Monday, December 26, 2011

Store Closing Sale

San Rafael Store Closing
All Items* at Least 30% OFF
Email List Advance Announcement

*30% Off excludes Firearms and Steel Shot Ammunition

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This holiday season is turning out to be a bit bittersweet for us. As
most of you know, we have been attempting to find a new owner for the
Western Sport Shop, a search which has remained unsuccessful. Rather
than continue operating, we will be closing Western Sport Shop by the
end of January, 2012.

While we are still hopeful that a buyer may be found, we are taking
immediate steps to reduce our inventory. Effective today, all items
in all departments (except for firearms and steel shot ammunition)
will be discounted 30% off the original price. Over the past weekend,
we’ve also gone through our inventory and have marked selected items
down significantly – there are savings of 50 – 70% off of the original
price. All sales are final and all items are sold “as-is”.

A few of the specific bargains include:
ALL FRESHWATER FLIES – BUCK-A-BUG!
ALL SALTWATER FLIES – HALF OFF!
DISCONTINUED FLY PACK AND FISHING PACK STYLES – 40% OFF!
FLY LINES – Selected lines are half off!
SIMMS BLACKFOOT WADING BOOTS & PURSUIT SANDALS 40% OFF!
We also have a closeout clothing rack loaded with base layers, shirts,
jackets, insulation and discontinued or changed models that are 30 –
50% - Great Deals Abound!
ALL HUNTING VESTS IN STOCK – HALF OFF!
ALL CASTAIC Swim Baits –HALF OFF!
ALL OCEAN SALMON LURES & RIGS – HALF OFF!
ALL BRAID BELTS & GLOVES – HALF OFF!
ALL NEW BOOKS – 40% OFF the Regular Price!
ALL USED BOOKS – HALF OFF the Used Price!

ALL FIREARMS ARE ON SALE - look for the “HOT LIST” of Sale Rifles and
shotguns in the gun department.


Keep your eyes out for further discounts on remaining items in the
weeks ahead. Ads will start running in the papers beginning tomorrow
evening, so you have some advance notice to beat the crowds. Please
feel free to forward this to your fishing, fly fishing and hunting
partners who might be interested.

If you have outstanding credit balances or gift certificates, this is
a great time to take advantage of your increased buying power!

We will continue to sell California Hunting and Fishing Licenses until
at least mid-January.

We will be starting to sell fixtures and displays after January 8,
2012. If you are interested in displays, please call 415-226-9770 and
leave your name and phone number to be contacted.

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Finally, let me say that this has been an extremely difficult post to write.
We’ve gotten to know an incredible group of customers in the 25 years
we have owned Western Sport Shop, we’ve watched young kids grow into
adults and start to bring their children in as well.

Both my family and I truly appreciate the support and encouragement
over the years, the great stories of trips and travel, as well as
sharing this part of your lives with us. Thank you again for your patronage and especially the days when you just dropped into the store to tell us how things went.

-- Jim

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Holiday Deal of the Day - 12/18/11 - Pick Your Favorite So Far!

Sunday, December 18:
Today - Pick your Favorite So Far!
Choose any one of the "Holiday Deals Of The Day" that we have offered this week:

- Free Dozen Trout Flies with any fly box purchase

Buy any fly box in stock and we'll include a dozen standard trout dry flies or nymphs at no charge!
Purchase any fly box and then choose your dozen - mix and match OK!

-
Commercial Crab Trap Accessory Deal

Buy one of our Commercial Crabs and we'll rig the rest!
Purchase one of our Commercial Quality Crab traps and we'll throw in a free bait cage and free Scotty bait jar - get that bait stuffed in right proper and bring home a whole bunch of crabs! No limit on quantity.

- All Fly Fishing Leader and Tippet
Buy One - Get One FREE!
Purchases any fly fishing leader package or tippet spool and receive one of equal or lesser value for free! No limit on quantity.

- 20% OFF all Pro-Shot Cleaning Equipment!
US-Made Care and Cleaning gear!
Care for your rifle or shotgun with gunsmith quality brushes, swabs, stainless and composite rods, bronze brushes and patches. Everything made by Pro Shot is 20% off today!
No limit on quantity.


- Buy any lure in stock and get another for half price!
Save BIG with a "Buy One - Get One!" deal!
Purchase any fishing lure for bass, trout, salmon, steelhead (or anything exotic!) and you can get another lure just HALF the listed price! No limit on quantity.

Here's the Deal on "The Deal"
The Western Sport Shop Holiday Deal is good for the listed day only. Each day's Holiday Deal will be listed on the Western Sport Shop blog before the store opens. Must be redeemed in store. May not be combined with other offers or discounts. Merchandise offers limited to stock on hand. Please bring in this posting either by printout or on your mobile device to redeem.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holiday Deal of the Day - 12/17/11

From now until Christmas, look to the blog each day to find a special offer for our web customers. Head down to the store today for this bargain!

Saturday, December 17:
Free Dozen Trout Flies with any fly box purchase
Buy any fly box in stock and we'll include a dozen standard trout dry flies or nymphs at no charge!
Purchase any fly box and then choose your dozen - mix and match OK!

Here's the Deal on "The Deal"
The Western Sport Shop Holiday Deal is good for the listed day only. Each day's Holiday Deal will be listed on the Western Sport Shop blog before the store opens. Must be redeemed in store. May not be combined with other offers or discounts. Merchandise offers limited to stock on hand. Please bring in this posting either by printout or on your mobile device to redeem.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday Deal of the Day - 12/16/11

From now until Christmas, look to the blog each day to find a special offer for our web customers. Head down to the store today for this bargain!

Friday, December 16:
Commercial Crab Trap Accessory Deal
Buy one of our Commercial Crabs and we'll rig the rest!
Purchase one of our Commercial Quality Crab traps and we'll throw in a free bait cage and free Scotty bait jar - get that bait stuffed in right proper and bring home a whole bunch of crabs!
No limit on quantity.


Here's the Deal on "The Deal"
The Western Sport Shop Holiday Deal is good for the listed day only. Each day's Holiday Deal will be listed on the Western Sport Shop blog before the store opens. Must be redeemed in store. May not be combined with other offers or discounts. Merchandise offers limited to stock on hand. Please bring in this posting either by printout or on your mobile device to redeem.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Deal of the Day - 12/15/11

From now until Christmas, look to the blog each day to find a special offer for our web customers. Head down to the store today for this bargain!

Thursday, December 15:
All Fly Fishing Leader and Tippet
Buy One - Get One FREE!
Purchases any fly fishing leader package or tippet spool and receive one of equal or lesser value for free!
No limit on quantity.


Here's the Deal on "The Deal"
The Western Sport Shop Holiday Deal is good for the listed day only. Each day's Holiday Deal will be listed on the Western Sport Shop blog before the store opens. Must be redeemed in store. May not be combined with other offers or discounts. Merchandise offers limited to stock on hand. Please bring in this posting either by printout or on your mobile device to redeem.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Deal of the Day - 12/14/11

From now until Christmas, look to the blog each day to find a special offer for our web customers. Head down to the store today for this bargain!

Wednesday, December 14:
20% OFF all Pro-Shot Cleaning Equipment!
US-Made Care and Cleaning gear!
Care for your rifle or shotgun with gunsmith quality brushes, swabs, stainless and composite rods, bronze brushes and patches. Everything made by Pro Shot is 20% off today!
No limit on quantity.


Here's the Deal on "The Deal"
The Western Sport Shop Holiday Deal is good for the listed day only. Each day's Holiday Deal will be listed on the Western Sport Shop blog before the store opens. Must be redeemed in store. May not be combined with other offers or discounts. Merchandise offers limited to stock on hand. Please bring in this posting either by printout or on your mobile device to redeem.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Deal of the Day - 12/13/11

From now until Christmas, look to the blog each day to find a special offer for our web customers.

