AVALON — Aug. 5 marks an annual rite of passage for fishing enthusiasts, as Catalina Island’s most exclusive property will open its doors to the public for a few hours.
The Tuna Club of Avalon will briefly be open to the public, Aug. 5, as Catalina Island Museum will be hosting 50-minute tours of the fishing-themed venue for up to 75 people.
Three tours of 25 people will walk through the Tuna Club facility, giving the paying public an opportunity to view artifacts, photographs and trophies rarely seen by non-club members.
Dr. Charles Frederick Holder founded the private fishing club in 1898.
Holder spoke highly of the Tuna Club in an angling book he authored in 1910.
“The club has entertained many notable guests. It has an arrangement with the London, England Anglers’ Society for a sort of reciprocity of good fellowship,” Holder wrote in “The Channel Islands of California: A Book for the Angler, Sportsman and Tourist.”
Of course one of those notable guests was United Kingdom Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who visited the club and island in 1929 and – during his stay – reportedly reeled in a 188-pound swordfish in 20 minutes.
Catalina Island Museum’s guided tour of The Tuna Club, which is registered as a historic landmark, will be limited to 25 people per 50-minute session. Tours are offered at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.; admission to the tour is $30 or $35. Tickets can be purchased through Aug. 4 or until they are sold out.
Proceeds from the tour benefit Catalina Island Museum.
Catalina Island Museum photo