Happy Thursday everyone!
It’s been another week of wind and waves, which means not much fishing has been going on since we last “spoke” (seriously, when I write these articles I feel like I’m sitting in a room with y’all).
During the occasional morning break in the wind Captain Sharky has been heading out for rockfish and layin’ a beating on them. Rockfish numbers and grade are good, nice cabezon, and perfect eating size lingcod are brought to the docks every day he’s out.
A couple weeks ago we saw some salmon starting to get caught but that has dwindled to one here and one there kind of fishing. Give it some time and the salmon will come into the bay. They have no choice; it’s coded into their engineering.
Crabbing to the north seems to remain good by all accounts, but again bear in mind that with the weather not many folks are getting out. If you ever need an update or report, remember that you can reach us at 541-888-FISH seven days a week.
Tuna haven’t been touched in over a week because of the same nasty wind I’ve been talking about. At this point it looks like that warm tuna water is getting further and further away; only time will reveal if we get another run at them.
Now for the good news. Crabbing in the bay is holding up pretty well with some nice catches, and the dock crabbing has been awesome most days. There is a dredging operation in the bay, and with all the clams and other organic material that gets chewed up it creates a giant scent trail of clammy goodness for the crabs to follow in and eat. Perhaps using clams for dock crabbing might be the ticket, I’ll pull some out of our bait freezer and experiment with them this week and let y’all know.
Speaking of dock crabbing we’ve seen some huge herring caught off of B and D docks. It’s hit or miss though; one day they’re there the next they’re gone.
This week was a typical “What the heck am I going to write about tomorrow” sort of week, and just as it seems to happen over and over again someone came in at the last minute to save the day. Big shout out to Gary Lawson for bringing me in some pictures of a giant mass of spineless, jelly-like, stinging, clinging tentacles. (Oops, sorry; I didn’t mean to bring up the political conventions we’ve been seeing the past month — my bad.)
While today’s creature of conversation has no known political affiliations it is nonetheless an interesting animal. This particular animal is an invertebrate and is not all that common in our waters, or any waters for that matter. In fact it is so uncommon that it was only named in 1997! Today we are talking about the black sea nettle, cousin to the better known Portuguese man of war.
The specimen in the attached picture was in the inner basin right here in Charleston. This jellyfish is about 18 inches across the top but can grow to three feet wide with a tentacle trail up to 20 feet long. This one was being messed with by being flipped over with a stick, so we are seeing mostly its underside. (Speaking as a certified Redneck, I fully support messing with stuff with a stick. That, and eating things we mess with with a stick).
Each one of those tentacles packs a serious punch with thousands of tiny nematocysts that will sting ya and grab ya if you’re not careful. It’s these nematocysts that the jellyfish uses to latch to its prey and paralyze or kill it. Upon contact a tiny coiled up spring like filament will rapidly eject from the nematocyst injecting toxin into the unsuspecting victim.
In smaller prey like fish or other jellies this will prove fatal unless you are a Pacific butterfish, in which case you often call the black sea nettle home. The butterfish will actually live off the food that the jellyfish works so hard to catch, hides inside the jelly’s “bell” when frightened, and offers no benefit that I can find. Looks like I came back full circle to politicians again. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)
If you keep your eyes open there’s a limitless amount of cool stuff to see out here in our back yard and I hope to see you out there. So c’mon down to our South Coast and bring a stick!
Rob Gensorek is the owner of Basin Tackle www.basintackle.com in the Charleston Marina and can be reached by phone at (541) 888-FISH, by Facebook at Basin Tackle Charleston, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Robs fishing reports can be heard daily on several radio stations and his Basin Tackle Outdoor Show can be heard Wednesdays at 3 p.m. and Saturdays at 6 a.m. at kwro.com. In addition to all this he sometimes actually gets out and catches a fish or two.