Tuesday, December 13:
Buy any lure in stock and get another for half price!
Save BIG with a "Buy One - Get One!" deal!
Purchase any fishing lure for bass, trout, salmon, steelhead (or anything exotic!) and you can get another lure just HALF the listed price! No limit on quantity.

Here's the Deal on "The Deal"
The Western Sport Shop Holiday Deal is good for the listed day only. Each day's Holiday Deal will be listed on the Western Sport Shop blog before the store opens. Must be redeemed in store. May not be combined with other offers or discounts. Merchandise offers limited to stock on hand. Please bring in this posting either by printout or on your mobile device to redeem.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Freshwater Focus

The early part of winter is a great time to be up in the Marin County Watershed lakes. As the water cools down from the late fall heat waves, trout will begin to move up into the shallower waters, making it much easier to cast to them.

Also, the scheduled trout plants from the Department of Fish & Game look to be significant this winter - so sometime around November 15, we expect a good-sized truckload of larger fish to be dropped into the lake.

We've stocked up on the larger sized (1/2 - 3/8 ounce) Kastmasters which tend to be productive, as well as the key colors of Power Bait. If you are looking for an upgraded rod and reel setup, we have a sale going on for the Daiwa freshwater rod/reel combos - $25 "out the door" including mono line.

Winter bass can be great in these lakes as well, slowly working larger baits such as 6 and 7" senkos, or even the big Castaic lures produces strong strikes at this time of year.

For those folks already thinking about next year, DFG has told us that the 2012 fishing licenses should be available on November 15 through our sales terminals. We'll announce that here when they are ready to sell, but just in case you want to fish on New Year's Day, you can get ready soon!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Haulin' Crabs!

Yep - for most folks, the opening day of the Sport Dungeness Crab season was a good day out. We headed out the gate and dropped 8 traps in 65 to 75 feet of water, drifted back to the beginning of our string and started pulling - normally, we like to soak for a minimum of 2 - 3 hours - as we were trying to get a sense of how many crab were in the area. Plus, we hoped to limit before the rains hit in the afternoon.

The short story is "WOW!" Looks like it should be a good start to the season - we pulled the string twice with very short soaks and ended up with limits for all four on board. Only a few in the 6" range (minimum size for sport dungeness is 5 3/4"). This one was pretty much the average size -



After only managing a few late-season trips last year, it was nice to come back with plenty of crabs for the pot -


The crabs baited with herring and mackerel seemed to do the best - although it was pretty even throughout the day.

Reports seemed good out of Bodega as well, with Richard B. reporting full limits of healthy crab from their trip today.

Looks like a great start to the crab season! If you want to get in on the action, come on down to the shop and we'll get you set up. The season-start promotion on our Commercial Grade traps is still on, so it's the perfect time to get outfitted for the season!

Heading Out Saturday Morning

2011 Dungeness Crab Sport Season Opener

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Crab Traps are HERE! Sport Season Opens Saturday!


Our newest batch of Commercial Quality crab traps have arrived - just about ready to soak. But, the key question is "Are you ready?"

For some reason, it seems as though a significant number of customers are not aware that the sport fishing season for delectable Dungeness crabs opens this Saturday, November 5 for most counties. Early season crabbing is often the best - before the commercial boats begin dropping their larger traps.

So, if you have wanted to give this a try, come by the shop and get one of our custom-made, heavy gauge crab traps. These have been made even better this year with thicker ring material and heavier rubber wraps. Plus, we have this batch rigged with 150 feet of quality rope, so if you need to soak your pots deeper, you won't run short.

These pots come ready to drop, with a large main float and 150' of 3/8" rope. As before, these have rounded edges for a more consistent drop, and are weighted to the bottom, so they should not invert. With the increased thickness of ring, they are approximately 30 pounds. You'll need to have some method of baiting the trap - we recommend zip-tying a bait jar to the roof and pinning in a fish head or mackerel to the floor.

After that, you just need to head out and let them soak - some anglers prefer an overnight, while others go bottom fishing or look for striper outside the surf zone. Early season, a 3-4 hour soak is a good minimum rule. More is generally better.

If you had pre-ordered from this shipment of heavy duty crab traps, you should have received a phone call notifying you they had arrived - just bring your receipt to the shop to pick up your traps. We do have a few still available - so, if you want to get set up, we're offering our Dungeness Season Opener Special - These rigged and ready traps are normally $179.99, but if you buy three, we'll take $10 off for each trap, making them $169.99. If you need six or more, we'll knock off $20 each trap, for $159.99 each. Quantities are limited, so if you are interested and want to reserve traps with your credit card, please call the shop at 415-456-5454.

See you out there and enjoy the crab!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

One Heckuva Trip!



We'll have a more detailed account next week when our long-range expert Richard Birnbaum returns, but in the meantime, here's where a picture is worth more than a thousand words!

Each day's fishing reports from our 2011 Shogun Trip can be found here.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Carlo's UK Adventure - Spey, Izaak Walton & The River Test

Fly Department manager Carlo Bongio and his wife Lynn just returned from a three week trip to the UK, focusing on the Highland Rivers of Scotland using mostly spey techniques. Some highlight photos from his trip appear here, but there were a couple of days which were particularly special.



Starting out on the River Test, Carlo landed and released a number of gorgeous Brown trout - here he shows one of "average" size.


And, of course, it's always proper to land a fish with a reel that came from the same area. (One of Carlo's Hardy reels).



During one of the non-fishing days, they traveled to Winchester Cathedral, which is the final resting place of Izaak Walton (which is spelled Isaac Walton on his marker). The stained glass above is from the Fisherman's Chapel within the Cathedral.

After a stop to help a local innkeeper pick some gorgeous chantrelle mushrooms, Carlo and Lynn enjoyed their best days under the guidance of Ian Neale (speycaster.net) who accompanied them on the River Findhorn. (Ian graciously took the time to write up the day on his "Fishing News" page - search for September 21st to find the beginning of the report.) Below, Ian and Carlo proudly show off the first Atlantic Salmon of the day, caught and released from the "Ladies' Pool".



Moving next to the "Maharajah Pool", Carlo continued to work his spey magic, and landed a beautiful fish.



If you would like to hear more about Carlo's trip or the techniques used to catch these fish, drop by the shop - Carlo is available Monday through Friday and would be happy to talk with you.

Photo Album for Carlo's UK Trip

Both Carlo and Lynn were highly complimentary of the guiding services from Ian Neale. If you are interested in finding more information about him, please visit Speycaster.net -

About Ian Neale:
Ian Neale is an expert salmon fisher, casting tutor, writer, photographer, and fishing guide. Ian is a passionate angler, who cares for his quarry and its fragile environment.

Ian has been working professionally as a guide and casting instructor since 1980 when he owned his own fishing lodge on the West coast of Scotland on the Isle Of Mull. Ian has extensive knowledge of all aspects of salmon, sea trout and trout fishing, from the smaller spate rivers and lochs of the West Coast to the larger flowing rivers of the East of Scotland where he has organised annual fishing parties on the River Dee, River Findhorn, and River Spey.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Vote For Abalone Fishery Closure in Sonoma County

Fish and Game Commission Votes to Close Abalone
Fishery in Sonoma County

Contact:
Jordan Traverso, DFG Communications, (916) 654-9937

The California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) today took emergency action to close the abalone fishery along part of the northern California coast. Specifically, the Commission voted 3-0 to close the fishery in the entirety of Sonoma County. Commissioners Daniel Richards and Richard Rogers were not in attendance.

This action was taken in the wake of confirmed reports of dead red abalone and other invertebrates on beaches and inside coves along the Sonoma County coastline.

