Tag: Second Annual Off Tha’ Hook; fishing derby

Second ‘Off Tha Hook’ delivers fish, next generation

WINNING is what Matus Solobic of Altadena represents with the beautiful common carp. (Jim Burns)
WINNING: Matus Sobolic, of Altadena, represents with this beautiful common carp. (Jim Burns)

Fisherfolk are known for their sometimes tall tales, and even though the MSM were nowhere to be found, today’s second annual ‘Off Tha Hook’ in North Atwater Park produced plenty of gripping stories for the 200 or so participants. Some treated  new friends as if they were old buddies, sharing tales of rare fiberglass rods and 19th Century reels; others literally sampled tasty culinary capers at the Patagonia Pasadena booth — anyone for buffalo jerky?

WINNER Issaih Salgago, 15, of Palmdale (left) hangs with event organizer Bill Bowling. (Jim Burns)
WINNER Issaih Salgado, 15, of Palmdale (left) hangs with event organizer, Bill Bowling. (Jim Burns)

And although the River Rover — organizer Friends of the Los Angeles River’s mobile classroom — was also a no show because of a broken axle, kids  made up watery tales as they peered into tiny cups full of stonefly and mayfly nymphs, as well as icky leeches.

It was that cool.

— Matus Sobolic, of Altadena, proved that he is the guy to beat when it comes to carp, hauling in one common, around 4 pounds, and three small bass to win the grand prize. Sobolic won last year’s competition and also won the wading division at the Lake Henshaw Carp Throwdown earlier this summer. He lost two on the fly as they jumped wildly out of the water. The last So. Cal. double winner was David Wratchford, who won 2012-2013 at the Carp Throwdown, also in the wading division.

— Meanwhile, Issaih Salgado, 15, of Palmdale, won the kids’ division with a couple of small largemouth bass snatched spincasting on a silicone wiggly. His mom said she wasn’t surprised because he spends lots of time chasing fish at Fin & Feather, the well-know Antelope Valley private club.

— And Ben, who got away before I could ask him his age and last name, won rarest species for his fry tipalia, awarded by biologist Sabrina Drill.

TROUT UNLIMITED'S Bob Blankenship meets the official greeter. (Jim Burns).
TROUT UNLIMITED’S Bob Blankenship meets the official greeter. (Jim Burns).

The three shared a haul valued around $900 in donations from Patagonia Pasadena and the Pasadena Casting Club.

But the best story laid in watching 60-plus kids show up with family and friends to cast, many for the first time. They stood in line, then, in turn, hit the water, some dozen at a time, to try their luck, learn more about our urban river, and get tips from the experienced anglers who donated their time as well as experience.

As I watched, my mind traveled to a time in the near future when those now teenagers will continue the stewardship they learned today. For all of us who love the river, there is no better story than that.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

KIDS AND PARENTS alike are 'all in' for the children's fish. (Jim Burns)
KIDS AND PARENTS alike are ‘all in’ for the family fish. (Jim Burns)

Update: ‘Off tha Hook’ prizes valued at $900

The $50 entry fee is looking better, as Patagonia Pasadena stepped up as the Platinum Sponsor for the second annual catch & release fishing derby on the L.A. River, “Off tha Hook.”

There will be two winners on Saturday, Sept. 5, and if you think you’ve got the goods to nab a sweet, fat carp, the top prize could be yours.

The winner will be decided by total weight of fish logged in by the biologists. Just like last year, an angler’s fish will be brought to the biologists by the “bucket brigade” to be weighed, measured and released back into the river. In a change from last year, both fly and spin compete in the same category.

The winner’s prizes will be an exclusive “Off tha Hook” T-shirt, a FoLAR swag bag, trophy with ribbon, his and hers Patagonia puffy jackets, and a box of warm-water flies, tied and donated by the Pasadena Casting Club.image

There will be also be a winner for rarest species, which means anything finny other than carp would be in consideration. On-site biologist Sabrina Drill, Associate Director, California Naturalist at the University of California Cooperative Extension, will make the call.

The angler awarded the rarest species moniker will receive an exclusive “Off tha Hook” T-shirt, a FoLAR bag of swag, trophy with ribbon, and a men’s Patagonia Buckshot Shirt and a women’s Patagonia Better Sweater Jacket.

All told, the value of the prizes is worth more than $900.

Anglers will receive a $10 discounted entry fee if they agree to stay and teach the children, ages 7 to 17, their skills of fishing in an urban river for an hour.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

Second annual Off Tha’ Hook fishing derby returns Sept. 5


Registration is now open for the second annual FoLAR fishing derby, Off Tha Hook. It’s slated for Saturday, Sept. 5, one of the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife free days, no license is required. The event in north Atwater Park is for both fly fishers and spin casters. catch and release ($50 registration, limited spots). The one-hour event is followed by a free “kids fish,” in which anglers teach children how to spin cast, as well as good stewardship on the water. Anglers who want to help out in this second event will have their registration fee discounted. You can register and get more details here.

What makes this event different from typical competitions is that it actually serves as an addendum to FoLAR’s 2008 Fish Study, an important species benchmark, especially as the river gets ready for its closeup and makeover. Biologists will weigh, measure and catalog every fish prior to releasing them back to the river.

If you missed last year, here’s what it was like. Think fun. Very fun.

Full disclosure: LARFF is a sponsor for this event.

Press Conference 8:30 a.m.

Scheduled to appear, FoLAR Founder/President Lewis MacAdams and members of local government

Catch & Release 9 a.m.- 10 a.m.

Fishing Contest for the Experienced

Two categories: Weight & Rarest Species!

Family Fish 10 a.m.

Adult supervised children

Learn to fish with morning angler volunteers

Awards 11:00 a.m.

Blue Ribbons given to registered child anglers


See you on the river, Jim Burns