Meet Reel Obsession Outdoorsman of the Month: Leo LaBreche Jr.
I grew up listening to my dad telling me stories about fishing during his childhood in Michigan. He lived on the shore of Lake Superior, and fished every day he could. Because of my dad’s stories, I loved fishing before I even began going myself.
As soon as I could drive, I headed for the Sierras. I loved camping and could fish for Trout at the same time…the perfect weekend. There is nothing like fresh trout on the campfire. As time went by, I got more into saltwater fishing and that seems to be my passion now (although I still like to hit a stream or lake when the opportunity arises).
My favorite type of fishing is saltwater. I tell my friends: Freshwater fishing is an art, but saltwater fishing is a sport. There is nothing like fighting a fish that is trying to pull you out of the boat.
I have two favorite places to fish. First, I like being out in Mexican waters on the Top Gun 80 out of San Diego starting in the middle of summer to the beginning of the fall, hunting for Tuna. Second, I like to fish near Catalina Island when Lobster season opens. Once a year, I travel to Alaska to get my yearly supply of Halibut for the freezers. On my last trip in June, my friend and I pulled 1400lbs of fish over the rails in six days. I have the pictures to show for it!
I try to get out on the water at least two weekends a month to fish for Tuna, but when lobster season hits, it’s more like twice a week. I actually spent 120 days on the water fishing last year!
I usually fish for Bluefin, and Lobster hoop, with my best friends, John Kane and Greg Woolley.
My favorite fish to go after is Bluefin Tuna, because they are elusive, finicky and big. When you hook a large tuna and he starts to spool your 60lb line, you know you are in for an ass-whooping. After the battle is all over and done, you don’t even have the strength to get a cold drink to your mouth. I love a challenge and I love adrenaline—Bluefin satisfies them both.
Bluefin tuna (185lbs)
White sea bass (45lbs)
Rainbow trout (8lbs 6oz)
I prefer Seeker and Phoenix rods with Avet raptors and Daiwa Saltiga reels.
Leo lives in Long Beach, CA, where he owns Signal Hill Foreign Auto Service, a BMW and Volvo repair facility.