HMB – Crabbin’ Anda Fishin’

Started 11/9/2013, last Sunday, off by launching out of Half Moon Bay in a kayak. Went out for crab, hoping to have better luck than the opening week. Went to the proper spot this time, out front of the Miramar restaurant in 30-40 ft of water.

Here’s the map from last post, around the star area.

Where to get yo crabz

Ignore the other markings obviously. Launched from the HMB Kayak Co. area. From what I hear you’re not allowed to drive down the little path behind their shop to unload anymore. Something about construction/equipment from something the harbor is doing around the area. Not really clear.

Oh and I’ve since tried launching from the old pier. Definitely a shorter paddle by far, and a good deal less boat traffic to worry about. Just an fyi.

So I was pushing off shore by 7am ish, not too bad. Didn’t care to get out there that early since I was going to be meeting up with some friends to fish the jetty later. I wasn’t planning on fishing anyway, so I figured a few hours to crab was fine. Was greeted with an awesome view as usual!

Sunrise at Pillar Point Harbor
Sunrise at Half Moon Bay

Ocean was pretty calm, it was nice. Headed out to the spot, ran into a few NCKA guys I knew. And some…who I confused for others. Sorry!
And now for the only part most of you probably care about!

Heard there were big dungies about halfway to the star (so drop pots anywhere along the jetty and the extent of the beach at the foot of the south of it). Personally skipped over that area as I didn’t have enough gear to cover that much ground. Just headed out and landed 4 keeper dungies!

Dungeness Crab From Half Moon Bay
Dungeness Crab From HMB.

Had lots of almost keeper size dungies. Pulled up 4 at once at one point. All possibly just legal, but not worth the risk. Later got tipped off that I could’ve done better if I went further south (less pots).

Speaking of, it was literally pot city out there. I was sitting out there with a bunch of other people, and even more pots! Don’t think anyone out there had less than 2 pots, some way more than that. Crazy!

As far as gear goes I was using one hoop and one cage. One was normal line, the other lead core. I don’t really like it so far, but going to keep trying it out… Bait was squid + chicken livers, and a mixture of procure scent (anchovy oil & sand shrimp) and that Mike’s pink shrimp scent. Figured I have it all, and with the recent Sports Authority sales, may as well play around a bit. Seemed to work decently. Was getting crabs in the hoop on 8-10 minute soaks, 15+ for the cage (because I was lazy).




Probably could’ve limited out if I moved around a little more & stayed longer, but I was back on shore by 9:45am. Had to get out of my wetsuit (finally wore it! its finally getting cold), and pack everything up to meet friends around 10. Surprising thing? Parking lot was PACKED by 10:30am. No idea what for. Thought there was going to be a crowd on the pier, but nope. Just a ton of people for some reason. Did notice the back parking lots were like 75% filled with commercial crab gear. Guess they’re getting ready for commercial season to open some time this week afaik.

So after some driving around and praying, we all parked and made our way over to the jetty to fish for a bit. Was pretty slow to start, most people just instantly snagging since it was their first time. Was sort of overwhelmed with how many people there were (7?) and busy trying to land at least one fish so I’m not really sure what happened. I believe MJ caught the first fish. A grassy rock cod, which was turned into this:

Grassy rock cod from half moon bay
Omnomnomnom

Thanks to Reuben, MJ, & Ryan for taking and sending me pics to blog with!

Second catch was either a brown rock crab, or another fish by Lauren. Was a…either a gopher or a copper. I honestly can’t remember. 😐 Ack. Not sure if we got a picture or not.

At some point a 2nd brown rock crab was pulled up and then I got an eel to finish the day off. It was a pretty slow day… I think that jetty must be getting more pressure since I last visited. I’ve never had such a slow day there before.

There was another dude running around on the jetty with a poke pole & crab snare while we were out there. Odd crab snare too. It was like…the bear trap of crab snares. Odd. Anyhow, at some point while I was reparking he went to retrieve it, and a lingcod got snagged up in it.

Ling cod half moon bay jetty
Lingcod off the jetties

I lent him my tape measure, 25″. Nice! I think when we were leaving he was up to 2 fish, the ling, and 2 crabs. But don’t quote me on that…

Don’t have a picture of my eel. Someone does, but I don’t remember who was taking pictures? Ah well. I’ve posted eel pics before, same kind! Sorry guys d=

And before those of you who know me ask, yes, a blood tribute was paid. Literally 5 minutes after getting on the jetty…

Blood Tribute

Its hard to see, but beyond just scraping my ankle I have a seriously big/deep bruise…I still have to roll my pant leg up when going in to work…and wear flip flops. I tapped it once on accident while walking today, stopped me in my tracks. Its remarkable how much pain the top of that stupid bone can feel…

Also, for those wondering how to handle crab:

Tongs

Tongs + hot water to the face

Hot watah in yo FACE

This either knocks out the crabs, or kills them outright. Makes ’em easier to handle while trying to throw them into the pot. My old boss at EA told me an alternative version to cook crabs…involving a microwave and frantic tapping on the door that slowly became less frequent… ”>.>

So there you have it, my weekend! Shall we finish off with some awesome/funny pics from Reuben/MJ/Ryan ^^ Thanks again guys!

Crabs!
Oh I’m sooooo mature, you don’t even know
don’t mind me, just nommin’

Few more pics I didn’t use can be found here: http://imgur.com/a/ARyGf#0

Oh also!  7-8 of us will be going out of Capitola Boat & Bait for rock cod on Sunday.  Say hi if you see me running around!

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