Corvina clinics and tournaments


May 03, 2001|By AL KALIN, Special to this newspaper

Two great fishing events are scheduled for the Salton Sea this month. Both should prove exciting for children and adults alike.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 12, the Salton Sea State Recreation Area on the north end of the Salton Sea, off Highway 111, in conjunction with the Sea and Desert Interpretive Association, will host a hands-on clinic targeted at fishing in the Salton Sea.

What's so neat about this clinic is that Tex Ritter, former chief ranger of the Salton Sea State Park for more than 20 years, will be on hand to help teach participants all his secrets for catching Salton Sea fish. For many years Tex Ritter was the most quoted authority on Salton Sea fishing and is the author of a book on the subject.

Norm Niver is another great fishermen who will help Tex conduct the seminar. Norm, who has lived and fished on the shore of the Salton Sea for over 30 years, has been instrumental in helping find a way to save the sea.


Also on hand to help with the seminar will be Bill Karr, Western Outdoor News' northern editor. Karr, an excellent fisherman as well as an author on Salton Sea fishing, was past president of a Salton Sea restoration committee in the 1970s when he lived at the north end of the sea. I, too, as well as Ritter and Niver, was a member of this committee. The committee was one of the first to try to determine what could be done to save the Salton Sea. Oddly enough, the methods we came up with 30 years ago are not much different than what the current Salton Sea Authority is suggesting. In the meantime the costs have risen, the Salton Sea is saltier and many have made a very good living continuing to study the subject.

Sorry, I didn't mean to get on my soapbox there.

Steve Horvitz, the current Salton Sea Recreation Area superintendent, Sharon Keeney, fish and game biologist assigned to the Salton Sea, and Tom Stinson, fish and game warden, also will be assisting in the clinic.

Steve Horvitz is the author of "Salton Sea 101," undoubtedly the most positive and comprehensive paper written about the Salton Sea. Salton Sea 101 is easy to read, easy to understand and debunks many of the myths that gives the Salton Sea a bad name.

The instructors will demonstrate how to catch fish, followed by an actual outing on the sea for students to practice their learned skills. The fish that are caught will then be brought back to the clinic, where the participants will learn to clean, prepare and cook their catch.

I will provide a special selection of fishing lures for each participant. All the tackle needed to catch a limit of corvina will be included in the selection.

Prizes will be awarded for the single heaviest fish, the most fish by number and for the first person to catch a Salton Sea grand slam, one each of tilapia, corvina, sargo and croaker.

The fee is only $20 to participate and interested fisherman can register by calling 767-5311. Varner Harbor, at the Salton Sea State Recreation Area, is the location of the clinic and all ages are welcome. Parents must provide certified lifejackets for children who will be going out on the boat. You need to remember that everyone 16 or older must have a valid California fishing license. Participants should bring their own bait and fishing gear.

The next exciting event is the following weekend, where you can use your newly learned skills to win the inaugural Take a Kid Fishing Tournament at Red Hill Marina on May 19.

Sponsored by the Holtville Athletic Club, this tournament is unique and exciting because all adults must be accompanied by at least one child to enter the tournament. Entry fees are $20 for adults and $5 for children. What better way to get more kids interested in fishing?

The single largest fish wins $500, the next largest, $250, and the third largest, $125. Imperial County Parks and Recreation has been kind enough to waive the normal daily use fees and check in at Red Hill Marina will start at 5:30 a.m. Contestants can fish from either a boat or from shore. Zendejas True Value Hardware of Calipatria will have a booth set up for those who forgot to purchase their fishing licenses or need any last-minute fishing lures.

The derby will be from 6 until 11:30 a.m. At noon a free lunch will be served followed by the presentation of awards and donated prizes.

For more information call the Holtville Athletic Club at 356-2781 or access its Web site at to request an entry form.

I urge every fisherman in the Valley to set aside May 19 for this tournament and bring a kid fishing. We need more kids involved in fishing. I'll be there with my grandson.

Outdoor Tales columnist Al Kalin may be reached by e-mail at

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles