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>> All Aboard the U.S.S. Lost Rig [October 2017 Report] [topic: previous/next]
PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:52 pm
sea_forager


Posts: 186
Location: San Francisco

October in SF and nearby coastal areas typically offer warm, sunny days with low wind and even lower swells, so it seemed like a great chance to get out there and explore some new areas that could hold fish. What they mostly held however were tackle-hungry rocks waiting to bring my rigs to a watery grave. A few fish were managed to be caught here and there however, and I was fortunate to explore some really beautiful scenery with friends as well as solo while becoming a better informed angler on what works and what doesn't for me when tossing my line out amongst the rocks.

October 7-9: Lands End [SF], Bean Hollow [San Mateo Coast], Rockaway [Pacifica]


Lands End [MAP 1] [MAP 2] :

Markdogg and I met up for some fishing around Lands End on a sunny Saturday morning. Swells were rougher than they had been in weeks and it seemed to shut off the bite. but I managed to pull up a half dozen dinks on a sabiki before Markdogg made it out and then it was just nibble nibble nibble snag nibble snag snag nibble nibble while the skunk surrounded me the rest of the morning. Still, Markdogg hooked up a decent BSP (his first from the rocks?) and it's always a blast introducing another local to a new fishing location right here in our backyard. Since I was fishing the rest of the weekend I was on a strict fishing curfew and had to duck out as the afternoon rolled around. Every time I head out though, I learn a little bit more about the spots I'm fishing, and the real bonus this time was figuring out a foolproof and safe path from the Lands End Coastal Trail down to the cast-off spot towards the Frank H Buck wreck. No more scrambling down cliffs!


Bean Hollow [MAP]:

What started out as a trip to HMB's North Jetty quickly turned into a more manageable outing to the San Mateo coast as the swell was beating down on the jetty early on and caused Uglystick and I to change course. A big thank you to another PFIC member, Nacho, for catching us just as we were making our way back to the parking lot and recommending Bean Hollow to us. It made all the difference!

Most of Bean Hollow looks like a place I'd want to take my nephew for a tide pool field trip, not somewhere I would've thought to seriously try and catch fish but the tide and swell were up and Uglystick and I were determined. It was unbelievably snaggy and more than a few rigs were lost, but we both managed to pull out a grassy a piece.




My only keeper of the day. Notice the water level and compare it to the below photo of what that structure actually looked like. It seems I got reallllll lucky.



Picture via Google Maps of the area on a minus tide. Uglystick and I actually cast into that... and still managed to catch fish.

The highlight of the day came when Uglystick not once but twice hooked into something large in that same spot at Bean Hollow but it managed to come off the hook both times while reeling it in. I was fortunate to see it hit the second time and watch it bend his rod in half! I know that lost fish still tortures my friend, but it was a hell of a thrill for both of us.

Another shoutout to Nacho who we ran into a second time out at BH at a nearby spot. He had a couple rockfish already in the bucket and was hand-lining snares for rock crabs. We learned a lot from him that day and look forward to casting out next to him in the future.


Rockaway Beach Rocks [MAP]:

Had a Monday off and decided to finally check out the rocks to the south of Rockaway more thoroughly since I've seen people pull out the odd rockfish from the area hugging the beach to the south but knew there was more substantial structure just around the bend. Well the hike down to the spot was no slouch job and I'd like to think there's an easier way to where I went (any tips??), but there's definitely fish-holding structure all around here, and the angler trash I encountered was a testament to that. I think I just miscalculated and came during the incoming tide when I should've come on the outgoing. The rising water level and swell meant that any spot I found to cast out from was only good for 10 or 20 minutes and then I'd start getting splashed and needed to retreat to less-than-ideal ground. I don't much like getting pushed around by the environment like that and will just have to be smarter about the next time I come out. The swells didn't help much, pushing my 5oz right up into snags on nearly every cast. 3 lost rigs later I called it and decided to try again another day. Any of you that have fished this area have any advice on where to focus my attention?

