Location: San Francisco
|The rest of my fishing gear arrived last week, setting the stage for my second fishing trip: this time with a rod and reel!
I bought an enormous 11 ft Shakespeare Ugly Stik and a Daiwa BG 6500 spinning reel. I wanted something affordable, durable, and heavy duty enough to fling crab snares. I also bought a bunch of little odds and ends to make my own leaders, cut and clean fish, walk in the water, etc. Oh, and a fishing license. Surprisingly, the rod and reel only made up about a third of the overall cost to get started.
So all this gear has been sitting in my closet last week while I waited for it to stop raining and the swells to go down. In the mean time I busied myself with learning how to tie fishing knots. At this point I can competently tie an improved clinch, a perfection loop, a palomar knot, an albright bend, and a snell knot. I think these five knots are enough to for now. Clearly the next step is to actually go fishing.
Pigeon Point, south side - calm seas, light breeze, nice t-shirt weather!
Although the setting was beautiful and the conditions serene, the reality on the beach was quite different from all the catch and cook videos I've been watching online. Specifically: I didn't catch any fish. I feel like youtube lied to me.
The main thing I learned today is that while casting looks pretty intuitive, it is actually kinda hard. And I'm sure my giant 11 ft surf rod isn't helping. So I spent the afternoon practicing casting. Not to gain distance, but just to make the bait fly in right general direction. And that's it! I didn't even really try to catch fish. I just cast and immediately retrieved my bait. Towards the end I even cut off my hook to cut down on snagging (since it turns out that snapping 50# mono leader can be a hassle).
Tomorrow I'm going to head out again to practice more casting. This time I'll go to a sandy beach so I don't get as many snags (San Gregorio?). Maybe I'll catch a perch by accident, heh.
To make up for my incompetent fishing, I stopped at 99 Ranch on the way home and bought a whole striper, ostensibly to practice my filleting skills. I should have taken a picture, but instead I just ate it. My misshapen, ragged fillets were delicious!
Pigeon Point, south side
Jan 13, 2017, 2:30 PM
Low tide -0.43 ft
Swells W 5.2 ft, but beach is sheltered by the point, note waves in the distance
Wind 5 mph