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>> Fort Baker (& A Brief Berkeley Interlude) [topic: previous/next]
PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:08 am
songslinger


Posts: 848
Location: Where Common Sense Presides



Had some live ghost shrimp left over yesterday, so I thought I'd check out the perch action in the Bay. Pretty sad. The migratory barred and redtail species didn't make much of an appearance these past few months. In fact, ghost shrimp as bait has been something of a disappointment on the east side of the Bay. Couldn't tell you why. One season it's a go-to bait for perch, striped bass, flounder, and sturgeon--though that species is off-limits now until 3/15--and the next season I might as well be using power bait in saltwater. Crabs didn't mind munching my ghosties, though.

University Avenue was stopped dead in the Berkeley Marina. One lane open and that was occupied by a flatbed carrying the new rest room building for the South Cove project. The trailer threaded the narrow road and tried not to hit rubberneckers and bums. The new rest room is part of a $1.5 million project by the City Of Berkeley. The area across the street from the baitshop, aka South Cove, is now teeming with bulldozers and dump trucks. You can expect delays for a month or more.

Ironically, there is still no nearby facility in the section from Skates to His Lordships. So the area reeks of urine. I still smile (ruefully) when I see the four picnic tables adjacent to the rockwall. Very pleasant, but right now you'd lose your lunch while trying to eat it. There should be at least a port-o-san next to the pier.

I couldn't stay long, maybe three casts, before the odor made me leave.

Fort Baker is usually a skunk buster. I got there around 11:00, last two hours of the outgoing tide. First cast with a standard surf rig and a single #2 bait holder on 3 oz. Pretty heavy for me, but the current was strong, pulling hard from right to left. I'd hoped to dropshot some shrimp and catch rubberlipped perch, but that was out fo the question. My rig never settled. A white perch smacked it on the fly. My experience with white perch is the same as with walleyed perch: if they're around, that's probably all I'll catch. There might be other species, but these greedy fish beat everyone else to the bait. That, and not wanting to put 6oz of lead out (for ghost shrimp bait), changed my focus. I poke poled for the next couple hours, taking 20-minute breaks to pitch swimbaits or sabikis (not a strike).

I've had easier poking. Some days are like a spring popping out of a reel during a DIY repair. Sucks. Ken and Mav were talking about aging and agility on jetties and rockwalls. I'm lucky I didn't fall in, or worse. Balance was a novelty. I also dropped my leader spool between the rocks and took an eternity to hand wind the line around a cork. Saved most of it before the spool snagged, but I was not a happy camper.

Ghost shrimp is not a effective as squid for poking. But it's not too shabby. I pulled up a nice cabezon that almost got the tape measure out. Then I worked some crevices, tubes, and kelpy apertures for a monkeyface eel sandwich. A lot of no shows, and then one hole in particular was lively. Wise, too. Had the telltale grab-and-tug many times and was robbed blind or broken off. (I use mono leader because it can break.) Might have fed a family of hungry blennies. Finally yanked out a smallish mfe, maybe 20 inches, ideal size since I'm the only one who eats these in my house. Good place to quit.

Fort Baker was packed but the jetty was sparse, and there was no one on the pier. Not one dab or smelt fisherman.

Think I'll scampi the fish and fold a homemade corn tortilla around it.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:39 pm
Ken Jones


Posts: 9768
Location: California

Great report as usual. Too bad the results were not a little bit more positive.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:36 pm
ING


Posts: 531

songslinger wrote:

......... Not one dab or smelt fisherman.


Is sand dab around here at now?
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:04 pm
sea++


Posts: 278
Location: San Francisco

Great report back from Fort Baker. Ain't nothing wrong with a monkey sandwich Smile

When around the jetty portion, do you ever make your way to Point Cavallo to drop you line for the same things your poking for? When that tide is out and the lower section of the point exposed, I've found getting down there and dropping your line around some of the finickier holes and crevices will produce as well. The other weekend I had a nice black rockfish-- would've been my first-- on the line that I lost as I brought it out of the water from a nook that I wouldn't have had a decent angle on any way except for getting right down there.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:06 pm
songslinger


Posts: 848
Location: Where Common Sense Presides


Thanks, Ken. It's on the plus side when you go home with a targeted species. Everything else is just...experience.

ING: it's late in the "traditional" season for dabs, but I've caught them in the Bay in March. Tides and early wet weather supposedly bring the small flatties inside. I think if you fish deep you might find them anywhere. Sometimes people don't catch a particular species because they don't fish for it. I always consider year-round potential because fish don't read calendars or obey tradition.



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:58 am
songslinger


Posts: 848
Location: Where Common Sense Presides

sea++ wrote:
Great report back from Fort Baker. Ain't nothing wrong with a monkey sandwich Smile

When around the jetty portion, do you ever make your way to Point Cavallo to drop you line for the same things your poking for? When that tide is out and the lower section of the point exposed, I've found getting down there and dropping your line around some of the finickier holes and crevices will produce as well. The other weekend I had a nice black rockfish-- would've been my first-- on the line that I lost as I brought it out of the water from a nook that I wouldn't have had a decent angle on any way except for getting right down there.