Also, the rock that is closer towards Pacifica SB seems definitely more my speed and I wonder if there's an area closer to the water that I could bomb a cast out near it. I couldn't gauge the distance very well from shore to rock. Any of you ever try to target it?




My route for this unproductive, but still fun outing


Setup for all these outings:

10ft Daiwa Beefstick / Daiwa BG 6500 / 50lb Braid / 125lb anglers clip -> Hi/Lo with 4/0 octopus baitholder hooks -> 5oz weights

Bait: Squid & Shrimp




October 16: Redondo/Wavecrest Beach [HMB], Martin's Beach [San Mateo Coast]

This was a last-minute trip due to an unexpected day off. I wanted to explore Martin's Beach as long as I could but while I waited for the tide there to recede a little, I decided to explore Redondo Beach just south of HMB since sat photos made it look promising.

Redondo Beach [MAP]:

Just south of HMB is a great section of beach offering up some solid surf fishing as well as some of the rockier structures that you would like to find along the North-Central Coast. The walk down to the beach from the parking lot is short but a little steep. Still, it's hard-packed, well-worn, and walking back up is far easier than down.

The main attraction for the 90 minutes I fished there was a large rock jutting up onto the beach. A little slippery for sure, but I imagine in the spring it's deadly after a winter of being mostly underwater and giving vegetation a chance to grow. Pictures of this rock online are a brilliant green but when I explored it I found very little of that. A few slips here and there but very manageable and pretty flat.



Photo courtesy of californiabeaches.com


I fished the far southern tip of the rock and landed a number of perch within minutes of each other, but even on an outgoing tide and low swell, water was still lapping up over the tip regularly enough to a) get my lower half wet which didn't bother me and b) wash my plastic ziplock of bait away from me along the rock multiple times which did bother me. If you were casting out from this rock towards the other fishy structures just south, you'd be tangling with lots of weed in the water not to mention rocky bottoms and hungry rock crabs. That I only lost 1 full rig here was kind of a miracle.

When I next return, I plan on skipping the rock entirely and walking a hundred feet south to a little elevated spot and casting out from that into the structure I had tried to target before. I think that's likely to bear better fruit, or at least less tangles with vegetation.



The area I explored



Still, If you are around HMB and looking for a new place to check out, keep this beach on your list.



Martin's Beach [MAP]:

Ignoring the long walk down from Highway 1, then along the beach to the small cove that is the most fishable spot around here, this place is stunning. The water along both beaches is think with kelp so you're going to want to make your way to the north where you are greeted with a large flat outcropping only a few feet above the water that bends around and terminates at two caves that you can easily hang out in if so inclined.



Your destination




Panoramic shot of the outcropping




A long walk indeed but worth it if the swell is low


The ecosystem here is extremely healthy and it shows. Kelp, Rock, and even Dungeness Crabs are in abundance. Multiple perch species from what I can see by virtue of what I was catching. And of course rockfish, cabezon, greenlings, etc...

I started with a sabiki and was pulling up lots of smaller (~7") perch of all types: redtail, calico, bsp, and silvers. Tinier grassies and brown rockfish, followed by a few undersized cabs were also caught. LOTS of rock crabs hanging out along the edge of the outcropping, which became a problem when I wanted to soak bait around there to lure out some cabs and larger fish. I must've pulled up more than a half-dozen larger (5"+) rock crabs that day, as well as a couple keeper-size dungies. I'd definitely bring a snare or crabhawk to hand-line over the edge next time.

Later in the day as the tide turned and the fish started to bite more aggressively, I pulled up a larger striped seaperch that was hanging out next to a cabezon hole, a decent meal-sized grassy, and the fattest calico perch I'd ever caught (1lb 4oz), so I was plenty content.



More than enough food for me and the partner for a couple meals


If you decide to go here, I can't stress enough that you need to seriously watch the tides and especially the swells. Towards the top of the tide the water would occasionally breach the top but the swell was only 2.5ft that day. Don't think I'd ever come here if it was up over 5-6ft. Seems way too dangerous.

