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>> Good Eel Hunting [January 2018 Report] [topic: previous/next]
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:23 pm
sea++


Posts: 251
Location: San Francisco

What was supposed to be an epic first week of fishing for the year turned into me splayed out on the couch during my vacation while I battled the flu. When things settled down it was back to work and limited time to get out and fish. I only managed two travel days out of SF, but my trip north inspired me to spend the rest of the time sneaking out to various spots along SF's north side in the early morning before work to see if there was any structure that reliably held Monkeyface Pricklebacks. Why monkeys? Well I just couldn't figure out why I wasn't able to catch MFPB in structure I knew existed in SF, so I wanted to do a deeper dive. While it didn't turn out according to plan it still was a great excuse to comb over spots inside the Bay along SF's north shore that I had neglected, but also a good opportunity to fine tune my technique for laying up my bait right up against or underneath structure without getting snagged as often. Obviously any place where monkeys hang out would be places I likely would run into cabezon and rockfish, so that would be an added bonus.

There is some very tight geography to maneuver about along the shore here in SF, but if you're willing to put in the effort there are plenty of places to wet a line in the Bay's calmer waters while the winter swells rage along Ocean Beach and Lands End.



January 7th: Santa Cruz, Davenport, and Bean Hollow [Santa Cruz & San Mateo Coast]


Santa Cruz @ West Cliff Drive [MAP]

Finally free of the flu that had plagued me since after xmas, I made my way out for my first trip of 2018 on the last day of vacation before heading back to work. I met up with Nacho at Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz and we fished around the point for a bit with no action and then moved up West Cliff Drive a bit to another spot where some other anglers had set up shop. They were pulling in some decent rubberlip perch that were holed up by a rock about 30 ft from the cliff's edge. The swells were actually coming in harder than expected and they got a waterfall poured onto them and their gear more than once. Still no action for me so I parted ways with Nacho and headed to Davenport to see if I could find a spot to fish that wouldn't kill me.


Panther Beach & cliffs around Davenport [MAP]

Davenport wants to kill me. I'm sure the calmer swells and lower water levels of the summer will make a lot of these spots more inviting, but right now during these winter swells it's incredibly intimidating. I walked along the trail at the top of the cliffs from Panther Beach to just above the "secret" cave at Seven Mile Beach. Again, lots of structure to fish off of but you're likely going to have to wait until the water is much calmer. I also couldn't find access directly to Seven Mile Beach which might make things easier, but I also wasn't looking that hard to be honest. I still need to check out Shark Fin Cove and the areas around Bonny Doon Beach to see if there are ways to access deeper water without rappelling down the side of a cliff.

Since I saw some anglers already down on Panther Beach and didn't want to crowd them I decided to take a look at a spot in a cove right on the north side of Panther: MAP]

Not for the faint of heart but also not a double-diamond climb down. There are giant slabs of concrete that have been relocated here that, along with some well worn foot paths, haphazardly form a way down to the cove below. Easier to get up and down with a partner if you're hauling a bucket like I was, but nothing too hairy. The area down here is fishable but I was only catching smaller walleye perch, and the tide was starting to come up closer than I
was comfortable with, so I called it quits after about 30 minutes but I would definitely come back and put a little more time in on an outgoing tide. There is some deeper water amongst a bunch of rocky structure within casting range and I'm sure the cove offers some good protection for fish wanting to take a break from the pounding along the more exposed coastline.




This sign marks the spot where you would head down to the small cove on Panther's north side. Definitely exercise caution and go with a friend if possible. Photo credit: Rich Cirminello via Google Maps.




South End of Bean Hollow [MAP]


While it felt great to finally be out fishing again, I was getting a little frustrated that my first outing of 2018 was turning into a skunk. I decided to close out the afternoon exploring the south end of Bean Hollow. It was still overcast and a little blustery, but I was heartened to see a number of anglers along the beach fishing or crab-snaring with their families. Always put a smile on my face.

The trailhead begins from the beach on the far south end and quickly gets you up to the rocky areas to the south. You can cast out into deeper water from this area or drop your line around the edge of the rocks. Even with my heavy setup this area was still incredibly snaggy and gobbling up tackle at an alarming rate. I moved around a bit and dropped my line into a deeper channel that was running between two large rocks and immediately hooked up with a 13.5" striped surfperch. With the skunk finally off I relaxed a little bit more and dropped my line into more of these deeper pockets of water that were cutting further inland between the rocks and soon fish #2 was on the hook: an 11" grassy. Not the best size if you wanted fillets for two people but a perfect size to steam whole for one person, so into the bag it went. Happy that I had my first fish of 2018 but still a little weak from coming off the flu, I decided to call it and head home.

