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Author Topic:   Bodega Bay crab season opener.
WT posted 11-03-2005 01:24 AM ET (US)   Profile for WT   Send Email to WT  
I haven't been on the ocean since September 3rd due to bad ocean conditions. This fresh water stuff is boring.

Well, I sick and tired of the bad weather forecasts so come hell or high water I'm going out this Saturday for the crab season opener.

I hope to get some rock cod while I wait for the crab pots to get filled.

If anyone wants to hook up, let me know.


fishinchips posted 11-03-2005 10:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for fishinchips  Send Email to fishinchips     
I will be leaving out of hmb.
will likely do only crabbing.
Not sure on rockcod this trip.


elaelap posted 11-03-2005 05:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
It's gonna be a madhouse, Warren. The marine forecast looks okay:


...but who can tell two days early about Bodega Bay? If it's nice, I predict the Westside ramp parking lot will be full by 6 a.m. It was really crazy last year because of the fog...I had a narrow miss or two from idiots speeding around in the fog and swore I would never do it again. But vows are made to be broken in this relativist universe, eh?, especially if they don't involve other people, so who knows? I know I'm going out in my boat next week with a commercial crabber dropping some 'scouting' pots (commercial guys can't use their own boats for crab for another couple of weeks), and I might just wait until then. I'll monitor this thread and maybe we'll end up getting together on Saturday, but I just don't know...


WT posted 11-03-2005 06:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     

I'll be leaving my house at 3 AM. I will be at the ramp at 5:30.

I hope the wave intervals will let me get some rock cod.

I'll be on channel 77 or cell phone 916-952-3333.


WT posted 11-03-2005 06:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     

Are you dropping 15 pots?

My pots have 200 feet of line and I will drop them down 120-150 feet. I have to hand pull my pots. :(

Good luck,

fishinchips posted 11-03-2005 09:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for fishinchips  Send Email to fishinchips     
I may drop only 12 pots this season. Don't really have time to manage them.


JMARTIN posted 11-04-2005 10:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for JMARTIN  Send Email to JMARTIN     
Just curious, how many pots per license and how many crab per day in your area? These are dungenous correct? I think I spelled that wrong. John
WT posted 11-04-2005 01:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     

10 crabs per person per day .

Not sure of the maximum number of pots per person. This is my rookie year and I only have 4 pots. Unless I really like crabbing, I'm not sure a crab pot puller is worth the price.


elaelap posted 11-04-2005 01:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
The regs change all the time, so the following is NOT authoritative but is merely my often-flawed understanding; it's important that you look up the regulations for yourself and/or talk with a California Fish & Game warden before you fish for crabs or any other species...the fines for non-compliance are murder ;-):

For a private recreational boat fishing for dungeness crabs north of San Francisco (eg, Sonoma County), I believe there is no stated limit for the number of traps one can use, but the limit is ten crabs per person per day. There are specific regulations concerning the design and size of the traps. The crabs must measure at least 5.75 inches across their back, not counting the little points on their backs (their 'lateral spines'). Both male and female crabs may be taken, but most decent fishermen/women throw back the females. If you're fishing from a commercial sportfishing boat, the skipper will tell you that the limit, I believe, is six crabs per person, and the creatures have to measure at least 6 inches across the back. Non-sport commercial guys have entirely different regs which I really know very little about.

Rock crabs and other more uncommon crab species may be taken year around, and their limit is something like 35 per person per day and smaller rock crabs may be taken. By the way, some folks insist that the smaller rock crabs are tastier than the more glamorous dungeness variety.

Tight lines, and watch out for the nut cases out there over the next couple of days.


JMARTIN posted 11-04-2005 02:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for JMARTIN  Send Email to JMARTIN     
Thank you for the information. The regulations are quite different up here. For the first time in years, our season is going to open back up on November 16th. Might have some crab for Thanksgiving this year. Good luck with your opening. John
fishinchips posted 11-04-2005 05:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for fishinchips  Send Email to fishinchips     
just dropped off the 10 pots in the water this morning. Will retrieve tomorrow. Hope all goes well.
Water ok, large swell.

