|Here's a story for you.
I normally have better luck fishing on incoming tides at night on the Berkeley Pier. A few nights ago, the tide was going out and I thought I'd give it a shot since the weather was decently warm, the wind was somewhat calm and the moon was out.
I threw out my cast net and caught some anchovies. I hooked up the anchovies to both my rods. Moments later, the line on one of my rods started to peel out. I picked up the rod, waited a few seconds and tried to set the hook. Nothing. I pulled up my line and the bait was still hooked on. The anchovy looked unscathed. A big fish must've ran into my line and dragged it. I'm guessing it was a bat ray.
Moments later, the line on my other pole started to peel out. I tried to set the hook, but I was too late, the bait was gone. I'm guessing it was a shark.
I threw out the cast net and caught some more anchovies including two shiners. I hooked up both shiners and waited. One of my rods started tipping and the line eventually started to peel out. I tried to set the hook, but misfired again. I pulled up my line and the shiner was still on. The shiner was missing a big chunk of flesh around its dorsal area and it was twitching. Shark again maybe?
I threw out my cast net again and noticed that my net was extremely heavy while I was pulling the net up. There were about twenty smelts in the net, all more than ten inches long (I'll post a picture later). I kept the two smallest ones for bait.
After awhile, I wasn't feeling lucky using smelts as bait, so I released both fish and went back to using anchovies. A bit later, one of my lines started to scream out. As I was staring at my line that comes out of the rod tip, I can see the line angling closer and closer to vertical. I knew I was in trouble. The fish took my bait and was heading towards the bottom of the pier. I quickly set the hook and I couldn't stop the fish from going under. I tipped my rod all the way downwards and couldn't prevent my braided line from rubbing against the concrete of the pier. Gone. Bat ray?
At this point, the tide was very low. I was close to leaving when my line started to fly out again. I set the hook, and the fish started running westward. I followed the fish for about two lights down. It was a bat ray.
All in all, it was a pretty exciting night for me. I haven't had so much action in awhile. All this on the outgoing tide.