Sittin' on the dock of the bay

For an alternative outing, try a day of fishing and barbecuing in a serene setting near both the ocean and the mountains.

bridge 88 248 (photo credit: Courtesy)
bridge 88 248
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Sitting in the morning sun I'll be sitting when the evening comes... Watching the tide roll away I'm just sitting on the dock of the bay I think Otis Redding was talking about San Francisco, but he could have written similar lines about a somewhat hidden lake near Zichron Ya'acov. Located between the fish ponds of Ma'ayan Zvi, Park Hadayig (Fishing Park) offers a quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of urban life where visitors are welcome to kick back for half a day, a full day, or even overnight. Banks jut out into the water - which is a mix of aquifer and seawater - as do fishing piers. If you don't have your own equipment, you can rent from the proprietors. Slip your bait onto the hook, cast your line and kick back waiting for the fishies to bite. And they will. While it's best - and encouraged - to release your catch, you are allowed to keep it if you so choose. You can even have the people at Park Hadayig clean the fish and cook them on the spot for you. There are large tanks full of fish for the kids to go net-fishing in if instant gratification is a concern. Whatever they scoop up, they just dump back into the water. Once, the spot that is now a fishing park was just agricultural land. And before that, it was swamp area. But in this country, people find ways to capitalize on whatever they can, taking what's already there and figuring out how to market it. Thus, an old water-powered flour mill stands prominently among the attractions at Park Hadayig. It functioned as recently - or as long ago - as 1918. It goes down a few floors, and up a few floors. Currently, there is a photo exhibition of the area's water fowl hanging in the mill. By the way - the entrance to the mill is also where you rent your fishing gear. Park Hadayig has grassy areas for picnicking, barbecuing and sunbathing, and there are kiddie pools and advanced jungle gyms to keep the little ones happy. Paddle boats can be taken out into the water and you can get some help baking fresh pitot in an outdoor oven. Channels of water crisscross the area, with constantly flowing water keeping the supply fresh year-round. This abundance of water and fish brings more than just human tourists; water fowl like to hang out at Park Hadayig too. While many used to be migratory, a large number stick around instead of flying on. You can observe the different birds flying over the water and snatching their meals from the lake and fish ponds on the way. There are little cabins for rustic spa treatments, if that's what you're looking for. Just arrange it in advance. And if you're up to camping, Park Hadayig will hook you up with fridges, showers and beach access for the duration of your stay. Which, depending on your love of water, you may end up wanting to extend. The details PARK HADAYIG Kibbutz Ma'ayan Zvi (04) 639-1603 or 050-756-6600 Entrance: NIS 39/person Camping: NIS 60/person Rod & bait rental: NIS 20 Fish: To keep what you catch, NIS 25 to NIS 28 Hours: Daytime, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Overnight, from 6 p.m. until 4 p.m. the following day.