We caught the first albacore, a hefty 30-pounder, just as dawn broke. The mighty tuna, captured 50 miles off the coast of Mexico, was caught on a lure anglers call a "Mexican flag" for its vibrant red, white and green colors. Over the next five hours, we had one hookup after another.
Our Mexican adventure took place on the overnight charter Go For Broke, a 58-foot Norseman out of San Diego, and it was the first of its kind for my good friend Dixie, my son and my nephew. The fishing exceeded expectations, with a few double and triple hookups and some frantic maneuvering as we shuffled positions to keep our lines from tangling. We boated some 20 albacore, all in the 25 to 30 pound range.
By the time we reached the dock later that day, we were wobbly and bobbing, exhausted but exhilarated.
After an all-night run and precious little sleep en route to the outer bank, we spent the next day sleeping and recovering from our adventure.
In an effort to get my land legs back once I was rested up, I ventured to the 3rd Corner, a wine shop, wine bar and restaurant in the Ocean Beach community of San Diego. My brother had been urging me to check it out for quite some time and it's a cool hangout for wine lovers. The wine selections are diverse and reasonably priced.
One room is devoted to whites, the other to reds, with diverse selections from around the world: California, the Priorat region of Spain, France's Rhône region, Australia, Germany, Washington state and beyond. There were also lots of rosés. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable.
A wine bar is in the middle of the store, with a reserve room behind the bar housing special bottlings. The food we had was very good: olives, grilled prawns, duck confit, sautéed scallops and clam chowder. You can dine inside among the wine racks and floor stacks or outside in the walled patio area.
As a beach town crowded with surfers and sunbathers, Ocean Beach is hardly a gastronomic hotbed—although a long-time local favorite, Thee Bungalow, is right across the street from the 3rd Corner—which makes the wine shop/bar all the more alluring. It’s a wine haven in surf city.