Friday, March 30, 2018

     Ed Parsons was trying his luck for stripers last night. No surf stripers for him but he found a barred perch that took his popper. 

    Here's a perch preparation suggestion. I'm told it was delicious.

   Here's another picture from the past with a pretty good story:"So my son buys this striper boat, motor blows up, he can’t afford to fix it and it sits
So I tow it home and being the nice dad I am I spend thousands and fix the boat in our driveway
So I ask the wife who had never been in the pacific ocean to lets go for a test run
I had only been on charter boats and with a buddy couple times
Boat running good and we drop some lead balls with hoochies and we proceed to limit off bird rock
Awesome day and we are now hooked, hopefully we have some salmon & season this year
Went to Tomales schools with Mike & Chris Lawson

Rick Pozzi"
    As far as other fresh reports, the Dungeness is picking up a bit inside the bay. It's not quite good, but the guys fishing snares have been catching a few from Sand Point. Further inside the bay the surface water has crept up over 60ºF and as that warmth starts to soak in the halibut should be picking up. 

Sunday, March 25, 2018

     I guess everyone was really tired of seeing Gage's hands. Scott from Auburn sent in this photo:"Hi Willy, saw you are looking for fish pictures? Here is one of my dad( far left) back in 1952, that's my grandad's boat in the back ground. This was taken in point pleasant nj, and the fish are blue fish, mean fighting fish! Lost my dad last month at 95, he taught me my love for fishing. His best friend (centered) they fished together into their late 70's." Sorry to hear about your dad's passing on, Scott, but maybe this photo and story will get somebody else out fishing with their dad. Or mom, brother, cousin, aunt/uncle, whoever. Just do it.

    Richard Baratta sent in this photo:"Hey Willy
Here is striper a caught a while ago on the beach at the entrance to Lawson's Landing, just in case everyone forgot what they look like" I have almost forgotten. That fishing spot is where Gage has been catching the perch lately.
    Everybody is tired of looking at Gage. This picture was sent in by Gage's mom. That's Gage's great-grandfather and Uncle Dean. His fishing genetics run deep on both sides. 
    Over this weekend the perch fishing slowed down quite a bit, probably from a mix of larger seas and bright skies. The crabbing was okay for a few but mostly there were more crabbers than crabs. The water temp by Marshall looks like it's pushing up around 58 degrees and should be about ready for bit of early halibut action in the next few weeks.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

     Finally, someone else's hand with a perch. Alex Eaton says "I got these fish when I was fishing with Gage In January at the landing! And here’s a guitarfish Gage and I got in late December"

    In the freshwater category we have these pictures from "Local Legend" Gerard Fitzgerald, who apparently is fishing for crappie while waiting for the salmon and halibut to get going. It looks like he may have figured out how to catch 'em.

    In the junior division we have "Eight year old Teo Lally with a 21 pounder.  Still the biggest of his young 9 year career.  He doesn't mention it came on grandmas ( Marla Parsons )pink rod and reel!"

    Flashing back to 2015, Ed Parsons submits this:"Old picture but worth a thousand words.  Two blue fin in one day.  Still the landing record! " It's a new year, though, Ed. All records are made to be broken.

    And finally, how about this picture :"Hello Willy, This is Captain Mike Harbarth from Bodega Bay (also known as "Masons Dad") I'm an old washed up Party boat owner gone recreational. We own the "Miss Maddi" out of Spud Point. Attached is a pic of a WSB We caught at the lower bathrooms along 10 mile while trying for a halibut last Aug. We were rigged with normal halibut gear and 25 lb. test. It was an over hour battle with 3 trips around the boat. The Fish ended up being 70 lbs! By far the largest fish I have ever reeled in!! 
The reason I'm sending you this pic is the fact that we were losing hope that the WSB had left us since the big bite we all had at Elephant Rock the previous year.  This fish was a big surprise for us and it gave us hope that these fish had to adapt to the changing environment. Since there really wasn't a big squid spawn in 2017, These fish were in the area and had to adapt. 
My theory for these monsters is that they are an eating machine. They have to eat so much per day that they had to find a new food source and must have discovered the plentiful needle fish and bait fish that get caught in the surf line currents along 10 Mile Beach. Something to give us a fishery to look forward to for 2018. Let keep our fingers crossed and don't be afraid to try along the beaches for these magnificent and very tasty fish. " That is a beauty sir, and I'm keeping all of my fingers and a few other things crossed.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

    If anybody wants, I've got more pictures of Gage's hand with perch in it if you want. He had a "personal best" day on Sunday with him and a friend catching and releasing 70 perch. If anyone has any pictures of fish please send them this way. Please. Last year's fish, fish caught in Hawaii, a drawing of a fish, whatever. 
    On the Dungeness front, things are a bit slow as usual, but they're still catching some. A shorecaster snared six keepers this morning right in front of the store, so there's still a good chance of success.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

    Just a quick post about the clams. We sent in a sample of four clams to the California Department of Public Health yesterday and got the results back today. The sample was seven times higher than the warning level for Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning toxin.  I think I'll pass on the clams for now.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Here are the alternatives for salmon season in the San Francisco (Pt. Arena to Pigeon Pt.) area:

1.   June 9-October 31. Open seven days per week. All salmon except coho, two salmon per day  Chinook minimum size limit of 20 inches total length.

2.   July 1-October 31. Open seven days per week. All salmon except coho, two salmon per day  Chinook minimum size limit of 20 inches total length.

3.   July 21-October 31. Open seven days per week. All salmon except coho, two salmon per day  Chinook minimum size limit of 20 inches total length.

