2013 PFIC/UPSAC Mud Marlin Derby, Berkeley Pier

2013 Mud Marlin Derby Logo — 1st place among voters

Date: May 21, 2013 — To: PFIC Message Board — From: Illcatchanything2 — Subject: Mud Marlin Derby Report

We had great weather and a good turnout for our 12th annual MMD. We had 62 registered participants. A total of 12 Rays hit the deck during the derby.  Three rays were landed in the first hour, including the eventual winner that weighed in at 88#’s. The others were landed sporadically with another flurry of action coming in the last hour and a half. The 2nd place winner was landed during this time period, weighing in at 64#’s.

The winners for the derby were: 1st place: Wong Xiong- 88#, 47″ wingspan  — 2nd place: Damon Knudson- 64#, 43″ wingspan (very pregnant —3rd place: Steven Koh- 37#, 31″ wingspan

As usual there was plenty of food that was brought to share. A big thank you to all who brought dishes for the potluck. I want to give a big thank you to all who came out and participated. Without your support, the MMD would not be going strong after 12 years

Posted by Salty Nick v2 — Sounds like a nice derby – finally, the rays made a good showing. Salty

The logo not used — 2nd place among voters

 OH NO! — When you try to do something good…

Posted by Sofa King on May 20, 2013We Have a Problem:  Saturday when I went to Castro Valley Sportsman’s Center to pick up the raffle prizes they had so kindly donated to the Mud Marlin Derby so Pier Fishing In California could raise a bit of monies to help with our groups expenses, “Somebody” had “Volunteered“ to bring the prizes to the derby for me.

The owner of the Castro Valley Sportsmen’s Center gave this “Somebody” the prizes not knowing them or realizing that I was the only one supposed to pick them up. This “Somebody” was gearing up for the derby and said that they were going to the P.F.I.C. M.M.D., that that they had room in their car and could drop off the prizes for us.

When I arrived, the owner of Castro Valley Sportsmen’s Center was a bit surprised because she had given the prizes to this “Somebody” and was not expecting me. After explaining that I was the only one of our group that was authorized to pick up the prizes she was shocked that she may have made a mistake.

Since we were unsure of this “Somebody’s” intent, Castro Valley Sportsmen’s Center gave me an extra “set” of donation items. Just in case if “Somebody” ran into issues and was unable to actually make the derby.

Needless to say, “SOMEBODY” DID NOT SHOW UP AND DELIVER the prizes as promised. While we understand that things in life can happen, these prizes really should be returned. No questions asked or explanations necessary. Just drop the prizes back off at the Castro Valley Sportsmen’s Center, or send me or Illcatchanything2 a pm and we can arrange a pickup. Let’s not let this taint our relationship with Castro Valley Sportsmen’s Center.

Side note, Please show your support of our resources and stop into Castro Valley Sportsmen’s Center when you need to gear up. They will beat anybody else’s price, including EBay. It’s a great shop and if they don’t already have it they can order it for you. Don’t forget to mention your handle on PFIC.  

Posted by bigunindaboat — File a sheriffs report, was it enough to be grand theft? I hope this was a mistake, but if not stealing from a group like PFIC is a really crappy thing to do.

Posted by McCMSchultz — Oh NO! F*#$ING UNBELIEVABLE! Who wudda thunk? I hope the merchandise is returned. Picture I.D. next time, Hans. (But doesn’t necessarily mean that it was a member either…… Has it really come to this?????

Posted by fish4s2na — Unfortunately, I can believe this happening in this day and age. Hopefully, this was simply a misunderstanding and not someone out to pull a fast one. Pretty scuzzy and low life if it was!

Posted by KAHUNA — If you know who it is, file a police report ASAP. This is unacceptable for a grown man to act this way. It’s dishonorable and cowardly.

Posted by Ken Jones — How did “somebody” know they were donating prizes to us to be picked up? I’m not surprised there are people out there who would do such a thing but it sounds like it would have to be someone familiar with the situation. No description of the person?

Posted by Red Fish — Post from SK from March 29, 2013 — Castro Valley Sportsmen’s Center has graciously offered some donations for our upcoming Mud Marlin Derby and Kids Derbies. In return they also offer discounts to PFIC members who mention their PFIC handle. Not including licenses etc. Suppose your local small business and they will help support you. Please bring them your business for all your fishing needs.

