Beach fishing weekend, Triathlon, and a beetle.

This was a productive weekend! I tore my Volkswagen apart, found that some jerk had replaced some hex head nuts with cheese head screws (these are car terms I was previously unaware of).

This meant I had to tear into the old VW a little more than I wanted to, but so be it. All this mess, just to change a generator. For once, the simple VW engine was a major headache. usually these things are pretty easy to work on. Not today.

Here is the engine bay with the generator ripped out. What a mess.

Still haven’t had the guts to attempt the re-install, hoping to do so this weekend. With that out of the way, I had time for some fun this weekend too.

Friday night I went down to OC to see my gf, our schedules conflict so I head down there when I can to spend time. She comes up for the same reason. I needed something to do while she was at work Saturday, so I decided to try my hand at some Surf Fishing. I looked at my notes, and it had been 7 years since I’d fished in the surf! Damn, WAY overdue.

Had a blast fishing at Capistrano Beach. The parking there is RIGHT on the beach, and there are fire pits available. I will DEFINITELY be going back there.

I needed to break in a new rod as well, so I tied myself a nice Fish Finder rig, put a “Gulp!” Camouflage pattern artificial Sand Worm  and tossed it all into the surf. My new rod’s action was perfect, launching the rig well past the surf. On the second cast, Bam! a big bite, and a fish fighting me all the way back to the beach, I landed my first ever Yellowfin Croaker. It was so awesome knowing there were fish there, and very encouraging.

Cast after cast, I hooked into good fish. People on the beach were surprised to see me pulling these things out of the water they were swimming in. It was pretty incredible. This one was the biggest, and fought REALLY hard. Another fish crossed off my SoCal checklist. After catching 6 fish, the sun burned through the fog, and I decided to get out before it got too hot. I realized I had forgotten to put sunblock on my feet, and in my sandals wading on the beach, they were burned pretty badly. LOL Lesson learned.

So Saturday Morning was a success. I went home and went to bed early, because Sunday morning, My brother and I were part of a relay team in the Hermosa Beach “Day At The Beach”  triathlon. We were at the beach by 4:30 am, actually very early judging by the # of people on the beach. The volunteers running the event hadn’t even set up yet, too early.

When the event finally came, we had a blast. I rode 10 miles at about a 14 mph average, and put in a pretty decent time, for someone who hadn’t trained at ALL for this event. We were in the middle of the pack for the relay teams, so it was pretty good considering we were up against actual athletes who trained for this sort of thing all the time. I was # 48, and it was awesome passing people on fancy road bikes, on my not so fancy, heavy mountain bike.

It was a really fun crowd, and it was a short race really, so people were having fun with it. Like these two mousketeers who ran the entire thing in a tutu, and made a nice little curtsy at the end. Also this guy, who was one of a few people who carried their kids through the finish line. Super sweet.

After that, I was pretty much burnt out the rest of Sunday, so I took it way easy, nursed my sunburned feet, and caught up on some Boardwalk Empire.

All in all, it was a pretty spectacular Southern Cal weekend, and it really highlighted that you can do a lo of fun stuff here, if you just get out there and do it. Looking forward to trying my luck in the surf again next weekend, I feel like I’ve re-caught a bit of a surf fishing bug. I guess catching 6 croakers from the surf, in the warm sun will do that.

Cheers everybody, get out there and enjoy the last remnants of the warm sun before REAL fall sets in!

- Fred.

F-18 over the valley?

I was working at my desk just now when I saw and heard what looked like an f-18 (f-16s are old now, no?) making a HARD right turn over Woodland Hills. I work at Warner Center, and this thing was turning HARD right, making its rumble and making little vapor trails behind it. It was super loud, and I heard it coming from what seemed like a mile away.

I wish I had the presence of mind to snap a pic, but it all went down pretty fast.

Dodgers have won 4 of 7 games vs the Cardinals in 2014.

Couldn’t find the stat so I did a little digging. Kershaw goes tonight for the Dodgers, the 21 game winning ace faces Wainwright, who has also been a monster lately, after a shaky start.

Here is a little more info on the way 2014 went between the two teams. Can’t wait for tonight’s game!

Date Opponent Result Record Winning Pitcher Losing Pitcher
Thu, 6/26 Cardinals W 1-0 45-36 Wilson (1-2) Wainwright (10-4)
Fri, 6/27 Cardinals L 1-3 45-37 Maness (3-2) Ryu (9-4)
Sat, 6/28 Cardinals W 9-1 46-37 Greinke (10-4) Lynn (8-6)
Sun, 6/29 Cardinals W 6-0 47-37 Kershaw (9-2) Miller (7-7)
Fri, 7/18 at Cardinals L 2-3 54-44 Lynn (11-6) Haren (8-7)
Sat, 7/19 at Cardinals L 2-4 54-45 Kelly (2-1) Greinke (11-6)
Sun, 7/20 at Cardinals W 4-3 55-45 Howell (2-3) Rosenthal (1-5)

The One That Got Away

It’s always the big one. The monster. The one you’ve been searching for all weekend, the one that really fought and gave you the biggest thrill. That’s the fish that snaps your line. Why?

