Monday, February 18, 2008
One by one, everyone caught a fish.
Thanks again to Andy, for showing us how speed counts when setting the hook.
Thanks again to Ron - bait king, long caster and guitar player
Special thanks to Joey - kind enough to make sure every pole had the perfect rig.
We brought our fish home, cleaned it, fried it gently, and enjoyed it.
Alexandra is still not sure why we have a holiday to celebrate our Presidents, and we do not have a ritual for this holiday yet - but as days off go, little can be better than a day at the Old Port Inn Pier.
When you are 5, there are a lot of firsts. This was our first fishing trip, and thanks to our friends and their fish tricks, Alexandra was able to have a memorable first.
Her Grandma Stella(fisherwoman extraordinaire) and Grandpa Howard(in heaven) will be so proud!
Her first fish was a King Fish that she reeled in at around 1:17 PM PST.
After lunch Alexandra and I got back on task with the help of our new friends, Joey, Ron and Andy.
These lads are known to have pulled all the fish out of their home turf of Morro Bay. In an effort to allow the marine life there to recover, they came down to get some action at Old Port Inn Pier.
They were kind enough to share their beer, bait, lures, skills, secret bait sent and a few other tricks of the trade that I promised to keep confidential.
It was not long before Ron pulled out the guitar for some central coast country style fishin' songs. We had all the poles in the water, and the songs started to work!
Sunset magazine does a piece every few years on the best restaurants on a pier. Old Port Inn is always featured favorably as one of the best.
The feature we love most are the glass top tables that allow you to look down into the water and observe the sea life -
We stopped in for a cup of chowder and chips ($4.95 kids price). Our waitress Jessica was tri-lingual - French, Spanish and English.
Alexandra and I had a lively conversation about being a niece. Alexandra wanted to be a niece, and was happy to learn that she already was one. Jessica helped us out by teaching us the word Sobrino/Sobrina in spanish. We already new Abuelo, Tio, Padre, and Nino.
In an amazing twist of fate, along drove our friend and neighbor Robert Anderson. He was on a bike ride and helped us to polish off our munchies before riding along.
Although this was our first fishing expedition on the Port San Luis Pier, it was not our first visit by any means.
We often look forward to our walks here and it is hard to leave without picking up some fresh fish from the pier vendors for dinner.
There is always something new to see and this trip did not disappoint -
Ever seen a pelican barking at a dog? Trust me, the dog was scared.
Fishing started out great.
Our pole was working very well, and we were the first to hit the mid-pier hot spot.
After a few drops off the pier, along came Amy, Age 7 who was out for the day with her Aunt Kassy. As it turns out, Amy and Kassy also kept a journal and took pictures of their day out.
Since they did not have their own pole, they joined us. Amy was very good at working the reel, which was a little hard to turn. Alexandra let Amy know that it was her first time fishing. Amy had some experience and shared her impressions.
Amy suggested that we find another spot, thinking that the center of the pier may not be such a good place because of the trucks driving buy scaring the fish. We had never seen fish ears before, but Amy assured us that some fish have ears under their throat.
I have never really understood where Avila ends and Port San Luis begins. Nevertheless, when you drive past Avila the road ends at Port San Luis where you will find some of the friendliest sea side dwellers anywhere.
One ambassador is Del Kyle from the Port Side Marine Bait and Tackle Mini Mart.
Unlike many shops today that are tended to by 16 year olds or people who lack a strong command of speaking English, Port Side Marine is professionally staffed by Del and he was able to hook us up with exactly what we needed.
We picked out a shinny new pole for $28.95 and made our way to the counter. Our criteria of choosing a pink color had been met. It was more red than pink. But to Alexandra, it was perfect. When we asked Del about tackle, he reached around the corner and picked another rod - same color, but all set up for a day of pier fishing.
"I put this together for son of the gal who helps me out here in the store" Del said. "I will rig him another one later." So with our pole in hand, hooks, lures, and a 2 oz. sinker - off to the pier we went.
As we walked out the door, Bob and Marlin were sitting outside. Bob lives there, Marlin lives around the point. Although Del had given us some advice about the middle of the pier, Alexandra wanted to get some more local knowledge. Bob confirmed the middle of the pier suggestion - "maybe further out a bit if necessary" - and they gave us 50-50 odds.
Avila Bay on Presidents Day
Although the day was overcast, people who live on the central coast of California should never complain about the weather. On this day, Avila was very much like England in the summertime.
As we pulled into Avila we observed calm seas and light breeze - just perfect for what we had in mind.
Presidents Day in San Luis Obispo
Presidents Day is an odd holiday - completely void of ritual and falling on the heals of Valentines Day. Half of the people work, half do not.
For Alexandra and me, it makes the perfect day for adventure.
After a brain dump of ideas, one came up that put all others to shame.