Friday, August 24, 2012

Good Day

Well, SturgeUrge and I spent the afternoon on San Francisco Bay. The NWS missed the wind forecast a little, but not enough to matter in the Grand Scheme of Things.

We definitely punched in on Banker's Hours! Because of the salmon fishery we were targeting, our best shot at them wouldn't come until 3PM, two hours before High Tide. Traditionally you fish two hours before and two hours after the top of the tide and hope the fish come through. It's an interception fishery, and picking the right time to be in the right place isn't easy!

At least it's scenic! We didn't bother to depart the SturgeUrge Compound 'till 10AM! We missed the tail end of rush hour, and were drifting frozen anchovies for halibut by 11AM.

We're convinced now that the halibut have scarcely entered the San Francisco Bay system this year. Most of the creditable halibut catch reports have been from outside the Golden Gate. Some halibut are being taken from Tomales Bay, but that's a long trip when Dungeness Crab season is closed!

The halibut have been taken on the Marin Beaches, off San Francisco's Ocean Beach, off Santa Cruz and in Monterey Bay proper. In the Bay they've barely made it past Angel Island.

We threw in the halibut towel early, and mooched the Tiburon shoreline for salmon for an hour or two before deploying the downriggers and trolling for salmon in earnest.

Mooching was just a time-filler...a low kinetics pastime while we made lunch. I packed the usual lunch (after trying my failed solar BLT experiment on our last trip) Today's fare was honey ham and swiss on a Kaiser roll...dressed with red onion, and incredible heirloom tomato named Pineapple and sliced thick. Mayo, dijon and leaf lettuce.

Unfortunately, the sandwich was the highlight of the day.

We trolled until after 5:30PM and had the worst wind in the last mile back to the Richmond Marina boat ramp.

We had hoped to watch some America's Cup World Series racing, but the course was too far towards the Golden Gate for the F/V SturgeUrge.

I watched the replay of the racing after the Giants beat the Atlanta Braves. There was a huge spectator fleet watching the AC45s on the opposite side of Angel Island from where we were fishing. The announcers said the wind was 22 knots and the tidal current was another 2 knots. High overcast made for "flat light" too. All in all, a recipe for discomfort or worse in a 17ft outboard motorboat.

The America's Cup 45ft catamarans are blisteringly fast. The accelerate like a dragster (at least for a wind powered craft) These boats are light years away from the stately 12 Meter sloops that contested the Cup back in the 70s and 80s over the course of a couple of hours per match race.

Today's AC45s are like STAR WAS spacecraft compared to the 12 Meter boats. Scary fast, and racing on a tight course.

After this week's World Series wraps up, the teams will start putting their new 72ft catamarans through their paces on the Bay. They say the AC72s will make 46 knots!

That's 53 MPH in Old about breath taking! Wow!

Heads Up! No salmon or halibut were harmed in the production of today's blog.

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