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Catalina Classic

Catalina Classic Tournament Facts:

  • The Catalina Classic is held September 18th-20th
  • Fishing is held Monday, September 19th and Tuesday September 20th
  • Awards are held the evening of Tuesday September 20th at the historic Avalon Casino Ballroom
  • Largest Striped Marlin and Striped Marlin release divisions
  • Official events website-

Catalina Classic Billfish

The Catalina Classic Billfish Tournament is part of the California Billfish Series of tournaments. Held every September, the series consists of three events, The Zane Grey Invitational, The Avalon Billfish Tournament, and the Catalina Classic. The Catalina Classic is a modified-release tournament with cash prizes for the heaviest fish caught and top release teams. The Catalina Classic is held simultaneously with the Avalon Billfish Classic tournament.

Boats fishing the Catalina Classic Billfish Tournament must use circle hooks when casting natural live baits. There are no recreational circle hook requirements outside of billfish tournaments. The National Marine Fisheries Service defines a circle hook as a hook originally designed and manufactured so that the point of the hook is turned perpendicularly back towards the shank of the hook to form a generally circular or oval shape. The unique curved shape of a circle hook, essentially like that of a capital "G" helps prevent it from catching in the gut or throat of a fish, where it can cause significant internal injury.

For more information refer to the official tournament website-

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Catalina Classic Weather Forecasts and Fishing Data

When targeting Striped Marlin during the Catalina Classic Billfish Tournament, Buoyweather provides the best Chlorophyll, SST, wind and swell information available on the web. Stay on top of the striped marlin bite with our Tide and Moon phase charts optimized for areas offshore of Catalina Island.

Buoyweather premium members can stay on top of the Stiped Marlin bite by utilizing the Bouyweather mobile marine weather service or accessing the full range of Buoyweather features through our web app. Additionally, forecast alerts can be emailed to your mobile device or personal email account. TRY BUOYWEATHER PREMIUM 15 DAYS FREE - Sign up to become a premium member now.

Catalina Classic Billfish Fishing Tips

  • Check for 7 day wind and swell forecasts for the area Catalina Island. This will give you a good idea of what conditions to expect and where to fish during the tournament.

  • Striped Marlin can often be found feeding close to the surface in water temperatures above 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Check SST and Altimetry charts to find temperature breaks within the tournament boundary. Current breaks hold bait and serve as natural migratory pathways for bait and the striped marlin that feed on them

  • In windy conditions trolling smaller 7 and 9inch jigs is an effective strategy for catching striped marlin during the Catalina Billfish Series.

  • During calm conditions striped marlin in Southern California waters can often be seen tailing on the surface with a good pair of gyro-stabilized binoculars. Teams can then cast live bait to these fish, often resulting in multiple hook-ups.