Even during quarantine, you can still go out to find things to do

The whole world has been greatly affected by the global pandemic that plagues us to where many travelers are unable to travel like they used to. All of us are affected in one way, shape or form. However, in these odd times, there is a silver lining IF you are willing to look for it. Fishing is one hobby, one pastime that can be safely performed in an era of “social distancing” due to the potential of this plague.

In the past few months, fishing has been my go-to activity in my attempts to break the monotony and boredom of just sitting around at home. From the pictures below, you can see that I’ve been doing my best to lead others that they too, can do something fun adventuring locally!

sturgeon legal size fish river california east bay fish fishing la pesca pescar cali delta

I landed the sturgeon after getting tangled with someone else’s line (he also had a sturgeon on!). This was a legal-sized keeper sturgeon.

halibut california bay area south sf san francisco oakland emeryville fishing la pesca pescar angeln

Got a nice-sized halibut on a difficult day of slow fishing. It’s part of fishing!

limits halibuts halibut potato patch fishing california golden gate bridge cali sf bay san francisco

In what was supposed to be a salmon trip, turned into a halibut trip because of the slow bite. So instead of trolling for several hours of (maybe) a potential salmon bite, became a banner halibut day. Got my 3 halibut limit!

5 pound rockfish vermillion double rockfishes deep water pescar oceanico oceano pacifico half moon bay

Also landed a chunky Vermillion Rockfish in what turned out to be the biggest fish of the day. Also got a bonus Black Rockfish to hook up with the Vermillion.

16 pound king salmon chinook ocean salmonfishing trolling california

After blanking on a few salmon trips, I finally get mine! A 16 pounder!

salmon hard difficult picky choosy half moon bay mori point pacifica

On a difficult, slow day, I got 2 bites in the first 2 hours. The first was a shaker (too small to be legal) and then this one, a 6 pounder, to start and end my salmon fishing day.

Due to all the laws, rules, restrictions, and common sense, a lot of fishing boats have put a maximum amount of people allowed to go fishing. this means that the cost of fishing has gone up (in order to capture some of the revenues/profits). However, the silver lining is this: there are less people meaning less lines, less tangles, less competition, and better quality of service. Instead of 1 deckhand per 20 people, it’s down to 1 deckhand per 10-12 people. So this means that the deckhand can watch everything far better with a less distracted eye.

Some people have clamored for this to be the norm going forward even after the plague because of the higher quality and far less pressure to out-catch your neighbors. It also allows more space to maneuver so it feels as if it’s not shoulder-to-shoulder fishing like it used to be. There pros and cons but if you are looking for something fun to do locally, then fishing can be one of them!

 

Contacts:

Dragonsport Fishing (sturgeon, salmon, halibut)

Fish Emeryville (rockfish, halibut, striped bass, salmon, crab/fish combo, some sturgeon)

Queen of Hearts (rockfish, salmon, crab/fish combo, very rarely if around: squid and tuna)

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San Jose professional sports: San Jose Earthquakes vs Toronto and Sharks vs Penguins

In any major US or Canada city, there are always opportunities to do interesting things in them. Even if the cities appear to be the same cookie-cutter buildings, streets, and cement jungles – there’s some differences that can make a visitor more exciting and/or interesting to do. One of them is professional sports – you may not be a fan of the team nor the sport, but at least, it’s something that everyone can do which is buy a ticket and then attend the game. No special equipment required.

In San Jose, California, there are two major professional sports teams: the San Jose Earthquakes that play in MLS (Major League Soccer) and the San Jose Sharks of the NHL (National Hockey League). I’ve already covered the Sharks as I look at them as a placeholder team so I can watch the visiting teams play but the Earthquakes are a relatively newer team (they lost their initial team after the originals left to go elsewhere but years afterward, was granted an expansion team to restart the Earthquakes). So as a result, the Earthquakes got new colors, new identity, and a new stadium.

So I looked up the schedule and found out that both San Jose teams were going to play so why not?

Why not go to both and see the teams play?

avaya stadium earthquakes quakes san jose soccer stadium near airport FC MLS soccer estadio futbol football

Well before the start of the game, I checked the grounds before getting into my seat to hunker down. Wear a jacket! It can get cold with the winds blowing!

First up were the Earthquakes playing against Toronto F.C. in Avaya Stadium. Upon arrival, I felt that atmosphere was trying wayyyyyy too hard to be like in Europe. Too much partying and not enough seriousness in the game itself.

scoreboard airport estadio fussball major league soccer american pro sport aeroport

When you look at the scoreboard, yes, you can see San Jose International Airport. Why they built a stadium near the airport – no idea. Must have ran out of land. Could have just played in Levi’s Stadium instead…. which they do once a year.

Second was the play. Gosh…. it was horrendous. The league has a lot more to go in order to catch up with the European leagues. I felt as if any of the Bundesliga 3 teams would beat anyone in MLS. The team I had in mind: SV Wiesbaden – that team could beat the MLS’s best. And don’t try to compare the MLS to the powerhouse teams such as Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United, RB Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund, FC Barcelona – these teams would easily win with the quality that they have. And the tactics of the MLS are limited compared to the European teams. The quality is just not there.

earthquakes quakes soccer playing sport against visiting team

They run back and forth with lots of mistakes. Better to run back to Europe for better football play.

But nevertheless, the Earthquakes put on a great show at the end of the game. Down 1-2 while in stoppage time, the Quakes draw a foul outside of the penalty box which set them up for a free kick. The Quakes plan it out to where they take the free kick towards the goal…. and he makes it! 2-2! What a wild finish to rescue the loss and transform into a tie!

