Joe Shirshac

My grandmother, Lucille Harris-Anderson (Gramma Boo), took my uncle Tom and I to William Land Park in south Sacramento to fish in the duck ponds when I was about 8 years old. She took us to Sears & Roebuck to buy us each a fishing outfit. Since then I have always loved fishing, which is still my favorite hobby today.

We use to take our summer family vacations to Santa Cruz every year. I guess I just fished anywhere I could find water? We would stay in tent cabins at the Sycamore Grove Camp Ground on the San Lorenzo River up in the coastal mountains about 20 miles from the beach in Santa Cruz.

When at the camp ground I would fish the river with dough balls for what ever I could catch. One day I caught a  big sucker fish that I brought back to camp. My little brothers were taking a shower, getting the sand off of themselves from a day at the beach. I took the dead fish on a stringer and threw it over the top of the community shower and that scared them a lot. They said they thought it was a bloody arm.

Every day after lunch we would head down to the beach for the day. I would go out on the Santa Cruz Wharf and fish with a hand line for what ever I could catch. I could buy a cup of cooked shrimp for 25 cents for bait. The fishing was very good off the pier in the 1950s. We would catch perch, flounder, king fish and tom cod.

After a shower and dinner at the camp ground we would pile into our station wagon and head down to the Santa Cruz Beach Board Walk for the evening. These were some of our best times…..

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