Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Crabfest 2015

Well we are at it again, kicking off another year of kayak tournaments. We always start the year with Crabfest, a crabbing tournament hosted at Doran Beach. This years tournament could not have come soon enough. The Central Valley has been pretty dreary as of late, with most days being cloudy and cold. This type of weather doesn't exactly get me excited about fishing, so I have been spending more time with the family as of late, leading to some major fishing withdrawals. Thankfully, Dan graciously let me go early on Friday, so I could spend all weekend at Crabfest.

I arrived about 9:00pm and spent a little time with a few folks I knew getting the crabbing report and telling tall tales. Evidently there had been some big tides earlier in the week that had pushed the crabs around and catch was down as a result, but I hit the hay hopeful for full pots over the weekend.

They ended up being too small to keep, but still cool to see.

The next morning I awoke early, excited to get on the water and start some crabbing. I got my gear together and rigged up while I waited for the day use area gate to open. Right as I got parked, I saw Victor, the host and tournament director for Crabfest. I went over and greeted him and chatted a bit about the weekends itinerary. I think the nicest thing about all of these tournaments isn't the fishing, but getting to see all of the familiar faces and catching up with friends. It's a good thing I enjoyed the comradery so much because the crabbing was slow. I soaked one pot most of the day for one rock crab. Other people I talked to had similar results, but that as they say is fishing. The other bonus of the day was the weather was gorgeous! Sunny, warm, and no wind. The finale for the day was the potluck at Glen's campsite, good company and good food.

Victor, the tournament director, making a crabby face.
The morning of the tournament I woke up to The Headwaters van rocking from side in the wind. Not a good omen. I drove over to the entrance gate for the day use area to get in line. I got out of the van. Freezing! I got into the day use area and started setting up for registration. Normally we put up a couple of easy ups, but those would quickly blow over in the roughly 25 knot wind that was blowing. We decided to set up shop in The Headwaters van and Dan's Sprinter van.

Too windy to go out.
Even though getting out crabbing was not looking likely, we still did registration. We encouraged people to not go out on the water because it was not safe, but to register for the event because just by registering their name would be entered to win a 2015 Eddyline Caribbean 12 kayak, no crab submission necessary. We spent the rest of the morning telling fish stories and hoping the wind would die off.

Brr! Dan and I trying to keep warm in the Sprinter, handing out raffle tickets.
The wind finally laid down just in time for the end of the tournament and the beginning of the potluck, which is an event in itself.
Plenty of people attended and we had lots of goodies to raffle off. Proceeds benefited Diabetic Youth Families.

Huge thanks to Eddyline for donating an Eddyline Caribbean for the event.
Yummy! NCKA potlucks are the best!
Already looking forward to going back next year.

The winner of the Dungeness Crab Winner Sonny.