Posted by Sofa KingThe owner of Castro Valley Sportsmen’s Center believes she mentioned that I was on my way to pick up the raffle items to a customer she was helping. This person had hooks weights and squid and said they were on the way to Berkeley pier for the derby. And the next person, “Somebody”, also had similar gear for purchase and mentioned they too were headed to the derby and would be happy to bring the items for us.  She believes this person must have overheard her and saw an opportunity.

Posted by Redkorn — Was there CC camera footage? May help with ID.

Posted by thefrood — I just can’t understand people like that. Something wrong inside their heads… simply unacceptable behavior. I think Redkorn has a good idea with the CC footage… if we can get it posted around and also alert other tackle shops (are there many left around here?) about this person then they will be forewarned.

Posted by dkkim — What’s up with the “Somebody” comments. Are you giving them a chance to fess up because you know them? Just report it or ask the store to report it. If you do know who it is, then let us know so we don’t associate with the loser.

Posted by Illcatchanything2 — The term “somebody” was put in because we DO NOT know who it was and the only description that the owner was able to give was so vague that it could apply to 90% of fishermen. As for future donations from Castro Valley Sportsmen’s Center, it has been made clear that SK is the only one that will pick things up (unless he introduces another person). We also know what was being donated so we are keeping an eye on Craigslist.

Sadly, this kind of thing happens, and there are people out there who will take advantage of any situation… As was mentioned, lets give Castro Valley Sportsmen’s Center some business and send your buddies there as well. They went above and beyond by replacing the items that were taken.

Again if this is a mistake and someone here did pick the items up with the intention of coming to the MMD and dropping them off but was not able to make it for whatever reason, then PM SofaKing or Myself and we will arrange to pick them up and return them. ICA2

[We are currently trying to find any pictures people may have of this event.]












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2009 PFIC/UPSAC Mud Marlin Derby #2, Berkeley Pier

The 2009 Mud Marlin Derby was scheduled and held on April 4, 2009. However, no mud marlin (bat rays) were caught so the “pier rats” called for a second derby. In response, a second derby was held on August 1 of that year — with better results.

Berkeley Pier before the crowd!

Date: August 2, 2009 — To: PFIC Message Board — From: illcatchanything2 — Subject: MMD

Red has already posted a lot of pics, and more will be on the way from other cameras, but here is a short narrative (from my perspective).

illcatchanything2 (Brian)

I arrived at the pier around 3:30pm with my son (fishinggamer) and Bigrich. Redfish, Minnowmagent, Sharkslayer and a few others were already on the pier. After unpacking all the stuff, I set up a light pole with a bobber rig and a live smelt (thanks to Redfish who had been working his cast net with great results). I continued setting up for the derby while watching my pole. Had a huge take down, but by the time I got to my pole the fish had dropped the bait. Pulled in and looked forlornly at the tell tale teeth marks on my smelt.


I threw a new bait back out and continued to set up. 6:00pm arrived, and out came the big poles for the Rays. Mingled for a little bit meeting some new people and some old, then….

Uncle Dale strikes first blood with an 8# ray around 6:30. Measured, weighed and released and back to the table.

Got the stove going and proceed to cook some Hot Links that were graciously donated by West Coast Dave and crew, and then started on the fish I had brought — Leopard Shark, 7-Gill, and Shovelnose Guitarfish. A Lingcod followed, as well as some coffee.

Brian cooking

In what seemed like a few minutes, it was 9:00pm. No more rays had been caught, but a few baby soupfins had been landed. Then Redfish lands a 4-foot (or so) soupfin. I had never had soupfin, so back to the table it went. Bled, filleted and cut into chunks it went on the stove much to my delight (since it was really good). 10:30 now and still no more rays. Determined to give away the trophies, Redfish and I started making back up plans to include the sharks in the Derby. So with that in mind, we fished on…

One of the sharks

At 11:40 it looked like Uncle Dale would take 1st with the only ray, while Davey (I think) a guest of a member (can’t remember who) would take 2nd with a 2-foot soupfin and Frank (a guest of Minnowmagent) would take 3rd with another soupy. Then Jesus (another guest) went into 2nd place with another soupy.

At 11:50 we were getting the trophies ready to give out and all of a sudden Michael (can’t remember your board name) gets a nice ray bite. A nice fight later and he was in the lead with an 18#, 31″ ray. Looks like that would be it and then… 11:56 and Frank (minnow’s guest) gets a nice run. He fights it and up comes another ray. Just by eyeballing, I knew it would be close. Weighed and it comes it at 18# (a tie with Michael) the tape would now tell the tale… Taped it out and it comes in at 34 3/4… Franks ray was landed at 12:05.

So the trophies and eternal glory went to: 1st Place- Frank with his 34 3/4″ ray — 2nd Place- Michael with his 31″ ray — 3rd Place- Uncle Dale with the 8# (24″) ray.

Front — Red fish (Robert Gardner) and Illcatchanything2 (Brian Linebarger) — Trophy Winners (L to R) — Michael, Frank and Uncle Dale 

It was a great event with an exciting finish. 1st & 2nd place landed in the last nine minutes of the derby. It was great meeting everyone new and seeing some the people who I have not seen since the last MMD. Also, it was great to meet Bat Ray Dave who represented our SoCal members. This is the first time since I have been attending the MMD’s (and maybe the first time period, some older members will have to correct me if I am wrong) that we have had a SoCal member at the MMD. Hope the trend continues and we get more next year.

Frank (Mr. Twister) and 1st Place Trophy

Another one in the books, I packed up all my stuff (with the much appreciated help of Sharkslayer & Big Rich) and made the long walk to the car.

Michael and 2nd Place Trophy

Had a great time as usual. Thanks to everyone who made it out and helped make this a great event!!

Uncle Dave and Third Place Trophy

Posted by Red Fish — Excellent synopsis Brian. Great working with you on this thing. You really made it a success with all of your effort.

Posted by BaSsMaSTEr925 — Thanks guys it was fun pretty exciting that last two minutes when the rays hit.

Frank (Mr. Twister) and a mud marlin (bat ray)

Posted t177 — Brian, thanks for report and all the effort you guys put in to make it happen. Those sharks were good eats!

Posted by Steve-O — Sooooooooooooooooooooo Much fun.. again a big thanks to you guys for throwing it down Berkeley Style. did anyoue stay later into the weeeee hours of the morning? Am interested to hear if the bite was just picking up as the derby ended. Tight Lines to all
We’ll see ya on the water — Steve-O

SteveO and Uncle Dave

Posted by rita001 — Good report. Brian. Thanks again for a great event! Steve-o,  Kyle and I hung out with Minnow for a while after everybody left. Kyle and Justin caught a couple of little smoothhounds. And one guy caught a small bat ray that thought it was a monster the way it fought. We left at 1:30. Ya gonna have to ask Minnow about the rest of the morning; though, it seemed like the bite was picking up when we le.

Posted by 911taxi — Thanks guys for all the fun. We had a great time, even with the nasty weather we were having. My son Danny was in second place with the soupfin until 8 minutes till midnight when the action started.

Frank (Mr. Twister)

Posted by chicofish — So is the MMD a day where people get together and catch a bunch of bat rays? What happens to the rays if it is?

Posted by Red Fish — Yes, it’s all catch and release like a black bass tournament. All bat rays are netted and returned to the water in good shape.

Posted by 1CrAzyR8REven though I showed up late it was great to get out there cool event thanks everyone who put it together.

Big Rich and Frank (Mr. Twister)

Posted by minnow magnet — It was a great Mud Marlin. My friend Frank had a great night fishing and winning. But, he found out after the event was over that two of his reels were stolen out of his backpack during the fight of his ray. We found his backpack wide-open 10ft from the tent and his Penn Senator 6/0 was gone along with his Diawa Sealine. If anyone knows what might of happened please let us know. Frank ended up with his ray, a 2ft soupy and two sand sharks up to about 18″ and i got a spiny dog about 16″ and three sand shark up to 2ft.

Minnow Magnet

Posted by illcatchanything2 — Oh No… That really sucks that his reels were stolen. Did you see anyone hanging around the end? There were so many people around when he was fighting that fish that it was hard to see who was there and who wasn’t.

Posted by 1CrAzyR8R — Not cool man… there was a lot of people around my cousin and I were fishing a few yards down but we were helping with the flash lights over the rail so we weren’t paying attention to the people walking/gathering on the deck.

Lots of tackle

Posted by Bat-Ray-Dave — Too bad things like this happen. It seemed as though just the derby people were at the last 1/3 of the pier, but after someone hooks-up others must have come on down and snaked the reels. And to think Frank was getting the hang of casting it on that long rod he had it on.

