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Messages - LoletaEric

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 915
1
General Talk / Re: Beef and Pork Fat for Crabing
« on: November 19, 2023, 08:24:08 AM »
So many different meat sources will work, but remember that crabs won't necessarily choose old, stale, twice or three times thawed meat over fresh.

If you're kicking butt compared to other crabbers around you, your bait may be prime.  Don't make the mistake of thinking that day's bait will be awesome again after going back in the freezer.  BTDT.

2
Introductions / Re: Hello
« on: November 15, 2023, 07:40:56 PM »
Your name strikes a bell...   :smt002

Welcome to NCKA.   :smt001

3
Talking shit after not even five years registered?   :smt005

Quote from: Eddie
Maybe catch a white sea bass?   :smt007 :smt006

 :smt044

Seriously though - good point.   :smt001

4
General Talk / Re: Can you target inshore rock fish, even if C&R?
« on: November 11, 2023, 07:49:54 AM »
Powerboaters...

5
Your reports are boring - halibut, halibut, halibut -  :smt044

Way to own that shit.

6
Quote from: Sailfish
I am a volunteer with MLML for the last 5 years.

Well done, Sonny!  You have always been a member who makes the community proud.   :smt001

7
Introductions / Re: Introduction
« on: October 05, 2023, 10:02:02 PM »
Quote from: Jpdrcp
Thank you guys this an awesome board Ive learned so much from it.  I was on the water at paradise cove this morning trolling frozen herring by 7:15.  First 24 fish in the boat with five minutes and then caught its twin about 10 minutes later!

You are deep in to the Madness, already.   :smt003

8
General Talk / Re: Phew...
« on: October 05, 2023, 09:53:44 PM »
Go get 'em!   :smt001

9
Fishing Pics / Re: A Lake Almanor Whopper!
« on: October 01, 2023, 02:16:11 PM »
Great to see your post, Doug.   :smt001

10
General Fishing Tips / Re: Crabbing Advice
« on: September 10, 2023, 09:22:00 AM »
Rings or "hoops" as some call them are the best way to crab, in my opinion.  32" is the standard, and I believe they cannot be over 36".  24" does sound too small.

I take 6 to 9 out with me, and they lay flat nicely, with the buoys taking up more space than anything.

Pots, traps and ambush contraptions don't interest me.  I'm never just out to collect meat, and that's how those devices make me feel.  I enjoy a sporting time where I must perform in order to capture the crabs, as opposed to just waiting for crabs to become trapped so I can collect them.

Also, when you put rings out around traps, you'll get the crabs faster, because your bait is exposed. 

Quote from: Alain
It helps to use something to protect your bait, so they stay longer trying to get at it.

This is true, and it's good advice, but you can look at it in a different way:  put nice fresh chicken or a fresh fish carcass on there right out in the open, and you'll have crabs on there faster than any other devices in the area.

I start pulling my rings as soon as they're all deployed, and I've limited on jumbos in less than 30 minutes when the crabbing's good.

Enjoy!

11
Introductions / Re: New Member - Ray, from Rocklin
« on: August 31, 2023, 08:04:16 AM »
Welcome to the Madness!   :smt001

12
Ever since they opened up more depth a few years ago I've thought it was a shitty idea.  Why not just make people fish in less than 100' of water?

I hardly ever encounter barotrauma - by design.

13
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14
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15
End of season scramble to get on the last decent forecast available yesterday.  John and I took our chances on a 15 to 25 knot NWS forecast with Small Craft Advisory starting by afternoon.  Windy.com had 15 knot winds coming inshore by 10AM.  Stormsurf was more encouraging though, showing winds at 5 knots or less through mid day or so.  I miss Magic Seaweed, which I would always look at, but it was at the other end of the extreme - often indicating very light conditions when all other pages were blown up.  I've been known to advocate for using several different forecast pages and trying to note how each of them generally does over different parts of the year to accurately predict wind and waves.  Becoming adept at recognizing patterns and knowing local climate features is a huge part of achieving fun and success on the ocean.

Anyway, it wasn't a great forecast, but I felt that we'd be able to fish until at least noon.  Coming from Ukiah area though, John requested a later than usual start so he wouldn't have to get up at 3AM.  I can't begrudge him for desiring to make the morning more bearable, and he's been out on enough trips with me to have proven his dedication to getting on it early, many times over.  We'd arrive well after sun up, start a couple hours later than usual, and if we got cut short by afternoon winds, so be it - this is what I knew John was agreeing to by making his request, and any good guide will acquiesce to such an ask from a long time client and good friend like John.  The other side of the coin is that I will always advise a new client that we need to start as early as possible in order to maximize our opportunities for the day.

Turned out it was pretty nice sleeping in a bit on a fishing day.  My commute down 101 with the sun out instead of the dark of night was quite pleasant, and going over the Shelter Cove Road wasn't a hassle, even with construction going on.  I pulled down onto the ramp to see that John had arrived at least half an hour early, as that's where I was on the schedule - his commute had gone well too.  Warm greetings and a quick exchange of home grown produce, and we were to work setting up our kits for the day.  The ocean - especially right at the launch - was exquisite, and there wasn't a breath of wind.  Thick fog on the water came right up to the shoreline, but the sun was out over town and over our heads.  It was Summertime at its best at 8AM down in the Cove, and we were stoked to be starting our adventure.

We'd talked the night before about fishing along shore to try to find a California halibut, which have been very scarce at the Cove this season.  Now the thick fog right offshore was making that choice look very appealing.  One worry for me was that the abundant baitfish and the presence of salmon would lead to us hooking up with the off-limits chromers that have been so prevalent right near the harbor for the past few weeks.  I had a plan though.

Even though I love to document these trips and to use my writing as a well of inspiration and hopefully positive vibes, I don't really share my tackle and bait information in fine detail - it's a guide thing!  My plan though, to avoid hooking a salmon, was that we'd run a couple of really large and flashy lures that were in my Gampa's tackle box, I've had for years and only briefly tried one time.  They're called "Manistee" by Luhr Jensen, and they'd probably be classified as a 'spoon' but are oversized at about the size of a Pringles potato chip.  With one large barbless hook behind it, it would be hard for even a big fish to do more than lip hook itself on it.  We'd run these near the bottom, and hopefully a halibut would find it irresistible.  As I explained this plan to John and got the gear out and ready to clip on to our swivels, I had noted that there wasn't bait popping all over the place in the harbor like there recently has been, and the water was pretty clear and green instead of the brown 'salmon water' that had been present.  I'd mulled the possibility that the bait would move on and that the salmon would follow them, and it appeared, at least close to the moorings, that that was the case. 

We got the big flashy Manistee's down and slow trolled along, enjoying easy conversation and perfect weather, and sure enough, the big bait party was over right in the cove.  Down the coast a mile or more we could see birds working, and this is consistent with how the bait moves at this time of year.  Our target zone was looking good for finding a halibut. 

We spent the next several hours fishing back and forth along our preferred depth lines and GPS tracks.  Those hours feel like minutes on nice water with the sun out and just enough bites and hookups to keep things exciting.  Having landed a couple of smaller rockfish and missed a couple of other bites, it seemed that the fish were sluggish, and later we'd note that all the species seemed to be short-biting.  I hypothesized that all the bait that had been here for the past weeks had these fish well fed.  They were reacting instinctively to our offerings, but they were so non-committal it was pathetic at times!  Like, you're slow trolling, and your rod just starts to bend like you're snagged or on seaweed, and you wait and watch, and it thumps just slightly, and when you pick it up it's got a fish on it, but several seconds after the initial bite - after you've waited and let that potential halibut munch and get the bait in its throat - it STILL spits your hooks!  Getting played by rockfish, lingcod and - we're sure of it by the headshakes - a few halibut was a blast!