The perch I would fillet and later bread for some fishsticks, while the grassy was destined for the steamer.




Apologies for the gory perch! It did make some decently thick fillets for a few fishsticks.




Steamed with green onions, fresh ginger, cilantro, and seasoned soy sauce. One of my favorite ways to enjoy a fish whole.



Setup:

11ft Uglystick Bigwater / Daiwa BG 6500 / 80lb Braid / 175lb anglers clip -> 100lb leader Hi/Lo with 2/0 on 3-way crane swivel & 4/0 octopus hook near the weight -> 5oz & 6oz torpedo weights.

Bait: Squid, Shrimp


January 13th: Rocky Point and Point Cavallo [Marin County]

Rocky Point [MAP]

With a small break in swells I saw an opportunity to finally check a location off my list: Rocky Point next to Steep Ravine Campground in Marin. Because of heavy road construction along the 1, it was necessary to come up to Rocky Point from the south past Muir Beach. Lots of stop-and-wait one lane traffic, so this is not a trip you want to go on if you're in a rush. There's a small turnoff a few feet past the Rocky Point trailhead (the main turnoff is filled with construction equipment) and it's a good 20-25min hike down the trail, then along Rocky Point Rd., and then back onto the trail to the shoreline. This area is gorgeous and I'm sure if I put int more time here I can suss out some solid fishing spots, but because this was to be my first stop and I didn't want to walk through or near the actual campground, I stuck to the shallower shoreline indicated on the map. Tossed my line in at some shallow pools that were protected by some of the larger swells and managed a few smaller perch (juvenile redtails) and a number of rock crabs trying to take my bait. Casted out a little further south and didn't get any action, and so while I was disappointed about heading all the way back up to my car empty handed, there were other spots I wanted to put some time in.

The current slow drive and long walk to this spot from the south makes it hard to recommend and the road down to the campground and parking is gated and access limited to those with reservations (and good luck with that). Barring me winning the camping reservation lottery, I think my next visit to this area will be when I'm willing to take it slow and put in a whole morning and afternoon exploring.



Point Cavallo [MAP]

This was my first time casting out from anywhere around Fort Baker and I thought I would initially fish off the pier or perhaps the rocks around Needles, but upon parking near Point Cavallo my eye was immediately drawn to the well worn angler paths, moderately tall cliffsides, and rocky bottom structure that looked super fishy and definitely more my speed. I fished all along the Point there and settled on dropping my line as close to the wall or rocky ledge as I could. It helped that my bottom hook had a longer 12" leader which would occasionally get me in trouble with snags but more often than not would allow enough freedom of movement between and under the rocks in order to entice a strike from anything that was holding up there. And boy was there. In about an hour I had caught 3 cabezon between 10-12", a few smaller rockfish, and a few rubberlips that I had no intention of keeping. Then I felt a softer tug and a "snag" as I tried to reel it up; I knew I had a monkey on the other end of the line. It didn't feel huge but definitely big enough so I gave it a few more minutes of tugging, waiting, tugging, etc... until I eventually got it out of its hole and had a decent 18" MFPB on the other end. I popped it in the bag and took a long hard look at the structure I was casting into. It was just like the structure at Portuguese Beach where I caught my first MFPB: a wall with a rocky bottom, visible vegetation along its bottom edge, and was deep enough to be covered with water at both ends of the tide (I was fishing at the bottom of the tide). If there was one there was bound to be another and so I zeroed in on adding another monkey to the cooler. About 30 minutes later of gently laying my rig as close to the edges of the point as I could, finding those crevices, I was rewarded with another hard tug and immediately reeled in as to not give this guy a chance to run back into its hole. This MFPB was larger by a few inches (21.5") but had a lot more girth to it. Dinner was served.

