Vermilion, China, and a Few Dungeness Crabs

Welp, this took longer than I thought to get out.  Turns out we’re leaving for Japan in 4 days.  Almost feel like it snuck up on us , even with Bill constantly griping about going to Japan soon and how we should be more stressed than we are d=

Its looking like there’s a chance I won’t be fully caught up before I leave town, so here’s hoping!

rock cod from Ankeny Street in Half Moon Bay
China, black, and vermilion rock cod

Here’s what I decided to take home from the trip on the Ankeny Street on 12/14/2014.  Could have taken home a limit, but I had to clean it all myself, and let’s be honest.  I can’t eat 10 fish on my own.  Anyone I know want fish regularly once the season opens back up?  Let me know, I constantly have too much.

Anyhow, this was in the middle of the chain of storms we’ve been having all through December.  We weren’t even completely sure we’d be able to go out until the morning of.  I think Capt. Chris felt a little guilty about canceling a trip a few weeks prior (due to insane weather forecast) but it turned out to be an okay day.   Forecast said something like 15 knots of wind and 6+ ft waves or something from what I saw.  But Chris decided it was game on, we’d give it a shot.

So I was up around 5am waiting to hear, and when I finally did it turns out I needed to go pick up some bait for him d=

Squid run

And here’s where my ultimate downfall for this trip begins…  I went to pick up the squid, and got one of these stupid fruit punch rockstars:

Fruit Punch Rockstar aka StomachPain McGee

I’ve had these before from work and had no problems… But I grabbed one of these that day and checked out.  Got onto the boat and finished it before the first fishing stop.  Just remember that I drank this stupid thing I’ll never have again…

At the first stop I managed to pull up a decent vermilion

Very happy with this one! :3  I spent pretty much the whole day throwing a hex bar with yellow flashy stickers on alternating sides:

rock cod rig hex bar and fish lure
hex bar rock cod rig

And that’s what I caught the vermilion on!  For the most part others were using shrimp flies & 10 oz or 12 oz weights.  Cannon ball or torpedo both work really well, it comes down to personal preference which you use.  Just avoid pyramid sinkers, they’ll get stuck like crazy.

Unfortunately I didn’t get much action besides that:

Spent most of the day relearning an important lesson: change up your presentation.  I caught a bunch of canaries, a few blacks & blues, 2-3 underlings, and a china.  But it wasn’t until like 1pm that I looked around and realized everyone else pulling in tons of fish were using shrimp flies tipped with squid & not jigging.  Yea, not jigging!  So I left my bar sitting on the bottom, and within 10 seconds got hit.

So yea.  Jigging both a 4 & 10oz weight all day before I caught on.  But I did get a nice take home:

china rock cod on hex bar jig
I’m convinced Chinas taste the best
canary rock cod
Not so great
canary rock cod released
away with you!

The rest of the boat fared better than I did

ling cod and olive rock cod
bucket of rock cod & ling cod
lingcod on the ankeny street out of half moon bay
ling cod

Many kinds of fish were pulled up: gophers, blacks, blues, olives, yellowtail, etc.

We also stopped to check a few pots, but didn’t have high hopes.  Last time the weather allowed Chris to check the crab traps was 2 weeks ago or so.

dungeness crab crabbing out of half moon bay, ca
1st pot

Only 1 keeper in the bunch, had to throw the others back

dungeness crab half moon bay
Lam, the deckhand for the day

I think we had 2 or 3 crabs by the end of the trip.  But it wasn’t great.  Traps were rebaited and dropped back down with hopes that the weather would relent long enough for subsequent charter trips to get some dungeness crabs.

On the bright side, we didn’t have to pay any extra for a dungie/fishing combo!  Just the standard $80 d=

Oh right, so remember the energy drink?  Well around 10am and on I started feeling a bit queasy.  I was surprised, was this my first time to get sea sick?  The ocean surely wasn’t the roughest I’d ever been on.  I figured maybe it was dehydration, hadn’t had any water since I left the house at 630.  Drank 3/4 of my water over an hour to no avail.  Between stops I tried to sleep it off, and that didn’t help either.

Finally around 2 it peaked, and I threw up over the edge.  Well, projectile vomited 4-5 times.  Came up red & syrupy.  Alllll the damn energy drink!  Literally 5 seconds after that, I felt better.  A ton better.  Hadn’t realized, but until then I’d been feeling really sluggish and tired too, now I felt energized!  And not woozy/sick any more.   Was fine the rest of the day.

Really wish I’d thrown up earlier instead of fighting it all day.  Anyways, that’s why I’m never drinking fruit punch rock star again.  It doesn’t even taste that great.

Overall, it was a slow trip for me.  My fault for not realizing earlier I should change up my jigging technique until the fish started biting.  So here’s today’s lesson!  Look around.  If everyone’s doing well and its just you who fishing is slow for, maybe change things up.  Try some new bait, rigs, lures, and most importantly, change your presentation!  Fish were certainly in a more lazy mood that day.  Or hunkered down in the rocks maybe, not really sure.  Either way, stationary bait was the way to go.

If you wind up going out with Chris, mention Dennis’ blog/videos/etc when you call!
Here’s a link to his Facebook page:

Oh also, here’s a new segment I’m hoping to build out.  Cooking videos!  Here’s how I cooked the vermilion rock cod:

Yes the kitchen is messy.  I’ll clean up next time, but I just want you to know it only takes 1 other person cooking in there for everything and all the counter space to get taken up… :[

Fried Fish Recipe Card
Taco Fried Cod Recipe Card, click for larger version

Anyhow, lets wrap it up on this note instead:

Lola dog and guy cuddling for a nap

That’s the way to take a nap! ^^

Many more pics here:

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