Posted by Mr. Twister — Man that sucks!!! I just bought my Senator a week before the event. I had only caught one ray on my Senator. The Diawa Sealine meant a lot to me I caught my first ray over 100 pounds on that reel. From today forward I am going to engrave my last conventional reel.  Frank lovelady (and yes, that is my last name)  BTW, i will pay $130 to any who finds my reels.

Frank (Mr. Twister) and reel that was stolen

Posted by Bat-Ray-Dave — Forget about the reels, they are long gone. Save your money and find the nice 113hl left handed reel on e-bay. And always be aware of your surroundings and equipment while you fish. Watch your stuff like a hawk, all the time.

Posted by mel — Yeah keep an eye on your gear for sure! I lash my rods down that I’m not using to my cart and no one can see the rope. At the last MMD someone walked off with my bait cooler but I found it in another spot. Only thing missing from it was a piece of my secret bait. I guess the person knew that I hooked up that night but the ray managed to spit the hook. Guess they just HAD to have a piece of my bait. Wonder if they got anything on it.

Lots of anglers

Posted by Ken Jones — Good job all; wish I could have been there.

Posted by Bat-Ray-Dave — Well, I made it there and back safely. The gf and myself headed out at 1:30am Sat morning. I dug the drive there but wasn’t able to see any nice I-5 north scenery because of the night travel. I tried to get sleep Friday after work but that didn’t work out because I was excited about going on a long trip where I have never been too and also I was going fishing as well. We made it non-stop all the way until that last rest stop before merging onto the 580. I was getting really tired and the eyes starting to close on me. We pulled in at 6:20am and I set the alarm for 7:30am.

That hour and 10 minute sleep was over in a flash but I woke up very refreshed. We continued on our journey and went straight to Berkeley pier to scope it out and arrived at 8:26am. I just drove down to confirm the pier was still standing and saw it was there then headed back to get a hotel room. The place we stayed at was the Motel 6 at Embarcadero. The 1st thing I noticed at the motel was of course the cute little pier that I read from this site that was right where it was supposed to be at. If there are Rays at that pier (No reason there shouldn’t be any), it would be a nice place to hook-up at. The only thing that was amiss was that the water to the cleaning sinks was turned off. One doesn’t need a net of gaff there for the fact you can simply work the ray to the rocks and land it from there.

I was considering waking up two hours before I originally wanted to for the derby to give the spot a chance but I was too tired and wanted my strength for the contest. What was on my mind 1st was finding a gas station to fill up but it seemed the area we were at was too industrial for a gas station. I drove down the street heading east I believe and on the other side of the 880 I saw a Shell sign and made it there from sight alone. We then drove back to Berkeley Pier and arrived at 4:46pm. We then went on the pier and confirmed it was at least a 1/2 mile out. I had the gf walk in front of me to give her a head start for the fact the wind kept blowing her back.

We made it out to the end and saw Brian and he introduced me to Big Rich and his friend. Then I went to Red and said I made it out and we talked some. I had to wait until he landed what he was hooked up with at the same time I got there. Minnow then came running over(He is a very energetic fisherman) and the showed me his rods he had there. Frank showed me his 6/0 he had on the long rod. It was windy and bearable for the sun was still at least out for some warmth. I then knew it would be cold that night and told the gf we would stay as long as she could stand it. I did this because she was a good sport and traveled the 6hrs just to watch me fish.

I set-up across from Red on the other side of the pier, I knew that the wind causes alot of tangles and I didn’t want to cause any or have have to deal with any. The kids were going after the crabs with their nets and I could then realize how thick they are around the pier. I brought 3 trays of big squid with me for a total of 6 squid. I knew I would only use one at the most unless I hooked up. Even the crabs can’t eat that rubber! They can pick a hook clean if you use the regular squid but big squid just lasts for as long as you keep it in the water.

I cast out once I tied up and used a head of one. That was at 5pm and then reeled in at 6pm when the derby started and rebaited with a nice slab that Kurt says looks like a Burrito. I used the Sabre Stroker and the 113mtl 1st then later gave the Fenwick and the 4/0 wide a chance for some fun. Nothing was hitting at all and I was quite surprised how good my 8oz weight was holding the bottom with all the wind. I stayed on the north side where I 1st set-up till 9pm. The gf was toughing it out but said the combination of the wind and the cold was getting to her. She said the cold was no problem but all the junk wind was killer.

