As we drive along Highway 1 in the southern half of Mendocino County, if we notice a sign saying “Coastal Access” we stop to check it out for its fishing potential. This was what happened back in March when we happened upon the Spring Ranch Nature Preserve, just south of the town of Mendocino. It’s very easy to miss, with a minimal parking area. And if you’re only interested in the ocean view, you’ll have to endure a fairly long hike before you get even a glimpse. In fact at some point, like me, you might start to wonder if you’re in the right place.
But just keep walking — it will be well worth the hike once you finally get there! We found not only a nice little secluded beach but a rocky shoreline. And while the rockfish proved elusive on this particular day, once the Big Guy switched to surf fishing on the beach, he caught a nice little kelp greenling. I think he likes this spot.