Okay!

Next game: Sharks vs Penguins.

penguins fans in hp pavilion sharks san jose stadium arena club

There was a quite a number of Penguins fans in “da house” which is not surprising due to their outreaching popular fan base.

Evgeni Malkin during practice

Another good reason to go to the games early: watch the players warm up. Particularly, the superstars. Number 71 of the Penguins is Evgeni Malkin.

There wasn’t much to say about this game over than the Penguins that won 2 Stanley Cups in the last 4-5 years was in complete struggle mode having lost 5 straight games going into San Jose. Well, make it 6 straight losses. The team just struggled and it showed.

Sometimes going to see a superstar such as Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby – doesn’t produce much in great memories. More like duds. But that’s sports for ya.

Sidney Crosby looking on skating in San Jose

I thought that the “Next One” or #87 aka Sidney Crosby was going to put on a show. Instead, there wasn’t much to see in terms of goals. The Penguins got shutout in what was a Sharks barrage.

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Return to Sturgeon Fishing in California

I really liked catching Sturgeon that I had to do it again like the last time. Back to the Bay Area to see if I can catch another one of these prehistoric-looking fish. And on a day that looked like it was going to be tough one, I managed to draw the card of luck to shoo away the “skunk” out.

white sturgeon prehistoric looking fish bay california keeper white bayarea sfbayarea fishin lets go

Took awhile to get this unlike the last time when I waited 1.5 hours to get my keeper Sturgeon. Instead, it took almost 6-7 hours for a good bite and a good fight in the end.

Again, I get a lot of comments from people, “How can fish that big live in the San Francisco Bay waters?” Well, these fish have been here for years and haven’t evolved much for millennia so it’s worked for them. Some even grow to such enormous sizes that some thought that they actually ate people!

So to catch one of these fish, you just have to get out there but I recommend getting a guide if you don’t know what you are doing. The times that I’ve targeted Sturgeon, I didn’t know what I was doing and often I’d catch other fish in the area such as Halibut and Striped Bass.

Contact:

http://www.dragonsportfishing.com/

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Pheasant and Chukar hunting in California

There are places to hunt in California particularly for those who have never hunted before. I personally prefer taking people who have never hunted before to go to these “pay to play” places so novices can learn. It’s also a great group activity to walk around looking for these birds while utilizing a dog to go out and smell and track them down. That way, people understand how this whole thing works and aren’t walking around in circles complaining that they didn’t see any birds.

Actually, you use the dog to help you find the birds and even retrieve them in case the flying meat hamburgers decide to high-tail away to a safe place.

hunting chukar pheasants birds hunted harvested cazar caza faisanes chukares aves pajaros para comer la carne

Some of the birds that were harvested from the hunt.

hunting hunter birds bird pheasant chukar walking around with guide dog

On this group hunt, I got a pheasant and 3 Chukars while being part of a group hunt. I think we were supposed to get 16 birds but we ended up harvesting 18! All because the other groups lost a few in our field.

The problem about these places is that they might be located quite far so it can be a long drive to get to these locations. But there’s a good reason for it as they have a LOT of real estate where they can provide hunters plenty of space to track down birds like in real hunting. For those who come from an area where hunting is difficult to do then this is a great place to do it! Good to do some practice shooting because shooting sporting clays is totally different from the real thing!

Contact:

Quail Point

http://www.quailpoint.com/

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California Duck Hunting – New season in session

Finally, I get some time to hunt something in motion in the air AND at multiple targets. Other than hunting pheasants on Jeju Island or going pig hunting, it’s been long while since I’ve gone hunting and harvested some meat! Better late than never – living with no regrets now. Time to go after these birds since the winter winds and weather have been forthcoming. Bad weather such as the cold and winds from the north will result in the best time to go duck hunting (or for geese as well). So time to put on the camo, bust out the duck calls, the shotgun and shells, and prepare thyself for the incoming ducks.

puddle duck harvest california caza de patos cazar rice chek field

Whenever I go duck hunting, I’m usually aiming for puddle ducks, but a diver duck hunt sounded very interesting to go do.

And yes, people do go a little bonkers when they find out that I hunt and it’s in the state of California. C’mon now, people do have to eat but I guess they just don’t remove the invisible barrier in their minds or so that this kind of stuff happens like what our caveman ancestors used to do. Unfortunately, most people nowadays do their food hunting in stores and restaurants so there is a major gap of understanding of where our food comes from.

Unfortunately, duck hunting is kind of a difficult to show off in pictures as the birds are small and pale in comparison to big deer or pigs or even fish. However, duck hunting is still fun as you have to pick your chances to shoot the birds out of the air and the one trip that I took was a very interesting one as I went for diver ducks as we’re hunting an area that I visited before for sturgeon fishing except we’re on this jutting small peninsula into brackish waters. The guides set up the blinds and explained how it worked – we’d shoot when clear/safe to do so and the other guide would retrieve the ducks with the boat.

dawn hunting duck hunting ducks cali bay area san francisco east

Real early in the morning and you can see industrial facilities with their lights on.

rainbow while hunting california

Then the weather changes to where it’s raining and sunny all at the same time, producing a rainbow.

I limited out while diver duck hunting and I learned a lot on how to shoot these diver ducks. Most of the diver ducks are not that good-looking with the exception of the Bufflehead, but even then you have to look up at it to get the full spectrum of colors.

Diver duck hunting guide:

https://www.nwindoutfitters.com/index.php

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