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.
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.
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→
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
Went out with some friends (and some kids) I used to work with at EA this past Saturday. Goal was to bring home a bunch of dungeness for our families. Kara had just gotten her ankle cut open recently so we were limited to easily accessible piers. Wound up deciding Pacifica Pier would be our best bet and we all agreed to meet up around 3am to carpool out.
Got to the pier around 4am and gates seemed to already be open. Not sure if they opened up at 12am like last weekend. I heard that opening weekend they had a deal with the locals to have it open at 12am to deal with crowding. /shrugs
Anyhow we parked and grabbed our gear and waddled off to try our luck. Was pretty crowded this past weekend still
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).
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)→
Sorry for the delay! Had to have a root canal once I got back from the cruise…Blah.
Whole point of going out there was because I was about to head home a day or two early to prepare for hte cruise. I had been mentioning my crabbing successes to my mom and she asked if I could bring some crab home. Had been sleeping kind of weird lately and wasn’t tired Tuesday night even though I hadn’t slept the day before. Decided to just go out and fish that evening since the low tide peaked around 8 meaning I could be out there all night until the morning maybe 10am and I should have plenty of crab by then.
Got to the pier around 730 pm-ish? I can’t remember. For the first time I saw two wardens out there. Curious, I asked what they were looking for (they had been walking in front of me the whole way towards the pier and were looking around on both sides of the jetty). Apparently there was a report of a bird that got wrapped up in fishing line and they were trying to help it. Didn’t see them find it and they were gone within 10 minutes to look for it elsewhere.
So I got some new crab snares from Sofa King (best snares according to PFIC) last week and was itching to try them last week. Went out and stopped by Marina Foods in Foster City to grab a single chicken leg and some squid for bait. Then I headed out to the HMB pier and started fishing around 8pm.
Unfortunately it wasn’t until I got to Half Moon Bay that I realized I didn’t have my hoop nets with me. Or my bucket. Or my crab gauge. I was woefully unprepared @_@ But I’d driven all the way there already, so I grabbed a few rods and a few crab snares and headed out to the pier to see if I could at least feed some crabs and fish catch and release style.
Soaked snares for 5 minutes, then 3, then 10. No luck after about an hour with two poles soaking made me start to lose hope and get bored. I should note here that the pier is not lit, so its rather dark at night, but still close enough to a city that you can’t really see that many stars. Kind of boring at night. And cold.
Getting back to the report, I wound up there at the peak of a low tide, and was worried that was why I wasn’t getting anything. I remember reading that the rock fish there don’t really care about the tide when its night, so I set up a 2 hook rig and started fishing that. Tried both floater and carolina rigs, no bites. Dragging my bait in along the bottom revealed there were 2 large 6-7inch crabs down there. But I could only get them with my hook and line :
Snares didn’t bring anything up all night besides this…:
Yep. That’s my only catch of the night. The crabs fell off the hooks as soon as they broke the surface. Headed home around 1030pm empty handed.
Went to LA for the weekend. Got back Saturday late in the night (technically Sunday) 130am. Got up around 10am Sunday to go crabbing again as I was craving it. Now I know a lot of people swear by chicken for crabbing. My parents used to use it. Having been trying to catfish successfully as of late, I’ve handled quite a bit of chicken livers. They really smell. And slowly break up, sort of creating a chum. They’re oily as hell too. In the past I caught a bunch of crabs in an hour or two when noone was getting any with fresh fish guts. Armed with that knowledge I figured I’d give chicken livers a try. They smell more than chicken, are chicken, and are fresh guts.
So I used a mix of squid and chicken livers in my hoop nets. Fished like 11am-230pm. The pier was rather crowded on Sunday. Lots of kids and families. Wish I had a picture of the annoying one…their mother needs to rot in hell. But we’ll get to that ^^
When we first got there this guy in particular was pretty interesting