We spent the summer building our fishing poles, and reels – which were a bit trickier, but got it together (just) in time to head out to the local hot-spot of fishing … Los Vaqueros reservoir.
We used the meet-up time in the morning to spool up reels with fishing line and learn a couple of fisherman’s knots as we tied on our swivels.
It was a gorgeous, clear morning with a hot forecast coming our way, so we got to the marina as early as we could for the scheduled ½ day trip. I was pleased with how well the reps at Los Vaqueros treated us
, knowing we were a Boy Scout group – we got a break on the parking fees, tips that saved us $ on the fishing fees, and a free pack of anchovies to boot. Now we were armed with 4 dozen fresh night-crawler worms and a dozen fish. In the event we got skunked, we were wondering how those anchovies might taste on the grill with some hot sauce…
There was one pier right next to the marina for us to fish from – good thing too, because our fishing rigs were not designed to cast and we needed to get into deeper water with the warm weather. We set up one spot on the pier to show the scouts how we were attaching swivels, weights, hooks and bait and after they watched, sent them off with an adult to find a spot along the pier to try their luck.
It was probably about an hour into the fishing before Sean caught the first fish – a most peculiar fish of about 5 inches long that we could not identify, though we knew it wasn’t any of the fish the reservoir is known for or is stocked with. That was a cool moment – because we had reached the final objective of catching a fish with our hand-made rod & reels, that came together over months of sporadic work and assembly, with variable outcomes, setbacks and re-glues all along the way. But NOW, we caught a FISH with our home-made rigs.
Soon William caught a very nice 16 inch Striper. We all got excited and looked at it close up, touched it and had to let it go since the minimum keeper length is 18 inches. No fish cleaning lessons yet. William and Ethan each caught fish after that and Sean caught another fish exactly like the first one.
It was great that we had to stop fishing while we were still catching a fish here and there and leave with a good impression from our first fishing trip.