Diamond Valley Lake plays a critical role in the well-being of Southern Californians. When major droughts befall the region, the reservoir is among the first emergency resources to be tapped for fresh water, and it can sustain Southern California's 18 million inhabitants for up to six months.
Otherwise, the lake is much more about having fun, and Diamond Valley Marina helps people do just that. Though bodily contact with the water is not permitted, visitors can rent a boat from the marina and cruise across the 7-square-mile body of water surrounded by red hills. The fishing alone is reason enough to make a visit to Diamond Valley, and many do every year to try and haul up the black bass, bluegill, rainbow trout, and catfish that live beneath the waters, brazenly breaking the clearly stated no-body-contact laws. Nonfishers, meanwhile, can be content with relaxing on a rental pontoon from the marina or hiking or riding horses on the trails that rim the lake edge.
Carlsbad Lagoon's on-water adventures take place at a private beach area lined by palm trees. Here, wakeboards, waverunners, and water skis speed across the water’s surface, bouncing into the air with each wave. The fleet also boasts more leisurely watercraft, such as kayaks and aqua cycles—oversized, buoyant tricycles that fulfill the dream of every child who drove his big wheel into the bathtub.
Of course, Carlsbad Lagoon doesn’t leave its customers to paddle hopelessly in circles. The staff includes instructors, who teach the basics of the various on-water activities. The aquatic educators also run a children's camp.
First String Sportfishing sails the open seas off of Southern California, taking passengers on both fishing voyages and educational marine tours. Its largest boat, First String, can hold up to 149 people for its whale-watching tours. On board the 93-foot boat, you’ll find two 9-ton fish holds, two radars, a large-screen television, and a dolphin-to-English dictionary. First String Sportfishing’s other boats depart for both Californian and Mexican waters on fishing excursions. These trips typically yield shallow-water rockfish such as Sculpin and Whitefish and larger varieties including yellowtail and barracuda.
Dana Wharf Whale Watching's expert crews and skippers glide their watercrafts on the open seas so visitors can soak up sunshine while searching for rare and endangered whales as they migrate south to avoid tax season. Expert captains steer crafts through frothy spumes and narrate each trip, educating passengers on the abundant life beneath the glassy waters. Voyagers can either venture into the boat's full-service galley for a hot meal or bring their own food and nonalcoholic drinks to stave off hunger and resist eating the ocean's jagged, hamburger-shaped coral.
Staff Size: 3 people
Average Duration of Services: 1?2 hours
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Brands Used: Lani Fishing
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
Pro Tip: Enjoy being outdoors and have an interest in fishing different techniques.
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Fly fishing the simple way with Tenkara.
When and how did you first develop a passion for your work?
I started fishing as a little kid using a bamboo cane pole. I saw an older fellow using the first spinning rod that I had ever seen and said to myself, "Someday I am going to have one of those." I have enjoyed fishing in salt water and fresh water my whole life. I decided to start this business trying different methods of fishing. The Tenkara method was so simple to do, so I knew others of any age would enjoy it, and people that have a physical disability would also have fun with it. There is no reel involved.
As the old adage says, "Stuff happens." What training do you and your staff have to stay ahead of the unexpected?
As we go through life, I have found that sometimes going back to simpler methods of doing something you enjoy is actually a lot more fun and brings out the kid in you. It is important to share with others when you find something so enjoyable, especially in these times we live in.
Have you ever been a patron of your own business? If so, what was the most enjoyable part?
Seeing the happiness of others.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Tenkara fly fishing consists of a rod, line, and a fly?a very simple method of fly fishing that almost anyone can enjoy doing, even with those with some physical disabilities.
While seated in a boat on Laguna Niguel Lake, visitors feast their eyes on the surrounding rolling hills and lush forestry while taking advantage of 44 acres of fishing spots. The staff constantly stocks the waters with new fish, sending thousands of pounds of rainbow trout, catfish, and other species to swim amid the watery depths. With the fishing arena prepared, they then rappel down on fishing lines to awaiting customers to supply permits, poles, and bait, which they use to entice bluegill and other aquatic passersby.
Though all share the same lake, visitors can embark on fishing adventures in multiple ways. They can wrestle with carp from the lakeside, steer a rented boat, or bob across the water in float tubes, a single-person watercraft reminiscent of the floating easy chairs used by retired penguins.