Category Archives: Piers

Adventures on rickety wooden structures!

Half Moon Bay Pier Fishing for Rock Cod with Trout Poles!

I’m back!  I had the July 4th week off, and went fishing a bunch!  You’d think I’d use that time to wisely catch up on all the videos I haven’t gotten around to editing yet buuuuut… no I went fishing a ton instead!  Many trips to the Half Moon Bay pier to fish for rock cod were made 😀  Many successful trips to the HMB Pier for rock cod in fact!

View post on imgur.com

That’s a 2+lb grassy rock cod off the Half Moon Bay pier by Andrew yo!  Video’s up too, you can check it out on YouTube (if you haven’t already seen it) or view it below:
Continue reading Half Moon Bay Pier Fishing for Rock Cod with Trout Poles!

Pacifica Pier – Crab & Perch Report

Bit delayed by now, but my work weeks keep getting craaazier!  I got a north jetty report & a cute harbor seal story to go along with it… But that’ll have to wait!

Pacifica Pier San mateo dungeness crabbing report
Pacifica Pier

So I went out to the Pacifica Pier to hang out with my dear of dad, and check up on how crabbing was out there.  First sign of life was around halfway down the pier:

Pacifica pier surf perch
Striped Perch from Pacifica Pier

Didn’t see any other fish pulled up.  Decent amount of people casting out hi-los and even one throwing a large kastmaster!  No luck with it while I was there.

Around 3/4 of the way down we ran into the first person with crab.   Continue reading Pacifica Pier – Crab & Perch Report

Treasure Island – Bountiful Perch

Treasure Island pier san francisco bay
Treasure Island Lady

So I went back to treasure island in the San Francisco Bay recently!  This marks my third trip out to try to fish.  Only this time, there weren’t 3 people blocking off the entire pier by casting all over hell.  Thanks guys, but please just learn to cast straight…

Anyways!  Went out on a Sunday recently.  I was originally aiming to get there around 6:50am with the sunrise:

half moon bay tide table
Tide table

As you can see, there was a low tide about an hour before sunrise.  Figured I’d beat the crowd and get there first and fish the tide as it came in.  Also the wind was supposed to pick up later in the day, so I thought that was going to be my only opportunity.

Turns out I snoozed out and woke up around 12pm instead d=  I later went outside to get something from my car and found it was caaallllmmm outside, barely any wind!  What the heck forecast!  So I packed up real quick, and headed out.  Wound up arriving around 5:45 PM.  Was surprised as I walked up to find not a single person fishing the old pier.

Happily I hopped down on the right side of the pier to try my luck with gulp camo sandworms (surf fishermen report these things working wonders for perch).

san francisco treasure island fishing pier jetty
right side of the pier

Didn’t even get a nibble.  Not even a NIBBLE.  You gotta be kidding me.  I used to poke pole with these things and caught rock cod, monkeyface eels, heck even an undersized ling or two with them.

At first I was thinking well maybe its just a bad day.  It wasn’t flat water, swells were kinda big… But then I thought, no, that can’t be right.  Perch live and eat in the beach swells, they couldn’t be happier for this kind of weather since it kicks up food and what not.

So I tried switching up baits to mussels and instantly started getting bites.  Seriously the perch on Treasure island are so spoiled…But I didn’t wind up landing anything on the right side.  Decided to try my luck on the left side of the pier:

treasure island pier jetty fishing perch
Grass is always greener on the other side eh

And it was!  Finally started hooking into fish over here:

treasure island san francisco pier perch fishing fish on!
Fish on!

Continue reading Treasure Island – Bountiful Perch

Crabbing With Your Local Peers

golden gate bridge sausalito san francisco moore road pier
Golden Gate Bridge from the Ft Baker Pier (dungie being returned to the ocean)

YES IM GOING WITH THE SAME JOKE AGAIN
bigwhoop

This is going to be a compilation post of the last two crabbing trips I went on.  Both times we went out to the Fort Baker Pier to do some (successful!)  crabbing.  I fell behind on blogging again, so…its what ya’ll are getting.

crabbing ft baker pier sausalito at the base of the golden gate bridge
Brown rock crab on TOP of the trap!

First trip was Sunday, 2/21/2015.  Had just gotten some advice Continue reading Crabbing With Your Local Peers

Fantasmical Crabdastical

Went out crabbing for the long weekend, 2/2/2015 with some friends.  Kept it simple, just hit up the pier to soak some hoops & traps and chill.

brown rock crab crabbing at pillar point pier in half moon bay, california
brown rock crab from HMB pier
Seal from pillar point harbor pier
Seal at HMB Pier

Was waaay crowded, being the long weekend ‘n all.  We got there around 9:30am and there was already like 16 people on the small little pier.  Amazing how packed the pillar point pier gets during any long weekend! Continue reading Fantasmical Crabdastical

Crabbing Bodega Bay & Ft. Baker

Its been awhile.  Weather’s been not so hot, so I haven’t gotten out much.  Maybe only once or twice since the last update?  There’s a poke pole trip I made a little while ago on 11/22/2014:

You can maaaybe see the small shark I walked next to around 4:18, but the glare off the water sorta messed with the GoPro.  If I’d known I’d have scooped it up in my bucket to get a better picture.  Figured since I was filming I’d have it… guess not.

walking next to shark at half moon bay while poke poling
Some kind of shark?