The 3 MFPBs that I had caught to date had all be caught around similar structure, structure I know existed around Lands End and maybe even SF's north shore inside the bridge. So why I hadn't I caught any or even heard of people catching these guys in SF? I decided that with what few mornings I could get out to fish before work throughout the rest of the month that I would explore spots that I believed specifically could be suitable habitats for Monkeyface Pricklebacks. A few spots I had already fished numerous times but maybe my approach was wrong since I had never targeted them in SF before. However I was more excited to explore sites inside the Bay, specifically spots near SF Muni Pier, the Wave Organ, and the rocky walls by Fort Point. I was even more excited by the prospect of not dealing with the swells that would be plaguing the coast in the coming weeks.





Lots of fishable structure all around here to suit a variety of comfort levels as well as fishing styles. View ain't too shabby either.




An 18" and 21.5" MFPB waiting to be cleaned.






RECIPE: Breaded and pan-fried MFPB:



Setup:

11ft Uglystick Bigwater / Daiwa BG 6500 / 80lb Braid / 175lb anglers clip -> 100lb leader Hi/Lo with #1 hook on the top 3-way crane swivel & 4/0 octopus hook near the weight -> 5oz & 6oz torpedo weights.

Bait: Squid, Shrimp






I often get PMs about my rigging and strength of terminal tackle, so here's a sloppy sketch I made of what I typically use when bottom fishing from shore. The only variation would be leaders I tie with only one 3-way crane swivel instead of two (better to fend off snags), but with those setups I would typically tie a heavy duty snap swivel on the bottom (instead of a loop) in order to connect my weight. That way if I decide I want to fish two hooks-- and one right on the bottom-- I can easily use the eye of the snap swivel as my connection. This setup has evolved over the past year and heavily influenced by rockfishing reports I've read here on PFIC. Is it heavy? You bet. But I rarely get permanently hung up and when I do snag badly, only tend to lose the weight. Plus hauling a fish up a cliff can be tough work and I definitely don't want my leader snapping on the retrieve.



January 17th: Black Point [SF]

Black Point [MAP]


So the first place I wanted to look for some monkeys was this short stretch of rocky shoreline between SF Muni Pier and Fort Mason, locally known as Black Point. I got there around 7am and fished till the top of the tide. There are definitely similarities between the structure I fished at Point Cavallo and here, expect for maybe a little less vegetation on the rocks. I fished my standard hi/o with 3-way swivels and shrimp on the top and squid on the bottom. No monkeys were to be had this day but this area is definitely holds some decent fish. I pulled in 8 fish: 4 cabs, 3 rockfish, and a silver perch. The cabs were all 12" and larger, with two being just shy of legal so I imagine this area will produce some keepers come fall. The rockies were also decent, 10~11.5" but all quite fat. All fish were released. Rock crabs were also in abundance and I pulled up around 10 of them in the course of the morning all greedily trying to eat my squid.

I didn't have much luck casting towards the pier pilings of Black Point Pier-- only a few decent strikes and then that one smaller perch-- but it wouldn't surprise me if a more patient angler could pull out some larger fish lurking about. All my fish were caught right at the base of the rocks. Usually I would toss my line just past the visible edge of a rock or ledge, and I would slowly reel it in as close as I could to the rock and let the longer leader do the rest. That was usually all it took to get a strike. There were a number of spots that I would consistently get nice tugs but I couldn't close the deal. One spot in particular was very interesting because it was right at the base of the wall and seemingly very shallow-- maybe 3-4ft-- but in one small corner of that area my weight dropped deeper immediately into a hole and the moment it did I started getting things attacking my bait, so maybe there's hope yet that I will be able to pull an monkey out of Black Point in the future.

If you are in the area and want a break from SF Muni Pier and want try your hand at some nearshore rockfishing, this could be a good bet.





A short walk from parking next to Muni Pier offers up some decent rocky shoreline to explore





13" Cabezon with some beautiful red coloring.






This 11" grassy was pretty fat and lives to be caught another day.






14.25" Cabezon. This was the fourth cab caught that morning and the second just shy of legal. Wasn't expecting to see so many of them here but was happy that the area seems pretty healthy.



UPDATE (1/27): Report from a friend that had fished here this day said they saw a guy pull an MFPB out of a spot where I got a number of nibbles and strikes but couldn't set the hook on anything. So while I'm bummed that I missed out on that particular monkey, I'm happy that my theory about the structure here proved correct in the end!