Data continue to be collected that shows an abalone die-off along the Sonoma coast beginning Aug. 27. According to Department of Fish and Game (DFG) biologists, these abalone deaths coincided with a local red tide bloom and calm ocean conditions. Although the exact reasons for the abalone deaths are not known, invertebrate die-offs have occurred in the past along the northern California coast due to lack of oxygen and/or poisoning when similar weather and bloom conditions existed, but not at the magnitude of this event.

DFG is assessing the impact of the situation and provided the Commission with information at today's meeting.

Reports of dead abalone and a variety of invertebrates have come from Bodega Bay, Russian Gulch, Fort Ross, Timber Cove and Salt Point State Park in Sonoma County and as far north as Anchor Bay in Mendocino County. DFG biologists and game wardens have collected abalone, mussels and water samples since the beginning and are continuing to document reports from the public. The public is encouraged to report the location, number and date of dead or dying abalone to Ian Taniguchi at (562) 342-7182 or by e-mail at itaniguchi@dfg.ca.gov.

Divers are encouraged to avoid diving in the affected areas. The exact implementation date of the emergency closure will be determined by the regulatory process and is expected soon. Please continue to check the Commission¹s website at www.fgc.ca.gov.

Abalone fishermen are advised to contact a physician immediately if they feel sick, and to report symptoms to the local county health department (www.sonoma-county.org/health/about/publichealth.asp). The latest red tide updates from the California Department of Public Health are also posted online at www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/Pages/DDWEM.aspx.

For more information, please refer to DFG's Sept. 2 press release, available at
http://cdfgnews.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/abalone-die-off-observed-in-sonoma-
county/
.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Closure of Abalone Fishery Under Consideration

The California Fish and Game Commission will consider emergency action on
Thursday, Sept. 15 to possibly close the abalone fishery along the northern
California coast. This action is being considered in the wake of confirmed
reports of dead red abalone and other invertebrates on beaches and inside
coves along the coast in Sonoma County.

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is currently attempting to assess the
impact of the situation and will provide the Commission with information at
this Thursday's meeting. Based on the DFG's report, the Commission may take
emergency action to close the abalone season along all or parts of the
Sonoma coast.

There was an abalone die-off along the Sonoma coast beginning Aug. 27 as a
result of a red tide-induced poisoning and/or lack of oxygen. According to
DFG biologists, these abalone deaths coincided with a local red tide bloom
and calm ocean conditions. Although the exact reasons for the abalone deaths
are not known, invertebrate die-offs have occurred in the past along the
northern California coast when similar weather and bloom conditions existed.

The number of dead and dying abalone is not known but DFG divers are
assessing the damage this week via underwater transect surveys. Reports of
dead abalone and a variety of invertebrates have come from Bodega Bay,
Russian Gulch, Fort Ross, Timber Cove and Salt Point State Park. Other DFG
biologists and game wardens have collected abalone, mussels and water
samples since the beginning of the bloom and are continuing to document
reports from the public.

For more information, please refer to DFG's Sept. 2 press release,
http://cdfgnews.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/abalone-die-off-observed-in-sonoma-
county/
.

Abalone fishermen are advised to contact a physician immediately if they
feel sick, and to report symptoms to the local county health department
(www.sonoma-county.org/health/about/publichealth.asp). The latest red tide
updates from the California Department of Public Health are also posted
online at www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/Pages/DDWEM.aspx.

Contacts:
Ian Taniguchi, DFG Marine Region, (562) 342-7182
Kirsten Macintyre, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8988

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sale Starts TODAY - Save Big on Fall Goods - Plus Deals in all Departments

FALL SALE STARTS NOW!!

Today through Wednesday, September 15!

It’s been a crazy late summer season -- ocean salmon have come back big
time and folks have been buying bait, sinkers and lures like mad! The
copious amounts of late snowmelt and spring rains have made the stream and
Sierra fishing continue with vigor, while the bass fishing has been wide
open. Basically, no matter where you go, good things are happening!

All of which has made it a little difficult to focus on the fact that
Waterfowl Season is fast approaching! So, to give you a reminder and a
little head start - The 2011 Fall Shooting Sports Super Sale starts RIGHT
NOW!

You probably already know that our everyday low price is better than most
stores’ "sale" pricing. But, for this event, we roll prices back to the
lowest levels we possibly can - which makes it the perfect time to stock up
on what you'll need for a great duck season, dove or clay shooting or
whatever season is the big circled date on your calendar.

(And you probably already know that we are a DFG License Agent*, and can get you set up for the new California Hunting Licenses, plus Federal Duck Stamps)

Plus, if you come down to the shop today - Saturday, September 10 - you can meet with
representatives from California Waterfowl Association – find out about their
efforts to maintain habitat and duck populations in our state! If you
aren’t a member, it’s a great opportunity to join!

For starters - we know you need steel ammo!

Best Pricing of the Season on Kent Fasteel Waterfowl loads!
K1235ST40-BBB - 4 12ga 3.50" 1550fps reg. $19.99
WFD Sale! - $18.49
K1235ST36-BB - 3 12ga 3.50" 1625fps reg. $19.99
WFD Sale! - $18.49
K123ST36-BBB - 4 12ga 3" 1425fps reg. $14.99
WFD Sale! - $13.99
K123ST32-BB - 6 12ga 3" 1560fps reg. $14.49
WFD Sale! - $13.49
K122ST36-3, 6 12ga 2.75" 1300fps reg. $13.99
WFD Sale! - $12.99
K122ST32-BB - 3 12ga 2.75" 1425fps reg. $12.99
WFD Sale! - $11.99
K122ST30-BB - 4 12ga 2.75" 1550fps reg. $12.99
WFD Sale! - $11.99
K203ST24-2 - 4 20ga 3" 1550fps reg. $13.49
WFD Sale! - $12.49

Tired of that budget lead loads that don’t cycle or pattern consistently?
Try the Kent Ultimate Fast Lead
K122UFL36-4, 6, 7.5 12ga 2.75" 1350fps reg. $11.99
WFD Sale! - $10.99
K202UFL28-6, 7.5 20ga 2.75" 1255fps reg. $11.99
WFD Sale! - $10.99
K162UFL28-6, 7.5 16ga 2.75" 1220fps reg. $12.99
WFD Sale! - $11.99 (Limited Availability!)

Many sporting clays or other target areas are now requiring steel shot –
We strongly recommend the Kent Target Steel
K122TST28-7 12ga 2.75" 1290fps reg. $9.99
WFD Sale! - $8.99
K202TST24-7 20ga 2.75" 1215fps reg. $9.99
WFD Sale! - $8.99


Even though we've found the KENT Fasteel to be the some of the best and most
reliable loads, we know that ammo choice is important - so we've got a wide
variety of Hevi-Steel, Hevi-Shot, Tungsten loads, Federal Black Cloud and
more - still not quite right? Then make your order this weekend - lock in
the Fall Super Sale pricing, and we'll get it for you in time for the
opener. Just talk with any Western Sport Shop team member at the store.

How about decoys? We’ll be honest – it looks like availability on decoys
will be spotty this year – There have been some problems getting the very
popular green wing and widgeon decoys from Greenhead, and we’re actively
working with other manufacturers to find these. Check with us for updates
in the coming weeks.
But, here’s what we do have! DEALS ON DECOYS!
70002 - Hot Buy Magnum Mallards - half dozen reg. $49.99
WFD Sale! - $42.99
70003 - Hot Buy Mallards - dozen reg. $45.99
WFD Sale! - $39.99
73032 - Over-Size Pintails - half-dozen reg. $62.99
WFD Sale! - $52.99
73039 - Over-Size Blue Bills - half-dozen reg. $59.99
WFD Sale! - $44.990
73049 - Over-Size Canvasback - half-dozen reg. $59.99
WFD Sale! - $49.99
7108# - Speck, Snow, Canada Goose Floaters reg. $99.99
WFD Sale! - $84.99
28030 - Guides Choice Win-Duk air-driven attractor! reg. $52.99
WFD Sale! - $39.99

And all decoy bags in stock are 20% OFF this weekend!


