COSTA MESA⸺ Kite fishing for bluefin tuna is the preferred method for tuna fishing amongst anglers and provides a tempting bait for fish. However, as the tuna population grows in the Pacific, so does the demand for their catch.
Jazz Moorhead, a local lure maker from Costa Mesa, devised a new kite fishing lure while confined to his home during the first COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020.
Like most anglers, Moorhead often encountered the inconvenience of using dead bait (a dead fish or creature which is used as bait for the desired catch); the fish’s body can become damaged from rough sea conditions, the wings can break, and the frozen bait will thaw out when sitting in warm water quickly. In addition, a dead bait costs about thirty dollars, and with cost comes the risk of damaging the bait or losing it to the tuna.
Three years ago, Moorhead was crewing on a yacht and was tuna fishing a couple of days a week, using about 20 to 30 dead baits per fishing trip. The $600-to-$900 expense for only the dead bait inspired Moorhead to find a way to make his tuna fishing more affordable.
“If you’re a recreational angler and you go out, you’re not legally allowed to scoop a flying fish. You have to get a commercial permit, register your boat and do all that,” Moorhead explained.
The Original California Flyer, from The California Flyer Co., is a highly durable, rubber flying fish lure with detachable wings devised from necessity to bypass the financial burden from buying dead bait. Moorhead created a working prototype within a week of starting his venture.
“As for the construction of my bait, I designed it to be very durable. There are a couple of guys who have caught 40 tunas off one bait,” said Moorhead. “The wings are designed to be a replaceable option, so that when a tuna damages them, a simple swap with new ones will get you fishing again in minutes.”
Extreme realness, lifelike actions, and durability are the standards for The California Flyer, a lure designed by fishermen, made for fishermen, according to the California Flyer Co. website at https://www.californiaflyerco.com/.
The lure is meant to be used in conjunction with the Light Wind Condition Fishing Kite. The kite will fly within five to 15 knots of wind and is best performing when using it with a helium balloon.
Each California Flyer kit includes one realistic body, 20 replacement wings, one premium owner hook rig, four carbon fiber locking pins, and rubber hook retainer bands. Instructional videos and product descriptions can be found at www.californiaflyerco.com.