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>> Crab fishing on the beach [topic: previous/next]
PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:04 pm
pinoyfisherman


Posts: 921
Location: Da Bay Area,CA

Just as the header says, I'm just curious as to how it has it been on bakers or ocean beach? I'm planning on bringing out some friends to either on and was just wondering how the action for crabs has been. You can PM me too...thanks for the help!
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:30 am
sea_forager


Posts: 210
Location: San Francisco

pinoyfisherman wrote:
Just as the header says, I'm just curious as to how it has it been on bakers or ocean beach? I'm planning on bringing out some friends to either on and was just wondering how the action for crabs has been. You can PM me too...thanks for the help!


I live in the Outer Richmond in SF and crab and fish often at Ocean Beach, China Beach, and Baker-- though less at Baker than the others. Crabbing has been decent at China Beach (map: https://goo.gl/maps/X7HU4Asu4xD2) and is my go-to spot for crab snaring from shore since it's quiet, not crowded, and it's cove-like setup protects it from some of the more ridiculous surf conditions at Ocean and Baker.

Ocean Beach: Surf is often way too rough to keep any kind of snare down on the bottom long enough to catch crabs, from my experience. Always check the weather & swell reports though. With all the rain coming through the area right now (as of 1/4) however, it's super bleak for crabbing. HOWEVER, if the weather is sunny out and you have a minus tide in the afternoon (and don't mind getting wet) I encourage you and your friends to wade out about calf-high near low tide and just take them by hand! Last Friday I was fishing for perch and was looking for large crabs just hanging out while slowly reeling in my line. Only caught one decent-sized surf perch but managed to toss three keeper-sized dungies into the bucket before it was all said and done. Definitely a fun experience and my go-to way to enjoy both fishing and crabbing at Ocean Beach on a nice day if I only have one pole.

China Beach: Always have more luck catching crabs from shore here than Baker due to the weaker surf (still can get plenty nasty though). You've got two main stretches of beach to set up shop at. The longer section gets sun throughout the day so if you get cold easy I'd go there. The shorter section, poised between to large rocks, is always shadier and colder, but more private and where I've caught all my keepers; the larger section produces just fine as well, it's just a personal preference. The largest Dungeness I've caught there (and in my life) was a nearly 7 1/4 incher a few weeks ago before xmas. That was the exception to the rule though. Most keepers I've pulled from China & Baker this year have been in the 6 1/2" range, and the most I've ever gone home with after a long day out crabbing from shore has been 4; more than enough for my needs but I understand if that's not productive enough for some people.

Baker: A great beach for fishing and crabbing but also popular enough with regular beachgoers, tourists, and people with dogs that it can get crowded really quickly if the weather is remotely nice. I'd recommend crabbing towards either end of the beach for a better experience. The far west end of the beach is still close enough to the main parking lot that it's not a trek. The far east end-- and far far more naked section-- of the beach can be a pain to lug your gear to but I've had good luck crabbing as well as fishing there.

All three beaches offer up plenty of parking with Ocean Beach being the largest, Baker, then China; though China Beach never really has a ton of people so there's always parking there whereas you'll have to circle quite a bit at Ocean and Baker, or just get there early enough.

As for snares and bait, I buy my snares from this guy (https://youtu.be/bt9PbQinykM). They're made well and made local so he gets my money. Bait is 97% of the time squid bought day of or day before from one of the nearby asian supermarkets like New May Wah (Inner Richmond) or Sunset Super (Outer Sunset). The other 3% of the time I'll use mackerel or chicken leg/turkey neck bought from those places as well. Bone-in meat like chicken leg or turkey neck if I'm tossing my modified (read: CDFW legal) crab hawk out from shore, but the tide has got to be real low and surf extra chill for that.


Hope this got to you in time for you and your friends to plan a fun trip out to the beach!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:50 am
charro


Posts: 631

sea_forager wrote:
pinoyfisherman wrote:
Just as the header says, I'm just curious as to how it has it been on bakers or ocean beach? I'm planning on bringing out some friends to either on and was just wondering how the action for crabs has been. You can PM me too...thanks for the help!


I live in the Outer Richmond in SF and crab and fish often at Ocean Beach, China Beach, and Baker-- though less at Baker than the others. Crabbing has been decent at China Beach (map: https://goo.gl/maps/X7HU4Asu4xD2) and is my go-to spot for crab snaring from shore since it's quiet, not crowded, and it's cove-like setup protects it from some of the more ridiculous surf conditions at Ocean and Baker.

