Last week we were exploring Temecula, and this week we're down at the southern end of San Diego county in Ocean Beach!
Across from the family-friendly fun at Mission Bay and Fiesta Island, there's a little strip of coast called Ocean Beach.
The area is known for its activists, its creative community and the best burgers in the entire world. The line for Hodad's often extends over a block.
If you go past the frenzy of food, there's a long pier aptly named the Ocean Beach Pier. I was meandering down this pier one evening when I saw an old man hauling in fish after fish after fish. He explained to me that piers and docks are one of the few places in California where you can legally fish without a permit. His family likes to come out here to Ocean Beach on impromptu trips to see what they can score.
Fishing at Ocean Beach for the First Time
I had actually never been fishing before, but the idea of taking a stab at it without a lot of fuss was alluring.
Get it? Al-luring.
We're working with Shakespeare and Stren, so they sent over a few of their products for us to try out. After watching some YouTube tutorials and reading their fishing checklist, we geared up with some fishing line, a fishing combo rugged surf/pier pole as well as an all-around women's pole and some youth combo poles. We wanted to be set for any conditions!
We also brought Opa to man the baby, and some pals to show us the ropes. Or the lines, rather.
Each pole came with a kit custom-made for varying destinations.
The surf/pier kit had the sinkers we needed to weigh the pole down beneath the choppy surface…
…whereas the lake and pond kits included lighter-weight sinker clamps to get the hook below calmer waters.
Nate's pole, made for the ocean, was longer with stronger line to offer more leverage against heavier sea catches.
The boys practiced with their poles, which will be seeing a lot of use at lakes throughout our travels. We showed them how to use the thumb lever to release the line and adjust tension, and how to bring in their haul with the pre-spooled reel. I consider activities like this to be a real investment in their future, as they'll grow up with a life-long skill that can sustain them throughout their own journeys.
Although they didn't catch anything, they learned a ton and we picked the perfect spot at Ocean Beach for our first fishing expedition. Ocean fishing is apparently a whole different beast than lake or pond fishing, but I wanted to try it out before going through the whole Department of Fish and Wildlife permit process. I hear it's pretty simple to pick up a permit, so that's my next step. I'm totally hooked!
Hooked? Guys, I am on a roll here.
What I loved most about the Ocean Beach pier was that seasoned old men kept stopping by to give us pointers. Nothing like getting guided by the pros!
And picking a spot like this lends well to easy distraction on the chance that you don't catch anything. You can still reward yourself with a tasty treat and a sweet view at the pier cafe!
Have you ever gone fishing?