Now, if you just like to fish or fly fish for 12 months out of the year,
that's OK too, because there are deals in those departments, too!

We've got specials in both the tackle and fly fishing department!

First for the Fly Fishing Focused:
Sage “Bass” series and Sage Z-Axis fly rods are now at 30% OFF!
All discontinued Fishpond tackle bags and luggage is now 40% OFF!
Plus, all remaining Ross fly reels and extra spools are 30% OFF!
Simms Blackfoot Wading boots are 40% OFF!
We also have a closeout clothing rack loaded with base layers, shirts,
jackets, insulation and discontinued or changed models that are 30 – 50% -
Great Deals Abound!

Now, for the salt and freshwater anglers:
All Apex Salmon trolling lures in stock – HALF OFF! This is a great chance
to grab some different colors and stock up!
All Pixie Salmon river lures – buy 2 and get a third FREE (Equal or lesser
value)
All Castaic Swim Baits (great for winter bass fishing!) – HALF OFF!
Penn Spinfisher SS Series Spinning reels – 20% OFF!
Selected closeout rods – 30- - 50% OFF!

In other words, it's time to get down to the sale - going on right now!

*DFG Licenses: To obtain a current hunting license in the state of California, you must provide photo ID and a evidence of Hunter's Safety Compliance - this can be either a validated Hunter Safety Course card or a previous year's hunting license. Please Note - DFG regulations state that we can no longer accept "Declaration Forms" in lieu of Hunter's Safety evidence. Cash or credit cards only on license sales.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Salmon. Ocean. Now. GO!


Just because I got a couple emails asking for proof of fish from Saturday's trip... Here are 2 of the three we caught.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Saturday Salmon and a Note on Gear Care

Along with a number of other folks who have heard that ocean salmon fishing is hot right now, a few of us ran out Saturday morning to see if we could put some fish in the box. It was one of those glorious mornings in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a couple gaps in the fog to remind us what a great place this is.


Weather conditions were a bit odd - there was a building swell from the south/southwest. It's much more common to find swells from the northwest which usually does two things if you are running out through the Golden Gate - 1st, because of the curves and points of the coastline north of the San Francisco Bay, there natural lees from the wind if you tuck in behind Point Reyes or Duxbury buoy. While you don't necessarily avoid the wind, you can usually find calmer water while catching salmon. 2nd, the winds "push you home" so you don't really fight water conditions on the return trip.

But with the swells from the unprotected south, there was nothing to do and nowhere to hide. So, we rocked and rolled a bit, but landed three fine fish on the day (unfortunately "long-line released " a couple as well - a pitching boat and moving fish can make things tricky.)
video

I would have liked to get footage of our intrepid staff members landing the fish, but I had one hand on the rail and the other on the net during the fights. Large fish on the day was ~18 pounds.

Things were a bit unsettled around Pt. Bonita, but a careful hand on the throttle and eye on the waves tucked us back under the bridge.

We took a couple of passes through California City, though the conditions were much more pleasant, we definitely were on the wrong part of the tide, so we decided to pick up and head home.

Gear Care:
Now that the ocean salmon is going good, it's been scary to see some of the reels and rods that have been sitting in garages, trunks or the hold of a boat for the last two or three years.



Before you go -
First off, replace your line! Don't waste your time and money to get your boat in the water or schedule a party boat trip without replacing old mono or spectra line. Monofilament will degrade when exposed to heat or UV. There's nothing quite like the sinking feeling of seeing line snap "for no reason" when you hook a nice fish. Also, if the leader on your lures or bait rigs have been abraded or seemed kinked or dry, get some leader material (or new lures with sharp hooks!) and spend an hour re-rigging things. Sharpen or replace hooks that don't easily dig into your fingernail.

On your rods, check first for broken or missing guides, then take a q-tip or cotton ball and drag it around the inside of the guide ring. Does it pull off fibers? If it's a nickeled or stainless guide (i.e. - no insert), then you should find some ultra-fine steel wool or emery paper to see if you can buff things smooth. Otherwise, every time you let line out or reel in the guides will be abrading your line.

Also, take a look at the side plates or reinforcing rings on your guides. Quite a few times, we've had to break the bad news to anglers that their old Penn Senator had cracked or split (often after wiping the sludge off of the reels!)

After you go -
As soon as you can after hitting the dock, rinse your gear down with a fresh water wash. Then back the drag off and let it air dry. Using Salt-X or a similar salt removal rinse is a great idea as well. Keep it out of the sun and store in a cool place. Then, when you are ready to go the next time, your rig will be too!




Thursday, August 18, 2011

Carlo's Kids Casting Weekend Photos


Sorry for the delay - but here are a good portion of images from the Youth Flyfishing Weekend event last month - it was great to see so many young anglers so excited about fly fishing. 15 new anglers learned fly fishing from the ground up, with expert assistance from the Redwood Chapter of Trout Unlimited and our own fly fishing department manager Carlo Bongio.

Day one was spent up at Galvan Pond going over knots and gear, the mechanics of casting, and handling the equipment. Day two put the young anglers onto a hungry group of fish at a private pond, where everyone seemed to catch more than their share. Things wrapped up with a certificate of completion and it seemed like everyone was ready to hit the stream!



Hook Up!


Always great to see a rod bent double on a hard-running tuna!
Here's an image taken on the current Shogun multi-day trip! As you may not know, our 5 day trip in September was rescheduled to a 7 day trip leaving October 13th, and there are still a few open spots - if you want to enjoy this wide-open fishing, visit the Shogun site or speak with Richard B. on either Tuesdays or Wednesdays at the shop.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Western Sport Shop Seeks New Owners

Hopefully, that headline didn't startle you.



The thing is, we've been looking to find a new owner for the shop for a bit now. But, when the economy dipped down a couple years back, we kind of pulled our horns in, hunkered down, and did the things we needed to do to keep Western Sport Shop running well. We've concentrated on reducing excess inventory, getting rid of slower moving items, trying to gain efficiencies where we could and in general tidy up the operation. As you know, we closed our Santa Rosa location - a victim of logistics and economy, and moved everything down to the original store in downtown San Rafael.

Somewhere along the line, we kind of forgot to keep letting people know that we were looking for a special person, or group of people, who understand what makes this store special. Someone who might be interested in taking the store forward for the next 20 or 30 years (or more...!) We think that person has probably been a customer of ours, or is a good friend or relative of one of our customers.

Obviously, that person probably loves to hunt, fish, fly fish.

Well, yeah, that is kind of stating the obvious... Retail knowledge is certainly helpful, but good business sense and a bit of energy go an awful long way, in our opinion. And we don't plan to go anywhere in a big hurry, so we can hang around and help if need be (or get out of the way and watch you go to town!)

I'm mentioning this here because over the past couple weeks, I've had regular customers ask me if I like working for the new owners, or how things are now that we bought it back. Both those were absolutely wrong, but made me (and ultimately our family and staff) realize that we needed to remind people of what the facts actually were.

So, if that piques your interest, perks up your ears, gets you a bit excited or interested, please feel free to email us - the best one to use for this is westsprt @ aol .com - or you could also email customerservice @ westernsportshop .com




'

Friday, July 15, 2011

Blue Water Fishing Seminar / Reel Repair Clinic - Saturday!



Just a quick reminder - we know a bunch of people have been awaiting Saturday, July 16 - it's time for our annual "Blue Water" Long-Range Fishing Clinic and we are also hosting the Alan Tani "Hands-On" Reel Repair Clinic.

