a seminar and Captain's meeting on May 21 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Institute's Mission Bay Laboratory. The meeting will cover final rules, bait availability, and feature expert advice from some of California's best white seabass anglers. "Lines In" call is at 12:01 a.m., Saturday, May 23. "Lines Out" is 6:00 p.m. Saturday May 23.
An Awards Barbecue Banquet and Raffle-Auction will take place at HSWRI's Mission Bay Laboratory on Sunday, May 24 between 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. The Barbecue will feature up-close interactions with exotic animals from SeaWorld San Diego, valuable raffle and auction prizes, tours of the Institute's Mission Bay hatchery operations where they raise California yellowtail and halibut, rockfish, and more. Proceeds from this event will benefit HSWRI, a leading non-profit marine research institute and the world's leader in white seabass stock enhancement.
HSWRI scientists have been developing sustainable aquaculture and fisheries enhancement programs to restore wild fish populations and help meet seafood demand for more than 25 years. Since 1983, HSWRI has released more than 1.4 million juvenile white seabass, California halibut, and cabezon into California coastal waters. For more information about this important event and how to enter, fishermen should visit online at www.hswri.org or contact event organizer Karen Terra (619) 226-3870