Setup:

11ft Uglystick Bigwater / Daiwa BG 6500 / 80lb Braid / 175lb anglers clip -> 100lb leader Hi/Lo with #1 hook on the top 3-way crane swivel & 4/0 octopus hook near the weight -> 5oz & 6oz torpedo weights.

Bait: Squid, Shrimp



January 23rd: The Wave Organ [SF]

Wave Organ [MAP]


Another MFPB bust but nothing beats walking the shoreline and figuring out what works and what doesn't yourself. Woke up this morning to a cancelled tsunami warning for SF due to a 7.9 quake south of Alaska and thought "yeahhh... I'll still check it out". Didn't realize that I needed a Marina parking permit for the closer spots to the jetty, so I parked in the public area just south of the Yacht Club and walked along the wall and out to the Organ. It was about 2 hours before low tide and I didn't think the swell was going to super choppy however, even with little wind rollers were still splashing up and over the rocks onto the walkway, giving me pause. I could see the end of the jetty clearly and there was no drama, so I kept on.

I had looked at some depth charts before coming out so I knew the tip casted out into deeper water not too far out, but I was more interested in the depth and type of structure just beyond the edge. I was disappointed to find out that most of the promising looking rocks and structure weren't home to much of anything this morning except a lone silver perch and some rock crabs. I tried casting out a bit farther to soak the bait a bit and immediately felt that change in depth but still no takers. Since it was low tide I could see a lot of the uncovered structure and noticed dense pockets of mussels here and there so I would definitely come back around high tide and see what comes through to peck at them, but other than that I think this spot might be better served for throwing swimbaits when the conditions allow, but that's not what I was geared up for today.

It was getting pretty cold and so I started walking back along the walkway next to the rock wall, looking for pockets of depth that I might cast into. I cast out at 4 different spots as I made my way back to my car and only one had any decent depth to it, but nothing was interested in my offerings.

I had another hour to kill before I needed to head home so I decided to head to Fort Mason and check out another spot near Black Point that I hadn't gotten to. Again, lots of juvenile cabs-- including the smallest one I've probably ever caught (4 or 5") and a lone grassy around 9", but all were released and I decided that today was just one of those days. Aside from getting more familiar with different structure out here I didn't lose any tackle, so that was definitely a welcome outcome.

This is good though. I've needed to get back out to the Marina area and wet my line out here for some time, just didn't think it would be to fish bait. Before the months end I still want to drop my line around the cement ramp, Torpedo Wharf, the rocks around Fort Point without running afoul of the law, and back to Lands End to fish some regular spots in different ways. That's a lot to try and get in when I don't have the weekend free for the remainder of the month, but some free mornings between now and the 31st ought to suffice.






This was the kind of structure that initially caught my eye. The hi/lo didn't produce as I had hoped but I'll be back in calmer conditions with a swimbait. Photo credit: Ma Tia via Google Maps.



Setup:

11ft Uglystick Bigwater / Daiwa BG 6500 / 80lb Braid / 175lb anglers clip -> 100lb leader Hi/Lo with #1 hook on the top 3-way crane swivel & 4/0 octopus hook near the weight -> 5oz & 6oz torpedo weights.

Bait: Squid, Shrimp



January 30th: Lands End [SF]

Rocks from The Shipwreck to Point Lobos [MAP]


Successive storms and large swells have kept me away from some of my favorite spots out here so it felt great to be back out fishing the open ocean here at Lands End again. Safety is definitely something to consider when you are spending the majority of your time standing on the edge of rocky cliffs and outcroppings, and the last thing you need is to worry about large waves sending water spraying up high enough to get the area you're standing on wet and slippery.

These were some of the final spots I had wanted to specifically target for MFPB, but figured that I could easily be tangling with a rockfish or (more likely) undersized cabezon. The other place around these parts will have to wait for much calmer conditions and (likely) a deep minus tide.

The Shipwreck area was a bust. Only a few small perch tugging at my line around the edges of the cliff. I have felt stronger non-perch tugs around the rocky ledges before so I guess today just wasn't my day. Also, with the tide on the incoming it was hard to make out the finer details of where the rocky edges were. I decided to wrap it up after an hour to make for Point Lobos. Even with the brisk wind this morning it felt damn good to be out there again. This is a spot you bring a friend or two, some adult beverages, and a small camping stove. Decent amount of space, beautiful view of the GGB and Headlands, and fair amount of perch as well as dungeness in area.

