I was invited to spend the night at a magnificent 200-acre property called Ranch Grande located about 20 miles north of Ojai, CA, so this week my wife and I took the owner up on his offer. You can do a lot of things there like horseback riding, canoe, rowboat, or paddle boat around a pond, play with the 13 or 14 friendly dogs, go on the daily “goat walk” with 122 goats (can you say stampede?). You can play games like pool, Scrabble, Monopoly, in the Rock Room and if you play there is a grand piano at your disposal. You can also visit all the other animals which include pot bellied pigs, chickens, sheep, and llamas. I did most of these things and I also went pond fishing.
When I was 5 years old while my grandpa was teaching me how to fish, we often went to a small pond where I learned his tricks and listened to his advice. Standing on the little fishing dock at Rancho Grande brought back all the nostalgic memories I have of those times.
Though I didn’t catch any fish, I wouldn’t trade the few hours I spent trying to do so while thinking of grandpa for any amount of money. Below are some pictures of the property.
If you want to visit the property, you can find all the details here: http://www.ranchogrande.com
The California coast is slowly coming back to life even though the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging around the country. Personally, I think it is a terrible idea to begin opening things up again and that the second wave of the disease will make the first one look like a ripple in a pond. However, I never saw a reason to shut down fishing piers. Fishing is usually a singular sport and if you do go fishing with a group, it is usually with family or trusted friends. Fishing on a 1600-foot-long, 20-foot-wide pier like the Ventura Pier gives you a lot of space to practice social distancing as well. The Sun is nature’s greatest disinfectant, too.
Well, last Friday, the pier reopened and I have been out to it three times since then. The Pacific Ocean is warming up, with a water temperature of 62 degrees today, and the fishing is getting better due to it. I also think the closing of the pier for a few months allowed the fish population to rebuild because the first fish I caught was a Rock Fish, I have not seen any of them out there in years, and today I caught my first Mackerel of the season.
I may just go lobby the city council and ask them to shut the pier down for a few months each year as a matter of course.