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.
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 repel down on fishing lines to awaiting customers to supply permits, poles, and live 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.
Venture out onto open waters to see how the other half of the animal kingdom lives and tastes. For $29, today's Groupon gets you five hours of fishing on a licensed and Coast Guard–inspected boat, all the necessary rods and lines, and a food voucher for the boat's galley from Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching (a $58.50 value). Kids 12 and under can come along and try their wriggly-wrasslin' skills for $22. And though, like barnacles on a whale's belly, kids can tag along with an adult for free on the 12:45 p.m. Sunday trips, you can buy here for a child's ticket good for any day of the week.
The Hottest 100 Music Festival paints the weekend in shades of competitive euphony as up to 200 bands, artists, and DJs strive for their place in the top 100. For two days, the scenic grounds of Irvine Lake are saturated in 12 unrelenting hours of melody, as bands representing every genre and necktie technique trade barbed jabs and retorting riffs across eight stages. Headlining Saturday's stable of hungry rock hippos, electro hip-hop trio Hyper Crush exercises irrepressible crunkitude, and the mirror-mesmerizing posse of It Boys! taunts audiences by eating multiple servings of songs without gaining weight. Sunday's supernova includes the hardcore crew of Stick to Your Guns, the brawny pop-punk of A Static Lullaby, and a special set from noted headbangers Bleeding Through, whose thrash metal solicits whiplash and spare change to launder a load of black T-shirts.
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.
The oar claspers of Newport Harbor Kayak Fishing expertly tour the harbor's hotspots for bass, halibut, and even warm-weather barracuda or bonito. Most of the bay's feisty pisces will gamely battle dugout-buoyed sportsmen, quite unlike the capitulating barrel-flounder. The glassy, eelgrass-tufted waters of Newport Harbor are the most popular tour destination of these paddle-powered trawlers, and one of the few homes globally to the spotted bay bass. Lure casters of all skill levels should consult the list of requisite gear, which includes sunscreen, food and water, and drenchable clothing. Live bait, if desired, is purchasable on-site for about $20. This tour is for catch-and-release fishing only, so don't plan on taking home any souvenirs for mounting or alibi confirmation.
The captains of Newport Landing Sportfishing are experts at coaxing whales and dolphins to appear for passengers on their whale-watching cruises. While at sea, do your part to help attract these mighty creatures by following these hints: