Tag Archives: rock cod bait

Capitola – A Land Sea of Opportunities

Capitola Pier
We meet again, Capitola

Last Tuesday, 9/9/2014, marked the first time I returned to the site of the [yacht] incident.  For a variety of reasons, I hadn’t been back to Capitola since.  But here we were.  Kara’s brother Andrew had come all the way from Colorado, and by god, we were going to put him on the fish!

We got there early, around 7/7:30am.  Didn’t see anyone else, but we later ran into 2 other Capitola Boat & Bait boats out on the water.  We weren’t the only ones playing hooky from work!  We started off by the Tank House reef looking for bait.  For reference, here’s a picture of the Capitola kelp bed map that Capitola Boat & Bait passes out: http://i.imgur.com/dpEHcZQ.jpg.  Kara had that feeling.  You know, the one where you just know there’s fish.  Like a fool, I questioned it.  But we stopped nonetheless, and well…unsurprisingly she was right!

Smack dab in the middle of aaallllll the bait fish!  Mostly only pin head anchovies jumping out of the water, but fun to see still.  So there we were, jigging away with sabikis (Kara opted to fish a shrimp fly, see if she could land just larger bait).  I think we had a size 10, and size 8.  We were using 1oz weights.  First fish coming up were small anchovies.

Anchovy on sabiki rig
Anchovies

After a few drops we found out there were much larger, perfect bait size ones lurking below those!  Success!

Big anchovy
Andrew and a big anchovy making a break for it

We even pulled up some mackerel!

Mackerel on sabikis
Mackerel at Capitola!

Continue reading Capitola – A Land Sea of Opportunities

2013 Dungeness Crab Opener!

But let’s be honest.  I’m not a huge crab fan.  For those of you following me, you’ll note that I pretty much have only 1-2 posts on crabbing…

But after lots of sighing and debating, I loaded up one crab cage Friday evening.  Wound up needing the entire Friday night to prepare since I was planning to fish as well.  Wound up not being ready until about 2am…had to be up at 3am to drive & eat breakfast anyway so I just stayed up…

We landed in Half Moon Bay around 5/5:30 am.  Packed everything down and paddled off!  Was so foggy, glad we had lights.  We could hear boats cruisin’ around us long before we could see them.  We headed out to the first stop, somewhere around the triangle.

Continue reading 2013 Dungeness Crab Opener!

Ling-A-Ding

Lings From Capitola
Lings From Capitola

Thanks to the guys&gals down at Capitola Boat & Bait for taking this pic.  We made it onto their website!
So for those of you who don’t recognize that background, we went out t – SHAME ON YOU.  Get down to the Capitola Pier and play for once!  We rented a boat from Capitola Boat & Bait, aiming for lots of rock cod or sand dabs!

When we first got out that morning, it was so foggy D:  Even driving through Mountain View it was already foggy…When we got to Capitola, it looked like this!

Capitola Pier in the morning
Capitola Pier

Continue reading Ling-A-Ding

Half Moon Bay: A Buzz Bomb Trial Day

So yea. Been too long, been too busy to really catch up. Sorry, going to just let the trips between salmon and today drop into oblivion…here’s all the photos: http://imgur.com/a/FfMUC#0

Went out today to Half Moon Bay on my kayak. Wanted to really test out buzz bomb lures and also test my fish finder. I got an Elite 5 DSI chartplotter and it didn’t ship until recently. West Marine had a massive sale and I guess it was really good. My unit was back ordered for half a month or more. Jerry rigged my own mount for the transducer and the unit. I’ll make another post tomorrow about it coupled with my trip out to Del Valle Lake in Livermore.

Anyhow, here’s a short intro on what I sometimes use (though after today it seems like I’m going to focus on buzz bombs).

Covers dropper loops, shrimp fly rigs, and shrimp flies themselves. Trying to do a better job covering everything, still working on a better view for the camera.




On the way out I marked what I thought was bait on the fish finder. Dropped a sabiki to find out if I was really reading my fish finder properly:

No idea what these are. Kind of remind me of lizard fish, had tons of small sharp teeth. There were tons of these little buggers all over the place. Pelicans were dive bombing these. But at least it meant I was reading my DSI properly! ^^

Anyhow! Back on track. Also wanted to get myself catching fish on my mini (people call it barbie?) pole. And voila!

That was the biggest black/blue cod I’d ever hooked into! Barely fit into my net. Shortly after I cut the video I unhooked the fish, lipped it, got it out of the net, then it squirmed and I lost my grip…back into the water it went :[ It was over 20″ >..< I think the mini pole is too soft to properly hookset :

Oh also, one of these videos has dolphins in it (hard to see). A whole pod swam by me early in the morning ^^

Anyhow, best one I’ve found is the chrome+pink one in 4″. 5″ was nice, but too heavy for the light tackle I was running. I got some nice hits on it though. The 4″ brought in like 4-5 small rock cod that were also 4″…

Ended the day with 3 keeper blacks, all over 14″ and a 15-18″ greenling. Nice red color :]

Ran into a guy near the end of the day, we both fished the same area for a bit. He managed to get a HUGE black/blue, even bigger it looked than the one I lost. Also ran into Ariel (I think that’s his name/handle) on the beach. Was a pleasant surprise to meet up with another NKCAer. He hooked into two 12ish lb salmon, but lost them both during netting, they spat the hook! Man, that was sad to even hear about :[ He nailed a nice ling on the way back in though!