As I was setting up at the spot my friend now calls "The Balcony" at Point Lobos, another angler was setting up directly across from me with a distinctly perch setup, and began casting to the sandy shallows to the north of that outcropping. I managed a perch here and there-- including a nice 10" Walleye I decided to keep-- as well as the usual fare of juvenile cabezon 10"~13". The gentleman across from me however put on a masterclass in surfperch fishing. I was shaking my head in awe and chuckling happily to myself as he nailed slab after slab after slab; primarily big redtails and walleye, with the occasional striped seaperch thrown in. Like a surgeon he came to this spot, fished 30 minutes on both sides of the tide, and within that hour managed a limit of perch. I counted. Unreal. We both smiled and laughed and as he wrapped up his fishing spree I had to just clap and give him the thumbs up. Such an awesome sight to see.

The action was slow if not predictable from the Balcony, so after the other angler had left I decided to go over to his spot and still fish the Point Lobos hole, but just from this other angle. I was quickly joined by another angler that I have met on numerous occasions since last summer and he has always been a real friendly fellow, so I was more than happy to share the space. He was rigged for perch and I told him about the carnage so he started casting out in the same area and managed to catch a number of smaller redtails and walleye, nothing like the large adults that had moved through here earlier, but he was having fun and we chatted a bit. I started getting more aggressive tugs in a number of spots and figured the fish were ready to eat again, so I slotted in a 2/0 octopus hook tied with its own 2ft leader and placed it about 8" above the weight. Loaded some squid on there and began tossing it around and letting the current do the rest. Landed an 11" grassy and decided to release it in favor of a larger one I could fillet up, then another juvenile cab, then a strong tug followed by some angry head shaking. I reeled it up and had another cabezon on the line; largest of the morning and so I brought out the measuring tape. Just a smidge north of 15" so it was legal. The other angler and I chatted a bit about cabezon and marveled at all the mussel meat in its mouth that it happily gave up while I worked my hook free. As I popped out my hook a smaller hook with a short length of leader also came loose and I realized this gal had evaded a previous capture, so I decided to let her go on the other side of the outcropping just to avoid tangling with her again that morning. Last few casts had more tugs in a few spots that I normally couldn't reach from the Balcony-- which was a great sign should I decide to cast out from here again-- and the final cast yielded a beautiful 12.5" grassy.

I was pushing it, time wise, so I gathered my things and headed home to clean the fish, wash up, and head to work. It wasn't a meat run like the perch wrangler an hour back, but it was fun and relaxing. Exactly what I needed.





This 10" Walleye and 12.5" Grassy were what I decided to keep today




Setup:

11ft Uglystick Bigwater / Daiwa BG 6500 / 80lb Braid / 175lb anglers clip -> 100lb leader Hi/Lo with #1 hook on the top 3-way crane swivel & 2/0~4/0 octopus hook near the weight -> 5oz & 6oz torpedo weights.

Bait: Squid, Shrimp, Anchovies, Fishbites (Bloodworm)



And that's January! Not nearly as many out-of-town trips as I had wanted to make, but the flu doesn't check in with one's schedule before deciding to make an appearance. Still, this exercise of targeting MFPB was a great way to introduce myself to some other spots in SF that offer calmer conditions when the rougher open coast isn't an option, as well as made me really pay attention to the type of structure I'm fishing. Experimenting with leader length and hook types while exploring these areas has also made my bottom fishing setup more effective as well. February already has some trips on the calendar so I look forward to taking what I've learned in January to new spots in the months ahead.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:24 pm
uglystick


Posts: 65

Hope you catch a monster eel again soon!
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:00 pm
giantbrookie


Posts: 33
Location: San Francisco Bay Area & Fresno

Now that's some good fishing in January. Great informative post as always with a nice tour around a variety of Bay Area locations. I have only two hours of fishing under my belt in 2018 so far:Portuguese/Schoolhouse on Sunday afternoon 1/28 returning from geologic field work. With low surf forecast for this weekend I suspect a lot of us will be heading out.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:07 am
k1n


Posts: 178

Great reports and keep up the quest. In my experience, mfe tend to shy away from sandier bottoms. What you have at the wave organs is a good example. Thereís good structure looking down, but when you get clearer conditions, you see itís mostly sand at the base of the rocks. What you have all around the northern tip of sf is rock with sand. Ft Baker is a good example of the conditions to look for. Rock, rock and more rock/gravel beneath it. I suggest going further inland of the bay if you are willing. Working the shoreline of the mouth of Isalis creek might be worth a shot since I remember doing well there when I was a kid.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:03 pm
sea++


Posts: 251
Location: San Francisco

giantbrookie wrote:
With low surf forecast for this weekend I suspect a lot of us will be heading out.


It's definitely a welcome break. There've been enough successive days now with lower swell around where I'm at that I wouldn't be surprised if some of the dungeness will move in from deeper water, hopefully making snaring more productive. Regardless it should be a good time to cast out from both the rocks and from shore.

k1n wrote:
In my experience, mfe tend to shy away from sandier bottoms. What you have at the wave organs is a good example. There's good structure looking down, but when you get clearer conditions, you see it's mostly san at the base of the rocks.


Yeah that was my experience that day. Still, it seems like a good place to cast out with lures or swimbaits given how it drops off deeper not that far from the tip of the WO. Have you any experience with that out there?

k1n wrote:
What you have all around the northern tip of sf is rock with sand. Ft Baker is a good example of the conditions to look for. Rock, rock and more rock/gravel beneath it.


That seems to be most of what i've encountered though I still think there are a few places that might yield some, but I'll have to wait for a minus tide to access them safely. Black Point has the type of structure (and confirmed monkeyface catches) we're talking about though, so that's always an option if Muni Pier isn't someone's thing.

k1n wrote:
I suggest going further inland of the bay if you are willing. Working the shoreline of the mouth of Isalis creek might be worth a shot since I remember doing well there when I was a kid.


I've seen the name pop up a few times here and elsewhere. Are you talking about the mouth of that creek as it opens up to the Bay? What does access to that shoreline look like? From Google Maps it looks like the mouth is flanked on either side by private property (cement plants and a shipyard?). The idea of dropping a line out there for a bit then swinging by Bare Bottle BrewCo for some crowlers on my way home does sound nice though.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:58 pm
charro


Posts: 638

My old stomping grounds around Point Lobos when and where I first got into surf fishing. Brings back good memories.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:03 am
k1n


Posts: 178

Iím sure there are a few pockets of ideal substrate around. You found a good pocket next to muni. The wave organs are a popular plugging place for mostly stripers, but halibut are not uncommon either. Time the tides, and watch the current. Theyíll tell you which side to work.
From what I remember of the creek, thereís parking next to the cement factory further in. There are gates as well to limit how far in you can drive. The shoreline from the mouth going south going up against the port of sf area is all rocky. Right next to the cemet factory along the pilings is muddy, but offers a good chance at flounder. Brother has caught a few starries there while Iíve done well with the perch. As you work further out, it becomes more rocky.. Offers a lot of rocky areas to poke and produces a myriad of species. Casting out produces the normal bay stuff such as perch, yellowfin croaker and the odd halibut. Iím sure there are stripers there too, but Iíve never tried.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:15 am
sphunfishing


Posts: 50

Nice catch and thanks for sharing the location. I'll have to try these places in future outings.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:30 am
packyourtrash


Posts: 6

sphunfishing wrote:
thanks for sharing the location. I'll have to try these places in future outings.


You and everyone errrrse.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:53 pm
sea++


Posts: 251
Location: San Francisco

A word of caution for those of you that decide to trek out to Rocky Point near Steep Ravine: my most notable "catch" out there was the nastiest bout of poison oak I've dealt with to date. The trail down from Hwy 1 is well managed but once you get down to the narrower trails as you make your way to shore the brush becomes pretty thick and it'll be tough to avoid rubbing up against some PO. Just a heads up!
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:40 pm
giantbrookie


Posts: 33
Location: San Francisco Bay Area & Fresno

sea++ wrote:
A word of caution for those of you that decide to trek out to Rocky Point near Steep Ravine: my most notable "catch" out there was the nastiest bout of poison oak I've dealt with to date. The trail down from Hwy 1 is well managed but once you get down to the narrower trails as you make your way to shore the brush becomes pretty thick and it'll be tough to avoid rubbing up against some PO. Just a heads up!

