Opening of season brings crab limits to fishermen
The Sportsmanís Report
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By Bill Hanson  November 8, 2013 12:00 am

It’s grab-a-crab time on our coast. The weatherman predicted rough seas on opening day, Nov. 3. 

Many crab fishers, including myself, found something else to do. Those crab grabbers who decided to brave the tempest found calm seas, sun and plenty of crabs. Like someone waiting for the No. 8 bus only to watch it shoot by without stopping, I felt left behind. 

There are lots of crabs to be netted and the season just opened. Sport fishing for crab usually opens the weekend before Thanksgiving. Last year, I was out on the Chil-cat, a Native American term for basket of fish, with Jed Douglas. We nailed them and each brought home our 10-crab limit only to find them empty inside, or nearly so. 

This year, according to reports, they are meaty.

Buck and a bear

A hunter in Trinity County took a huge bear last week. He sent me a photo, a truly big bear. He also took a huge buck, and although it only sported three points, the main tines on the buck’s horns were thick. I’m guessing upwards of 150 pounds ‘field dress’ weight.

Slow mushroom hunting

Mushroom hunting is in the doldrums still. We need some serious rain to open up the season. 

Right now there are a few scattered reports of Matsutaki being found in Oak and Madrone mixed over story. Although the mushrooms are dry, they still exude that enchanting cinnamon oil odor.

I’ve passed around Matsutaki to a small group on foray, and some smell the sweet-peppery scent. The next person says they smell like dirty gym socks, the next smells nothing and so on. Weird!

On the other hand, commercial pickers smell money. Field brokers pay top dollar for Matsutaki and export them to Japan, where a one-pound mushroom in prime condition might be displayed on a silver plate in a shop and sell for upwards of $50.


Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Sonoma County Mycological Association. Look for his column in The Community Voice each week.

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