Tuesday January 2, 2018 Jenner CA.
Looking for steelhead
I was thinking of doing some mechanicing today, but it was overcast and cool out, so it seemed like a better day to go down to the river and look for signs of steelhead fish coming into the river to get to their spawning grounds.
Since I was at Monte Rio yesterday, Jenner was the choice today. There was what I call a high,high tide today at 6.9 feet which is high for this area. Also called a King Tide.
Anyway, that might bring some big fish into the river.
Seemed like a nice day
Things looked pretty nice even though it was overcast with very little sun, the wind was down and it wasn’t very cold.
Big fish indicators
I made it down to the lower end of Penny Island and stopped for a bit to watch when I noticed the seagulls sitting on the water. Not just any seagulls, but seagulls waiting for a scrap from a big fish the seals were eating. Lots of times the seagulls are my first clue that a seal has a big fish and is eating it under water.
Open river’s mouth area
Checked out this fish spot
I sat there a bit and then turned and crossed the river here. I remembered I saw a bunch of big fish along the shoreline up ahead a couple years ago so paddled over to the shore here to see if I would see any big fish. I was surprised to see a big fish wake moving along the shoreline just as I approached shore. It moved off to the right.
Penny Island bobcat
It would have been better if I turned my boat away from the cat out into the river and it might have hung around, but things happened so fast I didn’t think of it.
Animals get on and off the island by just swimming across the river, they don’t seem to mind. I’ve seen the deer do it.
Moving on up the river
Moving back down the river
Eventually I started back down the river drifting most of the way as the tide had turned to low so lots of water was dumping out of the estuary.
At this spot I thought I saw a muskrat nest up in the leaf less tree in front of me so I paddled over to take a close look and was sitting right next to shore and checking out the nest.
Fish head pops out from under the boat
It surprised me as a big fish’s head popped out from under my boat onto the right side. Just as it did, it saw me move and all there was was a big splash and it was gone. To them a boat not moving is likely just like a log, a place for them to take cover from the seals.
And another big fish splash
I continued on down and about another 100 feet ran into another big fish resting by the shoreline. When it detected me, it made a big splash and some muddy water and was gone.
Looks like the steelhead are running
That’s quite a lot of fish for me to see in one day down here, most times I’m lucky to see just one.
What this all means is the steelhead are running up the river to get to their spawning grounds.
Once home it was still cool out. It was still overcast, so I got some firewood in for the night and that was it for me today.
Nice day, better than expected.