Wednesday, December 13 , 2017, 3:03 am | Smoke 41º


Captain’s Log: Fishing Down on the Docks, and Feeling Like a Kid Again

Every once in awhile — yet never nearly often enough — adults get to become kids again, albeit all too briefly. When that opportunity comes along, it often generates the memory of a lifetime. That is exactly what happened over the weekend for two local guys.

Martin Carbahal and James Tennant, both of whom work at Sea Landing in Santa Barbara, did what fishing landing employees often do — they went fishing down on the docks during their lunch break. No one could ask for a more pleasant and enjoyable way to relax and recreate for a half-hour.

James yelled, “Hey, Martin, I got a lingcod.” Martin thought he was just messing with him but walked over to check it out. Sure enough, it was a keeper that looked to be 24 inches.

Just then the 3-inch swimbait popped out of the fish’s mouth, and without hesitation James dropped to the dock, reaching out and saving the catch by grabbing the gill plate. It’s wonderful to be able to revert to being a 10-year-old, even if just for the duration of a lunch break.

I understand the feeling, and I’m sure most folks do. When I’m at the harbor working on my charter boat, WaveWalker, I often put a line in the water while I tend to chores. I’ve done that all my life. When that rod bends, nothing short of a presidential visit would keep me from reeling in that fish.

The presidential thing hasn’t happened yet, but if it did, the only thing I’d do differently is offer to let the president reel in the fish — providing that he or she had a California fishing license.

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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