   These can still be tweaked a bit, but I think you can get the idea. The salmon gear can remain stored away a while longer, but there will be a salmon season. There were a couple of halibut caught in the bay this week, so there's something to fish for, at least.
   In other news, Petaluma Newbie sent in a report from Monday: "I decided to try and beat the rain today and get the crab traps out this afternoon. I fished them inside Tomales Bay to hopefully avoid the brunt of the swell and wind waves. I dropped my seven traps by marker 5 about 1:00 pm and my buddy and I started pulling them (in the rain) about 6:00 pm The first few were solid with the last 4 being more sparse (two traps were all small rock crab and a couple of well undersized Dungeness). Final tally was 11 keeper Dungeness, most right around 6”, and 7 good sized rock crab. I didn’t see another boat the whole time I was out there and there were only a handful of other buoys I saw in the bay. I’m definitely a newbie but it was the best day I’ve had crabbing. Plus at least it’s some kind of a fishing report!" It's the best kind of report, a successful one.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

   Successful surf fishing takes persistence. This is a photo of persistence. This was on Wednesday evening which was drizzly and cold and the water was calm. The lack of water movement probably led to the lack of fish bites. This was a 3 foot swell.

    Different day, different photo. A 4 to 5 foot swell stirred the bottom up a bit and had some perch near the shore in some of the holes on the North end of the beach. Gage claims over a dozen perch landed but these were the ones hooked too deep to return. The larger ones were a bit over 11 inches long. 
   The crabbing in the bay remains difficult but with some effort people are bringing in some decent Dungeness, not limits but some. It's still better in the outer bay when conditions allow for it. The PFMC are meeting right now to decide the possible April salmon season and the options to consider for the rest of the year's season. Those options should be known by the rest of us on Wednesday or Thursday. In a nutshell, they're predicting more salmon in the ocean than last year (same guess for Sac fish, many more for Klamath) but since the adult returns were pitifully small the fish are considered "overfished". Since the only tool the PFMC has to regulate salmon numbers is adjusting the fishing seasons and limits, expect a reduction in fishing opportunities in this area. There's some pretty serious economic and political pressure to allow a decent season, so we'll see. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

     Not too much to report, as usual. The crabbing in the bay picked up a bit in the last week and I even heard of a couple of people getting Dungeness limits from the pier. Only a little pick-up, though, as there were still plenty of crabbers going home without. The surfperch bite was on the slow side over the weekend but a little more wave action this week ought to pick it up again. The California Department of Public Health issued an advisory against eating sport-caught bivalves in Marin County this week, but it didn't stop clammers from coming out. The three today forgot that after the tide goes out it comes back in. Their boat (pool toy) drifted away long before they realized it. They called 911, but a goodhearted crabber picked them up before the Fire Department got here. Last week the Sheriff's helicopter had to pluck some other stranded bath toy clammers off of the island. Seems to me that the clammer's choice of boats may be more dangerous than the clams. Also it seems that maybe the new rules for boat licensing may be a good idea. At least after licensing people will have the knowledge that they're making bad decisions.

Friday, March 2, 2018

   Well, I didn't go to the meeting yesterday, but luckily the CDFW sent out a nice summary:
California's Drought, Poor Ocean Conditions Impact Salmon Forecast for 2018

Young Chinook salmon 
CDFW photo
Commercial and sport anglers received mixed news today regarding the status of Sacramento River fall Chinook and Klamath River fall Chinook - California's two largest Chinook salmon populations. While adult returns of both stocks were well below minimum escapement goals in 2017, and projected abundance for both stocks is modest compared to historic averages, state and federal fishery scientists reported an increase in the number of jacks (two-year-old Chinook) that returned to spawn in 2017. Higher jack returns, as seen in 2017, can indicate the potential for increased abundance of adult (three years old or older) Chinook for 2018 fisheries.
Forecasts presented today at the annual Salmon Information Meeting hosted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) suggest there are 229,400 Sacramento River fall Chinook adults in the ocean this year, along with 359,200 Klamath River fall Chinook adults. While the Sacramento River fall Chinook forecast is comparable to last year, there are greater numbers of Klamath River fall Chinook projected to be in the ocean in 2018. Fall Chinook from these runs typically comprise the majority of salmon taken in California's ocean and inland fisheries.
The effects of the recent drought are still having an impact on California's salmon populations. Outbound juvenile Chinook suffered unusually high mortality because of low flows and high water temperatures in both the Sacramento and Klamath watersheds in 2014 and 2015. Unsuitable river conditions, coupled with persistently poor ocean conditions during the same period, resulted in very low numbers of adult Chinook returning to spawn in both the Klamath and Sacramento River basins in 2017.
Over the next two months, the Pacific Fishery Management Council will use the 2018 fall Chinook ocean abundance forecasts, in addition to information on the status of endangered Sacramento River winter Chinook, to set ocean sport and commercial fishing season dates, commercial quotas and size and bag limits.
At the same time, CDFW fishery managers will be working to develop a suite of recommendations for the California Fish and Game Commission to consider while developing the 2018 fishing seasons, size limits and bag limits for Chinook salmon river fishing in the Klamath/Trinity and Sacramento River basins. For more information, please visit the California Fish and Game Commission's Sport Fishing Regulations website.
For more information on the process for setting the California ocean salmon season or for general information about ocean salmon fishing, please visit the Ocean Salmon Project website. For the latest ocean salmon season regulations, please call the CDFW ocean salmon hotline at (707) 576-3429or the National Marine Fisheries Service salmon fishing hotline at (800) 662-9825.
For the latest inland salmon season regulations in the Klamath/Trinity basin, call (800) 564-6479, and in the Central Valley, please visit the CDFW Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations website.
So, it looks like we'll get a salmon season this year. We'll get to see our options for April and the rest of the year in a couple of weeks. Let's send the PFMC happy thoughts....