That spot was actually my salmon or striper plugging ledge. Not any more, though. It's deceptive and treacherous--too much so for the current yield, in my view. Stopped getting kings and linesiders about a decade ago. You should have seen the place at the zenith of big fishing. A dozen crazy anglers all but rapelling down both water sides of the point. Or trying to hoist a fish up the wall. Mad days.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:28 am
Ken Jones


Posts: 9768
Location: California

songslinger wrote:
sea++ wrote:
Great report back from Fort Baker. Ain't nothing wrong with a monkey sandwich Smile

When around the jetty portion, do you ever make your way to Point Cavallo to drop you line for the same things your poking for? When that tide is out and the lower section of the point exposed, I've found getting down there and dropping your line around some of the finickier holes and crevices will produce as well. The other weekend I had a nice black rockfish-- would've been my first-- on the line that I lost as I brought it out of the water from a nook that I wouldn't have had a decent angle on any way except for getting right down there.


That spot was actually my salmon or striper plugging ledge. Not any more, though. It's deceptive and treacherous--too much so for the current yield, in my view. Stopped getting kings and linesiders about a decade ago. You should have seen the place at the zenith of big fishing. A dozen crazy anglers all but rapelling down both water sides of the point. Or trying to hoist a fish up the wall. Mad days.



I used to fish Pt. Cavallo occasionally if it wasn't too crowded. Of course that was a long, long time ago back in the '70s. I mentioned it in Pier Fishing In California, 2nd Ed. "One day in the mid-70s I saw nine keeper-size sturgeon laying in a row near Point Cavallo, none was under thirty pounds, and all had been caught by a group of anglers fishing from the ROCKS at the point. Several mentioned how hard it was to fight the fish from the rocks and then climb down, gaff, and pull the large fish up to the top of the cliff. Needless to say, they felt it was the greatest day of fishing most had ever experienced. Today this area is closed for sturgeon fishing from January 1 to March 15; the fish were simply too numerous and too easy to catch. In addition, there was a problem at one time with anglers snagging the fish. However there are still fish present after March 15, so it is an area an angler might want to try."

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


Posts: 278
Location: San Francisco

songslinger wrote:


That spot was actually my salmon or striper plugging ledge. Not any more, though. It's deceptive and treacherous--too much so for the current yield, in my view. Stopped getting kings and linesiders about a decade ago. You should have seen the place at the zenith of big fishing. A dozen crazy anglers all but rapelling down both water sides of the point. Or trying to hoist a fish up the wall. Mad days.


Oh yeah I imagine hoisting up a fish of any substantial weight would get real tricky from the point specifically because of the lower rock ledge that juts out-- would hate to drag a fish over that especially if I wanted to release it. I'd say it's fine for the smaller rockfish, cabs, and monkeys that can be caught there close to the ledge though, but you're absolutely right that unless you feel surefooted and comfortable with a potential scramble down those rocks, that the jetty would be a better option.

When Uglystick and I were there a couple weekends ago there were two gentlemen also fishing the point, bombing grubs and maybe swimbaits out far for rockfish and lings. They hooked up a few smaller rockies from what I saw but I didn't know that was an area that people have reliably shore-caught lingcod before. Always an education!

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:12 am
Salty Nick v2


Posts: 1812
Location: On a rock or beach

Nice report, Glen. Haven't been out too much lately, and when I do I'm too lazy to use bait. I need to get out soon!

Salty.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:03 am
songslinger


Posts: 848
Location: Where Common Sense Presides

Salty Nick v2 wrote:
Nice report, Glen. Haven't been out too much lately, and when I do I'm too lazy to use bait. I need to get out soon!

Salty.


Yes sir, once you go over to the LureSide... But I'd hardly call it lazy. Baiting and waiting is a bit more relaxed than constant cast and retrieve, plus keeping mobile and working more territory is a lot more possible with lures. I prefer plugging. Less messy, and you can get on the water right away. But when the water is cold and murky, and the season is somewhat in-between, I like the continuous activity of daily forage** and live bait presentation. I try "match the hatch" whenever I go out, using what's there or throwing appropriate colors for artificial presentation.

{**bay_forager! Nah, seems been-there-done-that...}

Water has looked clear in the east bay the last couple of days. A little cold, but worth pitching the usual suspects.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:31 pm
Salty Nick v2


Posts: 1812
Location: On a rock or beach

True, plugging can be a lot of work (mostly feel it in my back after a while, at my age) - but it sure is fun when you get hit!

Good to hear water is clear in the east bay - now if it wasn't so darn cold!

Salty.
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