Friday, February 14, 2014

Stuck in LA

Fishouflage European Carp Pattern
OK, another idiot move by yours truly!  The second week in February is always the MD & M Show in Anaheim, California and my company, Precision Inc., always has a booth there.  It's been awfully cold in Dayton this year with at least 50 days where the temperature has been below zero, the 80 degree weather in California would be a welcome change.  Catching the early flight to LAX, it was a typical -18F when I left the house.  Looking at my flight options for the return flight I decided to book the redeye back on Thursday night, board at around 1:00 in the morning, the 3 hour flight would get me in Minneapolis around 6:30AM on Friday.  Good plan, saves me a hotel room and I could sleep on the plane.  Well, reread my plan......leave Thursday night at 1:00, well that is actually Friday morning.  The Thursday night flight booked was leaving 24 hours earlier than what was in my head so I had to rebook.  the Friday morning Redeye was full so I am finishing this  post from 35,000 feet, a few days late but at least I am back on track.  From my view the weather is very nice in Los Angeles yet that's about all that's nice.   It seems like there is a gazillion people living in LA as you can drive for hours and never leave the city.   One interesting thing about shows are the people you meet.  The booth next door to me was a German company and the guy in charge had just arrived.  After talking to him for a while we soon discovered something in common, both of us love to fish.  In Germany he often fished for European Carp as well as zander, similar to our walleye.  He also talked  about pike, whitefish, eels, but I forgot to ask about German Brown Trout.  Of course I had to describe ice fishing to him, something he thought was pretty interesting. Yesterday I showed him a site where he could buy shirts with a European Carp imbedded in the pattern.  Fishouflage is one of my favorite sites and I own a number of their products, mostly in the walleye or crappie patterns.  He thought that the carp pattern was quite interesting and took down the website.  I was not sure they shipped to Germany but promised if he had any trouble I would take care of it for him.  He'll probably be the first in Germany to flaunt his passion on his shirt, it was a lot of fun talking to him and we left with.....if you're ever in Minneapolis I know someone who could entertain you for a day of fishing.

Marbled Godwit
One thing I like in LA is to walk along the beaches and jetties on the ocean.  This time of the year the water is around 55 degrees and the only thing around are the crazy surfers in wetsuits and shorebirds.  My friend and colleague Mike Schubert was my host and after setting up our booth on Monday we drove around the area of Huntington Beach where he lives.  Mike has a boat harbored at the American Legion where there is a big area of channels and harbors in Alamitos Bay, Newport Beach.  Showing me the entrance to the harbor it was pretty nice as I saw Californian Sea lions swimming  up the entrance as well a number of shorebirds feeding in the surf.  One in particular called a Marbled Godwit, had a very and pointed bill, it must have been 6 inches long.  These birds would walk along the sand, just as the water receded, looking for bubbles, a tell tail sign of sand crabs their favorite food.  They would shove the entire length of their beak into the sand in search of their next morsel.  No bigger than a dime, they would pull the crab out of the sand and immediately eat it, it was fascinating to watch them work.  As well there were small birds, usually in packs of 6 - 10 that would race in and out with the waves, just staying ahead of the water.  With the surf's mesmerizing rythme, it was very relaxing to just stand there and take it all in.  Sort of like another world, behind me was the big city and in front of me was the peacefulness of the ocean.

It's finally threatening to warm up next week.  After the last 2 months of below normal temperatures, it will be a welcome relief.  I am anxious to get out and do some crappie fishing, maybe Sunday.  The Mille Lacs Perch Extravaganza is next week and I probably need to practice up for that as well.  The winter is going fast as we only have another 9 days of Minnesota inland fishing season for walleyes and pike, not very long.  Lake of the Wood stays open till April 15th and I might just have to make one more trip up north, we'll see. Planning for my Louisiana trip has been fun and I am really looking forward to catching and eating some redfish.  Our host, Dick called me as one of his guides read this blog and was interested in walleye, offering a trade, walleye fillets for flounder.  Seems like a good trade to me and I'll be bringing some with!

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