2015 Mud Marlin Derby, Berkeley Pier

 The Berkeley Pier is a long, long pier

 The 2015 Mud Marlin Derby was held on May 16 at the Berkeley Pier and like many of the derbies, it was a night filled with contrast.

The pier filled with anglers

There was ample good cheer, especially the opportunity to spend some time with friends. But the cheer was tempered by weather that was more than a tad bit cold (in fact the adjectives chilly, shivery and face numbing come to mind). But if you live around the Bay you know the evening hours can be windy and with the wind comes less than balmy conditions. No change this year. Of course you prepare for the cold—and most did.

A Sportfishing boat returning to the Berkeley Marina

A little unusual was the contrast in overall number of participants and those from PFIC. Almost every year has seen the vast majority of people being from PFIC. This year a large number of people participated, with 116 signing up for the derby, but the number of people from PFIC was actually fairly small. A sign had been posted in the Berkeley bait shop and it attracted the large number of anglers. Good on one hand but perhaps not so good on the other. It did increase the numbers but also meant a lot of newbies unused to the normal rules and expectations at PFIC/UPSAC events and it showed.

The San Francisco skyline off in the distance

Nevertheless, the number of anglers also meant a good number of “mud marlin” would be caught. The final tally, and we might have missed a few, was 34 bat rays aka mud marlin, one of the largest numbers in the history of the tournament. No really big bat rays were caught but a number were caught in the 28-38” inch range. In addition a number of brown smoothhound sharks were caught and one angler at the end showed a mid-sized 7-gill shark so fish were being caught and people were experiencing some excitement.

An angler at the end had caught a 7-gill shark prior to the start of the derby

Derby Winners —

The First Place Plaque

 1st place — Long Moua, a 44-inch wide bat ray that weighed (on a somewhat suspect scale) 53 pounds. That weight seems somewhat light. According to a PFIC chart developed in 2007 the ray would have weighed ≈ 68 pounds (Photo courtesy of Rita M)

2nd Place — Shane Poulsen — 39-inch wide bat ray, ≈ 42 pounds   (Photo courtesy of Rita M)

3rd Place — Scott Burton — 38 ½-inche wide bat ray, ≈ 40 pounds  (Photo courtesy of Rita M)

 * Based upon a 2007 PFIC chart  — See the chart at —  http://kenjonesfishing.com/2015/05/bat-ray-weight-and-length/

All in all it was an enjoyable evening and plans are already being formalized for 2016.

The Berkeley Pier and San Francisco

Looking toward the shore

A beautiful sunset

Anglers a plenty!



The pier at sunset!

Time for an evening cruise

Time for a Mud Marlin (Bat Ray)

The mud marlin were lifted onto the pier with a net, measured, and then lowered back down into the water with a net

 A small mud marlin

Hans Jones and a table filled with raffle prizes and plaques (Picture courtesy Rita M)

Measuring a bat ray (Pictures courtesy of Rita M)

Mud Marlin (Picture courtesy of Rita M)

Mud Marlin (Picture Courtesy of Rita M)

Netting a Mud Marlin (Picture Courtesy of Rita M)

Another small one (Picture courtesy of Rita M)

Time for the raffle (Picture courtesy Rita M)

SanClementeEric (Picture courtesy of Rita M)

Eric’s son drew out the raffle tickets (Picture courtesy of Rita M)

Pull my number, pull my number, pull my number… (Picture courtesy of Rita M)

The “Seeker” rod — All Right! (Photo courtesy of Rita M)

The top prize was a trip for two on a sportfishing boat — the happy prize winner, KJ and the young Hardin (Photo courtesy of Rita M)

KJ tabulating the derby results (Photo courtesy of Rita M)

3rd Place — Scott Burton (Photo courtesy of Rita M)

2nd Place — Shane Poulsen (Photo courtesy of Rita M)

 1st place — Long Moua (Photo courtesy of Rita M)

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One Response to 2015 Mud Marlin Derby, Berkeley Pier

  1. SanClementeEric says:

    Great fun! Thanks Ken!

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