Ocean Beach: Surf is often way too rough to keep any kind of snare down on the bottom long enough to catch crabs, from my experience. Always check the weather & swell reports though. With all the rain coming through the area right now (as of 1/4) however, it's super bleak for crabbing. HOWEVER, if the weather is sunny out and you have a minus tide in the afternoon (and don't mind getting wet) I encourage you and your friends to wade out about calf-high near low tide and just take them by hand! Last Friday I was fishing for perch and was looking for large crabs just hanging out while slowly reeling in my line. Only caught one decent-sized surf perch but managed to toss three keeper-sized dungies into the bucket before it was all said and done. Definitely a fun experience and my go-to way to enjoy both fishing and crabbing at Ocean Beach on a nice day if I only have one pole.

China Beach: Always have more luck catching crabs from shore here than Baker due to the weaker surf (still can get plenty nasty though). You've got two main stretches of beach to set up shop at. The longer section gets sun throughout the day so if you get cold easy I'd go there. The shorter section, poised between to large rocks, is always shadier and colder, but more private and where I've caught all my keepers; the larger section produces just fine as well, it's just a personal preference. The largest Dungeness I've caught there (and in my life) was a nearly 7 1/4 incher a few weeks ago before xmas. That was the exception to the rule though. Most keepers I've pulled from China & Baker this year have been in the 6 1/2" range, and the most I've ever gone home with after a long day out crabbing from shore has been 4; more than enough for my needs but I understand if that's not productive enough for some people.

Baker: A great beach for fishing and crabbing but also popular enough with regular beachgoers, tourists, and people with dogs that it can get crowded really quickly if the weather is remotely nice. I'd recommend crabbing towards either end of the beach for a better experience. The far west end of the beach is still close enough to the main parking lot that it's not a trek. The far east end-- and far far more naked section-- of the beach can be a pain to lug your gear to but I've had good luck crabbing as well as fishing there.

All three beaches offer up plenty of parking with Ocean Beach being the largest, Baker, then China; though China Beach never really has a ton of people so there's always parking there whereas you'll have to circle quite a bit at Ocean and Baker, or just get there early enough.

As for snares and bait, I buy my snares from this guy (https://youtu.be/bt9PbQinykM). They're made well and made local so he gets my money. Bait is 97% of the time squid bought day of or day before from one of the nearby asian supermarkets like New May Wah (Inner Richmond) or Sunset Super (Outer Sunset). The other 3% of the time I'll use mackerel or chicken leg/turkey neck bought from those places as well. Bone-in meat like chicken leg or turkey neck if I'm tossing my modified (read: CDFW legal) crab hawk out from shore, but the tide has got to be real low and surf extra chill for that.


Hope this got to you in time for you and your friends to plan a fun trip out to the beach!


Lots of good info here. I'm pretty experienced with snaring, but, what is a "crab hawk"?
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:42 pm
Tifoso


Posts: 106
Location: norCal (central valley)

sea_forager wrote:


I live in the Outer Richmond in SF


Absolutely outstanding report!

Thanks so much for posting it. Smile

Welcome to PFIC!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:46 pm
sea_forager


Posts: 210
Location: San Francisco

charro wrote:

Lots of good info here. I'm pretty experienced with snaring, but, what is a "crab hawk"?


It's a type of castable crab trap (hand line or with a rod & reel) that lays open and flat once on the bottom, but snaps shut when tension is put on it with your line. IF you can get it resting on the bottom and not have the current blowing it every which way, my experience is that it will out-fish a traditional crab snare by a large margin simply due to the fact that you don't have that large margin for error that you do with a traditional loop snares e.g. I've lost plenty of crabs in the final 50 feet while reeling them because a wave came behind and loosened slack for a split second, etc..

Here's what they typically look like as sold in stores/online:



And here's a video (skip to 2:14) showing it in action:

https://youtu.be/9EllB8-dGj4?t=2m14s


The "crab hawk" is just a brand name one of these traps sells under. There are a bunch out there. Here's the thing though, sold as-is, in its stock form, the crab hawk or traps like it are not legal to fish in California under current CDFW regulations. You can't go on Amazon, buy one for cheap, then use here as-is. The reason is that DFW classifies these as traps and not snares, and as such need to follow the same regs for other crab traps, namely they need to have two 4 1/4" escape rings affixed to them. I suppose they ought to technically have the small bit of "rotten cotton" attached as well but the DFW officer that checked mine out said it was unnecessary since the trap's default state is open (only closes with tension) so there is no danger of it ghost fishing and therefore the cotton is unnecessary, but if you're paranoid you can just tie a piece anywhere on it so it technically fits regs to a "T".