Also you'd better come with a bag full of donations for the lead bank. I lost 6 full rigs out here and felt I got lucky. There are plenty of sandy bottom areas, including ones right next to the edge that you can safely soak bait if you can hold bottom, but most of the action I got was where it was snaggiest. Fair warning.

Absolutely stunning scenery and marine life though. I saw whales partially breaching out in the distance, tons of seals, and a pod of dolphins made an appearance a mere 15ft away, sticking around for quite some time.

Here's a video I shot of the dolphins on my phone: https://streamable.com/x2s4h


No more weekend fishing trips planned for the rest of this month so I hope once November comes around I'm able to come out here once again before the swells get too hairy.


Setup for both spots:

10ft Daiwa Beefstick / Daiwa BG 6500 / 50lb Braid / 125lb anglers clip -> Hi/Lo with 4/0 octopus baitholder hooks -> 5oz weights

Bait: Squid & Shrimp



October 28: Bobber experiment at Point Lobos [SF]:

Point Lobos [MAP]

After watching a few YouTube videos of shallow reef fishing from shore in Hawaii, I had a fever dream about fishing the shallow, snaggy area at Point Lobos while using a bobber and decided to put it into practice on this final Friday of October.

The plan: Fish a bobber above a length of leader with a circle hook and let the rough current and waves in that tiny cove move my bait around, over, and in-between rocky areas that would've spelled doom for my usual hi/lo rig, regardless of weight. I pre-tied a number of fluorocarbon leaders with circle hooks of various sizes.

Even though I didn't go home with anything I wanted to (or could) keep and only had 90 minutes to try it out, overall I felt it was a success! The hook sizes that caught fish were #6 and 3/0. 5 perch all around 6~7", and one baby cabezon around 8". All caught on shrimp. Best of all: no snags and I didn't lose any gear! The length of my leader (around 3ft) was definitely the limiting factor here as I was at the mercy of the waves and couldn't get my bait down towards the shallow bottom.

What I would change for next time is try a longer leader for that particular spot-- maybe 4-5ft-- as well as put a tiny split shot weight (like for trout fishing) above the knot to my hook to get it to sink more but still retain a floaty presentation.

I definitely prefer fishing a hi/lo in rocky terrain but if I were fishing an area that was pretty shallow and rocky even at high tide-- large sections of Bean Hollow SB come to mind-- I'd definitely opt for using a bobber/float since I can let the current help me cover ground that I'd never get dislodged from with a heavier setup. Looking forward to trying it out soon again!


Setup:

10ft Daiwa Beefstick / Daiwa BG 6500 / 50lb Braid / 125lb anglers clip -> Large (2.5") plastic bobber -> 1/2oz split shot weight (2 x .25oz) -> 3ft 50lb fluoro leader w/ circle hook at the end


Bait: Shrimp



And that's October for me! There were a few other odd outings here and there, and a couple trips out to Crissy Field for some swimbait practice, but most of the "all weekend" fishing outings will have to wait till next month when crabbing kicks off and the Fall work holidays roll in.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:37 pm
uglystick


Posts: 59

Great report! I really enjoyed reading it!
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:18 pm
dsch2251


Posts: 532

Wow, That is the best report to come around for a long, long time. Thanks for posting.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:00 pm
Ken Jones


Posts: 9444
Location: California

Very interesting report with lots of detail. One note, anglers are not to hide faces as in the picture (check the listed guidelines). Best to simply show the fish if you don't want your face seen.

I'll allow it this time but please refrain in the future.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:25 pm
sea_forager


Posts: 186
Location: San Francisco

Ken Jones wrote:
Very interesting report with lots of detail. One note, anglers are not to hide faces as in the picture (check the listed guidelines). Best to simply show the fish if you don't want your face seen.

I'll allow it this time but please refrain in the future.