I then cast in the 4/0 wide next to Red at 9pm because two guys that were there left and the spot became open. Red said that spot was one of his favorites. I put a fresh burrito on and recast. Nothing happened for me until 10pm came around. I would like to of stayed till 12 midnight but at that point it did seem things were slow for the night. One guy did land the 24″ ray and to me it seemed that was going to be the winner. Maybe others thought that as well. Red landed a 3ft Soupfin like five minutes after he had casted a rod off of one of the corners of the pier. It had a nice set of choppers for Soupfin.

10pm arrived and I packed it up. Not catching any rays is part of the game sometimes and it is not new to me and have had it happen many times down south. I said the good-byes and gave the two leftover trays to Red to use and told Minnow he can have a tray as well since there was two of them. Minnow said he was camping out on the pier for the night and was even going to hit up another spot in the morning as well. He asked if I wanted to join him but I told him I didn’t have the time because we were leaving in the morning to head back home.

As we were pulling out of the parking lot then headed down the street a nice sized rat ran across the road. I at first thought I ran it over but the gf said she saw it run into the bushes. I once had a Tom Cat named Rowdy and he would have tangled with that rat if he saw how big it was. One thing I did wish was that I was there at Berkeley to see Jimi Hendrix in 1970. He played at the Berkeley Community Center at the end of May that year. Lots of history is around us each day.

The end — of the pier



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2009 PFIC/UPSAC Mud Marlin Derby #1, Berkeley Pier

The 2009 Mud Marlin Derby was scheduled and held on April 4, 2009. However, no mud marlin (bat rays) were caught and the “pier rats” called for a second derby. In response, a second derby was held on August 1 of that year — with better results.

Date: April 5, 2009 —To: PFIC Message Board — From: Posted by gyozadude — Subject: Mud Marlin Derby

MMGT 2009, as you have heard now, was a bust for the rays.  But food was awesome.  Brian (IllCatchAnything) made homemade chili (excellent!) and fried halibut. How do folks get any fresher?  I think Robert caught it just earlier, before the start, and before sundown, it was sliced into fillets and breaded.  Then fried on the pier.  Wow!

I made cheese steak sandwiches, hotlinks, and vegetable beef soup.  I sure left a LOT lighter than when I came in.  That went fast too, as did a 30 pack of Danishes.

I left trophies with Red, and the plan is to wait a little, then have part 2 of the MMGT and this time get some rays.

The raffle went well for the limited folks that came in. Roster puts us at 50 official participants plus four unregistered that showed up last minute because they heard about it, however, I did not allow them to enter into the contest for the trophies. Total take was for $245, deposited today at WaMu/Chase. Top raffle prize went to kid who arrived at the MMGT with Dad and felt under powered on his rod.  Not anymore. He’s got a 10ft heaver with magged Jigmaster now that can actually power cast 6+ oz.

Robert, that hali was simply delicious!  Gotta give Brian kudos too.  Who was the new board guy that served as judge at the end?  He’s a former rocket sci kinda dude too.  Way cool.  Anyways, the best thing is we’re gonna do this again :-) .

A bit windy in the late afternoon and early evening. Some old and new faces of participants.

Brian “the chef” (IllCookAnything2) — “catch” that is. What a fantastic job on the chili and the halibut. Full service! He and his son were there at the event.

Dan fought valiantly, but the gangster ray eluded him by swimming under the pier and cutting the line around the abrasive pilings. Others on the starboard side of the pier could have been more helpful by bringing in their rigs sooner. But alas, that’s all part of the contest!

Posted by melAnd the winner is…. (drum roll)………No one! No kidding! Bat-Ray-Dave wrote: No runs, hits, or errors?? Are you saying the Rays pitched a shutout? If so, demand a rematch and make it a 1st or 2nd Saturday of the month later this year and I will show up and make the long trek up there.