It will be a great day for learning about the electrifying fishing down in San Diego (and more about our 5 day trip this September), as well as an opportunity for you to get down and dirty - digging into your conventional fishing reels and learning how to clean and maintain them under the tutelage of reel repair icon Alan Tani.

The "Hands-On" Reel Repair Clinic begins at 10 am. You will need to bring in a conventional or spinning reel to work on. Alan will supply basic maintenance items and tools for working on the reel. The goal is to get you familiar with your equipment, teaching you to take it apart, clean out the innards, and get it ready to catch some fish.

*Please note - to make sure everyone who shows up gets a chance to work with Alan, we may limit the time at the work table or the number of reels which can be worked on at any one time.

At 1 pm, Shogun Trip Chartermaster Richard Birnbaum will lead a seminar on the ins and outs of long-range fishing - what types of fish you can expect, basic and advanced techniques on how to hook up and land them and how a multi-day trip operates.

There is no charge for either of these seminars - so get your chores done early and come down to the Shop - 902 Third Street in San Rafael.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hot for This Weekend!

In case it wasn't clear from the last two posts - we've made a special purchase on that Penn 320GT2 reel and the Ugly Stik BWC/AO2201 and have set them up as a rod and reel combo - including mono line! All for only $149.99!

Normally, the reel alone would go for about $100, while the rod would set you back another $80. But, we secured a special deal on these - just in time for prime time for the ocean and bay fishing!

We've also put together some lighter weight outfits, and have a wide assortment of freshwater and saltwater spinning setups - ready to spool up and get you out for the big holiday weekend!

Reel Half of the Combo

Penn 320gt2 levelwind reel. Excellent for salmon, halibut and striper. Matched with the rod and including mono line - only $149.99!

Rod Half of the Combo


Rod Half of the Combo, originally uploaded by Western Sport Shop.

Ugly Stik BWC/AO2201
great general saltwater and trolling rod.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

More Father's Day Deals!

I just got off the phone with Sage, who let me know that they will be upgrading the Z-Axis "Single Hand" Series of rods for the upcoming season (2012 - yes, the tackle year rolls over waaay too early!). What that means is that for any Z-Axis that is not a Spey rod or Switch
rod, you can save 30% off the regular price if you say you saw it in the Email Newsletter! Do not wait - with a discount like that, you can be sure that people will be rushing down right now. (Sorry - no lay aways on these items - no "holds" either. Stock limited to rods on hand
and do not include Z-Axis Switch or Spey series rods.)

If you are more interested in conventional tackle, all Penn Spinfisher Series spinning reels are 20% off. These are geared towards saltwater applications, and have long been the standard by
which saltwater spinning reels are judged - strong drag, anodized spool and quality hardware.
Choose from the 550, 650, 750, 850 or 950 models - again - limited to stock on hand!

It's always great when the gift you give gets used every day. We all love the various styles
and engraving on the M-Clip money clips - trout patterns, fish engraving and a bunch of other features. You have to see this item to believe it - they took a look at your grandfather's money clip and said, "hey, let's do this RIGHT!" and came up with a tenacious spring, slide-out handles for better leverage and the artistic anodization. This is a very popular item, but it's one of those things that we realized we were overstocked on when we incorporated the Santa Rosa store inventory - our overstock is your savings - for an extremely limited time, you can get any model in stock for 50% OFF!

Need some more suggestions? Ask any staff member or start with these suggestions:
Fly Department:
Tackle organizing gear packs from Fishpond, "Taco" wader bag from Simms, a wide array of waterproof fly boxes, wading staffs, Sage's amazing gear bag, Simms "No Fly Zone" mosquito repelling shirts and hats, Abel pliers, Redington Delta disc drag reels, fly fishing sungloves, Action Optics polarized sunglasses (with some discontinued styles up to 50% off!), fly selections for any species, Oasis fly tying organizers and much more!

Fishing Department:
Brand new Cedros spinning reels, Shimano Curado baitcasting reel (take $20 off if you mention this newsletter!), Grundens commercial grade foul weather gear, new Kokanee trolling rods, Shimano Trevala trolling rods, P-Line saltwater pliers, Spectra Hollow-core splicing kit (with instructional DVD), SKB long range tackle boxes (all on sale!), Kershaw filet knives and more!

Hunting Department:
High quality cleaning equipment by ProShot, Camo gloves, vests and jackets (all at great prices!), ground-mount trap thrower, dog training equpment, Browning Safes, Swiss Army, Kershaw,
Buck and Browning knives, Leupold scopes and optics, Filson shooting glasses (half OFF!), Amazing quality M-Clip money clips (also half off!) and much more.

PLUS, our HUGE book sale is still going on!
Take 20% off any new book in stock and ALL used books are 50% off!

Throughout the store, you'll find special buys and bargains which will help you maximize your dollar this Father's Day - so don't delay and we'll see you at the shop!

Halibut Right Under Your Feet!


One of the great things for us is when customers come back and share stories and pictures of their successes - but it's even better when someone can't even wait to get back to the shop! Last weekend, we set up a father and son who were heading to the McGinness Pier. After watching everyone cast as far as they could, they decided to drop their bait down right into the pilings and - sure enough - almost immediately hooked up. It turned out to be a fiesty, 25# plus halibut!

Before they even left the pier, they called us up and then emailed the photo to share the good news!

So, before you go seeing how far you can cast, don't forget to look right under your feet!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Father's Day is Sunday, June 19th

===================================
FATHER'S DAY IS SUNDAY, JUNE 19th
===================================
Whether you have a trip planned or just want to find something special, Western Sport Shop is the place to get quality gear for a gift or trip.
Fly Department: Tackle organizing gear packs from Fishpond, "Taco" wader bag from Simms, a wide array of waterproof fly boxes, wading staffs, Sage's amazing gear bag, Simms "No Fly Zone" mosquito repelling shirts and hats, Abel pliers, Redington Delta disc drag reels, fly fishing sungloves, Action Optics polarized sunglasses (with some discontinued styles up to 50% off!), fly selections for any species, Oasis fly tying organizers and much more!
Fishing Department: Brand new Cedros spinning reels, Shimano Curado baitcasting reel (take $20 off if you mention this newsletter!), Grundens commercial grade foul weather gear, new Kokanee trolling rods, Shimano Trevala trolling rods, P-Line saltwater pliers, Spectra Hollow-core splicing kit (with instructional DVD), SKB long range tackle boxes (all on sale!), Kershaw filet knives and more!
Hunting Department: High quality cleaning equipment by ProShot, Camo gloves, vests and jackets (all at great prices!), ground-mount trap thrower, dog training equpment, Browning Safes, Swiss Army, Kershaw, Buck and Browning knives, Leupold scopes and optics, Filson shooting glasses (half OFF!), Amazing quality M-Clip money clips (also half off!) and much more.

there are great bargains in every department - PLUS, our HUGE book sale is still going on! Take 20% off any new book in stock and ALL used books are 50% off!

DFG Update - Recreational Groundfish Regulations

California Department of Fish and Game News Release

New 2011-2012 Recreational Groundfish Regulations Effective June 9, 2011

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) announces changes to recreational
groundfish regulations that apply to state waters 0-3 nautical miles from
shore. The new regulations were adopted by the Fish and Game Commission last
month and take effect June 9, 2011. The changes conform to new federal
regulations implemented by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Fisheries last month, making all groundfish regulations consistent for state
and federal waters from 3 to 200 nautical miles from shore.

The new California regulations were developed over the past two years in
collaboration with fishery constituents after updated status information for
certain groundfish species became available. For some areas of the state,
the new stock assessment results combined with recent catch information
allowed for longer fishing seasons while still keeping projected catches
within allowable federal harvest limits.

