The Off Season

Fish or no fish, it’s good to get out and see the sunrise

I have not posted anything in a while for one simple reason: I have had nothing to post about.

I have fished in the Pacific Ocean off and on for nearly 40 years and to date, this is the worst fishing season I can remember after last season being one of the best. I guess the fish don’t know my schedule.

I still go out because, for me, while catching fish is my primary objective just being outdoors in the sun, wind, fog, and even light rain comes in a close second. I could be outdoors doing many other things like riding my bike all over town (which I do when I am not fishing) but riding a bike does not replace the thrill of the strike, the fighting of the fish, or the challenge of trying different tactics to get fish to bite.

So I go out and I will continue to go out even as he seasons turn bringing in colder weather and cooler ocean temperatures. If anything remarkable happens before the next season comes around, you’ll be able to read about it here.

Until then, keep the bait fresh and the lines tight.

Look mom, I caught a Pigeon!

I took my sister-in-law, Barbara, out to fish in the Pacific Ocean yesterday and since this was her first experience of fishing in the Pacific, I told her that you never know what you are going to catch when you cast your line into the water.  We had a few exciting moments, but overall, it was a pretty routine day with the exception of her catching her first ocean fish.  If she had gone with me today, however, she’d have a better understanding of what I said.

Following is a list of today’s catches.  As I was leaving the pier, a California Fish & Game employee asked if I’d take a survey and even he had a hard time fathoming such a diverse selection of sea life:

  1. Two Smelt, both went back into the ocean
  2. One big Perch, which went to a nearby fisherman
  3. One big Rock Crab which went back into the ocean
  4. One small Sand Crab which went back into the ocean
  5. One small Skate Ray which went back into the ocean
  6. One Pigeon (more on this later)

What is more, there were as many changes in the weather as there were in the sea creatures that I caught.  While this is not too unusual on the Ventura Pier, today outdid most days.  One minute it was sunny with the wind blowing to the west, the next minute it was cold and overcast with the wind blowing to the east.  When I finally left for the day, the wind had dissipated, the ocean was in a dead calm, and the fog was so thick, it felt like a day in June (June Gloom). 

As for the Pigeon, it put up the biggest fight today.  I have “caught” Seagulls and Cormorants who went after my bait, but this was my first Pigeon.  They hang out on the pier all day looking for handouts while flying over it and under it.  Well my Pigeon was flying under the pier when it hit my line.  At first I thought it was just brushing it until I realized that it had caught its wing in my line.  It tried to fly under the pier but my line kept it from doing so.  I opened the bell on my Shakespeare Contender reel to let it, perhaps, settle down on a piling but when it didn’t do that, I tried reeling it in.  After a struggle, my 30 lb test, moss green, Spider Wire went slack.  I figured the bird had worked itself free.  That was until I found a feather entangled in the line.  I guess it can still fly while missing one feather, at least  I hope so.