Testing the waters! (Pacifica)

Went out to Pacifica Pier today for a few hours (1230-23-ish?) to take a look at how the crabs are shaping up for this year’s crab opener (on Sat.).  Tossed out Sofa King snares.

Completely spaced on it last time I mentioned them.  They’re made by a guy who goes by Sofa King over on PFIC (Pier Fishing in California) and are supposedly the best.  Now that I’ve used them a few times I can attest to that fact.  Normal snares (like danielsons: v1, v2) aren’t even on the same level.  First of all they’re large and bulky.  Its less about a large hunk of bait, and more about using the right kind of bait.  Crabs will only be able to claw at the outside edge anyway.
Sofa King snares are about half as tall as v1, about the same height as v2.  However they’re much slimmer.  This translates to soaring through the sky smoother (more aerodynamic) and coming back in with much less effort (less drag through the water).  Another side note is that the snare itself is just lighter if you don’t need to stuff it that full of bait.  Using 1/3-1/4 of the amount of bait helps a ton.  You’re going to be reeling those suckers in every 3-10 minutes depending on the day.
Last point would be the lasso part itself (snare line).  The lasso on the danielsons aren’t really all that sensitive or soft.  If you use each once you’ll immediately notice the difference.  It takes quite a bit of a tug to get the danielson loop to start going.  And then it resists pretty strong and tries to pop back into the open position.  Sofa King snare loops on the other hand are made using a much softer material (or at least more readily flexible).  This translates to more snares and less lost crabs.  Should theoretically translate to more efficiency on small crabs (say 4inch rock crabs).

Anyhow, getting on back with the report.  Caught about 6 crabs in the first 30-60 minutes.  All dungies, all most likely legal (I’ve gone and lost my crab gauge somewhere…).  Looking pretty good.  At one point I even hauled in two dungies at once! 😀  Been nearly a year since I did that last time.  Got to cast off from the corner of the L straight out.  Was hoping for a limit of rock crabs today, but didn’t seem to be able to find them.  I stopped by here years ago once and ran into someone who had like 18 of them after only an hour or so.  He said he almost always limits out at Pacifica, but he doesn’t visit often (he was from Santa Cruz).

Was windy as hell today too.  Line constantly had a huge bend it in, my rods were bent over from the wind itself.  Crazy.  Anywho kept hucking the snare out and kept hauling in dungies nearly every soak (regardless of 3, 5, or 10 minute soaks).  Caught one 7″ dungie though.  Was huuuuuge!  Hope there are a bunch more like that wandering around out there.

Did manage to get two brown rock crabs today.  Both borderline 4-4.5″ each.  Was getting a rough measurement off the DFG stickers on the lamp posts.  Released them too.  In the past I haven’t found it very rewarding to eat rock crabs <5″.  Just a lot of work for not much meat.  Did prove there were actually rock crabs out there though.  Seemed to be centered around a certain spot.  At one point I think I nearly snagged on a rock, but at the end of the day I’m beginning to think it was actually a large crab that probably wedged itself into a crevice…darn.

Saw one other group catch 1 dungie, and that was all.  Seems to be quite a few crab running around out there.  Keepin’ my fingers crossed until Saturday!

Oh also was using two 6-7′ poles I bought at Sports Authority for like $40 in the past (rod/reel combo).  Casts didn’t get all that far out there, but apparently far enough.  Am kind of wondering if I’d land more/larger crabs with a longer pole since I could get out farther…
Snares had 4oz of weight in them, was using 17lb line and 65lb braid (just what I had strung on them at the time).  Bait was squid and chicken liver (mixed), though the chicken liver seemed far more popular.

Have some pictures as well, but Bill’s asleep (my phone battery was too low to use camera again…)  Will add later

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