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:
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.
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 did manage to wake up early in the morning to get out to Ft. Point pier, even managed to get Bill to go with me. Got even luckier and managed to get the parking spot closest the to pier! But before that…I gps’d myself to the wrong place. Had to pull over and look at maps to figure out where we were @_@ Readjusted course and then made it there.
Climbed out of the car, and boy was it kinda wet and cold… Was a pretty foggy day, and I forgot to check the weather last night. Headed to the trunk to grab my stuff. I was pretty excited, I found some cheap salmon heads to use as crab bait, and I had mussels to fish on hi-lo rigs for perch and rock cod.
And then I realized today was a terrible terrible day. I’d left all my bait, ALL OF IT, back home in the fridge…
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