In this video, I know what it was for me. One word. . .  Panic.

I was out on Lake Mary, in Mammoth Lakes, CA. I had caught a trout about the size I expected. A youngster, about 11 inches, lucky if it was a pound.

When the fish in the video started to take me deeper underwater, I knew I had something special on the line. The video starts about a minute into the video. I actually had time to grab my phone, hand it to my girlfriend (your humble cameraperson) and put it into video mode.

The fish, the whole time, was headed up toward the boat, so I didn’t really know how hooked he was, or how big he was.

Once he put up resistance, the fight was great, my heart was pumping in the thin air.  Surprised by the weight on my line but still in fishing mode, I calmly played him and tried to keep him away from the boat. I put my beer in a safe place, and really started to fight him. Then the video starts.

You can see me play him decently, for a reel with too tight of a drag on. I let him take the rod, went with him, but kept the pressure on so he wouldn’t come loose. Then I saw him.

When I saw him, a huge shot of adrenaline hit me like a bomb. He was huge, especially for this lake.  Big green back, beautiful Rainbow trout colors gleaming. Something inside of me spazzed out in pure admiration of this fish, and the luck and awesomeness of me being able to hook him on my own. It was like years of fishing experience were all culminating right there, at that very moment.  All the times my uncles had yelled at me for making mistakes, until I no longer made them, had finally sunk in and I was now doing awesome stuff on my own.

That was when I realized I hadn’t brought a net. I pictured my beautiful big net sitting back at home in my studio. Damnit. I was using light line. I knew that. It was also old. Quadruple damnit!

So in my panic, I considered using a canvas bag I had on the boat as a net, but didn’t move on that thought fast enough. The fish came up, broke the surface with a big splash, and I panicked some more. I went to grab the line, sort of realized what I was doing, and just heard the line SNAP. I’m not sure if it was from when I touched it, or from the fish hitting the side of the boat, but it snapped.

I wasn’t disappointed. I had already had a blast fly fishing in Lake Crowley the day before, and watching my buddy Doug catch this beautiful brown trout. 

That was enough. I always look at any time on the water, as an increase in your odds of catching a dream fish. The couple of fish I hooked were right at the very last 15 minutes of my 4 day stay up around Mammoth. Hooking this monster at the end of my trip truly felt like a reward for my persistence, and patient application of all the things I’ve learned.

In the end, I learned a couple of things. Rather, I had some things instilled in me, that I was already aware of, but never lost a fish to.

1. Never touch the line on a fish like that. I’d heard it a zillion times. I’ll never forget it now though.

2.  Never be caught on any lake anywhere EVER, without a good sturdy net.

2. Don’t panic. A fish will only stay on your line so long. Panicking wastes the one resource you can;t get back. Time. It’s only a matter of time before the fish shakes loose or snaps your line against your boat. I should have grabbed my canvas bag and calmly guided the fish into it. Then I would have had him on a plate, rather than swimming around with a hook rusting in his mouth.

The fish learned a couple of things too, it’s likely. Maybe he’ll grow up to be that bi wiley bastard of Lake Mary that fishermen claim sightings of, but never catch. Maybe I’ll get that punk next year, net in hand. . . We shall see.

South of the border, guey.

I had an awesome adventure in Tijuana MEX. I drove down there with my girlfriend for an awesome little weekend getaway type deal. It;s only a couple hours drive from LA, so it was an easy cruise. Got down there, saw my family’s favorite old market, the Mercado Hidalgo. I perused the booths, bought some mole spice mix, some tequila and some sweets for family friends. I also picked up some Piloncillo to make a Belgian style beer with.

Then we went down to Rosarito, a sweet little beach town about 40 minutes south of TJ. I bought my mother what I’m sure was the biggest flowerpot in all of Mexico, and we had lobster and drinks overlooking the ocean. It was pretty serene and peaceful, with most of the traffic staying away after the events of recent years. We had a blast, and really took in the place. It had been years since I was down there so it was just one nostalgia blast after another south of the border.

We wanted to get back up early, as we were staying at The Pearl hotel, and they have a sweet little bar and pool area. Unfortunately, the line to cross the border took us 5 freaking hours, and that was just unbelievably uncomfortable and practically unbearable. In the end, we missed the last call, but did get to enjoy our awesome room. The Pearl is a 60’s themed little slice of heaven, and our room was so welcoming and comfortable after our border crossing fiasco.

In the morning, we ate at Great Maple, and what I ate was just incredible. Smoked brisket, hollandaise, bacon, veggies, potatoes, and poached eggs. We also had some maple bacon donuts because why not. We were on a mini vacation to enjoy ourselves.

All in all, it was a hell of a little jaunt. I ended up with a few days of food poisoning, pretty sure it was from the one glass of tap water I absent-mindedly sipped on. Montezuma got his revenge on my Spaniard side, but the Aztec in me pulled through. Just barely. I’m writing this a week later, and I still feel a tinge of the fear. I think I learned my lesson about that one.

Looks like I’ll be up in Kern county this weekend for camping, then two weeks later, Seattle! Just a continuation to what has already been an incredible summer.