2003 PFIC/UPSAC Goleta Pier Get Together

Date: July 14, 2003; To: PFIC Message Board; From: Songslinger; Subject: Thank You, Pierhead!

Pierhead came through, did he not? And to think that, for a tense moment in the dawn, there was a dangerous brush with the Total Immersion Morality Moms. Until it morphed into maturedotcom esther williams choreography. Dude. You will have to ask Boyd for the particulars on this episode.

Yeah, Boyd, you throw a hell of a shindig! Gracias to you and those on hand. I had a great time. I met some really fine people. I am reluctant to name names because someone will be left off the list and that would suck. Fishing was good and that pier is just perfect as a model for ocean piers. Wooden, organic, rocking with the waves, a place where druids could fish alongside tweakers and trekkies. There was some Southern California Strange One ambience and three generations of the signature Vitalis-with-tats guys hanging around, but it fit the scene and was considerably less seedy than the LA Coast Brigades. And as for the great unwashed urine scented bums we have up here in the Bay Area, nothing similar there at all. All in all, Goleta and the surrounding area get high marks and a promise to return soon. It’s five hours away for me and definitely worth the drive. Last April I tried to make a stop and got caught in Automotive Hell—and this time pays for that with interest.

The main chef — Don Blaze

Some of GDude’s cooking — Photo courtesy of Kelly Cruise

Goleta Rules! Cool stuff, free associating: Animal intentions, Dolphins in the moonlight, Raccoons warring at midnight, Coyotes in the wee hours, Deer at dawn, Pelicans, Pigeons and Gulls, oh my, Foggy morning t-shirt groove, BBQ, UPSAC, DFG, Sharing the same air molecules as celebrities, Fishing with Ken Jones , Milton Love, Traveling, Wandering

Welcome! (Photo courtesy of Rich Reano)

Posted by pierhead—Thank you all! … I have been sitting here reading the GPGT posts for the past two days racking my brain trying to find a way to adequately express my thanks and gratitude to all of you for coming out and making this get-together the fantastic event that it was. It was everything that we hoped it would be and even more.

The people that we owe the biggest debt of gratitude to are the members of the GPGT 2003 organizing crew: Adam & Rebecca (baitfish and roosterqueen), Don (donblaze420), James (goyzadude), Ross (gordo grande), Andy (fishfishaj) and Tim (sinker).

Pierhead (Boyd), Stinkyfingers (Martin), and Dolphin Rider (Lisa) — (Photo courtesy of Rich Reano)

Each, in their own way, found something that they could take ownership of and bring to fruition … as a result we raised over $500 for UPSAC; received 16 rods, 16 reels and a bunch of miscellaneous donated tackle for future UPSAC projects; served over 60 tri-tip dinners; proved that we could also provide our own entertainment, networked with some of the more interesting personalities of the west coast fishing scene and, in general, showed that we are the right people to represent the pier and shore anglers of California. We are one heck of a family.

Getting ready — Pierhead (Boyd) to the left, Roosterqueen (Rebecca), KJ, and ? — (Photo courtesy of Rich Reano)

The quote I like the best is from Kel (kcruise): ‘Once again, I’m reminded that people from all walks of life can enjoy a simple pleasure in life without boundries, limits or differences.’

The only thing missing was old-fashioned home-made hand cranked vanilla ice cream … remind me next year. We’ll let the kids take turns making it!

Songslinger (Glen) and The Pier Fisherman (KJ) — (Photo courtesy of Rich Reano)

Posted by gyozadude—Boyd, this was your brainchild and what an excellent idea it turned out to be. Goleta was as close to the perfect spot for the get together as I could ever imagine. Easily accessible, great location close to the pier and the beach. Free parking literally right next to our gathering area. Many lodging options close by, and great climate this time of year. It makes me wonder how many other places exist in California that we could tap into to host other events. It makes me want to explore and share new discoveries. And to think this is only the beginning of our events and the founding of a new organization.

