Tag Archives: rock cod rig

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

HMB – Kayaking to Victory!

Aaalllrriightty, and that brings us to the kayak trip with Calvin!  Weather had finally calmed down to 2ft of combined swell.  A mite windy @ 6-12mph, but definitely doable.  In fact the wind was down most of the day until we started making our way back in!  Was a nice day on the water:

Half Moon Bay kayak fishing

Continue reading HMB – Kayaking to Victory!

Queen Of Hearts, But Not Mine!

Went out 7/20/2014 with Calvin & Glen on the Queen of Hearts out of Pillar Point Harbor (Half Moon Bay).  The quick & dirty?  We limited out, but 50% of the fish could fit in your hand, and more like 75% of the fish were black & blue rock cod.  Get the title yet?  Ankeny Street and Tigerfish still rule this guys heart!

rock cod on the Queen of Hearts from Half Moon Bay
My bag at the end of the day

These fish were on the large size.  And only 4 lings caught that day for 20+ people.  The whole reason we wound up going was that I called the day before & asked what their scores were like Saturday.  Apparently they managed 36 lings for 24 people.  Amazing!  Unfortunately we didn’t have a repeat performance.

Calvin was using a generic dropper loop rig with 8-10oz weights.  Glen used a mix of those and the ones with plastic squids on them as well.  Also used whole fresh squid (they caught some recently and had it to share with the patrons.  Massive props for that!).  I was using a generic bala/ho d jig (4oz).

generic bala jig
ho d jig

Continue reading Queen Of Hearts, But Not Mine!

It’s Not Over Yacht

Super delayed report.  We went out to Capitola for opening weekend, did okay:

Brown rock cod from Capitola

I caught an underling, but didn’t really get any fight out of it.  Was holding onto the BRAID line by hand for about 15 minutes untangling Jesse from my line… Incredibly difficult to do that with only 2 hands.  Urgh.  Anyways, underling, no fight, went back in.  Saaaad.

But then when we went back out Sunday…we caught only a couple.  Augh.  Got a bunch of kingfish, couldn’t get many lings to hit though

Kingfish/White Croaker from Capitola

We were out all day too.  Only got 1 ling to hit, and it was under sized:

Continue reading It’s Not Over Yacht

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!

Afternoon Paddle

Went out to half moon bay last Saturday, 10/26.  Was lazy and didn’t want to get up early to go… so I woke up at 11am on Saturday morning 😀  Hopped onto the computer and started doing playing some skyrim.

Around 2pm it occurred to me that I could totally just launch later…so I checked the weather, looked like it was going to be less than 5 ft, wind only 5-7 knots, so I started packing.

 

Launched around 330PM from the old pier at half moon bay/pillar point harbor, paddled out around the bend, and…it suddenly got pretty foggy!  I went out about half as far as usual and decided it just wasn’t worth traveling too much farther.  Wind was already somewhat up and I didn’t want to get blown over some wash rocks anywhere.  Hard to tell when swell is down & fog is in.  On the way out I passed an area that was only 9ft deep…I seriously need to stop cutting across the wash rocks :

Anyhow, I was searching for a certain ridge, but couldn’t find it.  I did find an area that would go from 38ft or so up to 25.  Hard to fish it though, a very small section.  Snagged up and lost a lot of gear, but did walk away with one chunky black and yellow rock cod :3

Rock cod fro half moon bay
black and yellow rock cod

Continue reading Afternoon Paddle

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

From the Half Moon Bay Jetties to the Mirror Waters of Capitola

super calm day at capitola, ca with seals
capitola water & seals in the background

The weather these past two weekends has been amazing.  It finally calmed down after that initial spring – fall change.  Had a few weeks of rather high speed winds, but boy, when it calms down, it really calms down!  And that black patch is a bunch of seals!  Tons of seals, dolphin, and whales, but more on that later. Continue reading From the Half Moon Bay Jetties to the Mirror Waters of Capitola

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?

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