Friday, July 9, 2010

Fishing is Hot and Heating Up!

Starting with salmon, after a month of "fits and starts" both the ocean and the salmon are becoming more reliable with reports from party boats and private boaters of a fish and a half per rod on kings and (sadly) more then guys care to count on silvers/coho.

I spoke with one private boater who claimed to have caught and released 40-50 silvers between him self and two other skiffs. That said, I can't emphasize enough the importance of shaking those silvers off the hook without boating the fish as they have a notoriously poor ability to coagulate their blood which causes them to bleed out like hemophiliacs, even if they appear to swim off unscathed. That said, the top baits are 5.5" apex lures in "police car", and "watermelon", green R.S.K.s and clear F.B.R.s both baited with green or red size herring. Most action seems to be centered around dux and the N buoy.

Halibut has been a little tricky this year however in the last two weeks several reports spoke of 1-2 fish a rod in the 10-20lb range drifting live bait and a handfull of giant pacific halibut in the 30-50lb range that have wandered into the bay. Best spots are Red Rock, Berkeley Flats, Chevron Tanker Turn Around near the off loading pipes, the Marin Islands, and Crissy field.

Salmon and Halibut are great and very tasty, but the thing that gets me SUPER PUMPED is the striped bass action. Most creeks and sloughs in Marin and Petaluma are holding great numbers of 4-10 lb bass. Places like Corte Madera Creek, the San Rafael Canal, Richardson Bay, and around the Richmond-San Rafael bridge are kicking out great numbers on 4" swimbaits, hair raisers, Rat-L-Traps, and Yozuri Crystal Minnows. I use freshwater bass tackle on these guys, and I love it.

The big boys (those stripers which have moved out into saltwater, feeding voraciously and reaching 25-45 lbs) are on the beaches, Fort Point, Elephant Rock, and Crissy Field, and demand real striper tackle - surf rods, 50-65lb braid, big Pencil Poppers, serious iron like 2-4oz Kastmasters or Hopkins. Here in Marin, look to Stinson Beach where they have already stuck a dozen fish in the 25-35lb class, or Muir Beach, where perch anglers find themselve alone and unable to keep the big stripers off their rigs.

The weather is looking pretty good for this weekend, so get out and enjoy!

Friday, July 2, 2010

It's Summer in the Hunting Department

If you didn't put in for deer or other tag draw, it's certainly time for a new 2010/2011 Hunting License. (As always, you need to bring a previous year's license or other Hunter Safety evidence.) A-Zone will be here before you know it.

There's a few new things to consider if you will be hunting within California - be sure to stop by and pick up the new 2010-2011 regs read up on the non-lead ammo bill (# AB 821 Ridley-Tree Preservation Act, page 3 of regs.)

This is a key time to go through your gear and remember all those things you weren't gonna forget - I know that I need to bring in my rifle that got bumped around and get it bore-sighted, plus I thought I had more than half a box of 3+ year-old ammo -- that's not enough since I'm going out of state.

Right now, we are in good stock on most key loads of hunting ammunition. Some of the less common calibers (like 300 Savage) have been impossible to get, but we've been grabbing the most popular loads whenever they come available. Again - don't wait for the last minute!

When I went through things, I found my pack saw, checked my gambrel and pulley assembly, but it's time to replace my gear bag - too many holes - for waterfowl season (don't forget the CWA Pig Feed on July 11th, and the new DU Dinner later this month in Petaluma!) I'm gonig to check my JJ Lares calls to make sure I've got extra reeds - the waterfowl season is only 16 weeks away!

Of course, we'll be having our big Fall Shooting Sports Super Sale in August - but in the meantime, it's time to clean everything up and figure out what needs fixing and upgrading.

This is a great time to get your dog out and start working them in preparation for the fall season - we've got the higher quality dummies which you can't find at the big pet stores.

A few other things:

The California Department of Fish and Game has updated their website to allow hunters to check the status of their draw results -

Condor Habitat Zone information -