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>> My first fishing trip! [topic: previous/next]
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:02 pm
ryanrs


Posts: 25
Location: San Francisco

Today I went out to the Half Moon Bay south jetty to try poke poling. This was more-or-less my first time fishing. I had a 10 ft garden stake from home depot and an assortment small rigs tied with 100# mono. I figured I'd start cheap just in case I hated it.

It was a very low tide, -1.6. I'm not sure if this made things worse, but scrambling on the jetty near the water line was way too much work. Walking along the top was fine, but to get down near the water was to risk slipping and going into the water, which I was very much trying to avoid. I ended up spending most of my time on the harbor side on the sand or over very shallow water. There were still plenty of pools and holes on the jetty within reach.

I caught three little fish, none worth keeping, including a baby cabezon which I regrettably gut-hooked. So it's fair to say the fishing did not go that well. But I did catch two large rock crabs. They foolishly followed my baited line out into the open, putting them in easy grabbing range.

Later in the afternoon, as I was readying to leave, another fisherman asked if anyone wanted his monkey face prickleback. Yes, yes I do want that. Together with the two crabs, I figured that made enough for a dinner. I gutted the prickleback and put it on ice with the crabs.

Once I got home, I set about turing these mostly-intact animals into food, something I'd not done before. I was dismayed to find that rock crabs, unlike dungeness, have most of their meat in their claws. This was especially disappointing since one of my crabs had no claws at all. I boiled them in salt water, then broke 'em open to scoop out the meat, which was pretty scarce. I think I got about 1/3 of a cup in all. I mixed the meat with some melted butter and used it to dress a baked potato.

The monkey face eel looked much more promising, if only I could separate the meat from the bones and skin. Even in death, the eel managed to be an evasive and slippery adversary. It took an unseemly amount of sawing and hacking and cursing to get the meat off that fish. In the end I got it off in four pieces, which should put me in good standing for halibut season. I fried the meat in butter with some shallots.

The eel and the crab were excellent. And I do like the idea of catching my own wild dinner. So I'd call this a success, even if the catching was sparse, because the eating was good. I'll be back out tomorrow in Pescadero to collect mussels.


Last edited by ryanrs on Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:04 pm
ryanrs


Posts: 25
Location: San Francisco

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:08 pm
ryanrs


Posts: 25
Location: San Francisco

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dinner
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:12 pm
ryanrs


Posts: 25
Location: San Francisco

One question went through my mind as I was grabbing these crabs: if a large rock crab or dungeness catches your finger, does it merely hurt a lot, or can they cause real damage tearing the flesh or maybe even breaking bone?

(I suspect it just hurts a lot, but maybe it'd be good to get a definitive answer before I try grabbing more.)
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:32 pm
giantbrookie


Posts: 29
Location: San Francisco Bay Area & Fresno

Great way to end 2017 with your first fishing trip. Sounds like a good trip and a nice meal. My son and I were out at the south jetty back on 12/10 and we still regret throwing back the big rock crab he caught (about 6.5" across with enormous claws), given that the we didn't really catch enough fish for a full dinner for our family that day. I'm sure you'll have lots of great days of fishing in 2018. Happy New Year.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:46 am
Ken Jones


Posts: 9538
Location: California

Sounds like an interesting trip that did yield some food for a meal. As for the crabs and their claws, yes a crab pincer can pinch pretty good but there shouldn't be any lasting damage other than the pain.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:54 pm
frozendog


Posts: 1619
Location: SLO County

Nice report. Glad to see some new posters on the Board.

I did a tutorial some years back on how to clean Monkey Faced eels. Unfortuantely, Photobucket ate my pictures, but the cleaning tips are still here:

http://www.pierfishing.com/msgboard/viewtopic.php?t=10962

Best advice, is to leave the fish in an ice-chest overnight before cleaning to firm up the flesh. Also, to bleed the fish by cutting its gills. Then you can hold the fish by the gills when you are filleting.

Dinner looked yummy!
Keep fishing! Keep posting!

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"Mrs. Kittyfish, we'll just drive up to one more point, it's just a couple miles further, and look at the rocks. No more, I promise"
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:54 pm
ryanrs


Posts: 25
Location: San Francisco

Firmer flesh would have made it easier, yeah.

So there's a funny/gruesome story behind bleeding that eel. I bled and gutted it at the beach, because I heard the guts can stink up the meat. But before I did that, I clubbed it with a large rock about the size of a cobblestone. I did it partly because I read that was more humane, and partly to make the damn thing hold still.

I give it a firm smack with the cobble. Eel is still wriggling.

I give it a real full-force blow with the five pound rock. Eel is still wriggling.

Repeat three more times. But the eel is still acting very much alive.

At that point the eel didn't even have a head anymore, so I gave up and started cutting it while it was still very much moving around. I should have videoed it and posted it to reddit/wtf.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:01 pm
Trumbo


Posts: 866
Location: East bay

If you cut the head off and run a long needle or sharpened rod through the vertebra and spinal cord it should paralyze the little bastard
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:56 pm
ryanrs


Posts: 25
Location: San Francisco

But the rock bashing makes a bigger impression on the tourists (especially if you do it while shouting "DIE DIE DIE" at the top of your lungs).
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:24 am
Trumbo


Posts: 866
Location: East bay

LOL. I bet Cory Feldman wants to bash in Weinstein’s head while yelling that haha
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:29 pm
sea++


Posts: 229
Location: San Francisco

Coming home with stuff for dinner from your first outing? What a blast! And they were tasty crabs and an MFPB to boot! The photo of what you made with it looked great.

You're right though, those monkeys are damn near immortal. There are a few good videos on YT showing different ways of processing MFPB. I subscribe to the methods that use pliers in oder to more easily peel the skin off.

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