Dungie Opener 2012

Just got back from HMB then Pacifica Pier.  Read Pacifica Pier doesn’t open until 4am, so I figured I’d go hit up the HMB pier while waiting until 4am.  Was playing LoL until 12am anyway, wasn’t really going to get much rest.

Made it out to the pier and was surprised to see 3 other people there already.  They informed me there was nothing but babies so far.  We set about crabbing and I eventually pulled in 3 rock crabs.  All 4-5″, nothing special.  2 red, 1 brown.  Let them all go.  Only saw 2 baby crabs, not a single dungie though.  Not sure if the dungeness move out of the sheltered area once they mature, or if there were too many poachers.  Anyhow, I chatted with the other group a bit and they mentioned Pacifica Pier sometimes opens early (3am).

Crabbing was pretty slow and I was there for ~3hours.  Do the math, not exactly wonderful, was high tide until 3am even.  Dunno what was up.  At one point I kept hearing splashes and seeing small ripples.  I was confused and wondered if I was missing a smelt run or something.  Walked over to where it seemed to be centered and I hear “hey there”.  Totally didn’t see the guy there.  @_@

He was fishing from the jetty wall with berkley gulp/alive shrimp.  Apparently he’d caught a bunch of rock cod already tonight, none of them more’n 9″ or so.  He kept slowly fishing his way along the jetty and then all of a sudden tons of splashes.  Sounded like a decent fish.   I yelled out to ask, and apparently he caught a ~20″ ling cod.  Holy damn, last time I heard someone caught a lingcod there was from 30 years ago.

Later as I was packing up he dropped by to talk a bit. He was the brother of someone who worked around the marina, and he flew in from Florida (if you read this, was nice meeting you!  I never caught your name D:) for the commercial dungie season.  A lot of work, I do not envy him >.<

He told me some awesome stories about goliath/monster groupers(?) and how they were invading the rivers in Florida.  I had no idea it was such a big problem.  He also lived ~3 miles away from where the River Monsters guy was fishing for bull sharks.  He and his buddy once hooked into one in a 12′ canoe with an electric motor.  Burned through their battery and dragged them 12 miles before biting through 125lb steel leader.  Those things sound tough.

Our conversation ended abruptly when his brother came to say they were leaving.  I hauled my stuff back to the car and headed to Pacifica to check it out.

When I got there I was in total shock.  Driving up to it I could just see tons of head lights.  I quickly parked, grabbed my snares, and headed over.  Thing was crowded, I didn’t even bother trying to walk past halfway.  Insane how many people were there.  And this was at 3am!  Pier technically doesn’t even open for another hour!  Dayumn.  As I was setting up an old couple on the other side from me were hauling in some nice size dungies.  Good to see they were around here.  I soaked a few snares, snared maybe 5 crabs in a row (one per soak) but kept accidentally dropping them once they were directly below me.

Finally got the hang of it about 30 minutes later and started hauling up undersized crabs (1/8″-1/4″ short T.T).  Which reminds me, I think I need to put a ruler to the cheap crab gauge I got.  I feel like its off…Either the measurements on top are off, or the 5 and 3/4″ are off.  Either way that’s no bueno.

Anyhow didn’t really want to bother cooking undersized crab anyway and tossed them all back.  For the rest of the time until ~445am I caught nothing but undersized females (<5inches) and totally full of eggs.  Lost track of how many dungies I was pulling up, and dagnabbit was it ever a work out.

Sorry no pictures, didn’t want to flash people.  Also nothing really exciting or supah large; nothing special.  Going out again next weekend with some old co-workers.  If my gauge was right, and there aren’t too many poachers, next weekend may be perfect timing.


Oh bait today was chicken livers.  No squid, went to Marina too late.  Seemed to be outdoing squid people anyway.  Avoid chicken hearts, they’re no good.

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