May 16

Getting out

I love the longer days.

One thing I kind of hate about winter is the later afternoon darkening. The world seems so less full of possibilities when it is dark at 5:00.

Now, it is still light after dinner. That means I can be a good husband and father and still manage to sneak away for a bit to fling flies in the Bay.

So, I did.

The stripers aren’t here yet, at least not in numbers sufficient for me to find them… or not where I know where to look, I suppose. I have a lot more to learn about chasing stipers in San Francisco Bay, but that’s part of the process. You have to suck at something before you can be good at it.

The fish count yesterday was 0 stripers and 1 Jack Smelt.

I’ll take it.

The sun finally setting on the SF Bay in late May.

The sun finally setting on the SF Bay in late May.

Feb 15

I’ve got crabs

I went out to try the beach at night… figured the bigger sharks and maybe something else might be feeding at night. Well… the babies were out and this guy.

My first crab from the Bay.

I named him Pinchy.

I named him Pinchy.

Oct 13

Who Ray

I heard rumors of stripers in the Bay and I went and tried to find them on Friday. I stopped by the little bait shop that tends to have the info and I bought some pier fishing gear to help pay for the information.

There are “some” around, but not a lot. That was the report. I think that’s the standard SF Bay Striper report.

I went where I was directed and it looked promising. I could see bait, a lot of bait, shoaling around. I’m pretty sure predators like bait, so this seemed like a good sign.

I saw no stripers. I saw no boils. I saw nothing to cast at, but I cast anyway. This is T-400 casting. It isn’t elegant stuff.

As I was casting and retreating I suddenly felt something lively on the other end. I thought I had finally found a striper. Alas, it was a bat ray I had managed to snag in the head. He was a little guy and I managed to get the fly off without getting his spike rammed in my hand, which was nice.

sorry about that little guy.

sorry about that little guy.

I moved to a new spot and I could see, 150 yards out, birds crashing bait. I may have even seen fish crashing the same bait, but I was too far away to really tell.

So, another fruitless striper trip in the Bay. You never catch anything from your living room, though, so it was worth a shot.

Sep 10

Aquarium Day

Today I went to the aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences with my folks, my daughter, a friend of mine and the little boy she nannies for.  Kids at the aquarium… always fun.

One of my favorite areas is right inside the aquarium… it is a shallow, white sand enclosure that has rays, black tip sharks and a few small tarpon, mixed in with other fish.  The small tarpon are really small… maybe 20″ or so.  On my last trip there were three.  Today… well… they said there were 2, but I think they double counted.  I saw one.  I asked what had happened and they suspect one of the black tips was doing a little pantry raiding at night.  I’m suspecting that the small tarpon they said “must be hiding” was an encore pantry raid.

Feeding time... the official feeding time, that is.

Down below, in the main aquarium, you can also see another tarpon, but this one isn’t small… it’s a pretty nice fish, actually.

Mr. T

While we were there I thought I’d check to see if I might be able to actually see the bonefish they have in their collection… caught in 1918 off Sausalito.  I didn’t get a call back until we got home, but I was told that “Sure,” I could set  up a time to take a picture of the Bonefish of the SF Bay.

I asked about the size of the fish… turns out it is about 11 inches… a juvenile. That does explain a bit.  As I understand it, the juveniles have a much higher tolerance to low temperatures than do the adults. It does make you wonder what was happening with the ocean conditions around 1918.