2011 marked the first full year of the blog.  Over the course of the year, I learned so much fishing with friends new and old.  I wanted to recognize the people and experiences that made the year my most memorable one fishing ever!  We had a lot of fun, gave away a lot of prizes, and enjoyed some great fishing in 2011.  Stay tuned, there’s a lot more on tap for 2012!  Be sure to Follow us on Twitter and Like our page on Facebook to get the latest news on where the hot bite is and what’s working to put fish in the sack.

These are your winners…

Fletch accepts the Salty for "Best Guest Content"

Best Guest Content

As many of you know, I gave away a lot of fish over the course of the year.  My co-workers are the biggest beneficiaries.  I require they at least send me a pic and tell me how they cooked it.  Some go beyond the call.  One colleague in particular was a huge contributor to the blog.  Fletcher Dennison, aka Fletch, was a guest angler in the Cuda Madness video and contributed many entries to the blog over the course of 2011.  The best though was Fletch’s Fish Taco Sauce…a post that I refer back to pretty often, and one that gets a ton of hits via the search engines.  Thanks Fletch, enjoy the fish.

Best Video

I got better at making videos over the course of the year, but this early effort, was the biggest hit on YouTube and created quite a buzz around my home fishing community of Marina del Rey.  I’m of course talking about the aforementioned Cuda Madness video on the New Del Mar.

Biggest Surprise

This one was a tossup with Squid Trippin’ on the Spitfire, but in the end it could only go to the WSB caught in June…again on the New Del Mar.  I still can’t believe that nothing went wrong with that one after getting hit by that huge fish on my bass rod.  Getting that fish was huge also in terms of my Top 10.  I know people that have been fishing for years in SoCal and still don’t have a white seabass to their credit.  To get a quality one…on a half day boat…biggest and best surprise of the year.

Biggest Relief

As easily as I lucked into getting that white seabass, I had to work really hard at adding a Halibut to my Top 10 list.  I saw gargantuan ones come over the rail back in July off Santa Rosa Island the week that a new IGFA record was established for a California Halibut, but I wasn’t able to get one of my own.  Then on one of the last trips of the year, I caught a just legal flattie off Laguna Niguel.  Just goes to show that if you keep at it, good things can happen.  Thank you Dana Wharf!

Best Fight

The sailfish were bigger earlier this month, but the best fight of the year came on a little sidetrip I made to Long Island while visiting New York City for work.  Off Fire Island Inlet, with Captain Paul Mandella of Maybe Tonight Charters, I hooked into a 39lb striped bass.  My first ever striper and it was a tournament worthy fish…instant credibility with East Coast salties!  I made a video of it, but check out Paul’s version and listen to our comments (and tune out the clicker 😉 ).  Thanks Paul!

Best Fish

And the Big Salty goes to my son, Jake…aka Unsalted (as dubbed by Big Vic of the New Del Mar).  Jake and I visited the Pacific Northwest in August.  He and I fished with Captain Dan Porter of Fish With Dan guide service in Warren, Oregon.  On the first fish of the day, early in a chilly morning on the Columbia River, I watched Jake take down this monster fish.  It was so gratifying on so many levels…to watch my son calmly use everything I taught him to land that awesome fish, to share a father/son moment of a lifetime, to eat and share that beautiful fish with family and friends, and to catch the memory on video.  Totally priceless!


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