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The Harbor Report: A clubhouse away from home

March 28, 2013|By Len Bose
  • The Balboa Angling Club.
The Balboa Angling Club. (Courtesy LEN BOSE )

Back in March 2011, I wrote a story titled "Longing for simple life of small clubhouse." Well, I found it, and it was right in front of me all this time. In fact, the Balboa Angling Club has been around for the last 87 years.

Looking through its history, all the original Newport Harbor names are there: Summers, Beek, Atkinson, Sawyer and Crocker, just to name a few, are all in the club's history books. The 1939 objectives for the club still stand strong today: "To aid in all plans for conservation of the fishing resources of California" and "To promote salt water fishing as a sport; to encourage and improve angling in local waters; and to promote sport fishermen in general."

When I walked into the clubhouse, located in the Fun Zone next to Hill's fuel dock, I thought, "This is it — it's the perfect small clubhouse." Self-serve bar, BBQ, dock, view of the harbor, crane, heads, shower, everything. A long history of members, awards, recognition for outstanding achievements within our harbor are lined up around the walls. The best part of this whole deal is that it is free and open to the public.

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Please keep in mind that if you find yourself hanging out at the club and wanting to take part in all the events, it's going to cost you a whole $16 a month for the family to be an official member. If you want to find an activity for your kid to get out of the house, a Jr. Membership for ages 21 and younger is a whole $1.60 a month. Membership is at 300 members and is open at this time. Back in the 1950s, membership reached as high as 700, but the club today runs best at 350 members before it feels the impact. The saying around the club is "Once you join the Balboa Angling Club, you will be hooked for life."

Today, as you read this, the club is working with Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute in the White Seabass Enhancement Plan. Our harbor fishermen all know this, but I was surprised to find out that 2,500 juvenile white sea bass a year are trucked up and placed in the bass fish pens in our mooring fields. They are being placed in a type of ice bin that you place a beer keg in and transported out to the fish pens one scoop at a time. After the juveniles are placed in these fish pens, volunteers from the Balboa Angling Club go out every day to take water temperatures, look for problems and report back to the Hubbs group. This is no simple task, and the variables seem as difficult as putting a boat deal together or making fine wine.

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