Posts Tagged ‘Fishing Wives’


I’m headed into a Memorial Day weekend full of fishing. On Saturday I had planned to fish for sharks with Dan Hernandez and Joe, from SoCalSalty.com, but the weatherman put the kibosh on that plan right quick with the pronouncement of small craft advisories for Saturday. Thus, I’ll be bobbing around (more likely blown around) in Los Angeles harbor for the day, chasing halibut and whatever else we can find inside the breakwall.

Then, on Monday, I’ll be hitting Newport Beach, CA and the Harbor Patrol beach for some fast and furious bass fishing, kayak style. I’m taking a new pal, Ted, from the office, so we’ll see if he has what it takes to be added to my harem of “Fishing Wives“.

Our launch destination on Monday

The kayak is one of my favorite ways to float, and affords me the best access to my favorite fish (for the moment), saltwater bass. I’ll be snapping plenty of pics so stay tuned for a couple of posts next week.

Kayak fishing is my preferred method

In the mean time, let’s make this a bit interactive…

I whipped up this down and dirty poll for you to share your plans, and “represent”. Feel free to elaborate in the comment section with locations, gear tips, or anything you feel compelled to add. Have a great weekend, and Tight Lines to you all!

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Friends, especially mine, can be all shapes, ages, colors, and sizes, and with titles to match:  Amigo, Homie, Compadre, Buddy, Associate, Brother From Another Mother, Partner, Bro, Cell Mate… you get the point. My closest, and most valued friends have one common trait. No, despite what my wife says, they’re not all borderline lunatics, they’re all fishermen of one type or other. So in fact, they are full-blown lunatics.

"Fishing Wife" Charlie

I have learned many, many things in the last 23 years that I’ve known the smart, beautiful, and sarcastically gifted woman I call my wife. One of the most important, was how she defined the word “like”. Upon meeting her, it took roughly 19 minutes for me to ask Janet if she “liked” fishing. (Yes, I am a born romantic.) I must have been terribly cute back then, because she didn’t get up and walk away. On the contrary, she admitted that she did actually “like” fishing. My heart lept as I gazed into her pretty green eyes and she told me about fondly remembered trips to the Oregon coast, and lakes high in the Cascades. She shared tales of her father teaching her to tie knots, bait hooks, cast, fight, and clean her catch. She recounted, somewhat enthusiastically, that her older sister also “loved” to fish. She also told me in great detail how her Dad would catch a few trout on a fly rod, then cook them up for dinner over a roaring campfire for the girls to share. She even showed me a bunch of well-worn gear, and seemed to know her way around the nomenclature. I took this as evidence that I had found the total package; a hot, young, intelligent girl, who liked to fish, and who could tolerate me.

"Fishing Wife" Kevin

Well, I imagine with a build up like that, you can already smell where this is going to end up, so I won’t bore you with the long version. Let’s just say that Janet is a lot of things, very attractive, fit, health-conscious, disciplined, and driven, but an angler she is not. As it turns out, she puts up with my fishing, and most of the time she “likes” me.

As I have continued to imbibe in my chosen recreational vice, and test her patience, I have encountered some people who ARE equally addicted to the sport. While this was initially disconcerting to Janet, as I imagine she was alarmed that there were others similar to me in mental defectiveness, she has grown to accept my hobby as a means for me to chill-the-hell-out with the boys. She also understands that the time I spend fishing is an investment in my own sanity.

As part of her acceptance process, which for many years resembled a lot of kicking and screaming, she has come to accept my absence as a positive. Nonetheless, she is one to make a point, so she gave my fishing chums the name “Fishing Wives.” This was clearly her way of making it clear that she did not approve of the number of hours spent with these boys in  man-sized meat suits. She’s over it now, but for a little while there (20 or so years) it was touch and go.

"Fishing Wife" Oklahoma Joe

The term Fishing Wife is, to me, an endearing one, bequeathed upon a super-select group of guys who not only share my most favorite of pastimes, they also have a little “something or other” that makes them special. Not just any dude with a fishing rod and reel qualifies. (I’m no fishing whore. OK, so I might be a fishing whore.) You’ll hear me refer to each of them in posts by name, size, age, fishing ability, idiosyncrasy, smell, flatulence level, or an affectionate pseudonym. No matter how I describe them, they each hold a special place in my heart because they have, and do, share my #1 passion. That, and they put up with me for hours at a time.

