Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The latest crab results are from Santa Barbara and are actually good. So, good north, good south, not so good in the middle. Not too far from good, though, so maybe it won't be too long. I'll probably be saying that right through June, but who knows, it could actually happen. There were a few rockfish caught yesterday to the couple of boats that got out and then kind of wished they hadn't when the sea came up. They made it back okay, but watch it out there, guys, these fish aren't that good.

Monday, December 28, 2015

   There were some new crab numbers released on Christmas Eve. On the good side, they were finally able to test in Crescent City, Trinidad, Eureka, and Fort Bragg. Everything looked good except for a borderline result in Eureka. There was also a new set of tests out of Bodega. This time the crab at the Russian River and Point Reyes were good. They dropped a pot in the outer bay, too, and that pot had four of the six crab fail. So we are close but not quite there. If the seas stay reasonably low (less than 20') I believe we could see clean crab in two weeks. Then all we need is a second good test a week later. That just requires good weather for three weeks. No problem.
   A couple of boats got out from here for some rockfishing this weekend. They fished between Elephant and Tomales Point and got a few but didn't load up. I heard of a few guys that went further and did much better. From the beach, there should be some perch still around and usually this is the time of year when a few large stripers show up in the surf.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Here's some more results.  My summary: Maybe February. For the record, it won't be visions of sugarplums dancing in my kids heads on Christmas Eve, but visions of Dungeness crab.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The newest numbers from Santa Barbara are good but results for Half Moon Bay on the 15th would seem to indicate that the big seas kicked up the crud. A seventeen crab test had nine fail. Here's the results. No tests from the north, probably because they can't even get out of the harbors. Oregon opened for sport crab in their southern portion of the state, so it might be clean on our end as well, but who can tell if they can't get out and sample? Bummer...

Thursday, December 17, 2015

There are some newer but not better crab testing numbers, here.  Looks like a fail at Monterey and two at Santa Barbara. It's just like starting over. I know we're all eager for our chance to go get some crab, but the numbers just aren't there yet. Yes, the numbers the Department of Public Health are looking for are pretty far below where you'd feel any effects from the domoic acid, but keep in mind that they aren't testing every crab in the ocean. Remember the 1000 ppm crab? Only because you didn't eat him. Since the sample size is so small compared to the actual number of crabs in the ocean, they need to exercise an abundance of caution. Have you read this article about the sea lions? I am no fan of the fur bags, but reading about the effects of the DA neurotoxin on them makes me feel bad for them. A little. It also makes me not want to take any chances on my or someone else's health. No crab is hurting my business. It's a ghost town down here. But I'd rather have a short season than have someone get sick and then have no crab season for a decade.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

New crab results here.  Bodega Bay (Russian River) failed and Half Moon Bay went up. The water has been cold and there hasn't been another bloom, but the scientists said that some of the domoic acid will stay in the sediment. It could be that the big swells stirred it up. If so, since the swell was even larger after the tests were taken, we may see the numbers go up again. Maybe an opener a month from now isn't going to happen. My final thought on the subject I will keep to myself.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

     Here's a picture sent in by Scott Mason from early this last week. I'd like to tell you that the ocean was like this all week, but she was in more of a murderous mood for the last few days. 24 foot seas are best experienced from the beach. 
     There are a few new crab test numbers to look at, here, but not too much different to report. Monterey is still good but Santa Barbara had its last set of tests narrow up the results to a borderline fail. No more 1000 ppm crab, at least. It looks like no Santa Crab this year but maybe still a chance for an opener in January. 
     I almost forgot to tell you how Scott did with his fishing. I think he said it best with this:

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

    Looks like there's a few barred surfperch out on the beach. These were caught yesterday. Unless the photographer had really small hands, these are pretty nice-sized perch. Speaking of surfperch, check out this surf fishing website for tips. Also, I found this journal entry of his to be quite entertaining and educational. Apparently the white sea bass have been lurking down there for a while.
     While I'm linking to things, here's a kind of cool tool, especially if you're shopping for new electronics and what to see what's out there. Navionics has put their chart online, here. For the record, it does show the MPAs.
     No new crab numbers yet....

Monday, December 7, 2015

    We've got a few more results in, here. The most recent numbers from Bodega Bay, Half Moon Bay/San Francisco Bay, and Crescent City show passing grades. That's six out of nine with the remaining three due to be tested this week. Crab season could actually happen, people.
    Boy, the threats of showing more pictures of Gage really worked! Here's some photos with their stories.
Saw your request for pics so here’s one. Caught this off of Elephant in 120’ of water, root beer scampi tipped with squid. Hopefully see you guys end of this month. Wanna try and get one more trip in before cod closes and if weather is nice.

Since you asked for pictures... We "found" this Mola Mola fish in the bay about a mile off shore on 10/16/15. My son, Michael (holding the fish), noticed it from a distance floating on its side being pecked at by a seagull. He scooped it up with a net and we thought it was probably dying. To our surprise, when he put the fish back in the water, it swam straight down like a rocket. When we got home to Davis, we identified the fish (a baby since Mola Mola are reported to reach 5,000 lbs!) and discovered that the surface floating, bird pecking behavior is normal apparently used to relieve the fish of parasites. Amazing! The photo was taken by Michael's girlfriend, Naomi Juarez.

Stan Artz

Caught off Elephant rock. Too pretty to keep. Threw it back.

  Thanks to Stan, Nick Nichols and Chris Valenzuela for sending their photos. For the record, Chris, I would not have thrown the Tiger rockfish back for its beauty. I'd like to think, or at least I'd like you to think, that I'd have done it because he was foul hooked. I am glad to see that someone else jigs their iron like I do. As a wise man once told me, "Set the hook like you want to rip their lips off." 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

    So. There was a meeting last week where we learned that Fish and Wildlife are going to stick with the plan and open only after they've had a double "all-clear." Kind of disappointing but kind of expected in a risk-averse bureaucracy in a litigious society. So. Of the nine sampling sites, three tested clear on their most recent tests and the other six are close. If they test this week I would be surprised if there weren't seven passing grades. Santa Barbara needs to take care of their loose cannon, 1000 ppm red crabs. I mean, what the hell, SB? Are you trying to make Fort Bragg look better after their screw-up? Trying to make them look better by making a bigger ass of yourself is just sad. The most recent numbers can be viewed here.
    On the fishing front there were a few rockfish caught this week during a brief calmer spell. Nobody has sent in any photos to post, so I'm going to have to dig through my discard pile for pictures. Send your pictures to lawsonslanding@gmail.com , please, even if they're from last summer. Anything is better than this: