Fish Finding

 

Fish finding is not necessarily the same as fish catching.

The fish finder can be a bit frustrating. Captain Bob has been making some changes to our tweeting fish finder and it has been helpful. Yesterday our fish finder “runnethed  over”, but the fish did not follow.

Here are a couple views of our fish finder yesterday morning.

First we tried the entrance buoys at Half Moon Bay. Here’s what we saw.

IMG_3378 Half Moon Bay

You can see our lonely downrigger balls, but not much else when we first lowered our bait. That’s the bait hovering at about 29 feet.

Ironically, despite a lack of visuals, we managed to catch a salmon of about 7 or 8 pounds after an hour of trolling. Then word came in that fish were stacked up at the Pacifica Pier – about 15 miles north.

We were on the move and when we arrived near the Pacifica Pier, here’s what we saw.

IMG_3415 Pacifica

The “low chirp” (lower frequency) view, on the right, is outrageous. This is the most stuff I’ve ever seen on our fish finder. The upside down Vs are fish. The other stuff is bait fish. The wiggly lines through the midde is our bait.

Once again you ran see the path of our two downrigger balls and single lead ball. You would think that we would have had a triple hook-up. Amazingly, after about 3 hours fishing near the Pier, we had caught only one fish –  a shaker about 15 inches long. And, we had a couple other fish on for a moment.

About 1:00 PM we departed back towards the Half Moon Bay dock. Near the entrance buoy we trolled again, until about 2:30. Not much going on and no fish.

We arrived at the dock to learn that at about 2:00 PM, the fishing at the Pacifica Pier went wide open with many people catching limits in a hurry.

Not only do you need to find’em. You need to find’em when they’re hungry.

That’s fishing.

 

 

Salmon Success at Last

Captain Bob and I made our first salmon attempt out of Half Moon Bay in April. Then we tried Monterrey Bay and out the gate to the South buoy. After three trips we were still stuck on zero. The closest we came to paydirt was a boat-side miss on the Monterrey trip.

Monday we finally turned it around. Three of us landed four of the seven fish we hooked and I was fortunate enough to land a 20 pound plus king that made me proud. Captain Bob and  his guest Paul landed the other three which were all between six and ten pounds.

We caught the fish on a trip to the north, almost to Point Reyes and within a few miles of the Farallon Islands. Here’s a photo of my fish. You can see Point Reyes in the background. We used anchovies trolled with a triangle flasher.

IMG_3364 Rich 22#

We had a great day with good salmon action,  light seas and many interesting critters – whales, porpoise and seals – around to keep us entertained.

According to reports we gathered, the fishing was generally about a fish per rod, with one notable exception, a ferry boat that fished away from the pack and caught limits around.

Salmon Try

Thought Monday might be a good day to catch a salmon, so my friend, Captain Bob, and I headed to the south buoy to see what we could find.

Nobody there so we asked on the radio where everybody was. The response was “head south on 210 and you’ll find the fishermen.”

We did and we did, but we couldn’t catch a fish – not even a hit-and-run.

However I did snap a few photos of some of the whales that we circling us most of the day. That’s all I’ve got.

There were quite a few birds around as well. This gull was a pretty boy.

gull DSC_0879[1]

We also noticed that the area we fished was loaded with sea-birds eating something on the surface of the water. Maybe krill (small fish) – possibly the same thing the whales were after.

The trip back got a bit rough, which made things a bit more interesting. All and all it was a good day. From the reports we got, our experience was consistent with the norm, but a few nice salmon were caught.

 

Sturgeon Success

After three tries this spring, I finally hooked onto a nice sturgeon. My fishing buddy Bob, who has already landed a couple slot fish, took this video. The fish is obviously large and prehistoric looking. Even if we could have taken him home, I don’t think we would have got him into the boat. Just not properly prepared.

Later on Bob hooked a sturgeon that was just about a carbon copy of mine.

It was a good day. We also brought home a couple keeper stripers.

Pilot Peak Lahontan Cutthroat Trout

Rich 15, Rob 16, 3-25-17

The story of these Pyramid Lake trout is interesting.

Two stains of Lahontan cutthroat trout inhabit the lake. The most recent reintroduction of trout to Pyramid Lake came from a strain of fish found near Pilot Peak in the Pilot Peak Mountains which are located along the eastern border of Nevada, very close to Idaho.

These trout carry the same DNA as the nearly extinct migratory trout that once spawned in the Truckee River from Pyramid Lake to Lake Tahoe. After DNA analysis, trout from the Pilot Peak Mountains were transplanted into Pyramid Lake where they have thrived and grown at rapid rates into monster fish like the two pictured above. These fish were 15 and16 pounds.

For more information, search for Pilot Peak strain, Lahontan cutthroat, Pyramid Lake. It is an amazing story.

Return to Pyramid Lake

In the late 1970’s my brother Rob and I fished Pyramid Lake. We camped on the beach and fished wooly worms with a slow strip along the bottom. We didn’t have the traditional ladders used by shore fishermen to rise above the water’s surface to stay warm.

The lake was known for big cut-throat trout and we caught some. Rob fished Pyramid again a year or two later, and caught a nine-pound cut-throat.

To this day it is probably the largest trout either of us has caught while fly fishing, although Rob has caught a couple of others in that same size range. My largest life-time trout (until this past weekend) caught fly fishing or otherwise was an eight-pound brown.

Our idea of “big” in the fly-fishing-for-trout category were completely changed on Friday on our return trip to Pyramid Lake.

On this trip we stayed in a comfortable room at the Nugget Casino as we joined other members of the Tri-Valley Fly Fishers Club guided by Rob Anderson of PyramidLakeFlyFishing.com.

We had it easy as Rob brought the ladders, flies and food. He also repaired our tangles and netted our fish.

We fished with midge larvae imitations and strike indicators. Our flies were set at a depth to keep them just off the bottom.

The largest fish of the trip was brother Rob’s 17 pounder.

There were several high-lights during the trip. We didn’t think Saturday could out-due Friday as the Friday windy weather produced many fish including 16 and 17 pounders.

Unfortunately I came away without a photo of Rob’s big one, so I’ve posted his second largest fish of the day (nine pounds) and my largest fish of the trip a 16 pounder.

We coasted into Saturday needing to catch no fish or to prove anything. Ironically, Saturday’s mostly sunny weather didn’t slow the fishing down, especially for Rob who landed 17 fish. And, four of them weighed eight pounds or more.

The surprise was when we hooked two great fish at the same time. The ensuing battle included reel-pealing runs, crossed lines and Rob’s line spool falling from his reel.

He managed to keep it together while I struggled to keep my fish out of the way and others dip-netted to retrieve his spool from three feet of water while Rob played the fish by hand.

Finally Rob Anderson netted my fish, which turned out to be 15 pounds. A few minutes later a helpful bystander netted Rob’s, which was 16.

Another fisherman, Chris Hallmark, landed a third fish at almost the same time and it weighed 18 pounds.

Here’s Rob Anderson’s photo of the result. (left to right, Chris Hallmark, myself, Rob Anderson and Rob Fletcher)

The Triple Lindy

You can hardly imagine how difficult it was to lift those three slippery monsters into the air at the same time. All of the fish were released in good shape as were all the fish we caught over the two days of fishing.

For information about tying the midge flies and guided fishing trips, go to Rob Anderson’s web page at PyramidLakeFlyFishing.com.