Went home and turned two of the cod into fish tacos :]

Sliced up the fillets into chunks and then rolled them in spicy taco mix (mccormick brand I think?). Threw those in the pan on medium/medium high heat with oil, and tossed some soyrizo (vegetarian soyrizo, trying to keep the calories down) in. Turned out pretty tasty, but not as crispy as the last time I made them. Last time I dipped chunks of fish in egg, then rolled it in a mix of panko bread crumbs (WAAAAY better than the breading you find near the taco mix) and taco seasoning. Fried those up and then mixed them with some salsa and sour cream.
One of my housemates who isn’t a fan of fish liked both, but apparently the soyrizo version tastes more like fish. Just a heads up for those of you out there who prefer it to taste less or more like fish ^^

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLvxmnsEpOyAGgC6a3xvjMQKe2Evx_K6uo
Playlist for all videos involving fish from today

See you guys tomorrow, hopefully!

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?

Quick ‘n Dirty HMB Update

Hit up the half moon bay/pillar point harbor jetty last night (5/7/2013). Bait was shrimp, went with a carolina rig. 1/2oz – 1oz. Water was like glass, but had to use one of my stiffer poles due to some reel problems. Hook was a 5/0 circle hook.

Size is definitely down, but the numbers are doing okay. Not as bad as I thought before, but not great. Two biggest fish were <10″ and skinny. Both grassies. Oddly enough the majority of fish caught last night were grassies. Kind of odd. Usually I only see 1 or 2 fat grassies every 4-5 trips. Continue reading Quick ‘n Dirty HMB Update

Capitola Reef Kayak Fishing 5/4/2013

Before we get started, just going to leave this video here. Lost my phone, driver license, and fishing license on saturday, been kinda bummed. But this cheered me right up. Oh Bill Dance, you’re my idol d=

Not my video btw. Maybe half of the footage is new-ish (I’ve seen a lot of the old bloopers, and many of these were a great surprise :3)

Anyhow, moving onto the report! Also, all photos courtesy of Kara, I lost my phone :[

Woke up 2 hours late Saturday morning…meant to get up at 5am, woke up after 7 to a text message from kara asking where I was. Gah. Grabbed my gear, loaded up the kayak and ran out the door.

Picked up Kara and breakfast, and we were off! Traffic wasn’t bad at all, pretty much speed limit the whole way or more. Not bad considering it was like 930/10am-ish? Was really weird driving into Capitola though. It was sunny right up until Capitola. Then all of a sudden the world got darker, and it was pretty foggy. Stayed that way all day. Kind of odd, considering there was some wind (5-11mph forecast).

Anyhow, we got there and unloaded our gear. On my way to the bathroom I passed a young boy who had a nice looking rock cod (black or blue, didn’t get a good look). Was AMAZING for off that pier, 10-12″ easily. Kid was using a ball weight with a maybe 4-6″ leader beyond that. I don’t know the name of the rig, but its got a bit of a cult following. Anyhow he wasn’t tossing it out too far, maybe 30-40′. Odd to have some rock cod out in the open there.

Ready to go!

Capitola Kayak fishing
Capitola Kayak fishing

Continue reading Capitola Reef Kayak Fishing 5/4/2013

Bodega Jetty 3.17.2013

Made the 2hour drive up to bodega bay to try hitting up the jetties up there. Showed up with 2 friends to try fishing for rock cod on the easier to reach jetty (no idea if its north/south or east/west). It was the one next to doran park. You can park right next to the jetty ^^ convenient!

The jetty itself however…not so convenient. The jetty out there is literally worse than the north half moon bay jetty. Nearly every step required a hop. Maybe the other jetty would be easier, it looked like it was stacked nicer at least.

Anyhow, its late and im exhausted.
I can hopefully touch this up at a later date, and include the last 2 trips as well. I owe you guys a post called “Just Around The River Be- Err, Jetty Bend”. Disney fans should get the reference.


Catches were either 2 sculpin or baby cabezon, bunch of small crabs, 2 rock cods <4″, a kelp greenling and a seatrout both over 15″. Continue reading Bodega Jetty 3.17.2013

Half Moon Bay Jettaaayy

Sorry for the delay, been busy & sleeping really badly. Wake up in the mornings 2 hours after I aim to get up still feeling like a rock. Maybe I should really actually fall asleep before 2am for once this week =.=

Anyhow headed out Tuesday for a breather. Didn’t feel like continuing to work after work, and wanted something exciting so I wound up hitting up my shallow spot to see if I could expand my knowledge. Pretty much got skunked this time around, not really sure why. I think its because the tide was higher this time compared to last time I showed up…wasn’t bouncing in the same spots. Left with only 1 bite, but at least I landed it. Tiny little rock cod <5″. Threw it back and headed to deeper waters.

Despite it being rather calm in the harbor, it was a slow night. I did get to use my 1/4oz jig though, which was nice. Hooked into maybe 6-7 fish for an hour or two’s fishing. Not bad, but by no means the best ever. Here’s the catch of the night:
13

Continue reading Half Moon Bay Jettaaayy

Half Moon Baaaay

Jetty fishing! Done a lot of it since mid Decemeber! All in half moon bay. Lots of rock cod. A few eels, a few perch.

Half moon bay has been getting a lot more pressure as time goes on from what I can tell. Not sure if its just because I’m visiting more often these days (multiple times a week) or if word has spread about how it holds lots of fish. I swear poke poling is on the rise. I’m seeing people wander all the way out to the 40 markers poking as they go.

Fortunately it still seems like most of them haven’t the slightest clue what they’re doing. They’re dropping bait down and all, but often you just see them letting it lie motionless for 10+ minutes on end. Even if something was biting, you’ve got the wrong spot if nothing’s happening for that long…

Fish are either ridiculously gluttonous or just really hungry. Or really opportunistic? I’m kinda drunk. This is going to be a somewhat rambling post unfortunately.
Here’s the album for all the fishing up until now (well…what I’ve taken pictures of at least): http://imgur.com/a/wvcfK

Nice perch of some kind:
Nice 2-3lb perch
Continue reading Half Moon Baaaay