Go Gettem Guys,

minitauk85 posted 11-04-2005 06:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for minitauk85  Send Email to minitauk85     
I am curious as to what kind of crabbing y'all do out west- I am vaguely familiar with dungenous crab- is this what you're talking about? I've also heard mention of lobster-are they any different from east coast lobster? I am familiar with Maine and Florida lobsters also "bulldozers", as far as crab goes- we have stone and blue claws- all wonderful with a little garlic and butter!-k
WT posted 11-04-2005 07:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
These are the kind of Dungeness crabs I'm hoping to get.


JMARTIN posted 11-04-2005 08:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for JMARTIN  Send Email to JMARTIN     
Dungeness is what I get also up here in the San Juans. We are allowed 2 pots per license, 5 crab per license. They must be 6 1/4 inches across the shell, male only. The females do not get very big anyhow. The season changes yearly and by region. I think I could start July 15th this year and crab untill September 30th. Oh yeah, and only Tuesday thru Saturday or something like that. It is getting as complicated as the fishing regulations. Still, if you use good pots, lots of bait, I use 2 bait boxes per pot, allow the pots to sit thru a good tide change, I can get 10 to 20 nice crab out of 3 pots. I bring my girls and more important, thier licenses when I pull the pots. I am only in 40 to 60 feet of water. The biggest problem that I have is other nin-kin-poops lifting my pots. What is worse, is when they lift the pot and keep it. If the commercial guys are in your area, forget about putting down. John
Chuck Tribolet posted 11-04-2005 08:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
West Coast Lobsters are a lot like Florida lobsters and nothing
like Maine Lobsters. They are extremely uncommon north of
Big Sur. The SoCal folks go crazy over them. Here are some
pix: .

There's a pix of a pretty good sized one in the middle of the
page, and a bunch of typical ones at the bottom. Don't
bother reading the follow-ups, Elaine's nice pictures got
hijacked into a constitutional rant.


LHG posted 11-04-2005 08:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
I have always understood that the FL, and evidently CA, "lobsters" are actually crawfish (cray-fish).

Many do not know that the true Maine lobster, with it's two big claws, only exist of that shore of the US, and maybe a few adjacent Canadian waters. That is the only place on the planet where such a creature is found.

Calling a FL/CA lobster a "lobster" is like calling an Atlantic Salmon a "salmon". Actually, it is a trout.

elaelap posted 11-05-2005 09:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
Here's what they look like coming out of the water (that's the 6-Pak I often 'deckhand' in--cadge a free ride in exchange for baiting some hooks, telling some lies, and cleaning some fish), Sandy Ann, with skipper George Castagnola pulling the crab pots early last season.


WT posted 11-05-2005 10:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     

You should have hitched a ride with us today.

Well, I left home at 3 AM and got home at 6:30 PM. It was a long day.

Randy and I dropped 3 crab pots at 7:30 AM. We pulled the 3 pots at 1 PM and caught 39 crabs. So we got our limits of 10 each.

We also got 3 Ling cod keepers, a China, a Vermillion and others. We rock fished a little north of Fort Ross.

We are too old to pull crab pots by hand. I took maybe 25-30 minutes to pull them up from 165 feet. Now I know why they invented crab pullers.

I hope to see you out there next weekend.


17 bodega posted 11-06-2005 01:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for 17 bodega  Send Email to 17 bodega     

Those photos are awesome! I had my old skiff at the Anacapa arch where those divers were getting the lobsters. I hear there are some great holes out there. There were several dive boats when I was there but it was out of lobster season.

How were the crowds Warren? I think I am going to brave the scene tomorrow morning with my son Casey. I heard a few people got some salmon too. You're probably asleep if you got up at 3AM


WT posted 11-06-2005 12:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     

You were right, I was in a coma last night.

When we launched yesterday at Westside around 5:45 AM the crowd was pretty light, Maybe 5 boats ahead of us. Back at the ramp around 2:30 PM it was a madhouse. I didn't even wait in line to rinse off my boat. (Doran had 6 boats waiting to pull out.)