Yikes. Must've missed that bit. I know you said you'll allow it this time, but if it's a sore spot I've no problem with quickly cropping it to just show the fish. If cropping also runs afoul of the altering rules, then I'll just pull it since it's unfortunately the only photo taken that day of my catch.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:40 pm
Ken Jones


Posts: 9444
Location: California

You don't need to crop it, it's OK this time.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:15 pm
pinoyfisherman


Posts: 919
Location: Da Bay Area,CA

Good read! Great you had fun out there exploring new spots. You can never stop learning when it comes to fishing.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:57 am
therealhobos


Posts: 243

what a great report!! I hope to see you out at OB once the crab season starts.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:01 pm
uglystick


Posts: 59

>anglers are not to hide faces as in the picture (check the listed guidelines)

What is the reasoning behind this rule?

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:34 pm
Ken Jones


Posts: 9444
Location: California

uglystick wrote:
>anglers are not to hide faces as in the picture (check the listed guidelines)

What is the reasoning behind this rule?



Check the "Message Board Rules & Guidelines" at the top of the page and the archives; it's been discussed many times.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:35 pm
giantbrookie


Posts: 10
Location: San Francisco Bay Area & Fresno

Thanks for the informative post. This is exceedingly useful for someone who is just getting seriously into this as my son and I are. Regarding your thoughts on Rockaway and the best way to get to where you fished, I haven't been to that area to fish but I have hiked all over there in the course of doing geologic research. I think an alternative to the steep climb is the laborious trip around the corner from the south (which I've done). Although longer and tedious, a potential advantage is being able to send casts into a lot of different spots along the way.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:43 am
sea_forager


Posts: 186
Location: San Francisco

giantbrookie wrote:
Thanks for the informative post. This is exceedingly useful for someone who is just getting seriously into this as my son and I are. Regarding your thoughts on Rockaway and the best way to get to where you fished, I haven't been to that area to fish but I have hiked all over there in the course of doing geologic research. I think an alternative to the steep climb is the laborious trip around the corner from the south (which I've done). Although longer and tedious, a potential advantage is being able to send casts into a lot of different spots along the way.


The few times over the past month that I've driven back towards SF (north) Pacifica State Beach I've tried to get a good look at that as well and it looks as though a path does extend from the area around the south section, but I don't think any of the trails make a clean, safer wraparound to where I was at.

It's definitely worth checking out though! And as the fall and winter roll in and the water level gets higher some of those large rocks closer to the cliff's base (and trails) will hold water and could be fishable.

Alternatively, you and your son could try two other spots on either side of Rockaway/Pacifica Beach: Shelter Cove to the south and Mori Point to the north. Both offer easier access, if not a bit more walking depending where you park. If you're looking at Mori though, definitely have a longer & stouter rod with some decent line capacity on it for hauling up whatever you catch. Shelter you can get a lot closer to the water.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:38 am
Sin_Coast


Posts: 1843
Location: Marina, CA

Right ON!
That's an excellent report. Exploring the rocky intertidal is one of the most rewarding adventures an angler can experience, in my opinion. Thanks for taking the time to share your adventures and congrats on some nice fish! Smile
(Careful about using a sabiki though...you'd have to release any RF you caught...and can't use it if you already kept a RF...unless you cut it down to 2 hooks.)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:20 pm
giantbrookie


Posts: 10
Location: San Francisco Bay Area & Fresno

sea_forager wrote:

Alternatively, you and your son could try two other spots on either side of Rockaway/Pacifica Beach: Shelter Cove to the south and Mori Point to the north. Both offer easier access, if not a bit more walking depending where you park. If you're looking at Mori though, definitely have a longer & stouter rod with some decent line capacity on it for hauling up whatever you catch. Shelter you can get a lot closer to the water.

Actually I've been intending to head to Shelter Cove for awhile because that was where I made my first saltwater casts in the early 90s. That very first time there was quite successful (cab about an inch short of keeper, keeper kelp greenling, two large striped surf perch), but my wife soon soured on the place after she got tired of losing rigs. In fact surf fishing never really caught on with us back then and given how much success and how much time we spent fishing the High Sierra we had other fishing interests. Now my son is much more serious about the surf and we've probably taken as many trips to the coast this year as my wife and I did in 15 years.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:07 pm
frozendog


Posts: 1611
Location: SLO County

Really appreciate all the work you put into this report as well as the risks you took to get those pictures and fish. And thanks for sharing all the information.
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