We’re going to need lots of information technology like a rod loaner reservation and tracking system, and we’ll need a process where volunteers can help repair tackle and hold workshops on tackle repair. And of course, we need to have fishing workshops to show folks how to catch fish. It was a great start of many things. I hope the GPGT sets a new standard in how we host our events going forward. Thank you again Boyd

GDude (James) to the left, Rich Reano (PFIC Webmaster) with the camera, and KJ espousing on something or other!

Posted by gordo grande—It was a great day, and a promise of even better things to come. I love that pic you posted of the donated gear. We can put all that stuff to good use in the coming years. I get a lot of satisfaction knowing that a couple of the reels in the picture came from my garage!

I agree with G-Dude about the wonderfulness of the Goleta location. I can’t imagine a better spot for a get-together. Free parking, that huge BBQ pit, the beach right there, easy access and centrally located as well….what more could we ask for. Goleta is now my favorite pier!’ I loved Goleta so much, that I plan on making it up there a lot more. Next time I may not bother with the RV. I’ll just jump in my faster, little car, and haul ass up there for the day. Tight lines! Ross aka Gordo Grande

Donated gear — Photo courtesy of Pierhead (Boyd Grant)

Posted by Don Blaze—You get the biggest THANKS of them all Boyd!  What a wonderful job you did with organizing this shin-dig sir!! We have something here that will just get bigger and better over the years. Next year I will be making a huge batch of my home-made Jerk Chicken!!! Good fishing to you all.

Roosterqueen (Rebecca) setting up the gifts — (Photo courtesy of Rich Reano)

Posted by Ken Jones—My Thoughts and Notes On The Goleta Get Together… July ’03, Well, I’m expected to sum up the activities and feelings concerning the Goleta Get Together but I feel like somewhat of an interloper. A great group of people put this shindig together and I was able to just sit back and enjoy the fruit of their labor (and I thank them greatly). The main man behind the event was Boyd, aka Pierhead. He was assisted by an outstanding group that included, but was not limited to, Adam (Baitfish), Rebecca (Roosterqueen), Don (Donblaze420), Ross (Gordo Grande), James (Goyzadude), Andy (Fishfishaj) and Tim (Sinker). It wasn’t exactly a cast of thousands but the job these folks did in procuring the site, food, prizes, etc. was superb. As was their job in cooking that food and allowing each of the PFIC members in attendance to partake of those goodies, a necessary ingredient if we are to maintain our svelte, cat-like physiques.

As impressive in its own way was the attendance of the “Pier Rat Nation,” a gathering of the clan, so to speak. 53 people signed the list sheet, but more were in attendance. Included were such notable members as Pierhead, Songslinger, Redfish, Baitfish, Roosterqueen, Pescare, GDude (Goyzadude), Rich Reano, Predator, Dolphinrider, Gordo Grande, DonBlaze 420, Josh, Sandtrout, Goonerdude, Fishfishaj, SDBrian, OB Pier Rat, Graybeard, Catfish, Thresher, Chuam, Fish Finder, KCruise, Nigeria Butler, Crystal Blue, Greenrag, Fish Bomb, Fishy (a very late arrival in the evening) and The Pier Fisherman. Add in family and friends it was quite a group.

Roosterqueen (Rebecca) in the middle and Baitfish (Adam) to the right — (Photo courtesy of Rich Reano)

And not to forget two gentlemen who joined us from the Fish and Game: Paul Grunion (now retired but seemingly as busy as ever) and Ed Roberts. They brought books and pamphlets to hand out, set up a tent where they answered questions, and even managed to get in a little fishing. Last, but certainly not least, was the appearance of Milton Love, one of the leading authorities on fish of the West Coast. I have two of his books (and need the new one on rockfish), quote from him in my new book, and have enjoyed his wit and wisdom for years. He is a star as far as I am concerned and I really enjoyed spending a little time with him and talking about fish — and the piers. I just hope a few other people had the chance to share a few minutes with him as well as Paul and Ed. You just had to be there and I feel sorry for those who couldn’t make the trip.

