3rd day is a charm?


Three consecutive days of family fishing fun at two different local lakes, and we came home empty-handed. We should have known, considering the fact that when The Man Googled “fishing in Los Angeles”, the search brought up a list of sushi restaurants in the area. Being the Southern gal I am, that just fueled my desire, and I managed to find what I believed to be a suitable spot, and convinced him it would be glorious family fun. The Man went along for the first two excursions, but opted to stay home today and continue recovering from the “Birking incident” by napping and watching sports. He also claimed I was bat-shit crazy for going THREE DAYS IN A ROW in 90+ degree heat. But The Beans adore it, it gets them off the couch and out in nature, so…whatever. Off we went. Just us girlies. After all, I’m the real survivalist in this tribe. I mean, I followed The Dead in college, which involves supreme aptitude in camping skills, the knowledge that wearing enough Patchouli oil to singe one’s nose hairs can override even the worst odors known to man, AND the cooking ability to make Rice Krispie treats by simply letting the marshmallow creme melt in the hot sun and then mixing it with the cereal for a tasty treat sure to satisfy a gaggle of hungry potheads children 🙂

Anyway, here’s a recap of our adventures and a few tidbits of helpful info I learned…

Day One: Impromptu trip to Lake Balboa. We had fishing rods and some fluorescent yellow colored bait from a jar which appeared to be salmon eggs marinated in “GULP” (aka garlic juice). Upon further inspection, it was clear they were small, spherical spongy balls marinated in “GULP”, and not actual salmon eggs. Oh well. We had back-up bait…red, soft center salmon eggs designed for hooking trout. They looked like Red Hots. Seriously. Unfortunately, the fish we witnessed jumping out of the water all around our lines, didn’t have a penchant for sweets. Zero nibbles, no prize wining fish to claim as our own. For our own nourishment, we had several bottles of water to drink, as not to get dehydrated. I fed The Beans lunch before we left and assumed that would be sufficient, so I didn’t carry any snacks. Oh, the wrath….What a brain-dead mommy am I, right? All of them were ‘starving’ after 30 minutes, and we stayed 2.5 hours. Believe me, I heard about it. But hey…it was a spur of the moment adventure. You live, you learn. Lesson in this? BRING SNACKS (and sunscreen).

Day Two: Having seen so many frenzied, obviously hungry fish the day before…and after doing research online to find out what kind of fish Lake Balboa is stocked with (bass, catfish, trout, tilapia, bluegill and carp)…we decided to load up the family truckster and head out for Round Two yesterday. Armed with raw, slimy, chicken liver (yuck) and sparkly, rainbow-colored putty the guy at Big 5 said was “like filet mignon for trout” we took off, rods and tackle in tow. But not before making a stop at Vons to load up our picnic bag with fruit, bread, peanut butter, jam, chips, salsa, and lots of drinks. We even remembered camp chairs and a blanket…which came in handy for The Man to lounge on as he watched us fish. At one point, I looked up at him, so patiently and efficiently making sandwiches for The Beans as I baited my hook, and thought about what an effed up Norman Rockwell painting that would be…lol. But I digress. And I forgot to mention that on Day One, we looked down where we were standing only to see “No Fishing” faintly stenciled on the concrete beneath our feet. So….Day Two’s spot was on the opposite side of the lake, on the grassy bank, under a shady tree. Pure bliss.

After rigging all the lines with proper hooks and various baits, we all cast out with hopes of catching “the big one”, no matter what kind. Sugar Bean had a spinning jig for bass, Butter Bean and Sweet Pea had sparkly putty and corn niblets, respectively, for trout. I had chicken liver for catfish. Immediately, I began to get bites. Woo-hoo!!! We all started doing a happy dance. After losing bait several times in a row, I actually saw what was eating it: crafty little fish adept at stealing food while evading the hook. Unfortunately, the pesky creatures were only suitable for using as bait for larger fish…if you happen to be lucky enough to catch one. Think minnows. Sugar Bean and Butter Bean actually did, but they wiggled off the hook before attracting anything larger. So, Day Two also ended in defeat with respect to a fishy haul. On the upside, everyone had a relaxing day and consumed copious amounts of fruit, and an obscene number of PB&J sandwiches, rounded out by a visit to the Ice Cream Truck parked strategically by our car.

Day Three: Since we were oh-for-two, and determined to catch some damn fish, we decided to try a different body of water today. Enter Hansen Dam Recreation Area. What a gem to discover! Not only is there a reservoir/lake specifically for fishing, but right next to it is an aquatic center complete with a sandy beach entry swimming pool, a giant twisty water slide (currently being repaired, but there nonetheless) lifeguards on duty….even cabanas for shade. Oh…and you can bring your own food! No forcing you to buy over-priced, junk food. Although we were on the outside of the fence looking in today, you can bet your blue booties our tushies will be back there sporting cute swimwear, and toting towels to enjoy the facility later this week. After all, it’s just a short drive up the freeway from where we live. And when The Beans tire of splishin’ and splashin’, we can stop by the playground on our way out for a romp on the massive climbing structure. It’s a mecca of summertime fun just waiting to be had. Score!!

But back to fishing….

We got nothing today either. Not one single bite. Spent most of the few hours we were there eating the food we brought and sweating profusely. I believe it’s safe to assume The Beans are over it now. At least until we go camping again 🙂

Me. Fishing last June while camping at Bass Lake.


  1. Hilarious account of your fishing excursions! I love your writing!

Give it to me straight. I can take it :-)

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