Friday, November 24, 2017

   Jamie Cooper caught this 13 pound lingcod today. There were quite a few lings brought in today but this was the largest one weighed in at the store. The crabbing was pretty good in the outer bay and inside Tomales Bay, at least for the guys that found the sweet spots. 

    Petaluma Newbie sent in this photo and report from Monday:"Not much of a report for today. It would've been very mundane day except that it was my dad's first time crabbing. It was his first time back up to the area in almost 30 years since he and my mom drug me up for annual family camping trips at Dillon beach back in the late '80's. We pulled out 4 keeper Dungeness today. I've caught more Dungeness and I've caught bigger Dungeness but I've never caught more memorable crab than I did today! We fished marker 5 and my "secret spot". You can publish this: the crab are further in the bay than anyone is fishing. I've had honest to goodness good trips every time out since the opener fishing further in the bay. I'm talking Pelican Point in the bay. I only found them due to the steep tides on opener Sunday pulling my buoys under. I had to move my gear in." That's some good knowledge.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

     Now this is a mixed bag. Dungeness crab, rockfish, and a 15 pound halibut make for a pretty darn good day and quite a bit of cleaning. 
     Here's the big fish of the day, a 17 pound green lingcod. Nicely done, gentlemen. On the crab counts, they're still getting some nice Dungeness both in and out of the bay. At least one boat returned from a bay trip only one crab short of two Dungeness limits by early afternoon, so they're out there (or they were).

   Here's a late report from Joe Burke (Mustang Baits) as relayed by Gage:"Steve Burke pictured (Joe's dad) got this halibut while searching for rockcod and lings, waiting to pull their 2 traps that held 25 each" It was nice of him to include a background shot so we can see where they caught it.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

    I may have to change the name of this blog to the "Eddie Kim Show." Mr. Kim and crew spanked the rockfish again today for limits of rockies and lings. It was a little slower for him the last couple of days but today he was ready for his photo op.

    Peter Kim caught this nice canary today. 

    Ted Costa caught this 21 pound lingcod today. During cleaning it was discovered that the bulge in this ling's belly was a couple-pound sculpin. Talk about indigestion.
     Sorry, no crab photos today. The bay still had some decent crab (lots of reds still but there were a few guys that caught up to eight Dungness), mostly for the boaters but there were still a few caught from the beach by snares. I heard a report from a commercial boat that on the opener he had 20-24 crab per pot on the first pull. Next day, second pass on the gear he averaged 4-6 crab per pot. Not a good sign when the numbers drop 75% the first day.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

    Here's a nice pile of fish caught by Eddie Kim last Friday. Last year Eddie would have allowed himself to be distracted by the Dungeness opener, but this year Mr. Kim has gone fish-loco. More crab for the rest of us, I guess. Eddie's report:"Great day of fishing 🎣 Tried for 2 more lings but no go." I think you went home with plenty. Nice work.

    Here's report from Lance Bain: "Lance Bain from Napa,  Not sure what the deal is but the crabbing is getting better, after a bunch of crabs on the smaller size opening weekend (still limits), pulled six pots for 35 crab in the outer-bay, close to a three pound average on the twenty in the attached Photo.  Hearing the same report now up and down the cost from friends." They're definitely running on the large side this year. I'd kinda like to see a few smaller ones in the mix for next year, but it's hard to complain when the big boys are in the pots.

    Jeff Hunter sent in these pics and note:"Plenty of healthy ones on Veterans Day in the bay for me and my family...gotta find the honey hole though. The 8" dinosaur was caught by my wife on a snare! Jeff" Looks like Jeff found the honey hole. You need to work that gear and find the right spot. If you aren't catching, move. No point in trying to catch crabs that aren't there. And there's way more "not there" spots than honey holes.