Well said. One thing that needs to be kept in mind for this time of year if heading off trail or along a narrow trail (I know at least two of these along the Marin and Sonoma Coast) down to the coast: recognition of poison oak without leaves is very important. Many folks can recognized the notorious three-lobed leaf, but fewer are familiar with the distinctive branching pattern (and appearance of the stems) of this plant in its dormant season (late fall through winter). If these branches brush or (worse) scratch you, it is every bit as bad as if you get brushed by the leaves. My worst outbreaks have been from winter encounters.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:32 am
songslinger


Posts: 834
Location: Where Common Sense Presides

sea++ wrote:
A word of caution for those of you that decide to trek out to Rocky Point near Steep Ravine: my most notable "catch" out there was the nastiest bout of poison oak I've dealt with to date. The trail down from Hwy 1 is well managed but once you get down to the narrower trails as you make your way to shore the brush becomes pretty thick and it'll be tough to avoid rubbing up against some PO. Just a heads up!


Most definitely! I grew up in the Midwest with poison ivy, poison sumac, and poison oak. As a Boy Scout, my summers featured a liberal application of calamine lotion. No fun at all. Marin County is festering with poison oak--and ticks. Best story was when I was driving one of those circuitous, meandering watershed roads, and these two dudes in a small Triumph convertible drove recklessly, cutting off other motorists and damn near causing accidents. They flew off the road and landed, unhurt, in a wide green patch of poison oak. Caught up with them five minutes later. There they were, shirtless and in short-shorts, standing next to their car.

I also began the new year with the dreaded flu. Took two weeks to recover. Tried rock fishing before I was completely well, and the world was spinning. At the same time, getting out and soaking up the rays, all that Vitamin A, helped me get better more than sulking and skulking about the house.

You young warriors make me envious!


If I may, without too much further hijack, here's a suggestion for all. Tuck your pants into your socks. This will help prevent slipping on the rocks and will also keep ticks from getting to your skin on the walk back. We are loooking at a savage season for both vegetation and critter pests.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:31 pm
sea++


Posts: 251
Location: San Francisco

giantbrookie wrote:
One thing that needs to be kept in mind for this time of year if heading off trail or along a narrow trail (I know at least two of these along the Marin and Sonoma Coast) down to the coast: recognition of poison oak without leaves is very important. Many folks can recognized the notorious three-lobed leaf, but fewer are familiar with the distinctive branching pattern (and appearance of the stems) of this plant in its dormant season (late fall through winter). If these branches brush or (worse) scratch you, it is every bit as bad as if you get brushed by the leaves. My worst outbreaks have been from winter encounters.


[looks up photos of dormant poison oak]
Welp. Looks like I'm never going hiking again. Jeeeezus. That might have been the only thing I was forcing my way through down there at Steep Ravine. I would have never thought about PO's dormant state, so thank you for the education. And for terrifying me.


songslinger wrote:


I also began the new year with the dreaded flu. Took two weeks to recover. Tried rock fishing before I was completely well, and the world was spinning. At the same time, getting out and soaking up the rays, all that Vitamin A, helped me get better more than sulking and skulking about the house.



Seems like most anglers I know were saddled with the flew around the same time. It was a real butt-kicker this year, that's for sure. Glad to hear you're doing better.



songslinger wrote:

[size=9]
here's a suggestion for all. Tuck your pants into your socks. This will help prevent slipping on the rocks and will also keep ticks from getting to your skin on the walk back. We are loooking at a savage season for both vegetation and critter pests.


Great advice and one I'll definitely be putting into practice. I'm only now starting to heal from the month-long tangle with PO. I was shocked at how allergic I had become to it. Noooooo thank you.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:06 am
Salty Nick v2


Posts: 1797
Location: On a rock or beach

Nice, detailed report - you covered a lot of territory! Good to see someone putting in the footwork/time and reaping fishy rewards. I like your spirit of trying new spots!
On one fishing trip near pigeon pt, I trudged through some poison oak and got a nasty bout of it on both hands - was almost unbearable! After that, I treated it very seriously - but still get a little exposure here and there. It's no joke!

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:31 am
RobF


Posts: 572

There is a product called "Ivy Block" made by Enviroderm which works pretty well to protect your skin applied before you head out. Then there's Tecnu Extreme to wash off the oils when you get home. Usually I get it from taking off my pants and they rub against the inside of my arms. Then I'll often hear it from my wife a few days later that she's got a patch of poison oak if she happens to wash my pants.
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