A community on the dock

Nate and Chelsea Day


I like to eat fish. To be honest, that’s what attracted me to fishing. I mean, why buy fish when I can get free fish?

A man once told Chelsea that fishing was just an excuse to sit away from the family and drink beer. Fortunately, I don’t drink beer and I want to hang out with my kids all the time. It all depends on what is being done with them, how much fun it is.

Fishing is not something that my family and me have always done. When I was a kid, my parents’ friends invited us out fishing and boating about three times, if I remember correctly. I have the best memories on the Columbia River in Washington, a beautiful place. It was fun sailing and fishing on the small boat with family and friends.

But that was a long time ago. Now I have to start over and figure out the details for another fishing trip. After an excellent trip camping in the mountains, I learned that I love trout fishing. I also learned that I could fish easily so that I could spend more time with the boys and have an excuse to sit down and drink chocolate milk.

Living in San Diego, traveling to the mountains of Northern California with the kids is not always easy. But I have a number of piers that are easy to get to to go fishing with. You can fish there if you are a beginner or a professional. Coastal piers are public and fishing in California is free as long as anglers follow the rules for the size and amount of fish you are carrying.

Chelsea and I recruited the boys and went to Oceanside to check out the fishing opportunities. I quickly learned that there is a balance between my new style of fishing and trout fishing.

Every hour I saved by going to the pier as opposed to the mountains was an hour I spent holding a rod and hoping a fish would be fooled by my squid bait. Besides, he had no idea what kind of fish he was going to catch.

Unlike in the mountains, where my only companion was the cool breeze and the rustling of the pine trees, the pier was bustling with all kinds of fishermen. Some had simple fishing rods and some had fancy ones. Some came with a single fishing rod and others with 8 fishing rods in hopes of improving their chances. I also learned that bringing a chair was from wise fishermen. There was a small shop in the middle of the dock that sold bait, buckets for fishing, hooks, sinkers, and even fishing rods for rent. We took the advice of a fisherman who yelled at us: -Go to the end of the pier, the right side, that’s where the fish will bite.

He also gave us a sheet of the fish that can generally be caught on the pier and their size and quantity restrictions. In the few docks I’ve been to I’ve found that the best place to fish is at the end of the dock, there are plenty of locals who know tricks and love to share them with other fishermen. Furthermore, it’s all a question of patience and opportunity. Many anglers believe that the best time to fish is when the tide turns and that older piers are better for fishing than new piers because the old structure will attract more fish.

Another advantage of being close to the city is that there are plenty of options for dining and that is what the boys love. While they were enjoying their chocolate shakes and fries, I made friends with another fish on the pier and he told me he lived in Missouri and had come to a wedding but had always wanted to fish from a pier on the pier.

I realized that fishing on a pier creates a certain community among all fishermen where they laugh and share their fishing anegdotas. This is why many fishermen like to come to this pier for fishing, knowing that their friends will fish too. Some fished, others walked side to side, others read a book, and others listened to the radio while sitting in a chair while waiting to catch a fish.

At the end of the day I managed to catch something local called “barnacles”. Not sure what type of fish it is, I know that was a lot of fun. But next time I’ll be there again with a chair for me and the children … and a cool box.

If any of you want to have a nice day with happy people, I recommend going fishing. Find more information on getting started fishing and fun ideas for the family here at, Here are the best places to fish and sail as a family in 2017.

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Nate and Chelsea Day

Nate and Chelsea Day

As advocates of brave family life, Nate and Chelsea Day believe that small moments make big impact. They share adventurous activities with their three boys (soon to be four!) On their blog Someday I’ll Learn. Nate offers practical fatherhood and a direct approach to life’s challenges. Chelsea brings color with creative guides and commentary on the harsh life of a modern era. The blog culminates in a humorous diary that documents the daily exploits of the family.


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