The big story in fishing right now is saltwater. Loch Lomond bait shop in San Rafael is always helpful to new and experienced fishers. Keith Fraser has owned the shop forty years and loves to help with fishing reports and advice, both on which bait(s) are working and how to rig. “Ocean fishing for Salmon and Rock fish has been some of the best in thirty years.” he says. If you do not have or have access to a boat, several charters are available right at the marina. If you want help with bait, live or frozen, they can help. One thing he pointed out that there are two excellent piers open to public fishing. Paradise Pier is a Marin County Park in a quiet part of Tiburon. This is a very beautiful setting and a great place for a family BBQ. McNear Pier is also a gem of the Marin County Parks System and a great spot to fish and relax. Keith says,” Paradise Pier is great for Halibut and McNear Pier is known for Striped Bass and Sturgeon.” They both have good web sites but the url is too long. Google them for a direct link. Call the bait shop directly at (415) 456-0321 or go to: www.lochlomondmarina.com/
There are several reports of good amounts of salmon caught off Bodega Head and in the waters off Point Reyes and Fort Ross. Some Pacific Halibut are being caught in Tomales Bay, a good place to fish if your boat is a bit small for the open ocean. Rock Fish are also abundant along the coast.
A-zone deer season is past the half-way point, for the most part the harvest has been better than expected due to the recent fires. B-zone opens mid-month, as much as the recent fires have impacted the deer population, hunters will have to aim further north to find safe hunting. The fires did not reach Covelo; this is the Southern base line where you will need to plan your hunt. There is great public land open to hunters nearly to the Oregon border. The Fish and Game web site has great maps of public lands available for deer hunting. https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Hunting/Deer
Hunter/gatherer types are harvesting roadside blackberries by the bushel right now, they loved the heat last month. The berries loved the heat, but not so much the pickers. Did you know that blackberries are not native plants? Rumor has it that our famous botanist Luther Burbank imported them and decided to go with a different berry. One thing he did not like is the numerous seeds in the fruit. Well, the birds love them and pass the seeds right along which is why blackberries are everywhere today. If you do decide to collect them, crush or juice them to remove the seeds and use the clean, pressed juice. A big favorite of blackberry gatherers is jelly, or cobblers, or blended with simple syrup to make your pancakes jump up and say howdy!
Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Mycological Society. Look for his column each week in The Community Voice.