The good news is that the striped marlin fishing off the coast of Southern California has picked up along the beach and a bunch of boats caught marlin over Labor Day weekend. Unfortunately, the action isn’t at Catalina Island, it’s right off the mainland and the Zane Grey Invitational is literally just days away, scheduled for September 11-13 in Avalon Harbor on Catalina Island.

That left tournament director Ali Hussainy with a tough decision… Keep the Zane Grey tournament on Catalina Island and risk losing several teams, or move the tournament closer to the action so crews wouldn’t have to run some 40 miles from the island to find the fish, and then have to run back uphill to Catalina at the end of the day. The decision was made and the tournament will make a move to Dana Point, CA, which will make the run to the fish way easier for those teams competing.

The 2011 Zane Grey Invitational Kickoff Party will take place at the Wind and Sea Restaurant starting on Sunday, Sept 11. Wind and Sea is located in Dana Point at 34699 Golden Lantern Street. Check in is at 6 p.m. with dinner served at 7 p.m. The Shotgun Start will run out of Dana Point Harbor. The Weigh Station and Tournament Control will be located at the Dana Point Fuel Dock. Fishing times will remain as scheduled.

The action is just too good to force guys out to Catalina. The striped marlin are off the beach around the 209. Capt. Jimmy Kingsmill caught two aboard “Trinidad” over the past weekend and saw several more fish tailing on the surface. He called in two other boats and they both were instantly zipped with jig strikes when they showed up.

The Zane Grey Invitational attracts the top teams in California and the tournament committee wants all participants to be able to find fish. This tournament has a unique format that always increases the level of competition… Well, the format and the big money that’s up for grabs!

The event awards points for any verified striped marlin release as well as points for boated fish that meet the qualifying weight. Each released fish is worth 100 points. The big points, however, go to qualifying marlin that goes above and beyond the minimum weight of 165 pounds. Qualifying fish receive two points per pound for the first 165, and three points for each pound above and beyond the 165. A 200-pound striper, for example, would score 435 points and quickly move the team that caught it way up on the leaderboard. But there’s a lot of strategy involved, and that’s what makes it so great.

A team is allowed points only for its largestweighed fish in the tournament. If a team weighs a second, larger fish, thepoints from the previous fish will not be counted towards the team’s overall points. The points for the original fish will only be counted for that day’s daily jackpot. So you really need to read the rules and weigh your options. Do you go for the daily jackpot, or do you go for the overall victory?

It’s definitely a chess match out there, and competition is high. Usually the team that releases a bunch and brings back a big one comes out on top.

Visit for complete rules, schedule of events and to preregister.

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