fishing (108)

Sea Foraging Tours in San Francisco

At left: crab snare; you toss it out with a fishing rod, wait 15 minutes and reel it in. It snags crabs in the loops.

Yesterday I went on a 3-hour tour with Kirk Lombard on the shores of San Francisco Bay. He demonstrated catching crabs with crab snares, how to throw a net to catch herring, and how to catch eels. Kirk is passionate about the ocean, sustainability, and getting your own food. He leads tours of various types, takes people clamming or herring-catching, and has a seafood subscription service. He says there are numerous small fish in this area — smelt, sand dabs, herring, sardines — that are overlooked by commercial interests and perfect for the get-it-yourselfer.

   I’ve poked around on the local coast all my life and come from a family of fishermen — all sport fishermen except for my grandfather, who had a bait and tackle shop in SF around the turn of the century — but I learned a ton of things. There’s a 300-foot deep channel under the Golden Gate Bridge carved out in old times by the Sacramento River. You can make a pudding from a type of seaweed. Fish that is touted as “local” often comes from boats that spend over a month at sea, with 65-mile long longlines.

   There were two 12-year-old boys in the group and he was the perfect teacher. He got them reeling in crabs, throwing a herring net correctly, and poke-poling for eels. If you’ve got kids in the Bay Area,this is a wonderful learning experience. If you’re a city-dweller interested in bringing in some of your own fresh seafood, check him out. 6-star.

https://www.seaforager.com/

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Friday Fish Fry

People keep saying “Beautiful day,” and I grit my teeth. Yes, the sun is out and sky is blue, but the weather is creepy. C’mon low pressure, move back in and let those storms blow in from the ocean. This photo is the end of a weak front that brought only 1/10th inch of rain…article in NYTimes titled “Older Mind May Just Be a Fuller Mind,” saying that the older you are, the bigger a library of memory you have to deal with, the longer it takes to access it. I’ve been saying to people for years that memory is not infinite and that some stuff has to get pushed out for new stuff to get stored — how’s that for rationalization of all the things I can’t remember now?…Also in NYT an article on sloths; they discovered that sloths have moth living aboard (in their fur) that create algae and a large part of sloths’ diet consists of eating this algae. Efficient or what?…Right now listening to Bach Sonatas and Partitas by Chris Thiele, mandolinist from The Punch Brothers. There’s something about the ringing tones of the mandolin that are perfect here, different from the sound of a violin or piano or harpsichord, and the musicianship is stunning; dazzling runs, lovely interpretation…Come to think of it, the whole point of the Llewyn Davis movie was not the film, but the concert film, “Another Day, Another Time,” made in New York in September; way better film…Last night we ran across a documentary on the Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Crafts Festival in Smithville, Tennessee, and was it good! It’s hard for us (east or west) coastal people to remember that there’s a huge part ofAmerica out there that’s not really on our radar. These fiddlers were so good, tons of them, quiet and unassuming and excellent and the clog dancers were a delight; I’ve got it marked on my calendar (July 4-5, 2014), and I might just go; maybe a road trip across America, maybe about time…Went eeling a few days ago and nada, maybe the big surf of late sent them into hiding…going to take my kayak to Tomales Bay this afternoon in search of horseneck clams and cockles…I’m on a campaign to get more seafood…had pasta with mussels last night…last, and the big news around here, is that we’re almost finished with Tiny Homes on the Move and I’m pretty thrilled with it.

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Shellfish Quarantine in Tomales Bay NOW

CDPH Warns Consumers Not to Eat Sport-Harvested Bivalve Shellfish from Monterey Bay and Inner Tomales Bay 
Date: 12/13/2013 
Number: 13-058 
Contact: Anita Gore, Heather Bourbeau (916) 440-7259 
SACRAMENTO 

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is advising consumers not to eat recreationally harvested mussels, clams or whole scallops from Monterey Bay or inner Tomales Bay in Marin County. The latter includes the area between Millerton Point and Cypress Point. Dangerous levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins have been detected in mussels from these regions. The naturally occurring PSP toxins can cause illness or death. Cooking does not destroy the toxin.



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Food From the Sea

I’m the dunce fisherman of my family. My grandfather had a bait and tackle shop in San Francisco in the early 1900s (and made bamboo fishing rods), my dad was a fresh and salt water fisherman, my brother Bob has for years had a Double-ended Monterey, my brother Carl fished commercially for a while. And me — I guess I just don’t have the patience — if they’re not biting, I’m outta there.

 

 BUT I’m trying to increase my seafood intake. Saturday went on long beach walk with my buddy Jack Fulton, picked up some mussels (had for dinner last night). Jack shot this pic of me heading out to the mussels.

   Then last night I managed to catch 4 eels and now I’m gonna prepare them to be smoked tomorrow.

   It’s, um,  possible I’ve said all this before — ah, me.

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Crabs, Leaves and — RAIN!

The crabs are hoppin,

Leaves are droppin,

and rain drops are starting to fall.

It looks like a monster crab season. Not only are there a lot of them, but they are both large and meaty. The sport fishermen have been hauling in limits (10 per person) for 2 weeks, and the commercial season started Friday…Leaves on trees finally dropping; we’ve got enough trees on our land that we have a local source for the compost pile. Nothing better than oak leaves in compost. Plus I’ve got a healthy population of hungry red worms transforming garbage into sweet-smelling black soil…And, after too much dry weather, we’re finally getting R-A-I-N! “GENTLE ISENTROPIC LIFT SHOULD PROVIDE SLIGHTLY GREATER PRECIPITATION VALUES ALONG THE COASTAL HILLS WITH EXPECTED TOTAL PRECIPITATION ALONG THE NORTH BAY HILLS AND BIG SUR RECEIVING 1.5 TO 2.0 INCHES. THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA MAY SEE 0.25 TO 0.50 INCHES OF TOTAL PRECIPITATION…Yahoo!…The air smells sweet right now with the first drops, with the real action to start this afternoon…If I don’t wimp out, I’m going to hike in the rain tonight along the coast…

Loop De Loop Mambo by The Robins on Grooveshark

I have an affection for this song. The first time I went to LA, 18 years old,  in my roommate’s Ford convertible, this was playing on the radio as we drove along the coast at Malibu at 5 AM. I’ve loved LA ever since.

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My Dream Home

Louie pointed this out to me on Thursday; he pulled the truck over, somewhere south of Ft. Bragg on Highway One, pointed down, and said, “There’s the house for you.”

Totally!

I’d be in or on that water every day. I can only dream…

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Monday Fish Fry

(So titled after San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen’s Friday columns, called “Friday Fish Fry;” Herb was master of 3-dot stories. I started reading him at the bkfst table at age 15. In the ’70s, he answered a couple of my letters with his Underwood upright typewriter. Wonderful man…

Sunny Monday Morning We’ve had 3 days of real hot weather, now cooling. Blue skies, glassy ocean. Swam last night… Once in a while I try to throw together fragments revolving in my mind, a la Herb C…

Tom Clancy on Writing  “I tell them you learn to write the same way you learn to play golf,” he said. “You do it, and keep doing it until you get it right. A lot of people think something mystical happens to you, that maybe the muse kisses you on the ear. But writing isn’t divinely inspired—it’s hard work.”

That’s why I’m so slow at posting stuff…

Now listening to The Abyssinians Super reggae vocal harmonies. Gimme that old time reggae! “Jason White” here. (I only like about half the songs I hear on “The Joint,” Sirius Radio’s reggae station. A lot of insipid or preachy stuff or songs you’ve heard 100 times.…

Great Music on KWMR Our local station has really good music programs around 7-9 PM (West Coast time). Blues, bluegrass, reggae, cajun, R&R, eclectic mix of DJs. I listen to it on radio while doing dishes (and sneakily dance when no one’s around), but think it can be streamed…

Free Books to Prisons We have always sent free books to any prisoner who writes us. Letter received a few days ago:

“Shelter Publications,

I wish to thank you for your gift of books. they have been a blessing, not only for…me, but to the many I have loaned them to who are trying to dream and create a future as they leave prison…Thank you for your gift and the many hours of studying, dreaming and contemplation these books provide.

   -J.M., Palmer Correctional Center, Palmer Alaska”

   Thrilling feedback.

   I wish there were some way to get our (fitness and building) books into prison libraries (if there are such). Any researchers out there who can find a list? Or if you know someone in prison, let them know they can write for free books.…

Tidelog Tide Tables I have this posted over the sink and look at it every day. A lot of surfers and fishermen do the same. A graphic view of tides, with art by M.C. Escher. For east and west coasts, including BC. Here

Blues on the Canal Rich Jones sent this link to houseboat moving along an English canal with blues band playing:

Tiny Homes On The Move We’re gettin there! About 90% complete. This has been the most complex book ever, the most people ever to deal with, in many parts of the world. USA, Canada, UK, France, Australia, China, + sailboats cruising the high seas. Two main categories:

Wheels: vans, trucks-with-camper-shells, housetrucks, house buses, and trailers

Water: sailboats, houseboats, and tugboats

There are some 90 of these units in the book, either rolling on the road or floating on the water. They are used as either permanent residences or for trips of varying lengths upon life’s highways and waterways. Book should be out in May 2014…

I love the life I live,

And I live the life I love.

   -Muddy Waters

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