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>> Rockfishing at HMB South Jetty [topic: previous/next]
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:34 am
ryanrs


Posts: 29
Location: San Francisco

Yesterday I went out to the Half Moon Bay south jetty to try for some rock fish. It was a beautiful warm day with hardly any wind and 5 ft swells. The tide was a flat 1.8 ft all the way from sunrise until 4:30 PM.



Walking out along the jetty, I met Matts from Fisherman's Life. He was making a catch and cook dungeness video.

I walked out to the elbow and fished near the edges of the jetty. I was using frozen shrimp on a 4/0 circle hook. But mostly I caught just snags and seaweed. But one exceptionally persistent snag did yield a fish. I had already given up on the rig and locked down my drag to snap the leader. But suddenly it came free, pulling up a large clump of kelp, a pile of someone else's discard braid, and a 13 inch red cabezon!

That cab was the biggest fish I'd ever caught, but it was about an inch and a half short of being legal, so I let it go. My camera was in my bag about 100 ft down the jetty, so no pics, sorry. I wanted to get the fish back in the water as quickly as possible.

Later in the afternoon I saw a sea lion swimming right the jetty edge, but I didn't get any more fish. I did manage to limit out on garbage on the way back, though.



Even with no fish to bring home, I'm still pretty excited about catching that cabezon. I'm planning on heading back out on Saturday to try again.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:16 pm
sea++


Posts: 253
Location: San Francisco

Congrats on the cab even though it wasn't legal, I know how those catches-- especially if it's your PB-- can still be a helluva thrill!

ryanrs wrote:
I met Matts from Fisherman's Life. He was making a catch and cook dungeness video.


Matts is one of the most laid-back anglers I've ever met. Very cool guy.

ryanrs wrote:
I did manage to limit out on garbage on the way back, though.


You're a god damn hero for doing that. Much respect.

ryanrs wrote:
Even with no fish to bring home, I'm still pretty excited about catching that cabezon. I'm planning on heading back out on Saturday to try again.


Yeah it looks like in a lot of places it'll start to calm down Saturday and Sunday. It'll be a nice change of pace from the rain, wind, and swells. Lots and lots of reports here from HMB south jetty over the years, so I'd recommend searching through some of them for tips on spots, rigging, etc.. Also might not hurt to grab a variety of bait from HMB Sportfishing & Tackle. Squid definitely and maybe some frozen anchovies? Good luck out there!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:36 pm
ryanrs


Posts: 29
Location: San Francisco

How dangerous are swells on the north jetty? The angle makes the first half seem pretty exposed. I'm planning to get there in the morning when the tide is higher, so at least conditions won't sneak up on me.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:41 pm
ryanrs


Posts: 29
Location: San Francisco

I'm also planning to go out for more mussels next week on Tuesday or Wednesday. There will be some nice -1.7 ft tides in the afternoon.

I'm a lot better at catching seafood that can't run away, heh.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:07 pm
sea++


Posts: 253
Location: San Francisco

ryanrs wrote:
How dangerous are swells on the north jetty? The angle makes the first half seem pretty exposed. I'm planning to get there in the morning when the tide is higher, so at least conditions won't sneak up on me.


I've only been out on the north jetty a few times and yeah, it's definitely more exposed so take those swells into account; HMB jetty is just straight ragged at points in terms of boulder size and footholds, so the last thing you need is to worry about swells splashing up and over. There are others here with far more experience on that jetty though, so hopefully they'll chime in.

ryanrs wrote:

I'm a lot better at catching seafood that can't run away, heh.


I hear that haha maybe bring a poke pole if you have one? If not you can always use the setup you brought to fish with, just use a real short (and strong) leader and stout hook.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:04 pm
Twitchie


Posts: 149
Location: San Mateo, CA

ryanrs wrote:
How dangerous are swells on the north jetty? The angle makes the first half seem pretty exposed.


Its been awhile, but I think my personal rule was if combined tide + waves was 10-12 ft I didn't bother. Even if its not 5+ft over the top of the jetty, just splashes make that jetty a nightmare to walk on. The north jetty is way more jaggedy, so you're spending most of your time walking on points, ridges, and slanted surfaces.

That being said, with a low enough tide you can skip that first leg, and depending on conditions, sometimes the rest of the jetty is safe while the front gets battered to hell.

Definitely watch the jetty for a few minutes before setting out regardless. I once went out when it all looked 'fine', only to get hit by sneaker waves 6+ feet over the top in areas where the rocks were dry. Three times. In that same trip. My buddy was not amused and to this day will not let me forget I dragged him out to try drowning him.

As far as bait is concerned, I'd suggest squid & if you want to get fancy some shrimp. Shrimp lets you run into some biiiiiig perch when they're around. React fast though, perch like to take off like rockets and you can lose them quick!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:04 pm
giantbrookie


Posts: 34
Location: San Francisco Bay Area & Fresno

ryanrs wrote:
How dangerous are swells on the north jetty? The angle makes the first half seem pretty exposed. I'm planning to get there in the morning when the tide is higher, so at least conditions won't sneak up on me.

When the swell gets to about 5' waves spray the first leg of the jetty and make the footing super slippery and treacherous. At something like 8-10 they blast over it and you can't walk over it. As mentioned you can bypass the entire first part up to the elbow at lower tide by walking on sand on the inboard side of the jetty, but you want time things so you can both go and leave at low enough tide so you don't have to walk over that first part. This is one of the reasons I like the South Jetty more--it is more sheltered than the North Jetty in addition to the fact that it drops into somewhat deeper water. That having been said, my son and I have experienced some really good fishing on both.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:54 am
sphunfishing


Posts: 50

I've been to the North Jetty 3 times, poke poling. All I caught was little rockfish, around 6 yo 8 inches. All I bring back home from Pillar Point are the mussels, no fish worth keeping. I just have the worst luck in fishing/crabbing. Always get the little dinkies.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:43 pm
packyourtrash


Posts: 6

Atleast you didn’t get skunked. Most do as they’re out of the strike zone 90% of the time.

Nice job on the trash cleanup. You should have thrown “matts” half dozen go pros in there with it.
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