No, we had a few hits and runs…. Just no landings. Red Fish caught a halibut (again), and graciously donated it for the fish fry. Everyone did have a great time though, with lots of food to go around. Thanks to Gdude for the awesome cheesesteak sandwiches and everything else. Thanks to all who made the long trek out there and stuck it out. We talked last night about have part two, so we will take you up on your offer Dave…

Posted by red fish — Yeah… I had a good time too. As I mentioned to some, ‘you would have thought it was a sturgeon derby’ with the intense concentration of the anglers and scarcity of bites. Seems like enough are interested in a rematch so we will have to book a future date. It would be great if Dave could travel down for the battle. Thanks to all that participated and those that volunteered their time as judges. The weather was favorable, the fish, uncooperative, the event, enjoyable. Special thanks to James Gyozadude and Brian Illcatchanything for their tremendous effort in coordinating the activities of this event and making this event comfortable for all. Thanks for all of your donations of time and goods to make the event a success for all. Nice documentation Phil of the only bat ray fight of the evening for the derby, as, I wasn’t able to witness it from the section of the pier I was located closer to the last cleaning sink. It paints a picture for those who have never fished or been to Berkeley Pier (I’m surprised you didn’t slip in the requisite shot of the Golden Gate Bridge from the pier perspective).

Illcatchanything (Brian) cooking

Posted by itsakeeper — Awesome video northern boy. Even with the lack of show of Mr. Bat Ray, I still had a wonderful time hanging out with the PFIC crew. Thanks once again to James, Bryan, and others for setting this up for the rest of us to enjoy. Thanks also to red fish for donating his freshly caught halibut and leopard shark. That was a nice treat. The chili, Philly steak and soup was so good. It was nice meeting new folks and being around with old and new friends. I hope that there will be another great get together soon.

GDude in front, Brian in the back

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2010 PFIC/UPSAC Mud Marlin Derby, Berkeley Pier

2010 Mud Marlin Logo — 1st among voters

Date: May 16, 2010 — To: PFIC Message Board — From: Illcatchanything — Subject: Mud Marlin Derby 2010

We had a great time at the 9th Annual MMD, with food, friends, fun & FISH!! The derby started out a little slow, then around 8:30pm, the bite turned on with rays landed at 8:30, 8:40, 8:42 & 8:50. Things slowed down a bit after that, but picked up again around 10:00 with rays landed at 10:05, 10:18, & 10:35. Going into the final hour we thought that the bite had died, but a flurry of action finished the night off with rays landed at 11:50, 11:52, and 11:58. So we had 10 rays landed for the derby participants, along with some other fish including a legal leopard shark that was donated for the frying pan and a baby 7-gill. Not a bad night of fishing!n We had a good turn out for a cold and windy night with 63 people signing the register

2010 Logo not used 

Our winners were: 1st Place: Redfish with a 49 1/2″ fish2nd Place: Tyrell Davis (guest of Fish Addict 707) with a 46″ fish3rd Place: Richard (sorry I couldn’t read your last name), a guest of West Coast Dave with a 40” fish.

It was a blast seeing some old friends and meeting new ones. Thanks to everyone who came out and braved the cold and wind. PS- I forgot to bring my camera, so I will be relying on Sofa King, Redfish and anyone else who took pics to post them up…..

Posted by Bat Ray DaveThat’s great! Does Red have the all time tournament record now?

Posted by pierhead — I guess I’m being a bit of a smart a** but you forgot your camera again? Two events in a row? Nonetheless, thanks for the report. Sorry Mary and I couldn’t be there but we’re just a bit too old for an all nighter. Congrats to the winners and everyone that participated. It’s great that you and others like you are willing to donate their time and effort to putting on these events.

2010 Logo not used

Posted by sofa kingHad a blast last night. Everybody I came with and that met me out there want to do it again. Congrats to the winners. It was great seeing my fellow fisherman friends again and meeting new ones. I think we should do this more often. I did bring a camera and I have q bunch of pics I took but my comp is choking on ‘em. “Old comp”. Anybody want to resize them for me and post them? Send me a pm with your e-mail and I’ll send them to you in the am. Thanks. [Pictures were posted but inaccessible]

Posted by t177 — Thanks Brian for putting together another awesome event. Although it was so cold that my nose kept on running, the food kept me going for the night. The chili and fried striper/leo were so good. The hot cup of coffee hit the spot when the wind was blowing. I had fun although I got skunked and I didn’t win anything from the ruffle. Actually, I was so busy helping Robert land his ray that I didn’t even know the ruffle was going on!

Posted by mandre800 — Here are pics of the ray I landed and the 54″ Leopard Shark I donated to the frying pan.