The changes will apply to California recreational groundfish fishing
regulations for 2011-2012 statewide unless otherwise noted, and include the
following:

- A decrease of the lingcod minimum size limit from 24 to 22 inches
- An increase of the recreational bag limit of cabezon to three fish,
within the 10-fish combined bag limit for rockfish, cabezon and greenlings
- Removal of the lingcod fishery closure in December and January through
March when groundfish fishing is otherwise authorized
- An increase of the fishing depth constraint to 60 fathoms year-round for
California scorpionfish
- Modification to gear restrictions when fishing for cabezon and greenlings
so that no more than one line and two hooks may be used, consistent with
existing regulations for rockfish and lingcod
- Other modifications to improve clarity and organization

Some Groundfish Management Areas have been renamed. The seasons and depth
restrictions that apply for specific Groundfish Management Areas will take
effect as follows:

Northern (California/Oregon border to near Cape Mendocino):
--For 2011, open May 14 through October 31 in depths less than 120 feet
--For 2012, open May 12 through October 31 in depths less than 120 feet

Mendocino (Near Cape Mendocino to Point Arena):
--For 2011, open May 14 through August 15 in depths less than 120 feet
--For 2012, open May 12 through August 15 in depths less than 120 feet

San Francisco (Point Arena to Pigeon Point):
--For 2011, open June 9 through December 31 in depths less than 180 feet
--For 2012, open June 1 through December 31 in depths less than 180 feet

Central (Pigeon Point to Point Conception):
--For 2011 and 2012, open May 1 through December 31 in depths less than 240
feet

Southern (Point Conception to U.S./Mexico border):
--For 2011 and 2012, open March 1 through December 31 in depths less than
360 feet

Cowcod Conservation Areas (offshore Southern California):
--For 2011 and 2012, open March 1 through December 31 in depths less than
120 feet (please note that nearshore rockfish continue to be the only
species of rockfish that may be taken in these areas).

Anglers are advised to check regulations before fishing for federally
managed groundfish. The upcoming recreational fishing regulations supplement
will contain all new 2011-2012 groundfish regulations. The regulations are
also available on the DFG website at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/groundfishcentral
or anglers can call the Recreational Groundfish Hotline at (831) 649-2801.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sean D in the IJ! Sturgeon Crowd the Bay!

After these rains, the sturgeon rigs and sinkers have been jumping off the shelf at record pace - the odd weather patterns of the last couple weeks have kicked off a serious bite!

Ex-tackle department team member and full-time sturgeon fishing devotee Sean Daugherty was just featured in a recent article in the Marin Independent Journal -


Sean Daugherty, a San Rafael fisherman, holds an 76-inch sturgeon. He hooked the fish during a recent expedition just outside of San Pablo Bay. 'People are catching a lot this year,' Daugherty said. The fish was over the legal limit, so Daugherty released it. (Provided by Sean Daugherty)

Here's the article:

Enormous sturgeon crowding into San Pablo Bay

A large, unusual concentration of big sturgeon in San Pablo Bay has scientists baffled and local fishermen thrilled.

Thousands of the lumbering bottom-feeding fish seem to be gathered in the waters between the Carquinez Straits and the Tiburon Peninsula. Sport anglers, who are generally accustomed to long and tedious hours of fishing to catch just one sturgeon, are deeming 2011 one of the best fishing years in history.

But just why the white sturgeon — whose smaller and rarer cousin, the green sturgeon, is a threatened species — are swarming in San Pablo Bay more than elsewhere is uncertain. The season's intense precipitation almost certainly has something to do with the phenomenon. Fishermen generally associate heavy rainfall with increased sturgeon activity. Some anglers say the influx of fresh water into the bay stimulates the fish's appetite.

more

Whatever the reason for the bite, don't miss out! Get out and enjoy the action!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Here Comes June!

Flyfishing 101 course.
New dates in June and July - click here for a flyer. This popular introduction to fly fishing course fills up quickly - taught by fly department manager Carlo Bongio, this will get you casting effectively and teach the basics of fly tackle, knots and etymology. Perfect for the new or intermediate fly angler.

Bass/Panfish Warmwater flyfishing clinic
Sessions in July and August - click here for a flyer. Join Carlo Bongio at a private pond in Sonoma for an intermediate to advanced session focusing on the specific techniques for fishing for these dynamic species.

Other Clinics
As of the weekend, only a couple places left for the Kid's Flyfishing Weekend.

Bluewater/San Diego Fishing Seminar/Alan Tani Reel Repair Seminar
Mark your calendar for Saturday, July 16 - it will be a great day for learning about the electrifying fishing down in San Diego (and more about our 5 day trip this September), as well as an opportunity for you to get down and dirty - digging into your conventional fishing reels and learning how to clean and maintain them under the tutelage of reel repair icon Alan Tani - look for updates soon, but make sure you don't miss this day!

California Hunting Licenses, draw tags and bird validations have been available since last month - the new computerized system can be a little confusing, but we've been helping folks untangle their questions. The important date is coming up - the tag applications are due Thursday June 2nd.

These are now transmitted electronically through the DFG Automated License System. If you have not done so, you must bring in proof of Hunter's Safety (either a validated Hunter Safety card or previous Hunting License) in order to apply. If you are joining an existing hunting party, you will also need the ID number for that party. You will need to know exactly which zone you are applying for (or if you plan on applying for preference points). We have DFG Big Game information booklets and a larger scale map of zones at the shop.

Again - the deadline for drawing applications is Thursday, June 2nd.

(Please note - this is for lottery draw deer or other big game tags. If you are hunting in a non-lottery area, you may purchase tags up to the point the zone closes - pending availability of the tags).

CDFG News Release - North Coast Salmon Season Opener Shows Promise

North Coast Salmon Season Opener Shows Promise

Department of Fish and Game (DFG) biologists are expecting a promising north
coast salmon fishing season through Labor Day, Sept. 5. The sport season
opened two weeks ago in the Klamath Management Zone, which stretches from the
Oregon border to Horse Mountain, located just north of Shelter Cove.

The return of a healthy sport fishing season is excellent news for anglers
and businesses in the region. For the last three years, salmon fishing has
been relatively nonexistent on the north coast due to fishery restrictions
designed to protect California salmon stocks and a lack of local salmon in
nearshore areas.

Early in the season, fishing success and opportunity is very
weather-dependent. When boats have been getting out, they have been getting good results.

Field samplers with DFG's California Recreational Fisheries Survey program
contacted approximately 200 anglers fishing from private skiffs and
commercial passenger fishing vessels and checked almost 100 chinook salmon
landed during the opening weekend. Heads were collected from all adipose
fin-clipped salmon because the missing fin indicates that the salmon snout
was implanted with a microscopic, coded-wire tag that reveals the hatchery
of origin and other information important to California salmon management.

"This is a promising start to the salmon season," said Ed Roberts, DFG
associate marine biologist. "Weather hampered anglers on Sunday, but on
Saturday most boats landed a few legal fish and also released some
undersized fish."

Anglers reported that cold water conditions and scattered bait made locating
schools of salmon difficult. As the season proceeds, waters are expected to warm and
anglers will be better able to locate schools of bait and salmon. Spring
weather is notoriously difficult to predict while summer days normally bring
calmer seas.

Wardens checking anglers found good overall compliance with salmon
regulations. The most common violation continues to be the use of barbed
hooks while fishing for salmon. Anglers north of Point Conception are
reminded that they are required to use only barbless hooks while fishing for
salmon and that once a salmon is onboard their boat or other floating
device, all anglers must use barbless hooks, even if they switch to bottom
fishing.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Serious Spinning Reels!

