By the time this column appears, the strike by commercial crabbers may be over, but just in case it isn’t, you can catch your own tasty Dungeness crabs by calling Capt. Rick Powers at Bodega Bay Sportsfishing. Rick is offering daily combo trips (weather permitting) off our Sonoma coast for crab and sand dabs.
Sand dabs are a species of medium-sized flatfish found at depths of 60- to-490-feet. It is a popular game fish in northern California, found on menus in the Monterey Bay and San Francisco area. Many seafood fans regard it as a delicacy and quite delicious. Rick takes you out for a day of pulling in crab traps and reeling in scores of sand dabs.
Filling an ice chest full of fresh crab and sand dabs seems like a good way to spend a day off our coast. Call Rick at 875-3344 to book a trip.
If you prefer angling in slightly calmer waters (when the wind isn’t blowing), there are lots of big sturgeon and large schools of striped bass entertaining anglers fishing in North Bay waters between China Camp, the Pump House and Buoy 5 (also known as the sturgeon triangle). Keith Fraser at Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael said that in spite of poor tides, anglers have been catching lots of sturgeon as well as many small striped bass
Keith also books party boats for bay fishing. Call him at 415-456-0321.
But when the weather turns really ugly, you have another choice.
Unless you’re the kind of crazy outdoors person who likes to freeze in the rain while making thousands of casts without a bite (like my buddy Steve Kyle), this month might be the time to stay indoors and tie flies, oil your reel or better yet, attend the International Sportsmen’s Expo in Sacramento. This huge event starts Thursday, Jan. 19, and runs through Sunday, Jan. 22, at Cal Expo. This is the ultimate candy store for fishermen, hunters and folks who love camping, boating and other outdoors actives.
More than 630 vendors will fill five separate buildings and the outside space offering information, conversation and demonstrations of fishing tackle and gear, hunting products and gear, boats, motors marine accessories, UTVs, ATVs, 4x4s, SUVs and trucks, travel vacation hunting and fishing lodges, outfitters and guides, RVs and campers, apparel, mountain living furnishings and so much more. This year, there is a new kayak pond, plus an offered vehicle test track, Western Bass Aquarium, Fly-fishing Theater, and a special youth fair. Kids under 16 get in free. Adult admission is $17.
The Sportsmen’s Expo is a great way to spend a day or two talking and dreaming about your favorite outdoor activity. For more information go to: sportsexpos.com/attend/sacramento.