According to DFW there have been 2 minor spawns. One in Balena Bay (Alameda, near the rockwall) and Point Richmond (outer Jetty).
Other than that it's been rumors. Nothing but rumors. Grade C rumors. Fake news! Not-even-worthy-of-mentioning rumors. And yet, since I'm getting so many texts and e-mails from folks I don't even know, I'm mentioning them. If for no other reason than just to let everyone know how little info I've got. How much leg work I've already done. And what constitutes a real tip and a bogus one.
- Unbelievably someone called to tell me there was a spawn happening in Sausalito. So I drove there at low tide. I checked all the rocks from the old ramp to the seal sculpture and found nary an egg. Starting in November there are always some herring in "R" bay. I'm sure a few of these have already spawned in the eel grass beds or out in the channel. Or under the docks in the back end. None of this is relevant to me, so please don't send me "hot tip" info if you hear some sea lions barking. Or locate some fish that can only be reached by boat.
- I also got a tip that somebody's friend, heard from his friend, that a friend of his friend may have caught some herring on Elephant Rock Pier. A quick (read: long) trip to that distant place yielded no sign of anyone catching herring: no scales on the shore or on the pier, no spawn on the rockweed along the shore from the Ferry to the pier. Nothing. Just gas and toll expenses.
- The same individual called to tell me there was a spawn at Candlestick. Even though there hasn't been a Candlestick spawn in what, 7 years? Well as it turns out, there was not a single herring egg along any shoreline that could conceivably be referred to as being in the Candlestick area, though walking the shoreline in a howling South wind, really made me appreciate how difficult it must've been to catch a fly ball there. I should've known better. "The water looks milky." Is not a good tip. And anyone who sends me on a wild goose chase to Tiburon needs to be demoted to the "D" list.
- Tomales Bay. "Hey Kirk there was a herring spawn 4 days ago in Tomales Bay." That's all I got. 5 days ago now, since I got it yesterday. I have one or two contacts in that neck of the woods, and this after the fact lead didn't come from one of them. I have no idea where it happened. Or even if it happened.
Downtown SF Spawn, 2015
Every year for the last 7-8 years the first big inshore spawn seems to happen at Burlingame, from Robert Woolley to Fisherman's Park and around Coyote. There have also been some early season spawns in the Tiburon and Pt. Richmond area.
Rest assured that as soon as I get some real news I will Tweet it (follow me @seaforager). Having culled several "D-grade" informants from my list, I am now poised to provide accurate updates.
In any case, happy holidays! Hopefully we'll have some fish to pickle for the new year! And mark your calendar: Sunday, January 28th yours truly and The Fishwives sea shanty trio will be singing about our favorite clupeid at the Sausalito Herring Festival. Let's hope there are some herring to serenade!