Herring Spawn at Ferry Point
The weekend starts with a blizzard of rain showers as violent waves crash the banks of Richmond point. The wind was forecast to reach 40 mph by 11 a.m. , but the light breeze foreshadowed the impending storm. From the distance gulls clamored over the frantic fish underneath, while the sea lions attacked the scouring balls.
The annual herring spawn has arrived in San Francisco Bay.
I arrived at 7 a.m. to light winds and a steady mist of rain.
“Tim are you there yet? anything going on?” I texted.
“I’m hiding in my car. I forget my drysuit”
“Hahaha, I’ll catch you in a bit. It’s cold, I may just sleep in the car if it’s not happening.” i responded half kiddingly.
(Arriving at Ferry Point)
Shortly, i get the familiar text.
“The spawn is ON!” as Tim scours the bridge to check out the action.
I got out of the car and see the gulls and lions working the shorelines and a few brave fisherman
working the bridge for their meal. Raydon pulls up and we exchange greetings and a few selfies.
We packed up our gear and got on the bridge. A Filipino fisherman in dirty boots and a heavy accent had already filled a small cooler. The optimism filled the air while the rain started it’s first down pour.
The incoming tide carried the nets away from the bridge, as the anxious fisherman pulled back their nets in eager anticipation of an incoming catch.
I toss out my first cast Zero.
Second, third, fourth, fifth cast- Zero!
“Tim, you see a hole in the net?”
“NO, i think its fine” Tim responds while his eyes checks out the net for any malformations.
“No I think there is a hole. Look at the sea lion. It’s got one in the mouth”
Suddenly at the end of the sparsely filled bridge came a large roar as one of the fisherman lands a huge school in his net. The fish frantically fighting to find an opening to escape their fate. Others quickly scurried over to witness the spectacle as a few friends help the fisherman lift the heavy haul over the rails.
(Fisherman cast netting on Ferry point pier)
The fish are here
As the tide pulls back the plethora of gulls, sea lions, herring rushed the bridge. Cast after cast came up full, as scales, eggs and herring jizz littered the bridge.The fervor reached a high as fisherman clamored to free up their nets after each cast. Smiles and high fives showered the bridge as bucket after bucket began filling up. The fish dashed from one corner to another, only to be harassed by gulls, fisherman and sea lions at every turn.The gulls hovered over the bridge as their eyes darted towards discarded fish, looking for an easy meal.
(Fisherman looks over his catch)
My cooler was filled to the top and the end was near. Raydon, Tim, herb, and I decided to call it a day. As we left for the parking lot many more cars started to pull in the lot; equipped with nets, bucket, polls and any weapon available they made their way to spectacle. The run was on and so were the fisherman.
The Lost Anchovy