Monday, February 29, 2016

I like getting pictures of successful fishermen on here but I usually don't have to crane my neck so much to get the photo. This guy was having a hard time flying with the perch he caught. He was almost as proud as Gage but less lippy about it. Some guys went out yesterday evening and caught quite a few perch, so it's not just Gage and the ospreys; regular people can catch them, too.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

     If you want to catch a surfperch, better hurry before Gage catches them all. He thinks he can do it. The bite was around the top of the tide and the perch liked Berkeley Gulp! Saltwater Sandworms. According to the pro here, the fish bit on every cast; getting them to stick was a bit trickier. 
     The latest crab results posted on Friday. If I'm reading them correctly, Crescent City, Eureka, and Bodega Bay (Salt Point) have passed and probably will receive no further testing. Unfortunately, Trinidad (South), Fort Bragg, and Bodega Bay (Russian River) each had a bad crab or three. A second good test from Trinidad (North) and Bodega Bay (Bodega Bay) will clear them. We're getting awfully close to an opener in most places. Looking at the summary sheet, though, it seems that most of the places that have passed or are close to passing had readings like Fort Bragg's current numbers back in November and December. That could mean two months until Fort Bragg passes. At least that would give us a two month season....

Sunday, February 21, 2016

     When life gives you lemons you're supposed to make lemonade. I'm not sure what we're supposed to make with these jacksmelt....
     They're biting well, though.

Friday, February 19, 2016

    So, firstly, I didn't go crabbing. I thought about a lot, but there was too much other stuff to get done. Luckily for me my wife was busy too, or she'd just make me go. If another weather window comes by I'll have to see if we can sneak that trip in, but it better be a good window. According to Google Earth it's about 23 miles to open water on the East side of Chimney Rock. That's a little closer than an albacore trip, but not much.
    Also in crabbing, the new test results this week are the usual mix of hope and disappointment. If I read it correctly, Crescent City and Eureka may be in the clear with two sets of good tests. Trinidad, Fort Bragg and Bodega Bay are the only hold outs and it's not by much that they're failing. 13 out of 42 crabs were over the limit and most of those were just barely over. Of course, it only takes one to mess it up for everybody.
    There have been a few questions regarding cottons. Here's the actual regulation wording:
 (2) Starting August 1, 2016, crab traps shall contain at least one destruct device of a single strand of untreated cotton twine size No. 120 or less that creates an unobstructed escape opening in the top or upper half of the trap of at least five inches in diameter when the destruct attachment material corrodes or fails.
 What they are talking about is that piece of cotton string that held the door closed or the escape ring in place in your trap. You know, the one that rotted out and you replaced it with a tie strap? Gotta go back to the string. Good bait shops will be stocking the appropriate material by summer. We will, too.
    Salmon season may be coming up soon. When, where, and even if is to be determined. On March 2 there will be an informational meeting at the Sonoma County Water Agency office at 404 Aviation Blvd. in Santa Rosa from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM. I think it might be an interesting meeting. Almost surely not good or happy, but interesting.
    If you'd like to hang out with some salmon fishermen and have a good meal in the process, the 6th Annual Golden Gate Salmon Association Dinner is being held on April 1st. If you fish for salmon, or if you ever hope to fish for salmon in California, you should probably join the club. They need the bodies.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Just in case you were wondering what the crabs were up to while you weren't chasing them....

Looks like the crabs are getting ready for the cottons. Just be careful when the season finally opens for us.

Friday, February 12, 2016

    Here's a picture of something you can catch here. Well, at least Dan (pictured) can catch the perch. I'm told he's been pretty successful lately, and even with today's big seas he caught some. Be careful out there if you go (you too, Dan) as there's no fish worth your life.
    Speaking of things not worth your life, the big swell has shut down the mouth of the bay, at least for the next few days. This actually saves me some money, as now my wife wants to boat down past Point Reyes to go get some crab. That's about 20 miles one way, 100 miles home if the wind comes up (at least it feels like 100 miles of bad road). She did check with Fish and Wildlife and reported, "This afternoon I spoke with Captain Don Kelly of the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife in Monterey. He said, from an email from the Assistant Chief Steve Riske, that it indeed is legal to launch here, crab in the open area, then transport the (legally caught) crab and traps through the closed area back to the marina." It looks like the weather will be decent on Tuesday and I have a strong feeling that she might make me go on a tuna fishing-sized trip for crab. I don't even know where to drop gear down there, but I do know where not to. The MLPA maps are on the newer GPS units, thankfully. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Dungeness opens South of Point Reyes.


Wait, what?

Not here?

What the f###?

So, I guess you can catch Dungeness South of Point Reyes now. No red crab, and you can't catch them for money, but still, good for the other guys. Here are some better informational links:

Our newest results are here:  They are indicative of more sadness. Bodega crab tested positive where they had been fine, and passed where they had been a problem. Fort Bragg had a 50% fail (or pass, I shouldn't be so pessimistic) so they're out of it too. We're still weeks away at best. I'm going to go drink a Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball and go to bed before I write something on here that I have to remove later.......

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The numbers are in. They aren't as bad as they could be and not as good as we'd all like. At this point, two crabs in Crescent City, one crab in Trinidad, seven crabs in Fort Bragg, and two crabs at Bodega Bay (Salt Point) are holding us back. Everything is pretty close to passing except for Fort Bragg. Those crabs are going to take a bit longer. My guess at the timing of the opener now is that it will be sometime during the clutch/molt period when the crab will be hard to catch and the ones you catch are hollow. That's probably 4 to 6 weeks away. Well, at least it will be an opportunity to try.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

     Crabs for testing were collected at a number of ports last week and the results of the tested crab are coming in. Eureka scored a double perfect with both tests where they need to be. Fort Bragg, well, they're working on it. These numbers just posted this morning, so we might see Bodega numbers by tomorrow. Of course, they all need to be perfect before we get the go ahead. In case you missed it in the comments, :"Crabs were delivered from District 10, January 27th at 2pm to the FDA. The FDA has a lot of other work to contend with besides crab. We are on the waiting list. Weather can be a factor in north coast water. From a commercial fisherman of 37 years
Please post this on your blog if you can." Yes, we're all anxious to go crabbing, but most of us aren't worried about losing our homes like a lot of the "commies" are. At least we can literally afford to be patient.
     There's not much fishing going on, but with this fresh water coming in the bay now it would be a good time to try for sharks and rays in the deeper holes (like behind Pelican Point, White Gulch, or the "ditch" that runs between Cyprus Grove and Sacramento Landing) or stripers/sturgeon in the shallow water past Inverness.