It was an interesting day with Boyd, Andy and a few others arriving before 8 a.m. Gordo Grande and his daughter Samantha arrive early and soon had a tent up and the coffee heatin’ up. Pescare is there with his duo of charming daughters — Tara and Jenna. Adam and Rebecca reach the spot along with a huge ice chest, drinks, and a ton of prizes. Rich and Ken boogie in from an early Ventura breakfast and are soon trying to help out where needed — and not get in the way where not needed. Josh arrives with the entire Perez family. GDude lands and begins the assembly of his tent and the unloading of an amazing number of rods, reels, electronics, etc. from the bowls of his van. People are setting up the tables, making sure the food and drinks are ready to go, and good vibes are already beginning to dominate.

Stuff! — (Photo courtesy of Rich Reano)

But this was a fishing group. DonBlaze420 is out in his kayak already seeking out the halibut. Songslinger and Redfish are checking out the beach and the pier. Goonerdude has headed over to the pier as have Graybeard, Sandtrout and I believe, SDBrian, all to do some fishing. More and more people begin to arrive, faces are put on the names we see so often on the board, and most head out to the pier. Paul Gregory and Ed Roberts arrive representing the Fish and Game and they too head out to the pier to sit up a small tent and answer any questions the pier rats may have.

All in all it’s starting to look good — except for the not-so-svelte amazons occupying the grasslands between “our” reserved site and the beach. Boyd asks them, in his usual gentlemanly manner, to move, but they refuse. Next he tossed a couple off the cliff. No, actually that was just one of those image visualizations you do to control your blood pressure. Turns out they are allowed in that area and the park ranger can’t move them. However, they are soon happily flip flopping their way into the Pacific where they do a short swim and return. Eventually they are gone before our main activities commence. To me they looked like the films you see of baby penguins learning to swim — or — rejects from a casting call for one of those old Esther Williams, synchronized, aquatic dance films of the ’40s. And Songslinger had almost the exact same impression, he said “their routine was the Total Immersion Morality Moms. Until it morphed into maturedotcom esther williams choreography.” Would have been interesting to see Lucy at this function, she might have actually tossed a couple of the ladies off the cliff. But I veer off course.

More stuff! — (Photo courtesy of Rich Reano)

The hours flew but here are a few notes:

• Excellent food as promised by Pierhead. Tri-tip steaks (provided by Pierhead, and over 60 steaks served), green salad, potato salad, macaroni salad, blue hard boiled eggs, pinto beans (home made by Songslinger), garlic bread, fresh albacore (brought by Chuam), and some yakitori and sausages (from GDude). The main chef by the way was Don Blaze and I’m afraid he did such a good job that he may be forced to repeat his actions next year. Cookies for dessert (from the Perez family I believe), watermelon, rhubarb pie, apple pie and probably a few more things that I am forgetting. A great meal and no one should have left hungry.

• Excellent surroundings and facilities — a barbecue area right next to the beach, a grassy area to recline and rest, a play area for kids, and adjacent restrooms. What more do you need? And great weather even if it did lead to a few sunburns.

Ed Roberts (California Department of Fish and Game), Grunion (Paul Gregory,  California Department of Fish and Game), and KJ — (Photo courtesy of Rich Reano)

• Tickets for the raffle went fast in the morning since Rebecca and the Tidycat girls were a little hard to resist. By the time they were done UPSAC has more than $500. In addition, 16 rods and reels were donated (by many individuals) as well as miscellaneous tackle to be used in future UPSAC events. As Adam already reported, three companies — Insidesportfishing, Big Hammer and allsurffishing.com  — donated the majority of gifts. Gyozadude also deserves special credit for his donations.  After lunch was served the lengthy raffle took place and almost everyone who had bought a ticket won a prize.

• The Tidycat girls — Tara and Sam — were a special treat and worth the price of admission, if we had charged admission. They skillfully handled the raffle (together with Rebecca) and brought a sense of charm and youthful exuberance to the proceedings. Hollywood, watch out!