By late morning the fog started burning off, and before long we could see the buoys offshore.  I'd offered to John that we could head out to the reef to string up some of the more reliable biters, but he was happy to keep trying for a flat one.  It wasn't long before his choice paid off.  After a few hookups that we thought would be halibut and turned out to be rockfish or lingcod, John got one on that made itself more apparent.  His rod was pumping, and the fish was staying down - this looked like the right kind!  He brought it up gently as I got in position with the net, and - BOOM! - we were on the board!  Such a fun fishery.  I got one an hour later that looked short in the water, so I left the net in the holder and gave it the Vulcan Neck Pinch to briefly put it on the board.  Twenty-one inches and should've named it Sexy Fins of the Day, but the camera wasn't handy.

Right at high tide I got a different kind of bite.  Slow trolling into about 18 feet of water, I felt a hard thump, and then my line was loaded up.  I worried it was a salmon when the fish moved laterally to the surface to my right, and then it jumped out of the water right between John and I.  Thresher!  After a few jumps and some really strong runs I knew it was hooked well, but they usually cut your leader with their teeth, or their giant tail cuts your mainline and takes everything.  Once I could see this fish up close though, I learned that one of my hooks was in its back.  I also noticed that my weight was gone.  This shark had literally eaten my weight, and when I loaded up the rod, my hook buried into its back.

Now I could see that the position of my hook was making it unlikely that the shark would be able to cut my line with its tail.  I tightened my drag and resolved to wear this fish out and see if I could get it to hand for removal of the hook from its flesh. 
Within about five minutes I had ahold of its tail.  I only achieved this due to its size - the fish was maybe 40 pounds and about 8 feet long (they're half body, half tail, roughly).  As I held it by near the end of its leathery tail, the thresher showed it still had a lot of energy, as it wriggled free of my grip and splashed away on another spirited run, swatting my thumb with its tail just slightly as it escaped.  It stung.  I've always looked at thresher sharks with a mind to avoid being in the Danger Zone with regard to where that whip of a tail could go.

After reeling it back in and catching it by the tail a couple more times, getting a few photos, and also rotating its whole body with my wrist when it would wrap in my leader, I was ready to try to remove the hook from its back.  I held the tail tight and got my pliers on the curve of the hook, and when I applied pressure to roll it out of the flesh, the fish didn't like it at all.  I got a little better purchase on the hook, gave it my best twist and pull, and the hook was free.  No blood appeared from the shark's new wound, but it was a deep plunge with no doubt some damage from yanking that barb out.  I held the shark for just a bit longer, having never had to bring its head out of the water, and when I released it, it swam away strong.  Such a fun hookup, and it was only the second thresher I've ever landed and the sixth landed on my trips over the years.

By mid afternoon things had slowed down for us - with another short-bite every twenty to thirty minutes at that point!  We had the one halibut, a few rockfish and one lingcod put away, so we decided to head over to the rocks and try to find a few more for the stringers.  Another hour and a half or so fighting the current and a significantly bumpier ocean out by the point and we were about toast - it now being five o'clock!

After eight hours on the water we were ready to wrap up the mission, get our traditional photo, break down the fish and head our separate ways.  We landed on a sunny ramp with the tide mostly out still, and a group of locals admired our stringers as a couple of overworked and underpaid fish counters went through our catch.  Cold beers were cheersed, and our smiles of contentment and the happiest kind of weariness were affixed in place for the remainder of the day.

With the sun now dropping behind Point Delgada to the west of us, it was still t-shirt weather on the ramp, where I fully employed the Tailgate Fillet Station after jumping in the water to refresh my focus for an hour of cutting.  I cherish that part of the day, where we've completed what was an open-ended assignment to turn hope, desire and planning into whatever level of success we could muster with the boats and our fishing gear.  There's so much more to that moment though - it's not about the catching as much as it's about the experience that was had, and all of the facets of that experience from the weather to the landscape to the water to the animals to yourself and how you use the time to feel and to learn and to enjoy yourself - it's all part of the goal for the day, and it's what life is all about.  The fish are just a bonus and another way to achieve that cherished, weary smile.

Left town well after the dinner hour, and the wind never did blow.

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