If you’re able to identify this by this crappy picture alone, please let me know!  I haven’t a clue what it was, but it was cute :3

Anyhow, tide was a -0.8 ft. or so, peaking around 4:30 with a sunset at 5.  Timing worked out okay.  Was right after a long rain storm.  I was supposed to take some coworkers out on a poke poling tour, but rain was forecasted.  Hadn’t been out since Sept. though, so I decided I’d go rain or shine.

Couldn’t reach my favorite spot.  That’s the reason I was wading out into the open water.  There’s a little bar you can follow that’s shallower than following right along the jetty.

Anywho, did okay.  Not great, but made do with the few spots that were available to me:

poke poling pillar point jetty for rock cod
Small kelp fish from half moon bay jetty

Continue reading Crabbing Bodega Bay & Ft. Baker

A Dab’ll Do Ya – Part 2!

Sorry for the delay, I’ve been trying to let my fingers heal.  Been somewhat painful at work :[  Pictures from Sean (tons & tons of thanks for taking super awesome photos, you need to keep joining in) are up!  Album link at the end of this post :]

He was on the other boat, so many of the pictures are from their boat.  But I can at least go ahead and say we had a pretty good day:

Rock Cod From Capitola
Rockfish From Capitola

Continue reading A Dab’ll Do Ya – Part 2!

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.

Continue reading HMB – Crabbin’ Anda Fishin’

Hook, Line & Sinker

I headed out to Elephant Rock Pier last night.  Felt like I needed to give it a second try since the last time I was still horribly inexperienced.  Also needed some place to chill for an hour or so outside to try smoking a cigar.

Blah blah, smoking is bad.  But I’d like to say I lived a full life and tried everything that looked interesting.  So we’ll just drop that one there hmm?  You’ll be happy with the result anyway.

Bait for the day was white shrimp.  Was using 1oz sliding sinkers, carolina rig.  2/0 octopus hook.  I think it was lazer sharp brand. 20lb mono line.

Arrived around 9:30pm, grabbed my gear and set off.  For those of you wondering, its right next to the Caprice (restaurant) in Tiburon.  Just set your gps to that, and right before you reach the place, you’ll see a small jetty in front of it, and a small parking lot on your left.  That’s where you’ll want to park, its 2hr parking during the day.  I wonder what people do when they fish it during the day?

Anyhow, tried throwing towards the rock piles at the beginning of the jetties and working my way back in.  Not as kelpy as last time, but still a decent amount of stuff floating down there.  I could definitely feel the terrain a lot better now though.  I understand why there would be lots of little fish and crabs around, it felt like there were small piles of rock extending all the way out to the circle outcropping you stand on.  Was definitely interesting.

Found a spot on the right side of the pier where I got some aggressive hits.  Couldn’t stick the hook though.  Guessing it was something very small, based on the strength of the hit, and the lack of any actual hook up.  In the end the only thing I could pull out there was a 3-4″ brown rock crab.

 

Continue reading Hook, Line & Sinker

5-19-2013 Ft Baker/Moore Rd Pier & Jetty Rock Cod Fishing

Just got home friday evening from staying at home all week to help my dad after his back surgery. Some of his vertebrae were too narrow, and he was in danger of having nerves pinched (read: paralyzed from the stomach down). Anyhow, after putting the surgery off for years he finally went in and got it and I spent the whole week back in Cupertino helping when I could (I even spent 1.5 days in the hospital).

Finally got back to Redwood City Friday evening for a relaxing weekend. Nothing planned, no rushes, just sitting back and relaxing. Been awhile since I had one of those. Decided to start on a second bow as well.

Second bow is on the right, and has a riser block (? handle? I forget) this time. Last time I got too lazy and skipped it. Spent an hour having a nice fellow (John) from craigslist help me cut it with power tools (I don’t have them…and I’m done grinding the entire block out with a rasp d=).

Anyhow! He did a great job and now I just need to sand/scrape it down. Probably aiming to have a lower strength bow this time and hopefully not splinter it during tillering…but it saved me days worth of work. Pretty sweet. I’ll post updates if it succeeds d=

Getting back on track, I spent most of the weekend happily half asleep in my armchair. Around 2pm Sunday I got the urge to go find some fish though, so grabbed some squid and hopped out the door. I’ve only been out to Ft Baker/Moore Rd Pier once so far, and that was a loooong time ago. Back when I thought drop shotting was the magical end all solution to all fishing. We came out, I bounced for ~10 minutes and had a rock cod! My first time ever landing one off a pier! Probably only the 2nd time I’d ever seen one landed on a pier at the time even. It was exciting, but that was the end that day.

I set out Sunday hoping that with all my experience since then I’d be able to land at least 2, regardless of size.