Good luck,


17 bodega posted 11-06-2005 05:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for 17 bodega  Send Email to 17 bodega     
I went without the boat today to check things out. I brought my son and my rain gear and we hiked Bodega Head and around the marine lab. Saw Banana slugs, deer, bucks, almost stepped on a skunk, many birds, seals... very foggy, rainy, and boats everywere despite pea soup fog and a growing swell. We sat and watched the action and I was glad I left the boat home. The commercial crabbers are arriving with semi trucks full of crab pots. Mariners will have to watch carefully for floating lines.

It was still great to be out there.

jadoca posted 11-06-2005 07:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for jadoca  Send Email to jadoca     
2400 Westshore Road, Bodega Bay, on the north end of the bay, past Spud Point Marina. Directions: North on Hwy 1 to Bodega Bay, Left on Eastshore Road, right at stop sign (Westshore), 1/2 mile past Spud Point Marina.

Is this where you launch at?


WT posted 11-06-2005 08:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     

That's where I launch. It's a great launch with lots of parking, restrooms, wash down etc. I prefer it over Doran.


elaelap posted 11-06-2005 09:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     

I did get out yesterday with Royce and his pal David in Royce's OR 25 cuddy. We got a late start thinking to avoid the crowds at the ramp, but boats were still lined up to the Westside entrance at 9 a.m., and the lot was totally full necessitating parking Royce's truck & trailer out on the street.

We didn't do nearly as well as you with the crabs. Royce had had luck last year putting them in 70-80 feet off Carmet, so we tried that again. Only got eight keepers for four pots...pretty disappointing after all that work and hassle. We did about the same as you on the rockfish and lings up past Ft Ross almost all the way to Salt Point, but the fish were sure biting slow for that perfect drift, water color, and weather.

You probably heard that George/Sandy Ann got stood up by his charter customers so he didn't go out...too bad, because he was going to drop three or four extra pots for me to pick up.

At least there wasn't fog like last year, but it did seem like everybody and his brother showed up. As predicted, some idiot dropped his/her pots right in the middle of the channel between Bodega ['Seal'] Rock and the Head, and we saw three boats being towed in.

Glad you had a great day, WT. Maybe we'll get together next weekend, and I'll post a report if I get out Wednesday or Thursday.


placerville posted 11-08-2005 11:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for placerville  Send Email to placerville     
Is anyone heading out Thursday that has room for one CW brother who's willing to fish, cut bait,help clean boat and fish and pay for gas in exchange for the opportunity to learn from a more experienced CW brother(or sister) and maybe score a few crabs and rockfish?
I'm passing through bodega on my way up the coast but won't have my boat with me.
weather permitting of course. Sounds like a big one's coming this weekend.
elaelap posted 11-08-2005 02:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
I'm planning a last salmon trip for Thursday, weather permitting, crabbing and no rockfish, and probably no salmon either this late in the season (which ends on the fifteenth). I just can't resist one last try. Email me with your phone number and I'll give you a call if this interests you.


WT posted 11-08-2005 03:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     

Are you going to be in Bodega Bay this Saturday? I'm planning on dropping my 3 crab pots Saturday. It will probably be too rough to fish for rock cod.




placerville posted 11-08-2005 04:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for placerville  Send Email to placerville     
You're a hardcore salmon lover. My number is (530)626-5939.
I'll only be out there Thurs. Saturday's looking scary.
Thanks just the same.
17 bodega posted 11-08-2005 06:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for 17 bodega  Send Email to 17 bodega     
I won't be feeling well on Thursday.. (cough, cough) I have bait, poles, rubber boots, wetsuit, foul weather gear, great white shark photography equipment ready.

This time the 30 pounder won't get away.. Might drop my square crab pot too.

elaelap posted 11-09-2005 12:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
I'm keeping my fingers crossed, guys. Weather looks okay for Thursday so far. Steve, we'll launch from the Westside ramp at about 7:30-8:00 am; I know you usually like to leave from Doran, but give me a call tomorrow (Weds) at the office if you get a chance. If you pick up this post before you hear from me via telephone, Matt, I'll be calling tomorrow to firm up plans. Any other end-of-season Whalers want to link up and give it a try?


elaelap posted 11-09-2005 12:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
Latest NOAA weather forecast (as of 9 pm Tues):


