Happy Thursday everyone!
Despite nasty seas for a while, we have still seen some fish coming through as of the time of this writing (Monday morning). Lingcod, cabezon, rockfish, tuna, and even a couple salmon have crossed our marina lately, and now that the weather is lying down, I think we will see a lot more. Remember that you can always call us for the latest updates at 541-888-FISH; we’re here seven days a week, folks. As I just mentioned, the lingcod bite is coming back, and we’re starting to see a limit or two on most boats. Simpson Reef and the Glass House have been producing well along with a really nice grade of black rockfish.
Some big ole’ hawg cabezon have been getting pulled up as well lately, and remember that as of the first of July, we have been good to keep one per day. Salmon remains slow at this point, but they’re coming slowly; we have one caught here and there. Tuna are still parked out at the 125 line, and we had a few boats out Sunday catching some. With the nice ocean conditions this week, I know we will see a lot more!
Crabbing in the bay remains good to very good, depending on who you talk to, and it’s picking up in the ocean, probably not limits for everyone but you will go home with a lot of nice-sized crab. Clam tides are shaping up for this weekend and we will be teaching a clam class this Saturday the 23rd. Be at the shop 8:45 a.m. for fun in the mud, and become a certified clam digger. (Just to be clear, you probably shouldn’t put “certified clam digger” on a resume unless you’re applying here.)
Sometimes in the shop we play a game called “Wow, I bet that’s never been said before,” and that’s how today’s topic came into being. Captain John, Sharkys Charters, came in yesterday and said the words, “My cabezon threw up a decorator crab.” Now while the crab is cool and all, I would be willing to make a small wager that in the history of mankind that those words have NEVER been uttered, but back to the decorator crab. Captain John caught the cabezon in about 60 feet of water, so it’s safe to say that the recently eaten crab came from somewhere around that depth.
Generally speaking, the decorator crab inhabits shallower water amongst kelp beds, where it feeds on algae and small crustaceans. The range of this amazing critter usually does not extend past Northern California, so it’s a rare treat to see one here. Decorator crab get their name from their curious nature of hosting obnoxious “reality” shows on HGTV where they go into another animal's den and tell them how horribly decorated it is. Oh, wait, that’s actually a real show on HGTV. The decorator crab will decorate its outer shell or carapace by attaching small plants and animals such as anemones and sponges to small Velcro-like hooks on its back. Some decorator crab will only decorate/camouflage themselves while young, small, and defenseless. When they reach their full size of around 5 inches and are capable of defending themselves, some crab will stop this unique behavior. Decorator crabs molt and grow a new shell just like any other crab, but once their new shell has hardened they will pluck off their old decorations and place them on their new shell. In 1889, a biologist observed this behavior and noted that “the whole proceeding is most human and purposeful.” Oh and it turns out these fellas are some of the favorite food of lingcod and you guess it, cabezon. This amazing world around us never ceases to amaze me. C’mon down and enjoy it with us. I hope to see you out there.
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 email 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.