First look! The much anticipated arrival of the new Okuma Cedros spinning reels. CJ65 on the left, CJ80S (high speed) on the right. Saltwater ready. Seriously light. 30+ pounds of drag. Now in stock with more on the way.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

State Groundfish Regulations Remain in Effect for Ocean Anglers

CDFG News Release - State Groundfish Regulations Remain in Effect
for Ocean Anglers

California Department of Fish and Game News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - May 11, 2011

Contacts:
NOAA Fisheries Groundfish Branch, (206) 526-6140
Tony Warrington, DFG Law Enforcement Divison, (916) 826-9416
Marci Yaremko, DFG Marine Region, (858) 442-3004
Kirsten Macintyre, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8988

State Groundfish Regulations Remain in Effect for Ocean Anglers

Due to a delay in the federal rulemaking process, the California Fish and
Game Commission was unable to conform state recreational groundfish
regulations in a timely manner. New federal regulations now result in a
conflict between state and federal regulations for recreational groundfish
fishing, so that some rules differ for state (0 to 3 nautical miles from
shore) and federal waters (3-200 nautical miles from shore) off the
California coast beginning Wednesday, May 11, 2011.

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and the Fish and Game Commission are
working to amend the state regulations to align them with the 2011 federal
regulations by early June 2011. Until then, DFG reminds California anglers
to follow existing state regulations.

Immediate actual conflict with State Title 14 regulations beginning May 11,
2011:
1. Lingcod size limit and the allowable alternate fillet length (statewide)
- State regulations continue to specify that the limit is two fish at 24
inches with a 16-inch fillet size limit.
2. Cabezon (statewide) - State regulations will continue to allow only a
two-fish sub-bag limit on cabezon.
3. Cabezon and greenling gears (statewide) - State regulations will
continue to follow the general gear provisions only.

New actual conflict arises on Saturday, May 14, 2011:
4. Season opening date in the Northern and Mendocino Groundfish Management
Areas (from the California/Oregon border south to Pt. Arena) - State
regulations will continue to be in effect, opening the fishery in these
areas on Sunday, May 15.

New actual conflict arises on Wednesday, June 1, 2011:
5. Season opening date in the San Francisco Area (from Pt. Arena to Pigeon
Pt.) - State regulations will continue to be in effect, opening the fishery
in these areas on June 13.

DFG will provide information to the public on its website as soon as the
Commission takes action and new state groundfish fishing regulations become
effective.

###

Friday, April 29, 2011

2011/2012 Hunting Licenses Available

Just a quick update - if you are going to be putting in for draws in this year's hunting season, we are now able to issue Deer Tag draw applications and tags for the upcoming season.

The new automated license system is a little different than in years past, so please take a moment to make sure you have what you need, so we can help you more efficiently.

If you have already purchased a fishing license this year, bring that with you - the bar code on that document can be quickly scanned to bring up your information in the California Department of Fish & Game database. We can also scan your driver's license.

You will need evidence of Hunter's Safety - that means a prior year's hunting license or a copy of your Hunter's Safety card (from California or another state). Please note - Declarations are no longer accepted for evidence of Hunter's Safety. If you cannot produce either of these documents, then you must retake the Hunter's Safety course. Information on scheduled Hunter's Safety courses can be found here.

If you are purchasing an application for a deer zone hunt* or a deer tag, you will need to provide the zone choices. That means we cannot issue tags or applications without zone information. Maps are viewable here or at the store.

The good news is that we are now able to issue tags for the "guaranteed" zones - like A-zone - over the counter. It is no longer necessary to purchase the application, then send it to the DFG for processing.

The other change this year is that state duck stamps and upload bird stamps are now available at the same time - we have not yet received the Federal Duck Stamps, which are a different program - and of course, if you are hunting waterfowl, you will need to answer the survey questions at the time we sell you the license.

So, to recap:
1 - ID card/Driver's License
2 - Evidence of Hunter's Safety
3 - Determine your zone choice

See you down at the shop!

*You can put in for draw zones in groups as large as six hunters. You no longer have to put in all applications together - the first person in a "Party" is assigned a group number, and each additional hunter just needs to know the group number to be included. There is no need to come into the store at the same time, and you can actually join the same group from different license sales locations.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Abalone Season Cranks Up

Abalone Season Opened April 1

California Department of Fish and Game News Release

Contacts:
Jerry Kashiwada, DFG Marine Region, (707) 964-5791
Dana Michaels, DFG Communications, (916) 322-2420

New Report Cards Available through Automated License Data System

California's popular red abalone season opened April 1 in waters north of
San Francisco Bay. The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) reminds divers and
rock pickers that anyone taking abalone must record their catch on an
abalone report card, and tag the animal with corresponding tags from the
cards.

This year, all licenses and cards will be available through the new
Automated License Data System (ALDS), which automatically records purchases
in an active database.

"Abalone report cards are a vital source of information needed to manage
this resource, and the ALDS will allow us to track whether individuals have
returned their report cards as required by law," said DFG Associate Marine
Biologist Jerry Kashiwada. "In the past, we could not easily determine who
had not returned their cards."

Abalone report cards should be returned to the DFG Fort Bragg office at
32330 North Harbor Drive, Fort Bragg, CA 95437-5554. Cards must be returned
by January 31 of the following year, although cards may be submitted early.
Abalone report cards must be returned even if no abalone is taken.

Because of the nature of the paper used for the ALDS abalone report card and
tags, scissors are needed to separate the tags from the card just prior to
attaching them to an abalone. In the past, scissors were not needed to
separate the pre-perforated tags.

Tags that are separated from the cards ahead of time are invalid. Holes may
be punched in the tags immediately after purchase, however. Other slight
modifications to the tagging procedure may be needed with the ALDS report
cards.

The Fish and Game Commission is currently considering proposals for marine
protected areas (MPAs) along the north coast, from Point Arena in Mendocino
County to the Oregon border. The north coast MPA process will not affect the
2011 abalone season. To find out more about the MPAs currently under
consideration, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/northcoast.asp.

Currently, the only open abalone fishery in California is in the northern
region of the state. This fishery is biologically sustainable and has
remained productive for nearly 60 years. In 2009, the most recent year for
which figures are available, the recreational catch in northern California
was an estimated 295,000 abalone.

Everyone engaging in the take of abalone is responsible for knowing and
abiding by all California abalone sport fishing regulations. A complete list
of abalone fishing regulations is also available in the 2011 Ocean Sport
Fishing regulations booklet, available wherever fishing licenses are sold,
at DFG offices and online at www.dfg.ca.gov/regulations.

---

Western Sport Shop note:
Just to put a finer point on it - ALL of the new licenses and tags are generated using the new Automated License Data System (ALDS). That means that the Tyvek-type paper used on your fishing license is the same as that used on the Abalone (or Sturgeon, Salmon and Steelhead) report card will not tear. So - since you need to tag your abalone directly, you will need to have some method for cutting the tag and punching a hole into it. (And this license material is tough!)

We've been setting up anglers and ab divers with a small, sharp set of scissors, and have been working hard to keep in stock on the small, waterproof containers which can hold it all. If you take a few minutes to set up the proper type of kit, you won't waste fishing or diving time trying to find a buddy who has sharp scissors or a hole punch!

As a reminder - we have been selected as one of the ALDS centers in the Bay Area, are actively selling the new California Fishing Licenses, and should be able to answer most of your questions regarding licensing. 2011/2012 Hunting Licenses are NOT currently available, but we recommend that you bring your current Hunting License down now if you will be purchasing a hunting license - this will let us input your Hunter Safety Evidence (your current or previous year license, or your actual Hunter Safety Course Card) when we sell you a fishing license. That will speed things up when the deer tags and new hunting licenses are available in a few months.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Carlo Bongio Shad Clinic - May 14th


Do you want to learn the tricks and techniques to catch scads of shad? Then make sure you sign up for Carlo's Shad Clinic on Saturday, May 14th!

