Monday, December 30, 2013

Cameron Vogler caught this 16 lb lingcod on a 7" swimbait in 110' of water off of Abbott's Lagoon. The boat ended up with six lings and 50 rockfish, most of them caught under a bunch of squid in 160' of water off of Abbott's. The other boats that went out also did well on the rockcod. Only one more day for the rockfish and then we're all waiting for salmon to re-open. The outer bay still had some decent Dungeness, even for the day crabbers, but the pier was pretty slow. Randy caught four and most of them were from the overnight soak.
The bar was breaking off and on all day yesterday, especially in the afternoon during the low tide. Once out on the ocean the water was great as long as you stayed out of the shallows. The reef at the Trees had a big break and a couple of surfers taking advantage of it. 

Tom McHale demonstrates the proper way to relax and get dinner. Note the sea conditions. This is December?

Friday, December 27, 2013

The quarantine on bivalve shellfish has been expanded to all of Tomales Bay. To clarify, do not eat clams, cockles, or mussels from the bay. Last spring during the quarantine, a lady in the store commented that she didn't have to worry because she would be eating her clams in Santa Clara county, not by Tomales Bay. I'm afraid that it doesn't work like that. Crab is still OK when you can catch them. The rockfish are still biting well in the ocean although the East wind is making for a very strange drift. The outer bay is still kicking out a few crabs. One boat yesterday caught a limit of Dungeness on a half-day soak. The pier is pretty slow. Randy from Carson City is only catching 2 to 4 per day. The bar has been breaking every so often, so great care should be taken when crossing it. The swell is forecast to build this weekend so Tomales Bay might get shut out from the ocean.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The rockfish are still biting out there and the forecast is good this week. Cameron and Gage here got limits of rockfish and lingcod about a mile below Elephant Rock. They're still smiling in the photo because they haven't started cleaning fish yet. There's still a few crab around, with the high boat yesterday catching 26 Dungeness inside the bay. Most guys didn't do as well but it proves that there are crabs there, the rest of us just can't seem to catch them. At least, I can't.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The crabbing in the outer bay was hit-and-miss over the weekend. My pots were a miss with five Dungeness for four pots overnight, but the guys crabbing around me got half limits or better. Crabbing from the pier was painfully slow with reds making up the vast majority of the catch. Rockfishing was good, especially for the guys that fished a bit deeper. The fishermen I talked to caught limits of both rockfish and lings. The California Department of Public Health has cleared the clams from Hog Island to the mouth of the bay and it is only further back into the bay that the "do not eat" advisory is in effect. Here's a map:

Friday, December 13, 2013

The crabbing has slowed down to a point where day fishing will only produce a few if you're lucky and overnight soaking will produce some for whoever pulls the pot first. The outer bay has been a great place to get pirated. (UPDATE: An intrepid pair of fishermen limited on Dungeness while day fishing the outer bay. Maybe the trick is to not go crabbing with me. They also limited on rockcod.) Marker 5 had five Dungeness for a day fisher on Tuesday which worked out to less than one per pot. Still, more than I caught on Ten Mile last week. The day I caught four some fellows caught twelve on the pier, but those catch numbers have slid to ones and zeroes since then. There have been some beautiful big blacks caught close by the mouth of the bay this week along with some decent lings. I have no knowledge of any recent big lingcod but I did hear that some of the commercial crab pots near Point Reyes had baby octopus in them. I'm headed that way tomorrow with my ling gear.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

This 19 pound lingcod came from the reef off of the Towers today, along with six other lings and 50 rockfish. There were a lot less commercial crab pots off of Ten Mile, probably because there are a lot less crab there. After four hours we caught four Dungeness in eight pots. I think I might try a different spot next time. I heard that it slowed down in the bay and even from the pier as well. The weather looks good for Sunday if you can dress warm enough. I was concerned that my hands would be too numb to fish today but luckily the wind eased up and it warmed up. As I write this, though, my fingers still feel like I hit them with a hammer this morning.