This blog is now sugar FREE, fat FREE, gluten FREE, all ORGANIC and all NATURAL!!

Saturday, December 19, 2015


Small Catalina kelpfish
When I was just a young grade schooler, my family lived in Southern California.  My father made a good living, hell he should have, he worked hard and was a friggin genius give or take an IQ point.  Dad bought a 32 foot cabin cruiser and on weekends we often motored out to Catalina Island which was an island paradise 26 miles from Las Angeles.  It took most boats a little over an hour to get to Catalina.  It took us over three hours.  Pop made a good living, but not brand new Chris Craft good.

Catalina Island has Chrystal clear water.  You can see the bottom from 30 foot depths and with a looking glass device placed in the water the ocean becomes your own giant aquarium. 

Fishing in these conditions is very interesting.  You can actually watch the fish look at, sniff, ignore or take your bait.  When we were moored in a cove on the island, my brother Chris and I often fished off the stern of the boat.  We hoped to catch some of the larger fish we saw, especially a large multicolored grouper type fish we called a sheepshead.
Catalina Sheepshead

We generally used pieces of rock lobster or chunks of abalone which were leftover’s from dinner.  The rock lobster and abalone were caught skin diving by my oldest brother Jim and my dad. Like I said, this place was an island paradise.

While fishing from the stern of the boat, my brother and I could watch the fish ignore or take the bait.  The sheepshead were cautious and before they would take the hook, kelpfish would come in and steal the bait.  Kelpfish were skinny little brown fish that were plentiful, voracious, and difficult to catch but they were good at stealing the bait.  They were not tasty and we did not want to catch them.  We actually tried to pull the hook away from them when they came to the bait, but still they sometimes grabbed the hook.

Kelpfish were virtually all we would catch.  The sheepshead were interested, but the sight of a hooked kelpfish would make them too wary to go for the bait.  Chris and I hated the kelpfish. 

We started the “Kelpfish Hater’s Club.”

As members of the club, when we did catch a kelpfish, we cut it up and threw it back as chum.  In retrospect, this was not very nice.  Hey, we were young and we hated kelpfish. 

We left California and returned to the east coast in 1955.  I don’t think my brother and I ever fished together again.

Last year, I posted my “Bucket List,” ten things I want to do before I kick it  I think I have completed two of ten.

The very first item on the list was to catch a billfish.  This is a pretty unlikely item to complete as chartering a boat in an area where there are billfish to catch is a little out of my financial comfort range. 

It is within my brothers comfort range.  Chris has done well financially, thanks to hard work, brains and a passion for the law. 

Now my brother is not a spendthrift, in fact in many ways he is quite thrifty.  I was once with him while he made a small purchase and the cashier shortchanged him by one cent.  He told the cashier of the error and while they were sorting out the transaction an impatient lady behind us butted in and said,

“What difference does it make, it is only a penny!”

Chris calmly turned to her and said, “The difference is it is my penny!”

(I love that story!)

Anyway, though he is thrifty, Chris is also generous and when he does do something, he does it right.  Not long ago Chris called me up and said he remembered my bucket list.

“In March Chris (his oldest) and I are going to Costa Rico.  We’re chartering a boat and fishing for sailfish.  If you can make it, I want to see you cross one thing off your bucket list, and if he can get the time Mike (my oldest) is invited as well.”

So in March, we will reconvene the “Kelpfish Haters Club” with two new members.  I hope we do not catch any kelpfish.  Any sailfish we catch will be released intact, unlike the kelpfish of days gone by.

Needless to say, I am very excited, because in March,

We Be Gone Fishing!


  1. My son David is very jealous...Fishing, it turns out, is a way of life!

  2. Interesting and amusing story. Thanks a bunch.

    Greetings from London.

  3. Hooray for getting to go fishing! May it be a joyful highlight of your new year.

  4. How fun. I know you're looking forward to this very much. You get to see your brother and you get to fish. That's one more thing off your bucket list.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  5. I wonder if Chris wants to take me, too? I don't fish, but I could take photos of all you guys and the fish you catch.

  6. That will be a fun trip. I wish he was my brother too:)

  7. I hope you catch your fish. Even better that you intend to release it. What a wonderful experience this will be for you.

  8. This may well be one of your best Christmas gifts ever!!

  9. I was out on Catalina Is three months ago, it's still beautiful, the water is still clear in the bay. It still takes an hour roughly to get there.
    Best of luck with the billfish, never gone myself, uncle deke did several times in Baja in the '50's. Would love to see photos of the trip.

  10. Your awesome bro totally rocks! I hope the charter doesn't nickel and dime you by charging a dollar for a life jacket...

  11. wow, an awesome gift - and one shared with sons, too.

  12. What a great gift! It will be so satisfying to scratch something off your bucket list.


I love comments, especially some of my commenters are funny as heck!

Oh, and don't be shy, Never miss a Cranky Post.

Sign up for an email of every post...over there...on your right...go on!