MEMORIES OF ME: Fishing On The Rocks


When I was a kid, we spent a lot of winters in California and Florida. One year in the fall, we moved to California but, Dad being unemployed, we lived in one of the state parks along the coast.

There’s this place where there are jagged rocks that stick up out of the water. They are forty or fifty feet out from the shore, but when the tide is low, there’s a path on the sand that goes right out to them.

You can see where this is going.

During low tide we would haul the ice chest, fishing tackle, and everything else we needed out onto the rocks. It was a tough climb to the top, and once there it was hard to find a comfortable place to sit. The rocks are always damp, and during the high tide, waves send white foam up over everything. There isn’t a single flat spot, so we would take boat cushions to sit on or lean against. You’d think we’d have been smart enough to wear some kind of waterproof gear, but no, not even a rain coat, or hat.

The wind was usually blowing, and it was cold, maybe in the high forties or low fifties, but with a fine water spray as the tide rose. I weighed about sixty pounds and had to be careful not to get blown or washed away. At full tide there was no way to get back to shore. The water rushed around each side of the rocks and splashed up high as they clapped together. And none of us could swim. So we had to stay on the rocks until the next low tide.

The good news was, the fishing was always excellent, and when we finally made our way back across the wet sand, up the side of the cliff, and back to the state park, we always had a mess of fish for supper.

This story reminds me of the comedian who said, “You know why they put a sticker on the emergency exit of the airplane that says, DO NOT OPEN DOOR DURING FLIGHT? Cause some time in the past…”

Surely, we can’t be the only ones. So the next time you see a show on TV where a helicopter is flying along the Southern California coast, check out those rocks standing up in the water. You just might see some idiot out there with a big fishing rig and a cooler. Or, maybe there’s a sign…

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One comment on “MEMORIES OF ME: Fishing On The Rocks

  1. Great fishing story, Ryder. Those tides can sneak up on you and before you know it, you’re up against the driftwood, or in your case, the rocks.

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