"Fishing Wife" Matt

Some, like my dearly missed Oregon wives, brother-in-law Charlie (who married the sister who REALLY does LOVE to fish), and best man Arik (my first fishing wife – swoon…), will be rare guest stars of the blog, as they live more than 1,000 miles North, and we get to fish maybe once or twice a year. (In truth, their fishing agents are difficult to deal with and demand too much money for use of their likenesses.) Others you’ll become very familiar with as Hook Ideas regulars. For example you’ve already met Matt, and you’ll soon know way too much about Kevin, and Oklahoma Joe, all of whom live, work and play with me here in Orange County. If you pay attention, you might catch a sighting of more well known fishing friends of mine like TV’s Dan Hernandez (http://ow.ly/4Yrpi), and blogging sensation SoCalSalty (www.SoCalSalty.com), who I recently eloped with after a 35 minute courtship on an overnight boat to San Clemente Island.

I’ll wrap up this entry by saying there’s a lot of love in this blog, for my wives (the wedded kind, and fishing types) and legion of fan (thanks for reading Mom). Of course, I mean that I love these guys in a strictly platonic, non-gay way (not that there’s anything wrong with THAT). I’m very grateful to you also, my reader, who apparently shares my love of fishing. Either that, or you just can’t get enough heartfelt, albeit mediocre prose. Whatever your reason for visiting, thanks for spending the time to get through this. Perhaps I’ll see you on the water. In which case, be warned… Fishing with me can sometimes come with a lifelong commitment.


The web was abuzz this week with thresher shark sightings, wide open barracuda bites, and warming water, so I was a tad eager to get my gear wet. I’m the kind of guy who let’s himself get caught up in the preamble. You could say I like foreplay as much as the main event. At times the lead up to a fishing trip (or a lot of things) can create so much anticipation that it actually turns into apprehension. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s a strange side effect of a very vivid imagination and hyper-actively creative mind. It may also be a sign of other ailments and disorders, but you didn’t sit down to read my self-psychoanalysis.

Matt holds his fat spotted bay bass

Fat Newport Harbor Spotted Bay Bass

Put it this way:  Saturday was one of THOSE days. I had envisioned every last detail of the trip before I went to bed Friday night. Like a choreographed dance, I moved from garage, to bedroom closet, and back to garage, piecing together the bits that would facilitate my big day. I planned for every contingency, except the one that I faced. My own mind. By the time we hit the water, my head was swimming like an 8-year old on Christmas morning. You know the feeling that you get when something terrific and long anticipated is about to happen? Think of a well-trained Labrador retriever watching the noisy ducks fly down toward his master’s blind. There is a glint of blue steel as the gun swings up and… That was me. Virtually drooling, tail wagging, and ready to come out of my skin.

Matt's fiesty Barracuda on the troll

We had planned to hit a couple of our favorite holes for some quality spotted bay bass, which we did with success (top photo), then fill the bait tank with mackerel, and hit the blue to troll for threshers. As you might know, live macks make great T-shark bait, and we’ve been lucky in the past using the same recipe, so my confidence was higher than Lindsay Lohan’s Tuesday morning blood alcohol content. A simple plan with a simple goal. Two guys with a dependable boat, good coordinates, lots of lively bait, and fine tuned gear sporting freshly crimped leaders and super sharp circle hooks ready to do what hooks do. The only thing missing turned out to be Mr. T. Our boat is small, so the unexpected wind chop and a double sea from the NW and SW mixing things up got our attention. After an hour of getting flogged by Mother Nature, we decided to play it safe and retreat to the safety of the jetties. My gut felt like someone had died. I was bummed, to say the least. As in, Noon on Christmas Day and the pony is nowhere to be seen bummed. I turned between the jetties and quietly sulked as we motored back to comfort and wisely chosen safety.

Despite my melancholy mood, we caught close to 100 fish between the two of us over the course of the 10 hour day (yes, 10 hours). We even got into a nice barracuda bite that occupied my mind for a couple of hours. I am a self-professed “numbers guy” who would typically be happy to catch mackerel all day, but this day all I really wanted was to pull on ONE great big fish. When added up, the many hours and many dozens of smaller fish just didn’t fill the bill. I guess it’s like wanting a really good steak dinner, and instead getting a bucket full of hamburger flavored tic-tacs. OK, so maybe the tic-tacs were prime rib flavored… Still, you get my point. I’m not big on fishing being a metaphor for life, but I do realize that I am a cry-baby and I need to sack up, more than a little bit.

On the upside, I immensely enjoyed the company of Matt, one of a handful of “Fishing Wive’s” I keep in tow. This is a term that I’ll explain and explore in another post. For now, I’ll leave you hanging with the provocative Proposition 8 reference. I guess I’m just not sure how to reconcile my feelings of “bleh” over this trip, other than to say, I need to get out more, and more often and connect with something large. This bug (my untreated fishing addiction) needs to be addressed with time spent on the water. I wonder how many alcoholics tell themselves that their world would be better if they spent more time in a bar? Stay tuned in the months to come. I promise less self-absorbed blithering and more interesting topical posts. This will surely get interesting.