Again, casting it from shore here in SF from the beach is almost a fool's errand unless the conditions are perfect OR you tie some seriously heavy weight on there (1-2lb), tie a hand line on it, and do you best hammer throw impression to get it out just past where some of the larger waves are breaking-- totally doable, but it's easier to do that during slack tide around low tide anyway, and you'd better wear gloves unless you like rope burn. Dropping it from a pier like Ft. Point or Muni Pier in SF though is totally fine, as is fishing it from shore of calmer waters.

Anyways, I'll attach a picture of how I have mine modified. It's a simple hack job of cutting some of the nylon and zip-tying those escape rings I bought online from a crab trap supply store. Nothing super fancy. I cast it out with 50lb braid and 50lb fluoro leader and never had it snap or snag.

Hope that answers your question!


Tifoso wrote:
sea_forager wrote:


I live in the Outer Richmond in SF


Absolutely outstanding report!

Thanks so much for posting it. Smile

Welcome to PFIC!


Thanks! Figured it was time to stop lurking and give back a little.



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modified trap, open.
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IMG_0661-1.jpg



IMG_0659-1.jpg
 Description:
modified trap, closed.
 Filesize:  74.66 KB
 Viewed:  2647 Time(s)

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:06 pm
uglystick


Posts: 61

LOL, he's also on my YouTube subscription. I like watching his very useful and interesting fishing videos. I came across with him on HMB jetty few months ago when doing poke polling.

sea_forager wrote:
As for snares and bait, I buy my snares from this guy (https://youtu.be/bt9PbQinykM). They're made well and made local so he gets my money.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:04 pm
sea_forager


Posts: 210
Location: San Francisco

uglystick wrote:
LOL, he's also on my YouTube subscription. I like watching his very useful and interesting fishing videos. I came across with him on HMB jetty few months ago when doing poke polling.


Oh yeah his channel is blowing up. Good local fisherman that emphasizes fishing here in the Bay Area and manages to do well (in terms of subs) without bringing some manufactured personality into the mix. His aerial shots are great as well. Glad to see he's becoming more popular.

We've actually got a good amount of very chill and down-to-earth fishing YTers here in the Bay Area and down a bit along the Central Coast; Ish With Fish, MoreThanFishing, DieHardFishing, and CaliCo Outdoors to name a few. I think all have videos that are worth a watch.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:17 am
DieHardFishing


Posts: 13
Location: SF Bay Area

[quote="sea_forager"]
uglystick wrote:
We've actually got a good amount of very chill and down-to-earth fishing YTers here in the Bay Area and down a bit along the Central Coast; Ish With Fish, MoreThanFishing, DieHardFishing, and CaliCo Outdoors to name a few. I think all have videos that are worth a watch.


Hi everyone, I have been a viewer for some time but saw seaforager mentioning my channel so I thought I should sign up. A lot of good information on this board and I enjoy reading all the reports.

Thank you seaforager for the kind words. I'm glad you are enjoying the videos. Thanks for watching and I hope to keep creating content that will attract more viewers! For anyone who hasn't seen my channel, the link is below in my signature!

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:29 am
The Orion


Posts: 890
Location: Naval Station SD

DieHardFishing wrote:
sea_forager wrote:
uglystick wrote:
We've actually got a good amount of very chill and down-to-earth fishing YTers here in the Bay Area and down a bit along the Central Coast; Ish With Fish, MoreThanFishing, DieHardFishing, and CaliCo Outdoors to name a few. I think all have videos that are worth a watch.


Hi everyone, I have been a viewer for some time but saw seaforager mentioning my channel so I thought I should sign up. A lot of good information on this board and I enjoy reading all the reports.



Welcome aboard brother! Been watching your videos for some time now, good to see you've gotten good viewership! Keep em' coming! I used to do youtube videos myself but that was before all the GoPro's so my videos now look worse than Cell Phone quality. There's a small tickle of joy I used to get from people recognizing me from my youtube videos haha My channel is Booniedog G, formerly Boonicat71 Razz

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