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.


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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!


Quail Point

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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:

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The year in review: 2019

I feel as if this was year, of 2019, was most characterized by a lot of traveling but also more heavily punctuated by the following highlights.

Scuba diving in these locations:
Canary Islands, Spain – First time going to these islands.
Azores, Portugal – First time going to out to the islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
Balearic Islands, Spain – First time to these islands despite the bad weather.
Madeira, Portugal – Diving on a Portuguese corvette!
South Korea – Jeju Island! First time scuba diving in Asia for the first time of my life!
Thailand – First time I ever went on a liveaboard and it was niceeeeeee!

scuba in thailand waters

I’ve been upclose with a Whale Shark before but this one circled around several times in Thailand. You have to appreciate these times because you might not get another moment like this again. That’s what other divers have told me.

Fishing in these locations:
United Kingdom – I went there several times but I still remember that 12 pound Rainbow Trout and 22 pound Pike!!!!!
Germany – First time I finally fished in this country – caught sea-run Brown Trout.
Azores, Portugal – I caught plenty of reef fish out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
Czech Republic – First time fishing in a landlocked country! Big Carp! And Wels Catfish!
Madeira, Portugal – Red Snapper mania with a few bruisers in there to bend the fishing rod.
Spain – Zebra Trout! And catching tons of them!
Slovenia – Rainbow Trout and the awesome Marble Trout! And of course, the ultra rare Hybrid Marble/Brown Trout!
California, United States – After many years of catching my first halibut, I finally catch my second one. As well as my first Sturgeon of my life!
South Korea – Caught mostly reef fish and Mackerels but also caught a lot of Carp in a Fishing Cafe!
Japan – Fishing in Hokkaido for 3 days and I finally, finally land a Taimen!
Thailand – Mahi Mahi heaven and caught epic freshwater fish such as Mekong Catfish, Arapaima, Siamese Carp, Alligator Gar, and more!

I’m still trying to decide what was the most memorable fish of 2019 and it’s difficult to decide which one… I will take all of them! Ha. Maybe the 22 pound Pike might be the winner after trying for 2 years fly-fishing for them. But that Marble Trout and its half-brother, the Hybrid Marble/Brown Trout, were awesome as well after working so hard to catch something! The Taimen was a nice gift of a surprise as well. And then again, Thailand delivering an 80+ kg Arapaima and the biggest fish that I’ve ever caught in my life, a 120+ kg Mekong Catfish, are the fish that I’ll never, ever forget in my life!

pike mini england UK

Many a fish was caught this year including this mini-Pike in England where I later landed a 22 pound monster of a fish! You have to keep trying and going at it until success finally comes around. Never know, success might be drunk and stupid at that moment and time that you can easily grab it!

Hunting in these locations:
South Korea – Shot some pheasants in what was my first time hunting in Asia even though it wasn’t really hunting.
California – Open season on wild pigs!

100+ wild euro pig

I didn’t hunt much this year but I still got a 100+ pound pig. Decisions have to be made whether I fish, hunt, or scuba dive more…..

Sports games, particularly football, in these locations:
Koln Haie – My first German hockey game!
FC Barcelona – Went several times but the game that really comes out on my mind is my first Champions League game and when the team won the La Liga trophy in Camp Nou!
Chelsea – Big time London football club, one of the big three clubs (the other two being Tottenham and Arsenal).
SV Wehen Wiesbaden – Former third league Wiesbaden team got promoted to second league pushing FC Koln to the limits in the German Cup game.
Manchester United – First time going to Manchester and going to the famous Old Trafford stadium!
Union Berlin – I’ve seen their crosstown rivals, Hertha BSC, several times but this was a first for the other major Berlin team. This team later got promoted to first league for the first time in the club’s history where there was a major 2 day long celebration. Finally, the German capital will have a proper Berlin Derby that will actually mean something!
Eintracht Frankfurt – An improved Bundesliga team compared to past seasons to where the team was going deep in the Europa League.
VfB Stuttgart – Went to watch the visiting St. Pauli play and its hardcore fans.
Los Angeles Lakers – Two of the best basketball world’s players: Anthony Davis and LeBron James showcased their talents at the Staples Center
San Jose Sharks – Went to watch the visiting Edmonton Oilers and later the Washington Capitals, not the San Jose Chokers.
San Francisco 49ers – An NFL game in a very long time!

la liga trophy trofeo won in camp nou

Messi lifts the 2018-19 La Liga trophy in Camp Nou, Barcelona after winning the league on points.

I’ve always stated that traveling is far better when the trips involve sporting activities because you go through far more emotions of anticipation as well as the full utilization of your own experience and technical abilities. I recommend doing this as it’s not only just a test of your skills in new environments, but you just never know what might happen. Other people have noticed that I’ve spoken with far more passion about certain locations even though they themselves have also gone to the same places as I have.

I can easily hone into this vibe of jealously from other people that I really, really enjoyed my time of being at all these places while picking the more technical, difficult experiences/activities while everyone else picked the default option of being a tourist drone. I can sense that they want to do the same things like I do but they don’t do it for whatever reason. It’s easily assumed that most people out there picked the well-traveled path so the rewards are not as great as putting in the sweat, pain, frustration, failure, and hard work being put in. But as I stated before, people don’t want to put in the required hard work so they will continue to have the minimal mental reward experience – it’s like watching sports athletes perform so well out in front of the fans but the hard practices, training sessions, time spent in the gym are never, ever shown.

