CENCAL/NORCAL — With the Nov. 3 opener of Dungeness crab season nearly upon us, boats and anglers are busily preparing gear and strategy for the opening week. A robust number of open party boats and charter boats, from Monterey Bay to the Oregon border, plan to offer crab trips or combo trips.
Todd Frazer of Bayside Marine in Santa Cruz said, “Crab season opens Nov. 3, so anglers have been buying crab pots and getting ready. We’re right there helping them and thankfully we have a great selection of pots, rope and whatever else they need."
“Our boats are gearing up for the crab opener,” said Frank Salazar at Emeryville Sportfishing Center. Excitement is mounting throughout the Bay. Berkeley Marina Sportfishing boats; El Dorado, New Eldorado III, Goldeneye 2000 and the Sunfish are all preparing to run crab combos for rockfish or possibly salmon if they continue to bite.
Capt. Jim Smith on the Happy Hooker out of Berkeley is busily readying his string of crab pots. He said, “I run more pots — over 30 — than maybe anyone, and so last year we never missed getting limits for our customers. We usually only had to pull a half dozen pots or less each trip, and with so many in the water we enjoyed easy limits daily. In the early weeks I expect jumbo-size crabs, so I recommend making reservations early.”
Kirk at Noyo Fishing Center in Fort Bragg said, “We’re planning on crab trips when the season opens. We’ll run the Fish On and the Trek II for crabs."
Up on the north coast, Captain Tim Klassen on the Reel Steel and Captain Phil Glenn on the Shellback, both out of Eureka, will be offering crab trips.
On the weekends WON Field Reporter, Lonnie Dollarhide will be the deckhand aboard the Reel Steel. The boats intend to offer crab trips at least until the commercial season begins.
Many coastal and Bay landings and independent boats will offer straight crab or combo trips, so check with your favorite landing or charter boat.
CRABS A'COMING — Dungeness crab season opens Nov. 3, and the Lovely Linda is getting ready for it by prepping their crap pots. They will also be dropping shrimp pots for their crab/shrimp/cod combo trips out of Bodega Bay.