Saturday, October 28, 2017

    I was looking through some photos trying to find a nice picture to post in honor of Dungeness season opening next Saturday. I found a few pictures from opening day about 15 years ago. This is surely one of the stranger catches during crab season. It's also a cautionary tale about tequila. Let's just say that drinking and driving is never okay, especially in mom's pickup. 
   One other thing, remember, no crab pots can be used now until Dungeness opens up.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Not much of a report, but in the last couple of days there were a couple of boats fishing but not much catching. Tuesday a boat trolled from Hog Island to Tony's Seafood and back to Tom's Point for a grand total of one short halibut. Two boats went rockfishing yesterday for a grand total of five fish between them. Today's rockfish numbers were three fish for two boats. The big swell might have given the rockies lockjaw but it doesn't look like we'll get a chance to find out if their mouths will open, as more big swell arrives soon for the weekend. Maybe next week.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

    Thank you Abfish for pointing this out. Yesterday the Coast Guard spent all day in boats and helicopters searching for a missing boater. He's been found, but not like you'd expect:
    Sounds like a possible sequel to Fargo, but I'm sure that there's a completely reasonable explanation.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Crab season must be getting close. You can tell just by looking at the size of the ocean. Looks like it will be all bay action this weekend. Hopefully there will be some bay action. It's been a bit slow....

Saturday, October 14, 2017

     In the midst of much turmoil, there's always rockfish. They're like the ocean's comfort food. Not much else happening now, just waiting for Dungeness season and a good rain. Hopefully the rain comes well before the crab.

Friday, October 6, 2017

     No pictures of Joe G. today, but there's a few salmon down on Ten Mile. The area around the Keyholes and to the south has had some salmon biting out in about 60 feet of water. Too bad the wind is supposed to howl over the weekend. It'll be beautiful the rest of the week, probably. Also in the news, the Department of Fish and Wildlife have announced the official new rockfishing depths to be in effect on October 16. It's basically back to what it was last year. For a more thorough description,  the press release follows (please note the suggestion towards the bottom to do your rockfishing somewhere away from the rocks, where the yelloweyes live):

Changes to Recreational Groundfish Regulations Effective Oct. 16

Yelloweye rockfish 
CDFW photo
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announces new restrictions on recreational fishing for groundfish in waters north of Point Conception to the Oregon/California border. Changes to authorized fishing depths described below take effect Monday, Oct. 16 at 12:01 a.m.
, and will remain in place through the remainder of 2017.
The recreational groundfish fishery depth restrictions will be as follows:
  • Northern Management Area (Oregon/California border to Cape Mendocino): Take is prohibited seaward of 20 fathoms (120 feet) in depth. The 'all-depth' groundfish fishery slated for November and December 2017 in this area is canceled.
  • Mendocino Management Area (Cape Mendocino to Point Arena): Take is prohibited seaward of 20 fathoms (120 feet) in depth. The 'all-depth' groundfish fishery slated for November and December 2017 in this area is canceled.
  • San Francisco Management Area (Point Arena to Pigeon Point): Take is prohibited seaward of the 30 fathom depth contour (180 feet).
  • Central Management Area (Pigeon Point to Point Conception): Take is prohibited seaward of the 40 fathom depth contour (240 feet).
  • Southern Management Area (Point Conception to the US/Mexico border): Take is prohibited seaward of the 60 fathom depth contour (360 feet). No changes are slated for this area.
The 20 fathom depth restriction is described by the general depth contour (California Code of Regulations (CCR) Title 14, Section 27.20(a)). The 30, 40 and 60 fathom depth contours are defined by straight lines connecting the waypoints as adopted in federal regulations (Code of Federal Regulations Title 50, part 660, subpart G).
Based on recent bycatch estimates for yelloweye rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus) from the California sport fishery, CDFW projects that the harvest guideline specified in federal regulation for 2017 (3.9 metric tons) will be exceeded unless changes are made. Pursuant to CCR Title 14, Section 27.20(e), CDFW has the authority to make modifications to the fishery to avoid exceeding the limit, and must issue notice of any changes at least 10 days in advance of the effective date.
Yelloweye rockfish is a long-lived, slow-growing shelf rockfish species that was declared overfished in 2002 and cannot be retained in the recreational fishery. It is currently managed under a strict federal rebuilding plan that has required significant cutbacks to West Coast sport and commercial fisheries for more than a decade, to allow the population to recover.
Although fishing for rockfish and other groundfish will remain open through the end of the year, CDFW urges anglers to avoid fishing in areas where yelloweye rockfish are known to occur (for example rocky outcrops and pinnacles). If taken, yelloweye rockfish should be immediately returned to the water with a descending device to minimize injury and mortality. CDFW also encourages anglers who encounter them to change fishing locations to prevent catching additional yelloweye rockfish.
For more information regarding groundfish regulations, management, stock status, fish identification tools, and current catch trends, please visit the CDFW Marine Region Groundfish website. For further information about how depth limits are defined, read this article published on the CDFW Marine Management News blogsite earlier this year.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

     Joe G. and his team mooched up some more salmon last week. Apparently, this is what they were doing while I was out burning fuel and chasing dreams of tuna. The wind over the weekend caused a lot of upwelling and has cooled off both the inshore and offshore waters, probably cooling my tuna fever as well (for now). 
     Cold water should also mean a minimal chance for domoic acid to shut down the Dungeness season, and with the current good test results it looks like we have a season. For you crabbers, remember to make sure your GOID numbers on your buoys are still legible and replace your cottons. Also, don't try to be cute and drop your pots early before Dungeness opens, as it is now illegal to use a trap a week before the Dungy opener. It appears to me that crab snares, referred to as "crab loop traps" in the regulations, are also not to be used during the trap closure. Crab nets may still be used for red crab during this period.