Zane Grey was a prolific American author and is best known for his popular novels about the American West.
While he was a prolific writer of Westerns in the early 1900s, he also wrote about fishing off Southern California and in particular Catalina Island.
Grey wrote about his fishing trips to Catalina Island in his book “Tales of Swordfish and Tuna” He would take a boat from San Pedro, California and go out to the island to fish for tuna.
Grey describes his fishing experience off the island as follows:
“It was a joy to fish with a hand line. We could catch all the tuna we wanted to eat and more; but it would not have been safe to bring them home in that way, for they are a strong, heavy fish and are apt to break loose from such tackle.”
More about Zane Grey…
Zane Grey was born in 1872 and grew up in rural Ohio where he spent most of his time fishing and hunting as a youngster.
He left his career as a dentist to follow his passion for writing about the outdoors and the American West.
His first novel, “Riders of the Purple Sage,” was published in 1912 and became an international bestseller. It also led to him being called the “King of Western Writers.”
In 1918 he moved the family to Southern California, eventually settling in Altadena in 1920.
In 1926, Zane Grey built a Catalina Island vacation home perched atop a hill overlooking Avalon. The structure survives today as a historic landmark: The Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel.
The home reportedly cost $50,000 to build…that’s about $800,000 in today’s dollars (adjusted for inflation). What a bargain!
The estate is now transformed into one of the best-selling hotels on Catalina Island, with renovations completed in 2019.
Zane Grey is also believed to have been the first angler to have caught a broadbill swordfish by rod and reel.
That is according to the famed Avalon Tuna Club. Grey was inducted as a member in 1916.