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Huge crabs for season opener

Sonoma Index-Tribune columnist Bill Lynch.

BILL LYNCH,

The rock fish and lingcod are biting like wild dogs and the crabs are big, fat and delicious as local anglers enjoyed one of the best Dungeness crab sports season openers in several years this week.

Capt. Rick Powers, of Bodega Bay Sportsfishing, said the fishing has been fantastic on flat calm waters. Rick offers rock fish, lingcod and crab combo trips for $130 for a day’s fishing on his party boat “New Sea Angler.”

“My customers have been walking off the boat with 10 big rock fish, lots of lingcod and full limits of crabs that average more than two-and-a-half pounds. That’s $500 or more worth of fresh-caught seafood,” Rick added.

The sports fishing season for crab is always a few weeks ahead of the commercial season opening. If you want fresh Dungeness crabs right now, then sign up for one of Rick’s combo trips. Bodega Bay is only about a 45-minute drive from Sonoma.

Call Rick at 875-3344.

Fishing in San Francisco Bay continues to focus on striped bass action. To get up to date reports on the Bay, call Keith Fraser at Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael, 415-456-0321.

Dottie and I fished the Rogue River near Grants Pass, Oregon, last week. For two glorious fall days we drifted through the scenic canyons, managing to catch two steelhead. We stayed a Morrison’s Lodge near Merlin. It’s been there for more than half a century. Our hosts and the accommodations were very nice and the food was excellent. I just wish the fishing was a little better.

Wrapping up my report on our excellent European adventure, I would have liked to report I caught fish in the Danube, which is not blue in spite of what Johann Strauss says.

Dottie spent the last five days of our trip last month there, alongside the Danube, in which live more than 100 species of fish, but for which almost nobody fishes.

In fact, I had a very difficult time finding out if there was any place to fish nearby. Laws regulating fishing in Austria appear to be very strict and individually administered region by region. Access to fishable water also seems to be limited; so much so, that I gave up trying and concentrated instead on the best that Vienna has to offer – great food and wonderful music.

Vienna is said to be the birthplace of classical music. It was home to Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Strauss and so many more. Hardly a day goes by that you cannot hear their music played live somewhere in the city

We even enjoyed an Italian opera, Puccini’s “La Bohéme,” at Vienna’s magnificent state opera house.

The highlight of our experience though was a concert at the Musikverein, Vienna’s gilded concert hall, where Vienna’s Mozart Orchestra took us back to the 18th century with a delightful program that one could call the “greatest hits” of Mozart, Beethoven and Strauss.

We followed that concert up with a half-day-long self-guided tour of the Haus der Musik, a high-tech museum featuring all of Vienna’s greatest composers. We could have spent another full day there just listening to their music.

Vienna is a pretty compact city, but getting around was made even easier by its extensive and pedestrian-friendly public transit system that includes trolleys, a subway and buses. They operate on an honor system that assumes riders will purchase the inexpensive passes sold everywhere.

Vienna is a city we want to re-visit, perhaps next time I will be able to go fishing.