SF Golden Gate Bridge
My destination

Started on the pier, since I was most interested in fishing under the pier, between the pilings, looking for structure anywhere. Rockfish Ninja’s reports (from PFIC) always make me want to head out to a pier in the bay in search of rock fish. Soon as I got halfway out I realized exactly how windy it was. I thought I was boned, no way I could fish, but it turned out to be not so bad, as long as I wasn’t out on the front end of the pier. Tried fishing along the way out (the first initial straight section) for no bites. Didn’t get any hits until I was in the elbow of the pier. I had been tossing under the pier for awhile and not getting any hits, but I noticed on a few pulls I seemed to be nearly getting snagged on something just outside of the pier (in open water). Threw a little behind it and dragged my bait over it and found it felt just like a hole in the jetties.

Kept at that hole for the next couple minutes, even letting the bait rest a few times. Then one time after leaving it for about 20 seconds, FISH ON! I was totally surprised, still believed it couldn’t be anything besides a large chunk of seaweed I was tugging on. But then it started moving from side to side to side and I knew it was a fish, but I couldn’t horse it up real quick. Was using pretty light tackle (14lb line, but my rod was probably only weighted at 6-10lbs?). Had planned on using a different reel, but forgot it at home…so I made do.
10-15 seconds later, fish got away. When I pulled my rig up it kind of looked like the squid had been covering the hook to begin with? Figured either the fish was too small to set the hook itself properly, or it was just stubborn and wouldn’t let go of the squid. Fix the hooking, and tossed it back down (was using a carolina rig, 3/4oz sliding egg sinker, not pinned in place)
Based on how the fight felt, I suspect I didn’t really actually get the fish out of its hole too much, if any. Mostly just a tug of war that happened. My guess was in that situation the fish would probably still be hanging out in the same hole. From my experience unless you pull them out into open water, they don’t really move away.
With that in mind, I tossed back, working the same area. Finally got a hit and hook set on something from the other side of the pillar. This time I gave an extra little tug before anything else, even though I was using a circle hook. If its a small fish, it couldn’t hurt my chances anymore (the smaller ones don’t always hit hard enough to set the hook properly). Fought the fish up after about 20 seconds, though in all honesty it was more just pulling it up. Fish didn’t break to either side, just tried going straight down.

Was a maybe 6-7″ brown rock cod. But then I dropped it off the hook trying to get my rod and it over the railing…talk about noobish moves. Though there were tons of people around, and bunches stopping to ask how I was doing often, I lucked out and noone saw d=

Couldn’t get any more bites in that spot, and didn’t have the skill or space to fish anywhere else effectively. Tried the spot where I think I caught a fish last time, but no luck. Decided to use my time over on the jetty on the other side of the harbor instead. Tried it once with a diamond bar and…well ’nuff said. Don’t diamond bar off the jetty. I sure was an idiot in the past…

Anyhow, off I went. Nearly couldn’t figure out how to drive up next to it. Those super steep, super narrow dirt roads always make we worry since I no longer drive a ford explorer…I miss 4wd some days. Anywho, off onto the jetty I ran. Didn’t see anyone pull any fish up while I was there, but didn’t ask anyone either. Saw two asian guys with an ice chest, but they didn’t seem to get anything but snags. I fished one spot for about 5 minutes with no luck. Tried on the inside side of the harbor at one spot where water was coming through, no luck. Swapped back to the bay side and rigged up a berkley gulp shrimp. Same set up, 3/4oz sliding egg sinker and a 5/0 circle hook. Tossed out pretty far a few times with no luck. Tried tossing less far to save some time, and not even 4 ft out I got hit! I was a fool and still using the light tackle rod and worried I’d get rocked. The best I could do was keep the fish from diving downward and quickly reel in whenever it stopped diving. In the end I won out (lesson learned from multiple large fish lost on the HMB jetties…) and it was a nice ~9″ black cod:

Black rock cod from Moore Rd Jetty
Black rock cod from Ft Point Jetty




Fished for maybe another hour with no more bites. Guessing it was because swell was up, and wind was nearly howling. Better results than I expected for both the area and weather. 3 bites, “landed” 2. Not bad for a lazy sunday afternoon.
Didn’t really take many pictures, rest can be found here: http://imgur.com/a/xod7B#0

Anyhow, I’ll be out at Steven’s Creek Reservoir this Saturday (5/25/2013) targeting bass or crappie mainly, and maybe carp. Will be out there with 2-3 other people in kayaks/foldaboats. If you see a dude with a mini 1-2ft rod &/or a black/red chainmail bracelet, give a holler!
I’ll also be out at the half moon bay jetties with a few people the next day (Sunday, 5/26/2013) to poke pole the amazing low tide (-1.85!? Lowest I’ve ever seen, fishing should be amazing).

Random thought to close out the day, do fish believe in god(s)? When they get hooked and are fighting, can they comprehend what’s happening, or do is it just like they’re on some ride, courtesy of a magical force? When they break the line, do they go home and tell their buddies they felt the hand of god?