First L.A River fishing derby produces carp, bass, smiles

Matus Solobic, one of today's Off Tha' Hook winners, with a sweet hog. (Jim Burns)
Matus Solobic, one of today’s Off Tha’ Hook winners, with a sweet hog. (Jim Burns)

Well, the first Off Tha’ Hook fishing derby is in the books, and, man, participants got into some fish. In the true sprint of a derby, the number of fish caught, not length or weight, determined the winners. (Drumroll, please)

Fly-fisher Matus Solobic nailed three fish, a meaty carp and two largemouth bass. Next, fly-fisher Andy Wilcox caught three bass, two at seven inches. Finally, from the kids’ derby, Jayson Zwalen, nabbed two bass.

The bucket brigade (me included) hauled much of what got caught to biologist Rosie Dagit, who weighed and measured the fish, before releasing them back to the river.

Biologist Rosie Dagit confirms that I'll' guy is, in fact, a largemouth bass. (Jim Burns)
Biologist Rosie Dagit confirms that lil’ guy is, in fact, a largemouth bass. (Jim Burns)

But the real winner was the river, as well as the people who want to fish it. To see 25 anglers going for it on this hot and humid morning was, frankly, something I never thought I’d see. So much community, good times, real fun.

I finally got to meet in person many anglers I’d only known through this blog. And I made a lot of new friends as well.

And Friends of the Los Angeles River Lewis MacAdams said the organization will host it again next year.

See you in the river, Jim Burns

4 thoughts on “First L.A River fishing derby produces carp, bass, smiles”

  1. So sorry to miss this event! Three cheers to you for pushing the envelope to garner 25 fishermen.The degree of success will increase to 50 next year. Yea, jane

  2. I read about this in the LA Times this morning and I had to come here (to your website) to read more about it. What a great event! I’m glad it was so successful and I hope next year you’ll have even more participants. As a born and bred Angeleno (or Angelena) I always thought it was cruel that the LA River was ‘forgotten’ however events like this one really showcase what a great ‘undiscovered gem’ is flowing in our LA backyard.

  3. Kudos to you Jim and thanks for your effort in making this a success. We were happy to participate and meet the dedicated river fishers and huggers …. Also got my picture in the paper with a fish this time so I “closed the circle”, even though it was someone else’s fish! Fine day, good people, beautiful setting, and drop me an email!

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