Sunday, January 8, 2012

Stalking the Monkey Faced Eel - Merry Christmas!

In a truly inspired choice for a Christmas present, Connie, one of our wonderful daughters-in-law, signed me up for a inter-tidal fishing tour with Kirk Lombard of Sea Forager of San Francisco, blogger and holder of the California record for the largest monkey face eel ever caught.  Plus she threw in some snazzy ProLine waders!

So at 2:00 this afternoon, coinciding with a "minus" (i.e. lower than average) tide, my new waders and I showed up at the parking lot at Pillar Point, just north of Half Moon Bay, with about 15 other foraging wannabes, where Kirk, and his trusty sidekick Mike, met us.

From there our first stop was the nearby mud flats to secure some ghost shrimp for bait, and then to dig for horseneck clams.  In the meantime Mike had dropped a couple of crab pots in the bay hoping to catch some rock crab.

After we finished on the mud flats it was off to the tide pools on the reef where Kirk showed us how to search for sea urchins and harvest mussels, and also demonstrated some poke poling.  Sadly he did not catch a monkey face eel, but he did manage to land a  kelp greenling after just a couple of minutes of trying.

A very fun afternoon.  Thanks again Connie!!

Salt marsh at Pillar Point
Heading out to on the mud flats looking for the elusive ghost shrimp
Ghost shrimp
Attentive observers
A baby monkey faced eel
You don't stay clean digging for horseneck clams
Voila - the horseneck clam emerges
Thanks for your hard work Mike!!
A rock crab
A forest of mussels
Kirk wielding his poke pole
Success!!  A kelp greenling
Sunset over the Pacific


Connie said...

Looks like a there was a good-sized group out there. Great pics – especially the one of all those mussels. Yummy!

gastronomichael said...

Thanks again Connie. I am not sure if the outing actually converted me to a forager or not. However, while waiting to see, we can always head down to Plouf on Belden Place for some of their mussels!! As I recall they offer them there prepared in 5 or 6 different yummy ways.

Simona said...

What a fun adventure! I enjoyed looking at your photos.