I’m doing it wrong

I have no idea what I’m doing on a pier. I didn’t grow up with them and have spent precious little time on them in the years since. The idea of pier fishing is really foreign to me. The whole bait-cast-sit-wait thing is just not what I’ve generally considered fishing.

Enter the Dumbarton Pier. It is about 4 minutes away from where I live now. My girl wants to fish. Heck, I want to fish.

So, I get a rod (the rod/reel combo was $50) and some hooks and some swivels and some shrimp and I’m good to go… right?

Oh, but I don’t have any idea what I’m doing. I can figure out the rig easy enough, but I don’t know what to do beyond huck the rig out as far as I can and then sit there and wait for “something” to happen. There are new things to learn, new rigs, new environments, new tactics, new things to look for, to pay attention to. I’m not likely to become a devotee to pier fishing. I still want to fish with a fly, but when life gives you lemons (and the Bay Area is pretty much lemons from a fly fishing perspective), you might want to learn to fish off the pier.

Luckily, others weren’t as incompetent as I was and my daughter got to touch a Seven Gilled Spotted Cow Shark, which was kind of awesome.

Cool shark.

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  1. You run a blog, spend countless hours pouring over everything you can on flyfishing and this pier kicks your ass? LOL Well, let’s start here http://fishit.freeshell.org/dumbarton.htm
    That took 5 seconds. You are now officially guiding your daughter for the next 15 years. I’d get real good real fast for her sake at bobbers, Carolina rigs, live baiting,, spreader bars, jigging, Damashi (and everything else non flyfishing in the salt) and start looking at a surf rig/pier rig to go with the lightweight tackle. Plus fishing” gear” makes you a better flyfisherman. Lets see how “Lemon” the Bay Area is when you hook a 5 foot sturgeon with her one day off that pier……. I bet it’s better than you think, you just gotta roll up the sleeves and catch em up!

  2. I’m getting schooled up, not to worry. I think the problem is that there just aren’t a lot of fish caught there to begin with. The whole time I was there I only saw or heard of 2 fish landed, both sharks (a leopard and the 7 gill). I’m an active guy when it comes to fishing and in fly fishing there is usually something you can correct or do better when you end up not in the fish. Pier fishing, it seems like you can improve your odds to a certain degree and then… you just wait for whatever it is to find you. The Bay is certainly Lemon for fly fishing. I’ve cozied up to that. I’ve accepted that. I’m actually kind of excited to learn some new things. Life is about learning, and I’m going to learn.

  3. Jigging a damashi rig is great fun for little kids. Keeps em active and involved and all kinds of critters will grab one of the many little lures on the rig.

  4. First thing you are doing is spending quality time with your daughter. Second thing is this is where you start planting the lifelong passion for fishing in her, the best thing you can do to get a kid interested in fishing is for them to have fun doing it. If you are a mulit-dimensional angler your fly fishing will also improve.

  5. Bjorn,
    Now I know you’re a trout guy having spent your formative years in Dunsmuir, but come on. “Lemon” is not the term I’d use to describe the bay even as far south as where you are in Newark. I’ve caught different types of surf perch, flounder, rockfish, striped bass (some really nice ones too) and other fishies that I still don’t know what they were durning my years in San Mateo. Never hooked a sturgeon like Coach Duff mentions, but know people who have. Take some time to learn different things with your daughter by your side and you’ll be fine because she’ll stay interested. Also, there are some really great spots to freshwater fish (all year) with kids within 30 minutes of you. “Lemon” is when you’re living someplace where the only thing you’d be doing with your daughter for the next six months is shoveling snow and ice fishing. P.S. Within a 90 minute drive, there’s so much fly fishing for you, your wife & your daughter (when she’s ready), with more different species to catch than you may realize.

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