Happy WAWA FRIDAY!
Mr. Dante is starting a week of sweet sweet (and much needed vacation). I hope many of you are as well. Although, you can always count on Dante-san for a WAWA, rain or shine! With July the 4th coming up next week, Father’s Day just passed and summer is off to a blistering hot start, this week we’re reviewing the best fishing spots in and around the LA area.
Fishing is a great way to spend time with your kids, and is a long-running tradition in the US for fathers and sons. Little Dante took many trips with Papa Dante growing up. The nostalgia is hitting me even now, reflecting on the calming ripples in the water, basking in the warmth of the bright shining sun, and drifting out with Papa at the healm of the boat. The funny thing is that the trips were NEVER a success concerning catching fish. We actually never caught fish, never even once. And we often had boat troubles, either an oar would fall into the water, or the propellers to the boat would stop working. In a particularly humbling experience, Mr. and Mrs. Dante took a fishing trip a few years ago, and I almost destroyed the entire dock area by leaving the anchor in the water on accident and dragging it in to shore. Despite all of that, I only reflect on the magic that is fishing, and daydream about my next trip daily.
Well, enough for my horror/comedy stories. Here are the best places to fish in and around Los Angeles:
1) Big Bear Lake
Located on Big Bear Mountain, Big Bear Lake as an all-too overlooked treasure for Angelenos. In just a 2-2.5 hour drive, you can get from Los Angeles to a beautiful mountain top, with lush forests, wildlife, clean-air and a view above the clouds. It is truly breathtaking, and great for a quick vacation. We went there at least once or twice a year growing up for skiing in the winter, and fishing in the summer. Cabin rates are very affordable, there is a cute Big Bear Village area with antique shops and restaurants, and the best Octoberfest celebrations in California. Fishing-wise, there are two large lakes on Bear Mountain, Big Bear Lake and Lake Arrowhead. Both are beautiful, but Lake Arrowhead is private for fishing, and not open to visitors. There are plenty of options for renting boats on Big Bear Lake. Mr. Dante recommends a pontoon boat, which is easy to maneuver, has plenty of space, has a canopy for shade, and is quite affordable.
Big Bear Marina
500 Paine Ct
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
1) Bass Lake
Second only to Yosemite in terms of popularity, Bass Lake is a popular vacation spot year-round. The sapphire waters surrounded by towering pine trees make for a vacation destination matched only in the wealth of activities offered. Bass Lake is renowned for excellent fishing, hiking trails, and warm waters. Wakeboarders flock to Bass Lake throughout the spring and summer as do boaters, water skiers, paddle boarders, waverunner enthusiasts and more.
Amazing hiking trails offer beautiful views of Bass Lake and the surrounding Sierra National Forest. For those who prefer to remain closer to civilization, there is shopping at the Pines Village and dining at excellent restaurants throughout. Ducey's on the Lake, The Forks Resort, Miller's Landing and Casa Velasco all offer an array of cuisines to satisfy any craving.
Bass Lake is also a popular event center. Numerous events attract people year round. One of the most popular is the annual July 4 fireworks display. Few images can top the scene of brilliant fireworks reflected back in the waters of Bass Lake as thousands of people gather on and off the water for the spectacle. Other popular events include weekly farmer's markets in the summer, arts and craft fairs throughout the year, the Bass Lake Fishing Derby, the Bass Lake Classic Triathlon & MyTri Youth Triathlon, South Shore Car & Boat Show and many more.
When you take a Bass Lake vacation, you never have to stray far from the water. Three resorts sit right on the shore, while numerous vacation rentals are either on the water or just up from the lake's edge. If you like to rough it, numerous campsites are near the shore as well, keeping you close to the action. As one would imagine, Bass Lake has abundant wildlife. Perhaps the most well-known residents are the mating pair of Bald Eagles, delighting visitors and residents alike when they make their appearances. Bass Lake is also home to Golden Eagles while other animals like deer, raccoons and even bear have been spotted.
Bass Lake Boat Rentals
54406 Rd 432, Bass Lake, CA 93604
3) Redondo Beach Sport Fishing
Deep-sea fishing floats your boat, then climb aboard the “Redondo Special” or “The New Hustler” and enjoy a spot of boat-based angling in the company of salty sea dogs from Redondo Beach Sport Fishing. Located on a private pier adjacent to the City of Redondo Beach salt water lagoon, the family-friendly operation sells fishing licenses and bait and also rents rods and tackle. You can expect to reel in a variety of fish on your voyage; from rockfish, ocean whitefish and California sheepheads to sand bass, red snapper and sculpin.
Little Dante and Papa Dante went out on a boat off of Redondo Beach when I was just a kid, and it was amazing. This was the one trip where we actually caught fish, lots of them. I can still remember having the rocking back and forth feeling for the whole day when we got back!
Before you go, check out the current regulations provided by the CA Department of Fish & Wildlife:
Redondo Beach Sport Fishing
233 N. Harbor Drive
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
4) Manhattan Beach Pier
Not only is the 928-foot-long pier Manhattan Beach Pier a state historical landmark, but it’s also one of the best pier fishing locations in the South Bay. Fishing is permitted year round (with license) so anglers can bring a selection of bait and tackle and take up residence adjacent to the Roundhouse Marine Studies Lab and Aquarium at the end of the pier. With the right bait, you’ll soon be reeling in a variety of fish including Pacific mackerel, sand bass and perch. There are fish-cleaning stations and restrooms on the pier and some great eateries in town, though finding a metered parking spot can sometimes prove challenging..
Manhattan Beach Pier
2 Manhattan Beach Blvd.
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
5) California Grunion Run
Grab and bag isn’t exactly fishing, but watching the California grunion spawning along the beach line from as far north as Point Conception to Point Abreojos in Baja, California is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. During the spawning season — which runs from March through September — sightseers, kids and anglers head down to the Los Angeles South Bay in the wee hours and watch as a host of silver-colored fish hurl themselves onto the beach in a spawning frenzy. Capturing these slippery little critters during the open season is a strictly “hands only” affair – no nets allowed.
Check the CA Fish and Wildlife website for the spawning schedule:
California Grunion Run
City of Hermosa Beach City Hall
1315 Valley Drive
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
Till next time MAMA NATION. – Mr. Dante