Sunday, June 28, 2009

Deep Sea Fishing

Dante's birthday theme is 'fishing'. So for his birthday we thought it would be appropriate to actually GO deep sea fishing since his luck on the freshwater hasn't been so stellar lately. He and I were both pretty excited. Allan and Jonah stayed home while Dante and I went out to 'try our luck.' We chartered "Oceanside 95" and were there with about 10 other avid fisherman-and one little girl. (who caught all the big fish.) We cruised out about 2 miles off shore and about 20 miles south of Oceanside. Dante received Dramamine the night before and the day of. I also got him those wristband pressure point thingamabobs. He was a bit lethargic and bleary eyed-until we got out into the sea. Then he really perked up and was intensely observing and listening to everything the REAL fishermen/boathands were telling us.

We learned not to walk around with the fishing poles-less someone gets an eye out by the big hooks or knocked in the head by the big weights on the end of the line. We learned to hook the bait (live anchovies) through the nose because if you 'brain' them, they won't swim accurately and the fish won't bite. We learned to change out your bait every 2-3 minutes-again, because the bait stop swimming normally. We learned that picking the biggest bait isn't always the best way to catch the biggest fish. We learned that seagulls will happily eat the bait the fish don't like. We learned that the boathands know exactly what's on your line just by the way the fish is fighting. And we learned that the REAL fishermen love teaching us greenhorns to fish. Dante was handed many a pole to reel in the 'big one' by many a grown man out there looking for their own big fish.

It was five hours of fresh air, new friends, and the open sea. The sound of the waves lulled me to sleep in my own bed last night and although it is now 24 hours later, and I still feel the sea rocking beneath me. Dante's right: deep sea fishing IS better than Disneyland. He's even suggesting we all go fishing again on MY birthday. I may just take him up on it....

At the slip the Oceanside 95 is docked. We chartered with Helgren's Fishing based out of the harbor in Oceanside. They were fantastic. Here's a link to their website:

Rods and Reels


The Helm-leaving Oceanside Harbor after picking up our bait.


Our bait. They picked it up at the "bait station" on the way out of the harbor. We got to hand pick our own anchovies to sacrifice on the hook. I sacrificed just as many to the seagulls and many got away just as I tried to hook them and they flopped out of my hand...and fell overboard or onto the deck. I was covered in flecks of rainbow glinting scales by the end of the day. Sorry little anchovy dudes!!

Dante's first few catches. First was a mackrel-too small to eat but perfect for bait. The other is a bass that we were able to take home.

My first catch. Baracuda. Mean little guys. But SOOOO fun to reel in!!!

Odds and ends of our day. The sacks were our fish sacks- our fish that we could keep went in them. We could participate in pool where we put in 10 bucks a piece and at the end of the day, who's ever sack was the heaviest, got to take home the fish AND the money. The little girl on the boat won. Yay for girl power!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lake Casitas, CA

Here are some pictures of our first camping trip of the season! We drove up to Lake Casitas in Ventura, CA. When I first came to CA I lived in Ventura-I can't believe I never knew about this place! Then again, I was 21 and running from the country and wanting the big city life of L.A. Now I hate L.A. If it weren't for the constant traffic and construction, we could have been there in two and a half hours, instead of four. Oh well. We have a portable DVD player for the kids. And books. Here are some pictures of our long weekend. We had a great time and have put this place on our list for repeat visits. The campsites were pretty close together but we got lucky and got a great site. When our 'neighbor's' showed up Friday night they turned out to be pretty nice, too. So if it's 'get away from the people' type camping you're looking for- this is NOT the place for you, but if you are looking to get away from it all and meet new friends-then by all means-make reservations! But make them early-they book up fast. There are some record bass and trout in this reservoir-we saw them jump tantalizingly close to our boat. But they didn't want to bite. We still had fun and the scenery was amazing. The eucalyptus tree in front of our campsite was a roosting tree for turkey vultures-which we had never seen before. They left feathers for us-and other parting gifts for the poor soul who parked under the tree. All and all we had a wonderful time (minus that @#%%^ L.A. traffic.) Seriously. You can't get anywhere trying to get through L.A....

Monday, June 1, 2009

What Little Boys are Made of

How does that saying go? ".....snails and puppy dog tails, that's what little boys are made of?" Here's my boy and the snail part of it!