Someone asked me why didn’t I go to a certain FC Barcelona game? They played amazingly well during that game and won! Well… I went fishing instead… sometimes you have to make those hard choices in life – to do this or that! That’s what traveling is all about!

With the completion of the year of 2019, I look forward to 2020 with open arms to see what other challenges and adventures are out there for me. Bring on 2020! Let me do more! There certainly more things to do and achieve so I’m looking forward to whatever might come to me. Just note that if you are traveling, decide for yourself what you really want to do especially with the year 2020 coming up. Do not compare yourself to me and instead pick what it is that you really want in life because when people say that comparison is the thief of joy… it really is. It’s up to you and only you to figure out what are your true goals are and how you decide to achieve them. In my travels, particularly involving physical activities where failure is a possibility, continuous adaptation is a requirement for succeeding in new environments and situations. In other words, survive, adapt, and grow! Just don’t become a Dodo and die off as an extinct species.

marble trout slovenia

My first day was a horrid day in Slovenia for fishing as the fish weren’t biting but I kept trying and trying… I finally caught my Marble Trout! You should do the same in traveling – keep expanding and growing to adapt to become successful.

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San Francisco 49ers vs Atlanta Falcons – American Football Game

If people are not into the fishing experience that is available in the Bay Area, then watching an American football game can be quite an experience especially if you’re used to real football known, not soccer. American football is basically a religion in certain parts in the United States that some people say that it has already dominated the country. The biggest league, the NFL (National Football League), is considered to already own one of the week: Sunday, the day that most NFL games are played with some games played on Thursday, Saturday, and Monday.

home of San Francisco 49ers Santa Clara California Bay Area SFbay SF NFL team pacific west coast

Unlike in Germany where Bundesliga games would provide free public transportation via tickets, the USA does not provide the same services unfortunately. And parking and traffic can be a complete nightmare. So before going to any NFL game, make sure you do your research on how to get to the stadium and back.

However, this kind of football is not the kind that is popular all around the world as American football as it involves actual tackling, hitting people, lots of equipment, and actual specialization of each position. Unlike in football, where players could swap on the field from defender to midfield to forward, American football has certain positions where that is not possible or very difficult. Generally, players are either on offense, defense, or special teams. I won’t go into the specifics of the game, but I call it a very tactical view of playing a sport. Or if you’d like, go with my friend’s quick assessment of the game: hike the ball, play for 7-8 seconds (average length of each play), stand around for 20-30 seconds, and do it all over again until time runs out.

The San Francisco bay area has two NFL teams but one of them, the Oakland Raiders, is leaving to move to Las Vegas, which will leave the San Francisco 49ers as the lone NFL team. The 49ers team has had major success in the 1980s and 1990s winning 5 Super Bowls, and the Super Bowl is the only championship title that actually matters in American football. Winning your division or conference or awards does not mean anything; teams and players are judged on their Super Bowl wins. That’s why some players who are not great regular season players will garner attention all because they have a Super Bowl ring, which is given to Super Bowl winners. That’s why the San Francisco 49ers are in search of their 6th Super Bowl ring and despite San Francisco being part of their team name, the team actually plays in Santa Clara which is about 40 kilometers south of San Francisco proper.

big large enormous US American flag unfurled unrolled during national anthemn NFL game football

Foreigners might find this weird but the United States anthem is played before each and every game. This includes other sporting events as well so don’t think it’s a superiority thing or not when it comes to countries. It’s more of a reminder of how sports have grown over the years from the United States’s early years… that’s what I think.

After staying for so long at Candlestick Park (and whatever names came after it), the team moved to Levi’s Stadium because the leadership wanted the team to be closer to their headquarters which happened to be in the South Bay. But in reality, I think the team wanted more money so the team made the move.

49ers defense line linebackers levi's stadium niners

It’s 11 on 11 like football except these guys wear pads and everyone has their technical specialty and/or place in the field. A lot of its tactics based but remember, this is the professional level so there are no easy players or teams to pick on. Here, the 49ers defense is up against the Falcons’s offense.

huddle offense 49ers nfl football american game sporting event sports green field large expensive arena

You’ll see this quite often as teams will huddle up before starting play. This is where the quarterback will say which play or tactic that they will execute. And on a team, that requires all 11 players to know their role and place on the field.

Note: After the 5th or 6th week of the regular season, the NFL will go into what is called Flex Scheduling and move times of certain games but only for Sunday games. It’s like in the football (soccer) leagues in Europe where games will be rescheduled to have certain games become the primetime ones as well as to fit in all the other competitions going on. It’s even worse with the all scheduling traffic that comes with a major top-tier club that wins, wins, and wins some more. For example, I remember when FC Barcelona won 6 major trophies in one calendar year that they were jam-packed loaded with games and games: La Liga, La Copa del Rey, Champions League, summer games, La Supercopa, European Super Cup, and finally FIBA Club World Cup. There were a lot of re-scheduled games in that year! But American Football is a bit different that most games are set.

So the best advice is that you should double-check the times in case they have changed especially if you have already bought and/or have tickets in hand. Just know that the best candidates for these games are when both teams are really good and have serious playoff implications. So if you have tickets for a game that feature non-playoff destined teams late in the season, then there’s a good chance the game won’t be flexed.

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