Posted by: socalsalty | June 3, 2013

Trip Report: Reel Fun Dana Halfie

Reel FunPeople are always asking me, “When did you start taking your kids out on the boats?”  It’s really not so much their age that is the biggest factor.  It has more to do with their experience level with fishing in general, and then the circumstances around the ride itself.  For example, Juliana caught her first fish at age 3.  It was a white croaker off the Venice Beach Pier on a sabiki rig.  So she’s been at it now for almost 4 years, but I’m not going to bring her on an overnight anytime soon.

Some of the things I look for are the length of the trip, what the actual hours of the ride will be, and the style of fishing that will be the dominant method of fishing for the day.  Half day trips are going to be your first option, but if you were to take a kid out during the first few days of barracuda season and you’ve got a bunch of people throwing iron…doesn’t really work.

I really like the halfies that have a later start for the kids…PM rides or when they do a late morning start.  Sunday, me and the kids rode on the Reel Fun out of Dana Wharf Sportfishing.  They are running 10am to 3pm which is a great, kid-friendly time.  If you were to see the count…8 Calico Bass 1 Sand Bass 2 Barracuda 107 Calico Bass Released 23 Sand Bass Released for 40 anglers…you might think, “Well that sucks.  Glad I didn’t go.”  Well, if you were only worried about bringing home meat, you’d  be right.  For me though, watching Juj have a great day on the water was priceless.  I setup a simple dropper loop on her rod (something light and size appropriate, but somewhat stiff), with a small circle hook (so she doesn’t have to set the hook) for the live anchovies we had.  I bait her hook, cast it for her and then she’s on her own.  She’s at a point now where if she isn’t bit fairly quickly, “Dad, I’m going to check my bait.”  Love it.  She caught a halibut, a sand bass, a cabezon, and 2 white seabass.  All shorts, but that didn’t matter.  She had a blast.

Capt. Chris likes to work the productive kelp beds just off the beach.  It’s skinny water, so it wasn’t hard for her to reel up the fish.  Capt. Chris Pica and his crew do a great job with the kids.  She gets to see the various sealife that live in the kelp beds (the fish, sea lions, dolphins, birds).  Jake enjoys throwing different lures and swimbaits which we don’t normally get to do on a lot of our rides (he’s the product tester).  Great day.  I highly recommend it.  Tight lines!

VIDEO: Juj’s Halibut



  1. That’s some good fishing! I like the recipe I think I might try that on some Leopard shark next time. Stop by and share some photos if you are ever in the neighborhood!

    • Thanks for stopping by Ron. Never caught a legal leopard. Are they good to eat?

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