"On the Water" Shad Clinic
SATURDAY, May 14th, 2011


The anadromous American Shad is a fly fisher¹s dream. When hooked, shad's aerial displays are reminiscent of a tarpon or steelhead's flight. The shad runs as powerfully as a salmon, and shows a tremendous amount of endurance. Shad hit flies with reckless abandon and attack with such shuddering strikes that you may find them arm-numbing. This day-long clinic will give you the tools you need to effectively pursue and catch this most challenging and
exciting of gamefish on a fly rod.

Clinic Meets in Santa Rosa, Directions supplied upon payment.
Reservations required.
Clinic Fees: $125/person

This clinic requires wading to be most effective. Waders and appropriate
wading equipment is the responsibility of the student. Attendees should
have mastered basic casting techniques & be familiar with basic fly fishing
equipment. For more information, please contact Carlo Bongio the shop (415)
456-5454.

What is Covered in this Clinic:
Wading Techniques - Fly Selection - Reading the Water for Best Results - Casting & Fishing Shooting Heads - Presentation Techniques for Shad (which work well for steelhead too!) Plus - Russian River "Hot Spots"

Recommended Equipment for the Clinic
Required: Valid California Fishing License (available at stores)

8 weight fly rod with fighting butt.
(6 or 7 weight rod acceptable).
Disk-drag reel set up with a shooting head system.
(enough capacity for approximately
150-200 yards of backing,
plus 200' running line & 30' head)
20-30# Backing
Running line
Shooting heads with a sink rate of 2, 3 and 4.

Shad Flies in sizes 6 & 8 (chartruese, red, orange are most popular)

7' tapered leaders in 2x - 3x tippet size

Waders (unless you want to "wet wade")
Wading staff
Polarized sunglasses
Hat
Sunscreen
Food, drinks & necessary snacks

If you have any questions, contact Carlo Bongio at the shop (415) 456-5454.

Salmon Season UPDATE - 3 mile "no fish" zone

Before you roll out with fleet tomorrow, I wanted to clarify one thing: before you drop your lines in the water, you need to be 3 miles offshore.

This is because the season has been opened at the Federal level, but the State Committee has not met to agree to implement the season. (That meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 4th.)

This won't be a particularly big deal, as the salmon schools and bait are typically further offshore this time of year, but just in case you were thinking about swinging through close to Muir Beach or any other potential spot closer than 3 miles to shore, you cannot legally fish there.

Please feel free to ask any questions when you come by the shop - the tray bait is in and we are also receiving some newer 2.5 and 3 balls, which have a quality coating to prevent rust and provide a less expensive option than standard lead.

See ya on the ocean!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ocean Salmon Season OPENS SATURDAY!


Get your line replaced and sharpen those hooks! You can head out onto the ocean this Saturday! Recreational salmon fishing on the California coast will return to normal April 2 following a vote by the California Fish and Game Commission.The commission's unanimous vote permits recreational salmon fishing, starting April 2, in state waters roughly between Cape Mendocino and Point Sur. State waters extend out three miles from shore.

The vote took place as an emergency action in order to coincide with a similar move by the Pacific Fishery Management Council last week that affects federal waters. Had the commission waited until its next regular meeting on April 6, anglers would not have been able to catch salmon in state waters on opening weekend.

We've got new shipments of lures, line and sinkers - all the gear you need to be ready for the earliest opener for the past 4 seasons!

And if you hurry down to the shop, you may still be able to find some great trolling lures at half off - the last of the overstock gear from our Santa Rosa store! Get Ready for SALMON!



For more information -

Link to article in the Sacramento Bee -
http://www.sacbee.com/2011/03/15/3475574/salmon-fishing-on-coast-restored.html


The Pacific Fishery Management Council website currently seems to be the most up to date (CDFG site information was not updated as of this post).

http://www.pcouncil.org/salmon/current-season-management/

OCEAN SALMON REGULATIONS HOTLINE (707) 576-3429
CDFG - Ocean Salmon Project
475 Aviation Blvd, Suite 130, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Early Quarantine of Sport-Harvested Mussels

CDFG Informational Notice - Early Quarantine of Sport-Harvested
Mussels Begins

Early Quarantine of Sport-Harvested Mussels Begins Today

Contact: Al Lundeen, Ronald Owens (916) 440-7259, California Department
of Public Health, Sacramento

Coming a month earlier than in normal years, the annual quarantine of
all mussel species publicly harvested along the California coast takes
effect today. The quarantine is beginning early this year because
testing by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) detected
elevated levels of domoic acid and paralytic shellfish poisoning.

³Poisoning from eating mussels can lead to severe illness, including
coma and death,² said CDPH Interim Director Dr. Howard Backer. ³It
is critical that individuals do not consume sport-harvested mussels
because there are no known antidotes to the toxins found in these
mussels and cooking does not reliably eliminate the toxins.²

Both domoic acid poisoning (DAP) and paralytic shellfish poisoning
(PSP) are linked to natural food sources for filter-feeding animals,
including bivalve shellfish. The overwhelming majority of illnesses
among humans occur between spring and fall. DAP symptoms can occur
within 30 minutes to 24 hours after eating toxic seafood. In mild cases,
vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache and dizziness may occur.
These symptoms disappear completely within several days. In severe
cases, the victim may experience excessive bronchial secretions,
difficulty breathing, confusion, disorientation, cardiovascular
instability, seizures, and permanent loss of short-term memory, coma and
death. PSP affects the central nervous system by producing a tingling
around the mouth and fingertips within a few minutes to a few hours
after eating toxic shellfish. Typical symptoms are loss of balance, lack
of muscular coordination, slurred speech and difficulty swallowing. In
severe poisonings, complete muscular paralysis and death from
asphyxiation can occur.

The mussel quarantine runs through October 31. It applies to
sport-harvested mussels along the coast, including all bays, harbors and
estuaries.

Commercially harvested shellfish are not included in the annual
quarantine. These products are certified by the state and subject to
strict requirements to ensure that all mussels, oysters and clams
entering the marketplace are free of toxins.

For updated information on quarantines and shellfish toxins, call the
CDPH shellfish information line at (800) 553-4133.

Monday, March 21, 2011

New Simms Vest


New Simms Vest, originally uploaded by Western Sport Shop.

--
sent from some phone

Friday, March 11, 2011

Turkey Seminar Tomorrow - 3/12/11

Another reminder to get down to the store by 10 am on Saturday for our FREE Turkey calling and techniques seminar this Saturday - Tony Giorgi will be on hand starting at 10 am, and will be available through 1 pm. Don't miss this informative (and FREE) event.

Representatives from the National Wild Turkey Foundation (NWTF) will also be on hand with membership information. This is a great opportunity to support the organization which supports turkey habitat and access.

For those of you who have not met Tony, he runs Bass 'n Boars, a guide service located in Sonoma county. He's been successfully hunting the wiley gobblers longer than he cares to remember.

So, head on down to the store and get ready for Spring Turkey Season!

Closed Monday, March 14 - Inventory

Just a quick announcement to let you know that we will be closed for inventory on Monday, March 14th.

Western Sport Shop will be open Sunday, 10-4 as usual and will open again from 10-6 on Tuesday, March 15th.

Sorry for any inconvenience and thanks for your patience!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Turkey Talk: Revised Times/Attendees

Quick update for those of you planning to attend our FREE Turkey calling and techniques seminar this Saturday - Tony Giorgi will be on hand starting at 10 am, and will be available through 1 pm.

Also, we've confirmed that representatives from the National Wild Turkey Foundation (NWTF) will be on hand with membership information. This is a great opportunity to support the organization which supports turkey habitat and access.

So - get up an hour earlier than we said - Turkey Seminar this Saturday, 10 am to 1 pm.

See you there!