    Gage would like everyone to know that he's taking a break from his striper efforts to concentrate on Dungeness. These seven were caught just south of the pier.
     Here's a video that was sent in last week. at one point you can see a Dungeness walk up to the pot and then leave, as he didn't want to hang out with the reds already in the trap. Also, at the 27 minute mark, a Dungeness tries and fails to get in the trap. Is it bad when the crabs are too big for your pot?The other interesting part of this video (to me) is seeing how many nice sized perch there are across the bay. Doug S. sent a report with the video:"We made a video of our Crab Pot on Monday 11/6 hoping to catch some dungeness but only managed to get some Red Crab in the pot but got 6 dungeness in our hoop nets.  It is a long video but interesting to see it from the water perspective.  Feel free to share if you like.  Definitely was not hot on the Dungeness this year compared to the 18 we got on the Monday after opening weekend last year."

Friday, November 10, 2017

   There may not be as many crab out there as we were all hoping for. This pot had 13 nice Dungeness from 70 feet of water off of Abbotts Lagoon with an hour soak. The pot before it had two reds at the Towers. The same thing is happening in the outer bay, where the crabbing is getting location-specific and females and reds are already showing up in spots. It'll just take longer soaks in the right place. Cameron and I ended up with rockfish and Dungeness limits in a three-hour trip, so I'm not complaining (yet), but I don't think my short soaks will work after this coming week. Gage is up to ten Dungeness for the season so far, all from the pier. Randy from Reno arrived today, so Gage removed his traps from the pier "to give Randy some space." It was really because Gage doesn't want to attempt to compete with a pier legend even greater than himself. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

    Inside Tomales Bay there a few Dungeness caught but it was not the opener most people hoped for. I talked to one guy that said his crew had 34 Dungeness "across the bay", but the next best number I heard was five. It sounded like the East side of the bay was better and the pier even kicked out a few keepers for some lucky crabbers. Mostly it was red crab getting the boiling water spa treatment from the bay crabbing crowd, though. The outer bay was way better, not wide open, but most of the traps dropped out there had something good to eat in them when pulled. Ten Mile Beach had lots of crab but was too far away in the wind for most boats to make the run. Those that went caught their limits but took some abuse returning home. I did hear that 180 feet of water straight out front had a load of jumbos.
    Here's a late update and report from Kevin Fogal:"Lots of crab at ten mile , life jackets a must on Saturday , Sunday a whole lot nicer !!"

   Those are the kind of pictures that sell boats. Nice bugs, Kevin. Reports from in the bay were disappointing today as well. With a strong current from the extreme high/low tides this weekend, I wouldn't be surprised if there weren't as many pots lost as crab caught in the bay.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

    Yes, the rockfish are biting. Almost all of these were caught in about an hour and 15 minutes in 120 feet of water a couple miles south of Elephant. The last three rockfish took another 45 minutes after the fish quit biting at the turn of the tide. I'm not complaining, just explaining. The lings liked the big Kalin's scampi in rootbeer. 

     Last year Nick would have been in tears over letting a nice fish like this one go. See how much happier he is now?

   Cameron was a little bitter that we made him through this one back. I couldn't even comfort him with "maybe you'll catch him next year," because I still don't think it would be big enough. That fish had to work hard to fit a 5/0 hook in its mouth. 
    The weather looks wet for the weekend but the outer bay should still be doable from here if the swell doesn't get too big. The five to six footers they are calling for should be okay (if that's what we get). Wind in the teens, so Ten Mile might be an unpleasant ride but probably less crowded. Remember, put your GOID numbers on your buoys and please lead your lines, for your sake and for the rest of us. If someone runs over your floating rope and you lose your pot, IT IS YOUR FAULT. Just sayin'.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

   Well, those fish wouldn't bite last week so I guess that left them hungry after a while. Today they are biting. These gents caught "a bunch" of fish, including limits of lingcod up to 25 pounds. They still look happy in this photo because they haven't started cleaning fish yet. The one other boat that went today also clobbered the rockfish, so if the weather allows this weekend it might be a crab and rockfish combo for some. The rain will wash off the fish blood.