Sunday, February 18 , 2018, 2:48 pm | A Few Clouds 62º


Captain’s Log: The Greatest, Most Bizarre Fishing Hole I’ve Ever Seen

Borrowing a concept from a certain popular insurance company advertisement: I know a thing or two about fishing holes because I’ve seen a fishing hole or two.

The most profound and bizarre was one I saw when I was an 8-year-old-kid. As you can well image, I was absolutely nuts about fishing and hunting (things haven’t really changed much for me in that regard).

After fishing for some hours one morning on a pier in Southern California, I walked to the base of the pier to use the public restroom.

I walked in the empty restroom, opened the door to a stall and looked down into the toilet because even as a kid I knew there could be surprises there. I was totally unprepared for this surprise.

Into that small toilet bowl, someone had put a fairly big and quite lively white croaker. It was fully in the water but had no room to move around. By its liveliness I knew someone had just put it there in the last half hour.

As I stood looking at it, puzzled and scratching my head, a profound realization came upon me. Based upon the amount of water and the mass of fish, I was looking at the greatest fishing hole I would likely ever see.

I took a deep breath and held it while I grappled with that fish, splashing water all over the stall, because it wasn’t going to come out easily.

Somehow, washing the fish with soap and water didn’t seem like the right thing to do because its protective slime coat had suffered enough already.

Holding the fish as best I could, I ran out of the restroom, made a beeline for the beach and released that fish into the waves. Then, I went back and washed myself up with loads of soap and water.

Now, many decades later, and having seen many thousands of fishing holes, I must wistfully admit it still ranks as the greatest fishing hole I’ve ever seen. Strange, that.

— 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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