Mud Marlin = Bat Ray

Leopard Shark


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2011 PFIC/UPSAC Mud Marlin Derby, Berkeley Pier

Posted by Ken Jones — It was 5PM in the parking lot near the front of the Berkeley Pier and I had just arrived for the 10th Annual Mud Marlin Derby. A large group was scheduled to show up for the event and I was glad to be back after missing the tournament the prior two years. But though thought of the MMD brought back many happy memories, the drive over from the Ferry Point Pier had brought another memory, that of an old ‘60s tune by B. J. Thomas— “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head.” It was raining hard. While the pitter patter serenade continued on the windshield, I contemplated my next move. I was (I thought) well prepared for the cold and wind, but I wasn’t too sure about the rain.

Luckily the storm seemed to abate somewhat and my friend Mike and I hopped out of the car and began to unload the equipment. First the rods and reels, then the pier cart, the bait cooler, misc. bucket, small cooler, and tackle box.

About that time three fishermen walked by, all equipped with pier carts and a variety of rods and reels, nets, buckets and “necessary” accouterments. True “pier rats” who knew the needs of those who seek the big ‘butts, stripers, sharks and rays from California’s longest pier (and the first WCB pier in the state). No way you’re hand carrying all that tackle out to the end of the 3,000+ foot-long-pier!

Illcatchanything (Brian Linebarger) setting up for the cooking

“How was the fishing” was the question and the “regulars” said,  “wet.” But seven legal halibut was the report on the pier, one a nice fish of 45”, and about 12-13 striped bass. Not great fishing but also not bad, but the time of the day and the rain had taken its toll; it was time for them to leave.


Mike and I headed out to the pier where we stopped for a short visit at the restroom. While there, the rain began anew. Mike headed back to the car while I continued out to the third cleaning station and the gathering.

Mike Granat

The crowd at that time was approximately 30-35 people but it would grow and see an eventual group of 62 people. Included were a mix of long time PFIC regulars together with some newbies. At the main table were Brian (Illcatchanything2) and Hans (Sofa King) while nearby saw some oldies but goodies—Robert (Redfish), MikeJonesJr, and West Coast Dave (from Sacramento). Sitting by a tent were Bob (Side Stripe Chaser) and his wife Kim, next to them was Big Rich. Two poles away were Matt Shockley and a group he had brought down from Reno for the event. Peter (surf samurai) and V were there as was Phishnpat, Fin Prints and The Orion. Eventually James (GDude) would show up with his son Warren. Others, and I didn’t get all the names, were there and as said, the group would grow.

GDude — James Liu

To make a long story short, I had a great time even though I didn’t land any bat rays and though I was very, very cold. I did get to witness a great fight between Kim and a 49-pound bat ray, a fight that including crossed lines and bait buckets. People helped her out and made sure she was able to land a nice fish. They then made sure the fish was returned safely to the water. Soon after Bob landed a small bat ray but that was the extent of fish fights for me. My buddy Mike was freezing and asked if I minded leaving early and since I too was cold I said that it was OK. I would have liked to have been able to stay but had had the chance to meet everyone (I hope) and share a least a few hours at the pier.

Warren Liu

Mike and I headed back to the car at 9PM while Brian, Hans and James continued on with the derby, awards and raffle. I’ll have to leave the fuller report of this derby to Brian, Hans and Robert.

The number of caught mud marlin (bat rays) was low but this happy lady angler got one of them

Berkeley’s Master Angler Songslinger likes to say it’s all about the fish but I have to disagree. The Mud Marlin Derby is as much about the chance to see old friends, perhaps make a few new friends, and share a few hours in a sport we all love. For derbies such as this, and the Get Together at Catalina, the camaraderie of the group is as important as the fish.

I was TRYING to stay warm

Driving back to the motel in Oakland, Mike said he was amazed at the number of people at the event given the weather. He was also impressed at how the people worked together and the expertise evident in the group. Lastly, he was amazed at the equipment he saw at the event. Mike is a former Shimano representative, one who had the entire South American continent as his territory, and has seen and still has a lot of equipment. Like many he knew little about pier fishing until I got him interested. I had told him about the event—and the quality of our angers—but I think he didn’t really believe it until he saw it first hand.

 Big Rich and sidestripecatcher (Bob)

Big Rich and little old me

Sidestripeseeker (Bob) and a mud marlin

West Coast Dave

It got just a TAD BIT cold!


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