Tag Archives: brown rock crab

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

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

HMB North Jetty – Cabezons & Large Rock Cod

Originally planned to make a run down to Pebble Beach in Carmel, but the forecast said 13mph wind by 12pm. Wanted nothing to do with that. I’ll hit up Stillwater Cove some other day.

Decided I’d give the north jetty at Half Moon Bay a shot. Wanted to get there by 630/7am to pump up some yabbies, but woke up at 9am still feeling groggy… Hopped into the shower, grabbed my gear and was off.

Parked the car at the lot for the north jetty around 10:30am and headed out. I didn’t bother fishing until I was at the last bend.

pillar point harbor
half moon bay harbor

North jetty is the one in the bottom left side. I started fishing at the second bend (1st bend closest to shore).

There were a ton less bites than I expected. Somewhat disappointed, but can’t complain about the quality of the fish I did bring home. Bounced over an area with squid with no luck. Swapped to a 2″ berkley gulp shrimp, and suddenly FISH WAS ON!

15
15″ Rock cod half moon bay jetty

Continue reading HMB North Jetty – Cabezons & Large Rock Cod

Half Moon Bay South Jetty

So yea.  I went out to the south jetty at half moon bay last night to test whether or not I really did have a better grasp of how to fish the jetty or not.  Also wanted to see if fish did indeed grow larger the further out I went. Parked outside the RV park around 9/930pm.

Realized once I finished the post I didn’t go over my set up all at once anywhere. 8lb mono line, 3/4 oz & 1 oz sliding egg sinkers (increased weight because of higher wind, swell, & current, less is better), and a 3/0-7/0 hook tied directly onto the main line (snell knot, wound 6-10 times). Today was using an entire shrimp on every cast hoping for bigger fish. Hooked through the shrimp 2-3 times in any fashion. Since I was fishing at night I doubt presentation was a big issue.

Didn’t get to try the sea side of the jetty.  Not sure if its always that bad at low tide, or was just too hard to reach at night.  Sure didn’t look inviting and seemed like I’d instantly snag up.  Hopped my way out to around mark 40 before bothering to try to fish.  I was sort of behind schedule, and had to account for extra time spent traversing the jetty (didn’t want to get home too late).

First cast out ~25ft.  Got hit as soon as I jigged back near the jetty.
Canary Rock Cod Off Half Moon Bay Jetty

Continue reading Half Moon Bay South Jetty

Half Moon Bay Pier & Jetty – How To Destroy Your Legs 101

Its been storming out here for the past week, though its finally cleared up these last few days.  Really wanted to go fishing starting the first day of the storm, I really need to keep a better eye on weather.  See the post on PFIC here.  Usually fish are out feeding in force before storms.  They’ve got to stock up on food before hiding during most of the parts of the storm.  And boy was it a storm.

20-30mph winds most of last week.  I headed out Wed or something (its late, and I haven’t gone to bed before 3am yet this week…) last week to try my luck after work when it was only 80% chance of rain.  Didn’t realize 24mph winds were strong enough to prevent breathing if you weren’t careful which direction you were facing.  I decided I’d better just take a short walk and call it a night.  Noone around, obviously, and the swell was pretty crazy for inside the harbor.  I wonder what a fish does if it finds itself too far from a cave to hide in when it starts getting rough?

Talked to someone who contacted me through this blog and answered some questions to the best of my abilities.  Didn’t hear back on whether they made it out Saturday or not, am curious to hear how the crabbing was for them if they did indeed make it out on the south jetty.  If you guys are reading, please leave a comment or send me an email! :]

Anyhow, went home and threw my bait in the freezer to use on the weekend.  Looked like this past Sunday would suddenly clear up for a few hours in the evening.  Couldn’t help myself come Saturday when it cleared up slightly, and headed out around 12pm for a few hours.  Really becoming bothered by how many people are showing up there.  Not sure if its just because of crabbing season, or its just becoming more well known, but there are quite a few crabbers these days.  Not as crowded as the day after thanksgiving, but still very little room to crab if that’s what you wanted to do.  On the other hand there seemed to be quite a few crab around.  Most people had 2-3 from what I saw.  Someone even had maybe 3 or 4 large dungeness crab.

Only pro to having so many people around is you sometimes see really weird things.  Like this woman who pulled up a live shrimp
Shrimp from a crab hoop at Half Moon Bay Pier

Continue reading Half Moon Bay Pier & Jetty – How To Destroy Your Legs 101

Half Moon Bay Kayak Fishing & Crabbing

Had some left over bait from Thanksgiving day (we didn’t get around to using it as planned) and decided to try to put it to use on Friday.  Went out to Half Moon Bay to try crabbing off the pier, maybe get enough crab to add it to our second Thanksgiving dinner later that night.  Boy was I surprised when I got there though

There were so many people running around that I had to park at the launch ramp parking lot.  Hecka far.  Grabbed two crap hoops and my bucket full of bait and drinks then headed off towards the pier.  Quite a long walk to haul gear man @_@  When I got within sight I realized my mistake.  I really should have driven through the permit parking area to glance at the pier area first.

There were so many people on the pier it looked as though it were a mosh pit in a high school dance.  That was pretty soul crushing to see after hauling gear all the way down there.  I decided since I’d made it that far I may as well at least stop by to see how everyone was doing. It was so crowded there were people fishing from the walkway towards the pier from the point the water started being out there.  There were a bunch of people even sitting & fishing from the jetty wall there itself!  Insane.

More sitting on the jetty wall behind & under me

On my way out there I passed a little kid and who I assume was his dad who seemed friendly so I asked how they were doing.  Wouldn’t you believe it, they said they caught 2 cabezon already that day.  One was even legal!  I’ve been gunning for cabezon for months now, and I never knew there was a cabbie hole right there along the wall somewhere.  Didn’t remember to ask :[
They were using neon yellow/green grubs.  2-3″ long I think.  Essentially poke poling it from what I could tell.  I didn’t see the kid casting out, then ofcourse there wasn’t much space for him to do so anyway with so many people crowding the pier…
Here’s the little guy who caught ’em:

So jelly

Here’s what the pier looked like:

Never seen the pier here so crowded. Thought it was less well known?

Continue reading Half Moon Bay Kayak Fishing & Crabbing

Clamming and trouting

Went out with my mom yesterday to take advantage of the -1.4 tide and try for horseneck clams.  She’s never gotten one yet so she really wanted to go.

We showed up a little too early around 1pm and had to wait about 2 hours before the tide went out far enough.  Saw a bunch of people poke poling the north jetty at Half Moon Bay.  I saw a 5-6″ brown rock crab while on the phone and missed it >.<  It was hanging on the side of a rock and slowly slipped into 2-3ft of water.  I made two blind grabs for it then called it quits @_@

Found an undersized female dungie sitting in the sand too:

Dungeness Crab in the surf

Continue reading Clamming and trouting

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.  Continue reading Dungie Opener 2012

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.
Continue reading Testing the waters! (Pacifica)