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:
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).
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:
And it was! Finally started hooking into fish over here:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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?
Last night I was preparing to head out to Ft Point* pier this morning when I ran across another pier that I’d never heard of up in Tiburon: Elephant Rock Pier. Was open 24/7 and I hated crowded piers & highways so I decided I’d go give it a go last night.
Ran out to Marina Foods for bait and learned a very important lesson. Even though they’re open until 10pm, if you show up at 945, don’t expect the bins of fresh seafood to still be out. Had to look around in the freezer section for bait. Settled on trying something new last night, and grabbed some anchovies. Not sure if this is something new Marina is trying out, or I just got lucky and they had them, but they don’t usually have frozen anchovies. Best you can do is smelt usually.
Headed out to Tiburon after that and drove right past the pier. When I read it was only 75ft long I thought it’d be larger. I saw the restaurant that was right next to it, and figured it must’ve been somewhere further down the road. About 10 minutes later I realized my mistake and turned around. Found this when I found the pier and was trying to park