Sure, you could take bait, stick it through a hook attached to a fishing line, then wait around to see if anything bites. Or you could just dive right in and go get the fish yourself. The L.A. Fathomiers, who have been around as long as Sputnik 1 has, are doing just that– diving, spearfishing and game fishing, but with a responsible eye toward conservation.

If you've ever been interested in getting an up-close view of the underwater bounties that Southern California has to offer, there isn't a better group to help guide you along. They do most of their fishing in Laguna Beach, Palos Verdes and Malibu, though “…not Santa Monica Bay,” Fathomier Eric Banades tells us. “There's too much lead and mercury.” Banades also made sure to add that, “we only take back what we're going to eat. The rest we release.” At the moment, they're catching white seabass, halibut, bass and calico.

The group is open to enthusiasts of all types of diving, like scuba, though they're best known for their merits in free diving. They also hold annual, competitive meets and have a regular banquet and award ceremony. Their next dive competition is Sunday, November 16th.

The Fathomiers welcome anybody who's interested, regardless of age, sex, race, religion or physical ability, and have meetings on the second Thursday of every month at 7 PM, at the Round Table Pizza in Torrance. See their website for more information, then start fishing.

LA Weekly