After the raffle it was the time for some serious fishing and several fishing reports have been posted. Just let me say that I doubt if the pier has ever had a more dedicated and enthusiastic group of anglers grace it with their presence. If an aura of good feelings has ever enveloped a pier, it was that night on that old wooden pier at Goleta.

The gathering of Pier Rats and  friends — Photo courtesy of Pierhead (Boyd Grant)

Posted by Songslinger— Marvelous depiction of the event, Ken. So vivid I felt like I was there… Wait a minute, I was there. In fact, I’m still there in my mind. Outstanding. “How do we top this?” Doubt we can. But the standard is set for further good times and robust company.

Posted by gyozadude—Great summary Ken. I don’t believe we should even try to top this event; too many factors combined that day to make things work, and it was mostly people, because I didn’t meet a pier rat, or friend/relative of a pier rat that I didn’t like. And did you see the clean up of Area D? By 3:15 pm, that space looked as good as when I arrived. How many events do you go to where people pick up after themselves? It must be a Pier Rat thing about picking up trash after yourself because even at company BBQs I organize, my fellow co-workers, all highly educated and well paid ‘nice’ people, mostly walk off and leave the place a mess. I’m usually packing my stuff and everyone elses for another hour and hauling it back. The Goleta event, no doubt, was attended by Pier Rats who are class acts!

Sorry, but I’m really bad with names, but, Pierhead’s sister [firstname?] Sullivan, and her crew? She was there throughout the event and I believe much of the setup/tear down was her and her team’s contribution.

And who was the middle aged, perhaps Hispanic gentleman that Don referred to for consulting on the heat? When the coals were getting low and I wanted to grill some chicken skewers and sausage, I was getting just a tiny bit stressed out over whether we needed to quickly throw more wood on the fire, he suggested we lower the grill (Gee, duhh, I felt stupid…). Judging from this gentleman’s knowledge of heat and attentiveness to the fire throughout this event, I’d have to give him “props” as the “keeper of the flame.” I truly learned a lot about quality fire for big outdoor BBQs on this trip.

Posted by pierhead—My elder sister is named Kathleen and she was recently wed to a very charming gentleman named Robert Sullivan … the other members of her crew (purely voluntary on their part)were, from the extreme left in the group photo, my cousin Tom Allen and his family and next to him my cousin Jim Allen (the Jesse Ventura look a like) and his family.

Boyd’s family (and clean-up crew) deserved a big thanks! Photo courtesy of Pierhead (Boyd Grant)

The other gentleman you referred to is Fred Ledesma — one of the original Goleta Pier regulars. Fred is very soft-spoken but speaks with authority … if he says the bite is over for the day then people start packing up to go home. Fred was somewhat skeptical at first as were a number of other regulars about the idea of a get-together with people they didn’t know … but since there were 12 of them including Ranger Dave and the cook was one of their own they soon felt comfortable. Everyone one I’ve talked to so far plans on being there next year! Pierhead-

The original posting about the event.


Pier Fishing in California Message Board – Search Engine
Viewing Archived Message
GPGT update – Free BBQ! Posted by pierhead
on Jun-13-03 2:22pm 

[Still trying to find some more of the original pictures]

Addendum to 2003 Goleta Get Together Report:

Saturday, July 12, 2003 — I planned to fish early Saturday morning before the “Get Together” and then fish again at night. I should have known better. I had the extreme pleasure of meeting up with some new faces — although by now recognizable names — and quickly realized that the fishing would come that evening.

Goleta Pier: 5:40-9:10 p.m. — A slow night again but who cares? Good company, pleasant conversation, good weather, great surroundings, and the typical Goleta/Santa Barbara ambiance. The romantic Santa Ynez Mountains and a full moon provided the perfect setting for a truly idyllic night, an absolutely gorgeous night when good fellowship deadened the sting from a lack of fish. Fishing (or at least the catching of fish) was, for one night at least, second in importance to the gathering of the clan — The Pier Rat Nation.

Total: 10 Shinerperch (I know, I know!); 6 Jacksmelt; 2 Kelp Rockfish; 1 Grass Rockfish; 1 Brown Rockfish; 1 Bocaccio; 1 Walleye Surfperch

All fish caught on either strips of preserved mussel or on night crawlers (go figure). Most of the fish were caught on my light rod — two hooks and a 1-ounce torpedo sinker — but two of the rockfish were caught on my heavier rod fishing the kelp area with a single size 4 hook on a dropper leader about 18 inches up from the 2-ounce torpedo sinker.

Sunday, July 13 — I left Goleta early morning heading north on the return trip and figured I might as well fish a few piers along the way.

Gaviota Pier: 7-10 a.m. — A beautiful morning with just a hint of wind and as I arrived I saw my first dolphin of the morning. I headed out to the end since the tide was low and I quickly decided to fish around the pilings since they looked so fishy. Only one other fisherman was present, which is not a good sign, and he hadn’t had a nibble, another bad sign, but that doesn’t always mean slow or bad fishing; it did this time.

I hoped to find some of the bigger perch or perhaps a rockfish or two and there were fish around but they were the wrong types. Shiners and walleyes were thick and although most were at a mid-depth position, they seemed to like nothing better than to follow my mussel bait all the way to the bottom. Could have switched to larger baits and bigger hooks but was hoping for some of the big perch. A few anglers did join us at the end and they soon were using Sabiki’s to land sardines and an occasional jacksmelt but the action wasn’t hot.

Happily, Glen (Songslinger) soon showed up and I thought we might have a new “pier rat” gathering but Glen and I were the lone duo from the board. Glen wanted some better bait so he headed down to the beach to catch some sand crabs while I continued to search out that big perch — and I found HER.

Out on the left side, I think just about where the repairs were made a few years ago, sit two pilings about three feet apart. Heavily encircled by kelp but looking oh so fishy; I just had to drop my line straight down between those columns and the kelp. And it worked! I had a strong hit, reared back and felt both a fish and the kelp on my line. At first I thought I might have lost it but I could feel the fish tugging and sure ‘nuff she worked herself free. Got it to the top and it was a humungous (well, at least large) rubberlip which I soon hand-lined up to the top (since I didn’t have a net with me). She was long and thick, oh so thick, but as soon as she got on the pier she started squirting out her young. Yes, she was a gravid female ready to birth and I knew I would need to release her. So, as quickly as I could take a fast picture, and drop some of her offspring back into the water, she herself was returned. I hated to drop her back down from the pier but had no other choice since I lacked the net. Happily, she seemed to take right off and swim away. I didn’t measure or weigh her but I believe she would have gone at least a couple of pounds; she looked that big. Songslinger, by the way, saw the fight from the beach and saw she was a good fish.

KJ and a rubberlip perch

Everything after that was anti-climatic until Glen himself managed a nice, legal-size halibut using a lively shinerperch and his new leader technique. I provided the bait, he provided the brains, and soon I hear (in a low voice) — Ken you want to come here? He didn’t want to awaken the entire pier but did want to show me that hallie he was bringing to the top and show me a hallie yawn. He was going to break it off but before we had the chance a newly arrived angler rushed over with a net. Soon after a 22-inch fish joined us on the pier and after a quick measurement and picture she too was returned to the water.

Songslinger (Glen) with his halibut

Not too shabby for these old pier rats, a long way from home — a nice-sized rubberlip and a legal halibut.

Soon after I ran out of the preserved mussels I was using for bait, switched to the night crawlers, and the shiners went crazy. The problem now became one of keeping them off the hook but I was unsuccessful. We continued to fish and watched a beautiful family of dolphins but soon the wind returned to its normal Gaviota intensity and we decided to call it a day. Glen headed home while I headed north to Pismo for some more fishing.
Total: 12 Shinerperch; 5 Walleye Surfperch; 1 Rubberlip Seaperch; 1 Bocaccio (tiny); 1 Cabezon (baby variety); 1 Thornback Ray

On to Pismo!

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