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2018 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: Stillwater Cove at Fort Ross  (Read 4064 times)

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promethean_spark

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Many people fish the Fort Ross area from Fort Ross itself.  However Stillwater cove is only a few miles north and also provides a great place to launch.  Stillwater cove is part of stillwater cove county park and going north on 1 there is a pullout on the left that is very easy to miss at the bottom of the hill after the stillwater cove park sign and campground entrance on the right.  1 makes a hairpin turn here in the crotch of the valley and coming from either way you have to make a 150í turn into the cove loading zone which has room for 3 cars to unload.  If you get here early, there is parking on the west side of 1 coming up the hill south of the cove.  Thereís room for 4 or 5 cars only, but itís usually empty at the wee hours that kayakfishermen launch.  Otherwise you have to pay $3 to park in the stillwater cove campgroundís lot and walk a fair distance back to the beach once youíve unloaded.

From the loading zone there is a couple hundred yard asphalt trail to the beach in the cove.  If you have a kayak cart you only have to hump your kayak the last 50 yards across the sand to the water.  True to itís name, Stillwater Cove is the most protected launch you could imagine.  The towering cliffs on either side form a small fjord that blocks any swells from getting in.  Several large rocks in the middle of the mouth of the cove further help protect it.  Itís like launching from a harbor, but one should use caution because the ocean could be rough or windy outside the cove while seeming nice inside.

This area is paved with rockfish.  It doesnít seem to matter where you go, north, south, straight out, inside the cove, even from the rocks at the shore.  Make sure to mark the cove on the gps, since itís the cove is so deep and narrow if you are a little north or south, you canít see it and the coast everywhere looks the same.  Pay attention to which way you are drifting as well, the wind kicks up pretty good in the afternoon and there is absolutely no emergency landings nearby.  A drift anchor is required gear here.

Because the rockfish are so thick in this area I like to use a 4oz diamond jig instead of a swimbait or scampi.  Not far out the water is 60 feet deep, and 100 feet is a short paddle, so the heavy jig gets you to the bottom well.  A 2/0 octopus Ďteaserí hook with a hoochie (yes, hoochie!) on it is a nice thing to have 18Ē over the diamond jig.  The tail doesnít foul on the hook like a swimbait or scampi would and it provides something for the fish that are too shy for the chrome.  The bottom is very snaggy, so when jigging itís best to fish the jig a few cranks above the bottom to keep it from hanging up.  Heavy spectra and a stout rod will let you jerk hard against the jig to free it Ė the kelp roots canít take a jackhammering from a 4oz jig for long.

Since it gets deep fast in this area, salmon can be found relatively close to shore.  However the rockfishing is so fantastic that Iíd only go after the salmon once I was tired of winching up lingasaurs.

Stillwater cove is also supposed to have abalone, although I havnít tried for them yet.  Fort Ross propper is very good for abs, and stilwater cove should be similar.

Stillwater cove yielded the most fantastic day on the water of my life.  I caught at least 30 lings and about 20 rockfish, as well as a 30lb salmon.  When I have a free weekend to camp, this is my first choice.

-Josh Simonson
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
Superior, they said, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early.


kickfish

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Great Whites are there also.  Didn't some die there recently? Or, it could have been awhile ago.

Ken


promethean_spark

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The one dude drowned off van damme, and Randy was chomped up at fort bragg.  Only recent fatalities that got much attention.

Anyway, sharks, shmarks.  I was thinking to myself, "heck, I'm an electrical engineer, I can make something that'd create an accurate recreation of the ending of 'jaws 2' if I wanted..."  So around I look and behold: http://www.eeb.uconn.edu/Courses/EEB200/EEB200s01/lowepaper.htm
a website that gives me the specifications for building my own sharkshield.  It won't melt out their eyeballs, but a psuedo-torpedo ray would only cost me about $20 bucks in parts I've already got to put together.  I can then test it on leopard sharks at kayakside.

It'll probably take about 6 months for me to develop and test a useable circuit, but when I'm done I'll happilly share the schematics with no gurantee whatsoever to whoever wants them.   :smt003
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
Superior, they said, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early.


kickfish

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I think I remember both Stillwater Cove (the Northern one...not Carmel) and Greyhound Rock have had skark attacks.

Ken


promethean_spark

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One on a scuba diver in '82 according to the historical data.  There was also at least one in carmel too.   :smt012
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
Superior, they said, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early.


kickfish

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I think this was an Allcoast message that I got the info. from.  I think is was maily surfboard guys and a few ab divers.

Ken


promethean_spark

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http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mrd/sharkdata2.pdf

You can make of it what you will.

I've got 1/3 of my zapper built now, should be torturing leopard sharks shortly.   :smt096
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
Superior, they said, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early.


SBD

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Unfortunatley for us the whitey is everywhere in Norcal.  An attack could happen just about anywhere, but the chances are slim just about everywhere with the exceptions of a few spots.  Stillwater is not on the list of sharky spots.  I am going there in a few weeks, and then again in Sept.  I have heard great things.


promethean_spark

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there's a rock with about 50 seals living on it about halfway between stillwater cove and fort ross.  But then there's one in santa cruz and nobody's been nailed there - though people have seen sharks eat sea lions from the pier.  I think it's just coincidence - or a coverup!
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
Superior, they said, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early.


 

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