Thursday, December 8, 2016

     I hear that there's a few surfperch being caught now. The overcast days usually have the best bite, and its so cold you don't need to ice your catch. When you catch one you can warm your hands up just by holding your catch. The better part is warming your belly up with fried perch. The Dungeness crabbing inside Tomales Bay is actually holding up pretty well. It is still very possible to go without, but with a bit of luck and skill most crabbers are getting enough for dinner and a few are catching limits. One fellow working the pier caught ten Dungeness over the past weekend, so there's hope for the shore crabber as well. In the outer bay the reds outnumber the Dungeness by 5 to 1 on the South end. On the North side the traps outnumber the Dungeness....

Thursday, December 1, 2016

     Woooo-hoooh!!!! The testing is in and Dungeness crabs (South of Salt Point and North of the Eureka jaws) are clean enough to eat the guts! All right, you butter-lovers, break out the french bread. Also, commercial crabbers can set their gear in front of Bodega Bay starting at 6:00 AM tomorrow. So, if you were having trouble catching Dungeness in ocean before, it ain't getting any better. At least a lot of the boats have already headed North for their opener.
    P.S. Still don't eat the red/rock crab guts. Both because you're not supposed to and also yuck.

Monday, November 28, 2016

    Since we have had at least ten phone calls today asking about (or telling us that) the crabs being closed again, let me just say, no, they are not closed here for sport fishermen. The same rules are in effect, that is, crab is open but don't eat the guts (one of the easiest rules I've had to follow, I must say). Commercial crabbing is closed here because they sell the crab whole and they aren't allowed to sell a product with a portion of it exceeding the guidelines. So, go crabbing. Or don't. More for me.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

     Not much new to report. The weather has been mostly nice in the bay and mostly swell (big swell) in the ocean. We had a few days of decent water which let a couple boats get out for some excellent rockfish and lingcod fishing. The crabbing has been pretty good outside (not in the outer bay, but further out) and tapering off inside Tomales Bay. Still, a few guys are catching limits inside the bay with a combination of the right bait in the right place and getting up on the right side of the bed. There's surfperch to be had off of the beach and Gage says the jacksmelt action is good when the schools come through.

Friday, November 18, 2016

     So, the latest crab tests are in and the Bodega Dungeness crab passed. That's a good thing for eating crab but probably a bad one for catching them, as commercial season will likely get expanded to here as well. Fort Bragg had five of twelve crabs fail, so they'll probably only be opening up to Gualala or so. Numbers of crabs caught have remained good in the deeper spots and not so good in the outer bay. Inside Tomales Bay the Dungies have slowed a bit but are still coming in from both the pier and especially from boats. The deeper holes have been pretty consistent producers but usually only around the turn of the tide when the current slows down. Fast current in those holes means bye-bye gear when the buoys dive. The sand on the bottom can also shift over the top of the pot when the current is ripping. Please remember to weight your lines, as I drive on the bay and don't want to wreck your gear or my motor.
     Rockfishing has been good when you can get there here. Mostly you couldn't get out of Tomales because of the breaking bar but the sea dropped down for a couple days this week. Maybe Tuesday of next week it may be passable. If not, there's perch in the surf. There was a report of a "striped mackerel" about two feet long hooked and lost in the surf last weekend. They said it was not a striped bass. Water temps pushing 60 degrees, so bonito? Someone has to land one so we can find out. I sent my go-to guy but Gage could only catch perch. Which was okay.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

     These folks in the sweet 1964 Glasspar saw a small boat drifting towards the mouth of the bay (and certain doom, today) and decided that they had better help. They towed the other boat back to the pier and definitely saved the lives of those on board. For that, these are the heroes of the week. Thanks for making the water a safer place for all of us.
     Here's a pic and report from last weekend (sorry, I lost it in my inbox). Nick Mitten reports, "My dad, brother and I went out on Sunday. Dropped 3 pots and motor died after dropping the 3rd. We paddled back and picked up the pots. Decided to anchor for a couple hours and crab off the anchor. We had 7 pots off all ends of the 19ft boat. We picked up 20 crabs for three of us in 3 hours. Most were well over the crab gauge. 

 We would have stayed and limited at the rate we were going but we couldn't pass up the nice guys that offered to bring us back in with them. Awesome day overall, I'm glad we made the best of the floating pier. The bay was amazing Sunday. Here is my share" Way to save the day, Nick. It takes a special blend of luck and skill to break down over the right spot. I prefer to burn lots of fuel running to the wrong spots, but you do it your way and I'll do mine.