Very, very nice...if it's correct ;-)

placerville posted 11-09-2005 02:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for placerville  Send Email to placerville     
Sounds great Tony. We'll touch bases in the morning.
Thanks, Matt
elaelap posted 11-09-2005 03:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
Good talking with both of you guys, Matt and Steve, this morning. Weather looks better and better:

NW SWELL 5 TO 7 FT AT 11 SECONDS. [As of 12:45 Weds]

See you both tomorrow between 7:30-8:00 am. We'll be on channel 77 if anyone else wants to hook up for what might well be our last chance for salmon this season.


elaelap posted 11-11-2005 04:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
Got out yesterday with my pal Bob and placerville/Matt. Nice weather, good rockfishing, great sea stories from Matt, who's a 17-year merchant marine veteran and currently engineers big tugs in SF Bay when he's not teaching school...but no salmon. We only heard of one legal king salmon being caught by the dozens of boats fishing out of Bodega Bay, and with the weather coming up big time this weekend (SAT
NW SWELL 13 TO 16 FT AT 15 SECONDS--forecast as of 1:15 today) it looks like that's it for the sweet noble fish 'til next spring.

Careful this weekend, you Whaler crabbers ;-)


17 bodega posted 11-11-2005 04:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for 17 bodega  Send Email to 17 bodega     
Darn.. I was hoping the radio report was one of you guys... I have 3 nice jumbo dungeness crabs cooked and ready to take to my Dad today, along with a nice sand sole fillet.

I guess no more salmon until next year... boo hoo.
Whale watching and other atctivities will have to do. I'm going to try to take a diving class this winter and hit the dive parks in Monterey.. The CG station launch looks like a good test of trailering skills.

Chuck Tribolet posted 11-11-2005 08:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
The CG pier launch ramp in Monterey isn't bad at all. Come
down the lane farthest from the ocean (clostest to the
bulidings), make a big U turn up the middle lane. Go far
enough that the trailer straightens out, then back down.
Off load the boat and walk it down the pier and leave room
for the next guy to launch.

Adm. Linda does it all the time. ;-)


fishinchips posted 11-13-2005 03:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for fishinchips  Send Email to fishinchips     
thanks for the heads up tony about the sea conditions.
Even the harbor master was out at the launch ramp telling people to NOT go or be very careful.

I launch, got my crabs and came back relatively quickly before the wind came up.
BIG SWELLS out there.


17 bodega posted 11-13-2005 06:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for 17 bodega  Send Email to 17 bodega     
I took a ride in Tomales Bay yesterday, and the day started out beautiful with no wind to speak of...It was great being in the whaler because there were times when I was in water about 1.5 feet deep, and with the motor trimmed to its highest position, the boat was in no danger of running aground. I was able to observe several leapord sharks, bat rays and numerous small fish and starfish. I had to cut the engine and remove the eel grass on several occasions but the whaler was fantastic in the shallows. I headed up to Lawsons Landing, located just inside the mouth of Tomales Bay, and I could see clearly the entire entrance bar was breaking with sizeable swells. There were actually several sets of breaker waves extending for about 1/4 mile beyond the bar and out to Tomales Point. Seriously unfaverable boating conditions. I tied up the boat for a quick stop into the store and bathroom, and headed back into the docile bay. The winds at the mouth were gusting at 15-20, but back in the bay they were still calm, but moving in fast. I met another whaler owner out swimming with the family, and told him of this website as he was having difficulty with his two stroke evinrude that was stock equipment on his 80's era MONTAUK. Two biologists from the UC Davis marine lab were studying oysters in the bay, trying to figure out why they grow faster and larger in certain parts of the bay. I asked about the mercury content and he said that oysters are "filter feeders" and as a result don't have the mercury content that the rockfish, halibut and sharks have due to feeding in the sand...

Great time on the water as usual.

placerville posted 11-13-2005 11:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for placerville  Send Email to placerville     
Thanks Tony for taking me out on Cetaceous with you and Bob. Enjoyed your guy's company and riding in someone else's fine whaler. Sorry we didn't get any salmon but the rockfish and Ling were yummy. I still can't get over that we traded our fish carcasses for those 4 dungeness crabs.

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